Repair or replacing a flat roof on a Row House

paulsiuMay 12, 2009

My mother's house has a flat roof made of fiberglass paper and hot asphalt. The house is a 2 stories brick row house with a basement that's 1,120 sqft. It started to leak recently and needs to be repair.

There are now interesting roofing materials out there like EPDM rubber, PVC membrane and fiberglass. I was wondering if someone can point out the cost and life of each.

Keep in mind that she live in the Northeast where there's rain and snow, but not that much of it.


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The usual approach in the Northeast is to adhere a wood fiber "recovery board" and then fully adhere a "single-ply" EPDM (synthetic rubber) roofing to it. Much of the cost is in replacing the terminations and flashings at the perimeter and at roof penetrations.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 2:02PM
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Of course, the roof should slope at least 1/4" per foot to allow proper drainage and avoid ponding. This kind of roof is called "low-sloped". Roofs are never flat.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 2:07PM
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Someone suggested an alternate roof:

However,he also indicated a typical row house replacement would cost $3500, which seemed a bit stiff.

I am having 3 roofers do an estimate on the house, all seemed to have stuck with the standard rubber material.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 11:13PM
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I can't imagine why anyone would want to put narrow strips of roofing in hot asphalt or cold adhesive when they could cover the roof in a one piece (or factory seamed) single ply membrane. I would have to guess that the pieced together system is used for roofs with a lot of mechanical equipment and/or penetrations.

If you want to include an internet link put it in the box provided and give it a name so we don't have to cut and paste to access it.

Here is a link that might be useful: your roof link

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 6:44AM
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