Chris' Corner: Does your home have a "flat" roof?

Does your home have a "flat" roof?

Very often, we can identify potential problem areas before a problem happens... Jay Markanich, a Virginia area Home Inspector has shared his observations regarding this flat roof.  If you have a flat roof on your home, or are considering purchasing a home with a flat roof, this post might have information useful to you.

If you are looking to buy and/or sell a home in the New Tecumseth communities of Alliston, Beeton or Tottenham, call me, Chris Smith @ 1.866.936.3500, for information and assistance in helping you achieve your real estate goals.

If you want to contact Jay, please click on his link below:

When you see evidence of moisture inside, and a flat roof outside, you have to wonder - was it the flat roof or something else?  Sometimes what is the obvious cause of something turns out not to be.  But you have to investigate before you can diagnose!











The left photo certainly makes it look like this flat roof slopes toward the right.  It does not.  It is very flat.  There are gutters on both sides.  The gutters are full of pine needles and completely clogged with water.

The puddle is quite obvious.  It is about 3' in diameter.

Inside there was evidence of leaking, but it looked old and the moisture meter registered less than 10%.  So, for now anyway, it is dry.

But a thermal camera can see more than the eye.

Why not have a look.

While it looks like there is moisture, as indicated by the lavender and purple areas, it is not much.

The moisture damage is more toward the right of that purple area.  So this is likely not caused by that.

This area registers between 11% and 13% moisture.  That's beginning to get into the "yellow," caution zone, but not terribly wet.

What's causing it?

This is an older house.  This spot is in a breezeway between the original 83 year old house and a newer, one-level wing put on in the 60s.

I suspect the insulation is not great. This small, moist area might be caused by condensation.

I also suspect the full gutter is letting in a bit of water.

Flat roofs typically demonstrate moisture problems sooner or later.  In my experience it is sooner than expected.  And those glued, seamed metal panels there now seem to be holding up, but for how much longer?  Long term a different type of roofing material might be advised.

My recommendation:  sometimes what appears obvious is not!  This looked like a current, active leak and it is not.  The moisture meter does not indicate active moisture and the thermal camera does not show it.  But still, before it becomes worse a roof that really prevents water intrusion should be thought about.  And certainly the gutters need to be cleaned!



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia

Chris Smith CSSBB
          Sales Representative

Interested in Buying or Selling Real Estate?

  ph: 1.866.936.3500

Chay Realty Inc.,

Comment balloon 0 commentsChris Smith • October 31 2011 01:48PM