Shed (Flat) Roof above sunroom
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cottagecate



Joined: 26 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 7:21 am    Post subject: Shed (Flat) Roof above sunroom Reply with quote

I live in one of those small catalogue houses of the 20s--its a cottage style dutch colonial. I have a flat roof above my sunroom that is also a deck on the second floor. I've just had all of the aluminum siding taken off my house (hurray), to reveal lovely shingles and clapboard. I have a couple of concerns.

1. The seal on the asphalt roofing has been broken--they had to scrap it back to remove all of the aluminum siding. So there is now no seal and about 2-3 inches of a gap all the way around--the rest of the asphalt on the roof (20'by 12') is in tact. Is it possible to reseal it with a small amount of asphalt? Or does the whole thing need to be done?

My second question it that removing the aluminum siding unveiled two more drain holes on the sides of the house. When the siding was on the house, there were only two operational drains for the flat roof--the ones on the far corners, away from the house. It seems to me that if the orignal design of the house had four drain holes, one in each of the corners, then these two additional drains need to be put back in operation. I am a homeowner dealing with a contracter whose first words were: "we'll need to cover up thsoe holes." To wihch I said, "No, I think we need to figure out how to use them." I'm wondering if anyone out there has a similar flat rood deck above their sunroom, and can offer me any advice.

Thanks!



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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds like a nice place, especially now that you have revealed its true character!

The gap probably can be sealed up with some combination of flexible sealants and metal flashing. It may be possible to do this without reroofing depending on the condition of the roofing and the knowledge of the contractor. If you cannot get a good seal directly down onto the top surface of the asphalt roofing then you may have to peel down through the layers of the asphalt system until you get to something that you can seal to, and then bring the layers of the asphalt system back over the flashing. (if this does not make sense, show us some close up photos and a cross-section sketch of how the wall meets the roofing)

If the contractor is recommending re-roofing he may be thinking "I don't know anything about this existing asphalt roofing, so if I'm going to be held responsible for doing leak-proof work I need to start over with completely new roofing." He may be right.


Quote:
contractor whose first words were: "we'll need to cover up those holes." To which I said, "No, I think we need to figure out how to use them."


Usually a "contractor" has a broad view that includes thinking about all the needs of the entire house, and can select from all the building trades and specialties to implement effective works. It sounds like your "contractor" is really just a "roofer" and is responding to the holes with what he knows best--covering them up with roofing. So, it is up to you to make sure the rest of your house gets what it needs (as you know).

Your sense about the two discovered holes is nearly correct. Investigate the holes and where they go with these questions in mind: Are these two needed for proper drainage of the roof and are the operational? It's clear the original builder thought they were needed, and they probably still are. But, you should confirm this. Take a bucket of water up on the roof, pour a little here and there to see where it drains. There may be slight slopes that drain the water to the holes. There may be no slopes, in which case more drains is better than fewer in case some get clogged when you need them the most. Are there drainage pipes in the holes? Where do they go? Is that part of the drainage system still active and working?

Once you know the answers to these questions you can plan the details of a roofing/drainage system that will effectively protect your home from the weather.

Do keep us posted on your progress, and come back to the Forum if you need more help.

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cottagecate



Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much for your advice. Here's quick update. I've spoken to two roofing contractors, both of whom feel that because the area is small, the two extra holes are not needed. You are right, both of them want to put entirely new roofs on. I have a third one coming this morning. We'll see what he says. The other two, both of them want to install a rubber roof that will extend up the interior parapet walls about a third of the way. The shingles on the wall will need to be removed and replaced. This makes sense to me. But one of the contractors showed me that under the two layers of (icky, sticky) blacktop roofing is a tin roof, and the original tin flashing extends up the inside walls under the shingles. I am really tempted to simply remove (well, it won't be so simpe) the two layers of roofing and see what kind of condition the tin roof is in. So far in this house, I've never been disappointed when I removed something--less is more. But, of course I'm worried about leakage because of the room underneath. So, I'm in the process of deciding what to do. I'm leaning towards removing the layers and checking things out before I sign any contracts for a rubber roof. I'm going to attached a photo of the house immediately after the aluminum siding was removed. I could almost hear it breathe a sigh of relief!


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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are on the right track, complete removal, with all new rubber membrane roof would perform well, wrapped right up the parapet all around.

You house, sans siding, does look good. Do you have photos during the removal, closeups of conditions underneath, etc.?

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cottagecate



Joined: 26 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I would like to remove the two layers of roofing. Now I am weighing cost. The third contractor said he could do a repair such as you suggested, which, for the time being might tide me over for a couple of years. Unless I removed the blacktop roof myself, it nearly doubles the cost of the roof job. I also don't want to get too many layers on the roof. If I chose the new roof, I will have to have the door frame removed, so that they can go under the door frame. So because I am at the end of my budget at the moment, I am going to go with the repair work you suggested, and then eventually redo the whole thing.

Yes, I do have a lot of photos of the house in progress. For the most part the house is in pretty good condition. There is a piece of curved trim missing along the roof line and one of the window sills is rotted in the corner. Some of the shingles have needed to be replaced, but I would say no more than 5 %. I'm not sure if I can attach more than one photo, so for now, I'll attach a photo of the worst looking spot. This is on the inside of the parapet where there were several rotted shingles. The tin flashing is visible. I'll see if I can create a link to show all of the photos I've taken of the house. I'm still learning to navigate the site.

Best,
Cottagecate



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cottagecate



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a close-up of that shows the wainscoting underneath the proch roof. It is in excellent condition. I'll add one more attachment of the beadboarding that was encased by an aluminum soffit. This is going to need to be replaced, and I am going to have it stained to match the wood of the beadboard on the porch.


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cottagecate



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a closeup of the beadboard under the eaves at the back where the roofline meets the porch deck. This was encased in an aluminum soffit.


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cottagecate



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:07 pm    Post subject: Sunroom with deck above, back view from the yard Reply with quote

This is a photo that shows the back of the house--the sunroom with the deck above it. The parapet is about 30 inches high.


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cottagecate



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a close up of the curved trim on the roof line--one side was intact, the other was damaged.


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cottagecate



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:14 pm    Post subject: Parapet corner Reply with quote

This is a close up of the corner on the deck that joins the house. The dormers on the house are clapboard, while the rest of the house is shingled.


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cottagecate



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:20 pm    Post subject: Last photo: Removing the siding Reply with quote

Here's a photo showing the contrast between the aluminum siding and the shingles. Oh--that beautiful field stone wall is the first thing I did when I moved in. I had the asphalt driveway and railrooad ties ripped up and replaced them with gravel and field stone. No more drainage problems an water in the basement!

Thanks for letting me share this.

coattagecate



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cottagecate



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:45 am    Post subject: Rubber membrane roof Reply with quote

I decided to take John's advice and re-do the roof from the original tin roofing and flashing up. I am going to post the process, along with photos, just in case anyone finds themselves in a similar situation. Even though this was much more expensive than tyring to piecemeal a repair, I'm glad I did it. Now I know the conditions in the parapet wall as well as under the new rubber roof. I don't think much work had been done on this for about 40 years. Today we will finish up the deck by putting new shingles on the parapet wall. In the meantime, here's what the process looks like.


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This is what the parpet walls looked like sans shingles--they are hollow. You can see the rusted tin flashing along the lower part of the wall.
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cottagecate



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:51 am    Post subject: New rubber membrane for shed roof Reply with quote

Here's a photo showing the removal of several accumulated layers of torched on roofing. You can see the original tin roof underneath. You will also see that we attached plywood along the insed of the parapet wall--this is necessary for the rubber membrane to adhere to. You will also see in this photo, that we cut a larger drain--4"X4".


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cottagecate



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:55 am    Post subject: Rubber membrane roof Reply with quote

Here's a photo showing the door that lead out onto the deck from the house. We removed the exterior trim and stoop so that the fiberboard insulation and rubber membrane could be installed all the way under the frame creating a wateright seal.


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cottagecate



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 5:01 am    Post subject: New rubber membrane for shed roof Reply with quote

In the previous photo of the door, you could see the 1/2" sheet of fiberboard insulation. Once the old roofing was removed down to the tin, the fiberboard insualation was installed. The next step was to install the rubber membrane on the roof and 12" up the sides of the parapet wall. After that, rubber flashing was installed in the corner over the two new copper scuppers that provide drainage. Here's a photo of the rubber membrane, showing the corner where one of the two drains for the roof was installed. the rubber membrane is very thin, but very durable.


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