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Flat Roof - Help Needed

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by njtomatoguy, Jul 8, 2008.

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  1. njtomatoguy

    njtomatoguy Feeling the Heat

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    I have a leak that is Kicking my X$$.

    I own a tiny ranch house. 2 BR 1 Bath Less than 1000 ft.
    Called roofers for estimate.

    #1. $7500, I'll start taking the roof off right now, and my guys will show up later and install. Pick your color. NOPE

    #2. We're busy, and we're expensive. This guy is THE roofer in my town. If he had told me anything under 5K,
    he would have gotten the job, and would have gotten paid CASH! Cash has since been deposited in bank. I called him
    5 times and went to a job his guys were working on, and no call back. Then one day they show up out of the blue,after
    hitting the bar, and tell me this?

    #3. Nice guy, but... Want's all but 1k up front for "material". NOPE

    #4. My Dad and his business associate BOTH used this guy! Estimate $3200. Start fri, end sat. Great.
    Fri. No call- No Show. Fri night I call him. I got tied up. Monday morning. Nope. Mon. Night i call him. no answer
    Tues AM. Calls and says his crew will be there in afternoon. Tues afternoon? Nope Called him, no answer.
    Wed afternoon he calls me and tells me he might be able to come by friday.
    Don't Bother!

    I need to do a flat roof. Any tips? The shingled part is OK

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  2. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Whats the size of the flat roof?
    Does it tie into/ run up under the shingle roof?
    Whats on the perimeter of the flat roof?
    Sounds like a good candidate for EPDM.
  3. njtomatoguy

    njtomatoguy Feeling the Heat

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    Flat roof is 8 ft wide by 20 long
    Yes it buts up to shingles

    Perimeter is metal capping.
    I'll try to take pics tomorrow.
  4. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like a 10' x 50' roll of EPDM will fit perfect with 10' x29' or so extra to cover your firewood with. Although sounds like you may have parapet walls on the sides. The rubber will have to go up & over those also.
    Any penetrations through the flat? Pipes etc?
    Hard to say without pics, but sounds like you may be able to do the roof with one sheet, no cuts or seems, except any pipes etc.
  5. SE Iowa

    SE Iowa New Member

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    I have a friend who sprays a hard foam on flat roofs then coats then with some sort of hard top coat. You can pick the level of top coat from 5, 10 or 15 year warranty. After the warranty expires he can come out again and just repray the top coat which is considerably cheaper than the foam, thus extending the warranty for however longer. Only problem is it is not a perfectly smooth surface so may not look the best if it is an exposed area.
  6. JPapiPE

    JPapiPE New Member

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    No nothing with do you good like a new EPDM roof. No problem that it goes under shingles ...the rubber is self sealing around roofing nails. I am a certified EPDM installer in Maine. You have a choice of 2 thicknesses of epdm , 0.045 is the thin stuff and sells for $199.75 here in maine for a 10'X 50" roll. I'd go with the thicker 0.060 rubber membrane that sells for $264,75for a 10'X 50' roll. That is the best coarse and you can expect 30-40 years without any leaks especially since it is one piece. Joints go first.
    Of coarse you will need a suitable substrate to apply your EPDM to, which is called roof fiber board and measures 4'X8' x1/2" and sells for $10.20/sheet. This must be attached with screws and plates which are sold only by the thouands...still cheaper than hiring some crook. The screws are $72.65/ 1000 and the plates are 3" and sell for $98.55/1000....of coarse you will never need 1000 of any of this , but it's just the way it's sold. Then you need to go along the perimeterof the new roof with an L shaped flashing covering the EPDM and the fiber board. I go with white color L type perimeter flashing. This perimeter flashing can be nailed down with roof nails.

    OK you are almost done, You need yellow contact cenemt for unvulcanized rubber(EPDM) to stick this piece of EPDM to the fiber board which cost about $99 / gallon but will certainly be enough by 50% extra. Roll this adhesive on with a pole and a roller cover cover suitable for EPDM cement. It will cost you $10 to get this set up.

    Next you need to apply Berger eave flashing over the job of fiber board and EPDM...just on the exposed edges.( rake ,eaves and termination edges) Nail this down with roofing nails as i have already said This flashing comes in many colors ...select white.

    Then the whole exposed eave and rake sections must be reinforced with EPDM Seam tape(peel and stick tape ). And for this you will need a gallon of EPDM primer.Sells for $28.95/gallon, and your paint the whole underside of the tape and the area in which it shall cover with this primer which is brushed on. Then after 30 minutes or less apply the yellow adhesive to all the seam tape and to all the eaves and rakes you have just primed. Let it sit for 20 minutes and apply the seam tape to these areas...you can then apply liberally EPDM lap sealant around all the tape ...front and back edges as it shrinks... very much. Then you are done unless you have a stack in the middle of your roof then you need to buy a witches hat of the appropriate size and treat it with the same system of primer and adhesive , seam tape and lap sealant and then you are done.

    It sounds like a simple job that could be done in my neck of the woods for less than a grand...easily ...materials only.Hell if you paid my airfare and put me up, fed me and entertained me(drinks) i'd come down there for nothing and see you through you moment of need. Let me Know. I am qualified in goodyear and firestone rubber roof certfied installer...but the rest are all academic.
    Joe from maine
  7. mikeyny

    mikeyny Feeling the Heat

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    Joe from Maine has said it all. I do rubber also here in NY. I think the only thing he left out is that it can be a bit tedious rolling out the rubber onto the glue with out wrinkling or bubbling. If you do one half at a time it is easy. Cut your sheet 1 foot over the length and width and set it in place. roll it back half way, apply the glue to both the rubber and fiber board, let it dry a bit (kind of like formica glue) and slowly roll the epdm onto the glue. Since this is your first rubber roof you will most likley get a few wrinkles or bubbles. Some or all of them may go away as the rubber expands and contracts over the first few days. Most handy guys can do it with a little guidance. Just do it and save your self some bux and spend the money saved upgrading the insulation in your house to save even more dough.
    Mike
  8. JPapiPE

    JPapiPE New Member

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    Mickey Ny said all the stuff i cound,'t include in my post as it would be too long and tedious. He's 100% right about the fold...this stuff applied with contact cement is very unforgiving...you can trash a whole roll of EPDM if you don't know what you are doing..Same as a bituthane job....Ha Ha....Thanks mikey...thats my oldest boys name and he is 22.
    Mikey is so right ...getting the flop right is half the battle...maybe more if you screw up....and when you do screw up it's a total loss.... Right Mikey? How remiss of me to leave out these critical instructions , but again , it's not something that one can master in an hour or two.

    I sure did leave out a bunch of stuff, but figured that the poster would never call me for help so I remain stoned immaculate. I'm still a journeyman, which means I travel around, without pay, to help the earth stay green.

    Yeah , Yeah, I do admit that I am a registered Maine Engineer and a retired Full Bird Army Colonel, but so what? I consider myself an earth person who wanders where the wind blows and try to pay back what The lord has given me.. We all find it in our own time....
    Joe
  9. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Both the youngin rookies LOL (J/K) said it well. I will only add that when you have it folded and glued the field & rubber, if you gently lift the end flap of the top half a lil, and lightly flap it up and down a lil bit to flap "air" in between the fold, it will then easily glide on itself & out as you push the rubber fold back over. Another note, if you do it in the summer and its sunny out, that rubber will get very hot. Just a heads up. Don't fry your hands & knees ;) Also, have some kerosene in the garage to clean the glue off your hads. Gas also works but kero works best.

    Depending where you are, and when you plan to do it, I may be able to help. Will cost some pepperoni pizza though (heavy on the pepperoni). ;)

    One more thing, we used to be able to get boxes of plates & screws in 500 counts, and at some roofing supply house you might be able to get less....they may have a busted box, etc.
    The screws are serious and have many uses around the house. I have framed with them, and no hurricane would touch that framing ;). So some extras would not be so bad, they really do come in handy.
    You can also try a few local roofing companies and see if they have any partial boxes laying around collecting dust that they want to get rid of. We always used the extras on the next job if the size of the screws was right.
    OH you want the 3" plates, not the 1"ers.

    If your serious about doing it in rubber, let us know. I can supply you with the screw & plate pattern needed to fasten the insulation board down.
  10. njtomatoguy

    njtomatoguy Feeling the Heat

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    Wow, thanks for the ideas.
    I was up there with 2 cameras, and still no photos. I am on a new computer, and lost the software for the camera. Cell phone camera takes pics, but will not upload to t-mobile website.

    While i was up there, i did notice:
    Roof is silver coated over a blacktop looking coating.
    Bubbles are everywhere, which is where I'm guessing the water is coming from.
    looked at neighbors roof, he has nothing other than tar paper- how come his isn't leaking?
    Another neighbor had a torch down roof put on the same spot that is giving me trouble.
    I saw the guy torch it down.

    I googled epdm roofing, and don't see many suppliers near me. Would I have to order it and have it shipped?

    Could I just put down new tar paper and then use a can of roof coating from HD?

    Thanks for the help.
  11. JPapiPE

    JPapiPE New Member

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    Dear Tomatoguy.... Silver roof coating is a sign that losers repaired your roof and probably took you or the former owners to the cleaners with this stop gap measure. Yes that crap is still sold , but only to poor ass numbsculls that can't afford to do it right, or others, less scupulus that will provide a patch for lots of $ and smile while they take your last $... You been had son...Us Mainers can't do a less than perfect job and we are good on the phone. I do like good steak, lobster and beef bourginon . ...also KFC, Beer and Chiniese food. I will offer once more my services for free but I shall demand lodgeing, airfare and the best food.... What a Deal...This offer is not good for more than24 hours..... sink or swim or pay exorbident costs.

    Colonel Joe from Maine
  12. njtomatoguy

    njtomatoguy Feeling the Heat

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    Welcome to my hell: I bought this house 8 yrs ago, and it getting to know the neighbors, found out that the previous owners were pathetic at home repair, but thought they knew everything. They made electrical connections with duct tape- no wire nut, no elect tape, just 2 wires barely twisted and a peice of duct tape for a hot connection in the cieling for the kitchen fixtures. Other things I have come across would make any normal person shudder, but the price was right, and I am failry happy here.
    Thanks again for your offer to help and advise. I will not be doing the silver roof.
    Also, the food and drink here is always good!
  13. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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  14. njtomatoguy

    njtomatoguy Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks Hogz
    Bradco- i for the life of me could not remember their name. That's where my buddy got his siding. Will give them a call.
    Thaks again
  15. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Glad to help.
  16. JPapiPE

    JPapiPE New Member

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    Hogz is wild but he knows his s**t better than any of us, as far as EPDM roofing, plus he's a nice and generous fellow.
    Your house sounds like my mobile home....especially the wiring and plumbing. I am a registered Maine Professional Engineer, but with 2 ex wifes to support and a raft of children my $100 grand a year, hardly covers expenses in my s**t box house. I know you can do this on your own dude, especially with a helper to control the membrane flop factor. And a 10 foot sheet should be easy to control...especially since me and Hoggy have divulged some of the more important trade secrets. You can do it even if you have to temporarily set your self up as a contractor to buy these goods at the prices i have given you...which are wholesale contractor prices ...retail will cost you 30 -50% more. So be brave and do it any way you can as it doesn't seem you have extra disposable income to waste on some half stewed EPDM roofers. Most of them will take the easy way out of a situation in my experience...Hogz and myself excluded.
    Write if you need more clarification. Joe
  17. JPapiPE

    JPapiPE New Member

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    That tar paper that you speak of could very well be tar paper, but not the 15# felt (AKA tarpaper) It could 30# felt if no granuals are showing... or it could 2" salvage with granuals but doesn't afford double coverage. Real rolled roofing gives double coverage, but starts bubbling the day you put it on and doesn't even come with a 30 minute garrantee. It is not suitable, nor recommended for flat roofs...
  18. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Hi njtomatoguy if it's a flat roof it'll be easy to do yourself with half lap roll roofing using a roofing sealant under the half lap. Bet you could do this yourself for a lot less than 500.

    btw I use to belong to the New Jersey heath and fitness center right on rt 73 in Maple Shade. I loved that place it opened at 0400hr and all the professional working women would show up before work...life was good there when I was assigned to Ft Dix and living in Mt Laurel.

    OK back to then roof just go to HD and they will tell you everything you have to know about doing this. Roll roofs are the absolute easiest to put on. But in a pinch just get some roofing cement and patch the leak till you can get a contractor there.
  19. JPapiPE

    JPapiPE New Member

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    I think the stuff that double actor 7 refers to is called double savage. If you do use this method the only way you can dare hope it will be waterproof is cover the entire roof first with bituthane AKA Grace Ice and water shield...thats the best brand cost about $100 a roll(wholesale) that covers 225 sq. Ft. This stuff comes in 3" rolls and is sticky once you peel the wax paper off from it. Work it in small sestions as it is very unforgiving. Once it touches down it stays when it is put. There are some tricks to it's application and you need further guidence ....just ask
    Joe Mainer
  20. JPapiPE

    JPapiPE New Member

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    Grace Ice and Water shield (the best that the market has to offer IMHO) is not made to be itself a final roof covering. It doen't have the U.V. Tolerance and will deteriorate with time, first becoming unstuck at the edges and then the progression of deterioration becomes excellerated. Further more, painting the stuff is just a stop-gap measure as the material is not meant to hold paint. It is strickly a good membrane system that provides protection from any water that breeches the main roof material.
    I am no expert on the subect and stop-gap measures such as nailling down the edges and coating them with EPDM lap sealant may increase the life span of the product...maybe by years. It's like the guy who has a leaking chimney and covers the whole mess with tar (black plastic cement) , This may be a temporary fix but in time the freeze thaw cycle of weather will crack this fix and more tar will be needed to cover the resultant cracks. One might go for years using this method, but eventually the real problem must be addressed. If you are very poor...this might be your only alternative, but it is by no means a permanent solution. Certainly better than nothing.


    Roofs are very important as they keep the water out and hence protect the inside of your house....Once you allow a roof breech to continue your risk ceiling and wall covering damage and allow rot to collect in unseen places that may never have the proper ventilation to dry out. It's the start of downward spiral and will reduce the resale price of your home dramatically. Best to bite the bullet if you can. A good roof makes for a good dry interior and prevents that certain smell that indicates rot. I know the smell well. I can sense it when i walk through someones front door. I have over 30 years of rebuilding and repairing rotted sections of buildings. And it's not cheap. You'll spend a bunch of money and have nothing to show for your hard earned dollars...except things that can't be seen.
  21. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    An oops of paint on asphalt is one thing. To coat an entire roof with paint, will just not hold up.
    The shingle will still deteriorate although just as slowly as without paint. But the paint will flake & peel off in time.
    Once it starts coming loose. Any further paint put on top of the old paint will just peel off as the first older paint layer keeps flaking & peeling.
    If it was an easy fix, you'd see it everywhere.
    When it comes to a roof, do it right the first time, or pay lots of water damage bills in the future & still have to then pay for the roof to be done right.
  22. JPapiPE

    JPapiPE New Member

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    Sometimes an asphalt roof going bad can be covered over with new asphalt. Codes in my area state that a roof shall contain no more than 2 layers of shingles. Stripping a roof is of corase the best method. This allows you to address and replace worn or bad flashing and also gives you the opportunity to put a bituthane membrane on the stripped roof deck...including 36" at the eaves ...18" at the rakes and 36" of membrane in the valleys. These are minimun numbers for membrane. Trouble spots should have more coverage. Of coarse the best method is to do the whole roof if it is small enough, But flat roofs need 100% coverageof membrane. If the old roof has started to bubble or wrinkle and is anything but flat, it needs stripping. If there are more than 2 layers of roofing it should be stripped. Roofing is heavy stuff...ranging from 235# to 350# per 100 sq feet Add snow accumulation to this and it's an accident waiting to happen. Cave -in. Check your rafter size and spacing. some old building have over sized rafters and could stand a 3rd layer of roofing, if code allows. Check to see if you have a ridge and the thickness and condition of the sheathing. Stripping is always best though . For some reason the oldtimers used very small step flashing pieces with 2" on the roof and 2" up the sidewall. Flashing required today is 4" on the roof and 4" up the side wall and with each layer of shingle a piece of flashing is required and not to less that 8" long
  23. EPDMSpecialist

    EPDMSpecialist New Member

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    There have been some really good replies, but something is missing in most. When you use bonding adhesive on EPDM, it is used as a contact cement. You don't get to smear it on and then put the EPDM directly into it. If you read the manufacturer's installation instructions, the intent is clearly to apply it to both sides, and use it as a contact cement.

    In the real world, this makes EPDM difficult for many DIY installations. It seems easy, but if you miss some of the minor details, you can wind up with an expensive pile of junk on your roof. Rolling bonding adhesive to the deck and then rolling the EPDM over it is one of those ways.

    When we install EPDM, there is a "push test" (manufacturer's spec) that requires the bonding adhesive (applied to the deck and the folded back roll) has flashed off before coming into contact with the other surface. You push, and it should NOT be liquid.

    The problem is that when you have an awkward, flexible material covered with adhesive that bonds on contact to the deck, the process of getting it rolled into position is a bit arduous. It is also the reason that many newbie roofers and contractors ignore the "let both sides flash off before they come in contact" restriction. That is, they have not been in business long enough to see how applying "dry" EPDM over a rolled coat of bonding adhesive can come back to bite you in a year or two or three.

    If you want to tackle it, it takes at least two people. Position the EPDM, fold it back the long way about half the distance, apply bonding adhesive to the underside of the EPDM (now on top) and the deck, and allow to flash off. Use a push broom or similar and push the center of the sheet into the adhesive. Then move first one direction, then the other, pushing the EPDM into the adhesive a bit at a time, while your helper holds the sheet up enough, and tightly enough, to keep it from contacting the deck surface prematurely--meaning before it has been broomed carefully into place.


    There is a much easier solution. Put down a 1/2" rigid insulation board first, secured with 3" metal discs and screws, then use water-based adhesive (Mule-Hide). Use the same process, except that you can broom the ("dry") EPDM directly into the wet adhesive. That one detail will take almost all the hassle out of DIY EPDM.

    One other tip: For an area that small, go with a heavier, reinforced EPDM. Just ask for "60 mil reinforced." The few extra dolalrs you spend for the better material may well be the best investment you ever make.
    Good Luck!

    EPDMSpecialist

    www.EPDMSpecialists.com
  24. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    I believe I mentioned in one of my posts about gluing the field & the rubber.
    As far as how your describing managing the rubber to adhere to the field, insulation, Iso, fiber board, whatever etc. I have never in 13 years had a problem getting air between the folded rubber layers and rolling it out with great ease & no wrinkles. Having done miles & miles of squares of EPDM does give an advantage. And yes I have seen wrinkles from 2 things, either a serious gust of wind at an inopportune time, or a rookie either rushing rolling it out, or not rolling it at same pace as the other person(s). Brooming it before the entire sheet is down is just asking to create wrinkles, as so is lifting the rubber and trying to lay in or flop in. Small or confined cut up areas often leave no choice but to lift, flop, make several folds etc. Been there done that. I have always broomed after down, and would not change due to the success I have had.
    As far as Mule Hide, I'm sorry but we always considered Mule Hide at the lower tier of roofing material/manufacturer. Firestone also, and yes much cheaper.
    If any company basically is putting lower grade roofing systems down, its because they could not pass & qualify the stringent requirements of the likes of quality materials & manufacturers such as Carlisle, Goodyear etc.
    I have used many, Carlisle SynTec being the most stringent inspections. Earned many jackets, shirts etc, etc, etc for the numerous 10's we received.
    Bottom line, is everyone has a way they do things. I base mine basically as taught & certified through the manufacturers, required training etc. but yes, many time improvised. Everyone has their way to achieve results. Whatever works best for ya, as long as it passes inspection.
    And goes without saying, the reinforced rubber can be a bit more of a PITA to put down, especially with areas that are small or with lots of protrusions. It is less forgiving and less pliable as the unreinforced.
    I do agree that the .060 is tougher and less prone to holes. The reinforced even more so.
  25. njtomatoguy

    njtomatoguy Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks Hogz

    Looks like a spammer. 1st post and a link to a website.
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