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Pooling on new flat roof problems with roofer!

Discussion in 'Roofing and Guttering' started by emmaprior09, 22 Jun 2010.

  1. emmaprior09

    emmaprior09

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    I wanted a bit of advice, I have had a look through the posts and have found how to fix a roof with pooling but can't find anything on how to deal with a roofer who we think hasn't done a great job!

    We had a new felt roof put on our flat garage roof, a couple of days later we had some pretty bad rain which resulted in quite a large amount of water which didn't disappear in the recommended 48 hours. Although from reading posts this is pretty standard, my issue is with the roofer we used! It looks as though there isn't enough gradient on the roof for it to drain, am i naive in the idea that as a roofer, the guy we got in should have guessed this and informed us, it could have been rectified before he layed the tar and felt! He is claiming it is not his fault, but as neither myself nor my husband are in the trade or know anything about it, how could we have know the boards were not of the correct gradient!!! Obviously if we lived in a hot country this would not be an issues, unfortunately the UK rains for most of the year and surely water sitting on a flat roof for that amount of time can't be good!

    Sorry for the ramble but it is seriously frustrating, to top it off the roofer is now not returning our calls. Is this something i should pursue or is it one of those thing you live and learn!!!!
     
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  3. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    Did he replace the roof structure? Usually a bit of pooling won't do much damage in reality.
     
  4. emmaprior09

    emmaprior09

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    We didn't replace the roof structure and to be honest had no idea we might have needed to. A few post on here have said not to worry about it, I guess i am just really annoyed, i would have just thought a roofer would have noticed there wasn't a gradient and told us we need to do something about it!
     
  5. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    So when you say there is no gradient at all do you mean it is completely horizontal or do you mean there is a bit of a gradient but it has sagged a bit? I can see your frustration and if it was obvious that the roof sagged he should have told you that the new roof would pool a bit and warned you. Not much you can do about it now though. Presumably it pooled before and if so did you mention it to him?
     
  6. htgeng

    htgeng

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    Take some pictures of the roof from various angles and upload on here. Also say roughly how much you paid for the job. A neighbour to mine recently refelted his garage roof and its pooling right in the middle of it. Took about 3 days of scorching weather to evaporate. Why he didn't bother to put a small gradient on it is bizzarre given the relatively small additional amount of material costs.
     
  7. garyo

    garyo

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    (I know nothing about flat roofing)

    If there's a small gradient and the roof has sagged which is causing pooling, can you jack it up from the inside with an acro prop and then fit some stiffer timbers to take the sag out?

    Gary
     
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  8. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    This can work but the trouble with doing that Garyo is that apart from ending up with a roof with two different structures fighting against each other is that the roof covering can be stretched and pulled about as it was never intended, you can also end up with the odd ripple here and there and ultimately end up with a premature failure of the covering at some point. Not to mention that if the existing roof timbers are not very well secured they can just get dislodged rather than bending.
     
  9. emmaprior09

    emmaprior09

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    I will pop some photo's on later as they are on my husbands phone. Fixing the roof was suggested by the surveyor before we bought the house as well as a need for horizontal bracing / gable straps in the house roof. As the bracing needed to be done as a term of our mortgage we got them both done as soon as we moved in about 3 weeks ago. We didn't have any rain before we had the flat roof redone so no evidence of it holding water, plus we have never had a flat roof before so didn't know to look out for sagging. Now it has been fix it looks like it sags in the middle but i am no expert and could be because the roofer has built up the sides with the new felt, plus there seems to be no gradient (i will climb out with a level later!!!!). Apologies, we have done up several houses in the past and are completely re-doing this one but roofing was just a step to far, I appreciate your patience and help!
     
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  11. htgeng

    htgeng

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    Good. If the water has evaporated, throw a bucket of water on it to show the extent of the pooling.
     
  12. joinerjohn

    joinerjohn

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    As the roofer has only replaced the felt and not the roof structure, this would suggest that the pooling problem has been there for years. I can't say that I think your roofer is at fault here, if all he has done is replace the felt.
     
  13. emmaprior09

    emmaprior09

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    Images of the roof, looking at them again, there doesn't seem to be sagging, more that the roof is completely flat (will check tonight and upload an unflooded roof picture / as well as one with a bucket or two of water thrown on to see if it settles in the middle of the roof or evenly across).
     
  14. htgeng

    htgeng

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    I agree with part of that answer. The pooling problem may have been there for years, it most probably was! But I would say most professional roofers on here would have checked it before starting work and advised that a new deck was laid with a slope to the outlet gulley. Or am I being too optimistic. It looks more like a paddling pool than a flat roof! It will leak again as soon as the felt lifts or finds a weak point near the outlet.

    Emma, Can I hazard a figure that it cost over £1000 to lay the felt? Was it professional outfit or someone who cold called you? Were you advised it was pooling or did you tell them it was? What brought about doing the job? Suggest you get a surveyor in quick to give you a report in writing.
     
  15. joinerjohn

    joinerjohn

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    Looks more like a swimming pool than a paddling pool !!
    As said before though, I don't think the roofer is at fault. If you asked him to replace the felt, then he has done just that. Must admit there's a lot more pooling than your original post suggests.
     
  16. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    So before you poured copious amounts of water onto it did it just pool in the middle or one spot in particular or evenly? It looks like where the outlet is the felt is too thick and is impinging flow. Did you check with a level whether it is level or any fall at all yet? It looks like the coping around the top is level, is this parallel to the roof?
     
  17. emmaprior09

    emmaprior09

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    Hi htgeng, thanks for the reply, we only moved in 3 weeks ago and replacing the flat roof was suggested within the survey as well as horizontal bracing in the house loft. As we needed to get the bracing done asap as a term of our mortgage, we did both at the same time. We have never had a flat roof before plus we hadn’t had any rain between moving in and the roofer starting, so didn’t know anything about pooling / sagging etc..

    This is my biggest issue with the whole thing, in retrospect I naively think a roofer should have alerted us to the fact it was either flat / sagging and needed a new deck to add gradient / solve any sagging issues there may be! You are correct in your price assumption and the roofer was local and had received good recommendations on a site that rates tradesman (I am sure you can guess the site, not sure I can add it on). Unfortunately we are having a nightmare getting the roofer back to try and rectify the problem (or even answer our calls)! My biggest question and why I originally came on this site was to find out if we are at fault or if I have a leg to stand on with trying to pursue the roofer further, after looking through the posts this doesn’t seem to be something we can sort out ourselves!
     
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