Sunday, March 29, 2009

Flat roof anyone?

Many of the local moderns here in Cincinnati have a flat roof. Abrom & Ben Dombar, local modern architects & brothers, designed several of the modern houses in our neighborhood. Their designs typified the flat roof as part of their signature style for these houses. Our Dombar roof has a combination of flat roof and a pitched section, the latter is what gives us the main living space we fell in love with.
The original roof was constructed out of built-up tar & gravel, over it a layer of EPDM had been glued. I don't know when the EPDM was put down, but when we looked at the house early on, I got up on a ladder to see this. Don't let the romantic serenity of the mirrored trees in the pond fool you, this was 3-4" of standing water across the entire flat portion of the roof. Add this to the fact that our house had sat empty for over a year before we bought it and I started to get concerned at the time. No one told me to bring a fishing pole? Hard to believe there could be an optimistic point in all this. One, the roof didn't leak, two, the roof could hold the dead load weight.
Turns out the 4 downspouts were super clogged and needed to be snaked out. The owner had someone clean the roof up and a few small areas of water were left, but the majority of it looked to be okay for now. The roof had been painted white, but much of it had rotted up and was floating in the algae that was left after the roof was drained. With its current condition, I have to get up there every couple of months and sweep the standing water off and clean the downspouts. The long term goal is to put tapered insulation over the existing roof and put down another layer of EPDM or TPO roofing. I want to ensure the roof drains completely with the new roof, yet also insulate the roof cavity. I know this endeavor is going to require financing for us, so for now it's my time and a broom.

No comments:

Post a Comment