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Build & Remodel

Repair my roof

I need to rebuild my roof. There is a slight slope w/asphalt.  I need to know how to determine the right products to seal and recover it after years of exposure, leaking, storm damage...Do I replace the joists? Is there some textured product to role and heat seal before laying new asphalt?  Any answers and details are appreciated.

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Posted 2011-10-21T17:34:48+0000  by Abigail Abigail

Hi, hello and welcome to the How-to-Community.


Abigail, complete roof replacement or rebuild it’s a complex project.

And for me to determine and recommend the right products I would need a little bit more information from you.


First and foremost can you post some pictures of the roof and building you’re working on?

Second, where are you located and how old is the roof in need of replacement?

Also how bad is it leaking and can you post a picture of the damaged area(s)?


Abigail without knowing these details it is almost impossible for me to provide you with real and sensible response.

But what I can do right now is I can describe a typical  flat roof system and installation  from step one and that should give us some head start and also something for you to compare your existing roof to.


So let’s start and lets with flat roof design.

Most residential and commercial flat roof systems are designed like this;

Roof Detail.JPG


They have nominal size wood joists for supports, 3/4" plywood sheathing for the deck surface and roofing system  installed on top of the plywood.

There are several different roof systems for the low slope roofs and most common ones used in residential and light commercial construction are ;


Self adhering systems are mostly used in residential applications. They are based on the same technology as a torch down systems but unlike traditional membranes self adhering roofing has pre applied backing and can be installed without torches open flames and messy adhesives.

 SBS Self Adhering systems.JPG



More information about this product and installation instructions can be found HERE.


Built up roof systems are one of the oldest and most reliable ways of installing a new roof. It is also one of the messiest ways to install a roof. It usually consists of three components, base ply and cap that are laminated together and to the deck using either cold or hot melt adhesive.


 Torch down roofing is available smooth (sealable) and with granulated surface.

Torch Down.JPG


These systems are nowadays mostly installed over something called ISO insulation that is placed over a nailable deck. Installers prefer this method because of the insulating value additional fire blocking protection insulation provides. It is crucial to remember that with the  heat weld type of roofing like this complete safety precautions needs to be taken. Serious bodily and property injuries can occur if installation of this product is mishandled. I would recommend that this type of roofing to be installed only by an experienced roofing contractor.

More information about this product and installation instructions can be found HERE.


Hope this helps Abigail and please don’t hesitate to ask any additional questions you may have.





Posted 2011-10-24T17:39:59+0000  by George_HD_CHI
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