Been on your roof lately?

 

The roof is probably the last place you will inspect at your house. To check it means climbing a tall ladder, if you have one. Then you have to stand in the sun and walk all over it looking for issues and then deciding if the issues need to be addressed immediately or they can wait a while. If the answer is immediately, you then have to decide if you will do it your self or hire someone. As a result, roofs here tend to be inspected,after there are problems, that could have been prevented. Usually the issues are discovered after it rains and water finds it way into your house. We were recently asked, to look at a roof of a house, that a customer had just purchased. It might have been a good idea, to have spent the money on a pre-purchase inspection. They knew the roof was leaking from the stains inside, but the assumption was it just needed to be sealed. As soon as we stepped on the roof, we knew there was a little more to be done than that.

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The first thing that stood out, was the centre portion of the roof formed a shallow fully enclosed lower area like a pool, that only had one small drain, which is just out of view in the lower right picture. Then note the palm debris, centre left of the picture. As soon as there is heavy rain the debris will wash to the hole and plug the only drain on the roof. The shallow pool will fill with water. The area is roughly 20 feet x 20 feet and is 8 inches deep on average it will trap 2400 gallons of water which is roughly 24,000 pounds. Thats like having 5 cars parked over your living room. Obviously better drainage is needed. That amount of weight in one area will cause the roof to flex and cracks will form. In addition to make maters worse, there were areas where the concrete had crumbled and formed shallow hollows, which would allow more water to seep in.

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Several quick repairs had been done to fill the cracks, but the surface had become porous and you can see an example of the cement failing in several spots in the lower right, above

Then next thing we noticed was an attempt to put a cement cap over a joint between rooms, It might have worked if they had taken the time to remove the rebar, which was silently corroding out of sight and fracturing the wall below.20160423_125227_resized_1

Sections of the roof shown below, had never been finished properly with the final coat, this area was in poor condition and extremely porous

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As a result, it is not as simple as adding a quick coat of impermeable coating. This particular roof, needs to have larger drains added. It needs to be completely chipped patched and resurfaced to ensure it drains in the right direction. Then it should be sealed with a quality sealer. It is not a 2 minute fix and is not cheap either.

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