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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Charlottesville, Va.
    Posts
    292

    Default Help with single ply membrane roof

    We don't have many flat roofs around here and I ran across my first one today. I could use some help with diagnosing its condition. It's on a small 10 x 16 enclosed porch off the back of a 100 plus year old farm house.

    The roof is a single ply rubber like product (I'd call it EPDM because it felt and looked similar to some EPDM material I used on a job in my past life)) which appears to not be adhered to the sheathing but is adhered to the metal drip edge at the gutter. It has a bunch of seams which have a combination of some joint tape and thin sealant.

    The tape and sealant are becoming detached on the edges, but I didn't see any big failures. The ceiling below had some small average looking water stains but nothing that screamed out impending failure look out below. The stains appeared like they could of been there for years and for this time of year we've had a lot of rain in the last couple of weeks. I don't like the vinyl siding going all the way flush to the roof surface preventing me from seeing the roof wall junction detail, but vinyl installers seem to exist to frustrate me.

    I'm thinking of noting the ceiling stains and commenting that the joint tape and sealant are beginning to fail and that the roof will need repairs in the near future.

    Does that sound about accurate or is my ignorance about ready to get me in trouble?

    Thanks for the help.

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  2. #2
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Help with single ply membrane roof

    I would say that the porch roof is a single ply roof and there is evidence of a leak on the ceiling below the single ply roof. The roof needs to be evaluated and repaired by a qualified roofer. The evidence of a leak is all you need to get a roofer involved.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Help with single ply membrane roof

    There is evidence of roof leaks and deteriorated seams as well as lack of proper wall flashing and cant strips (from what I can see in the photo.) Have a competent roofer repair or replace it.
    cant strip: Definition from Answers.com

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Charlottesville, Va.
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: Help with single ply membrane roof

    Thank you for the replies.

    I upped my comment to further inspection and correction... as you guys suggested.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Help with single ply membrane roof

    That is EPDM


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Help with single ply membrane roof

    The biggest problem that I see with these types of roofs is not being sealed to perimeter flashing at roof edges. It's common for the seams to not look to pretty. Deep cracking in the material is an indication that it's past it's life.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: Help with single ply membrane roof

    I would also verbally explain to my client that I could not observe the flashings at the roof to wall junction (and show them a photo on the camera if they were not on the roof) as the siding extends down to the roof membrane, that I could not inspect the flashings' design, construction and installation, and that I cannot predict if, or under what conditions, that junction may leak in the future.

    Then I would say the same in the written report.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

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