Florida roof code question

This is a re-roof. The roof was supposed to be a tapered roof, per the contract. As you can see, there is ponding water in several areas, one of the areas being where a leak caused the plaster ceiling to fall in. If course it passed all of the city inspections.

This is one of those cases that my be going to court. I have been asked by his attorney to inspect the roof to see if it meets code (as a finished product only). Does anyone out there know the code citation for a tapered roof, and if the ponding water would be considered to be within the scope of the code.


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This might help you.


Marcel:) :slight_smile:

William, regardless of code water should not pond on a roof.

Please note there are roofing products on which it is permissable for water to pond as they are not permeable however it still should not occur due to the added weight that must be carried by the stucture. Additionally the ponding water can compress the roof insulation causing even worse ponding…you get it, right.

EPDM (rubber) roofing is water permeable, surprised?, the seams whether glued or taped can allow water to get in and will degrade when submersed. This isn’t something you read in a book, this is what I have learned in the field fixing leaking roofs. However if you care to read up on rubber roofing a good place to go is http://www.firestonebpco.com, look around there you should be able to find specs for all sorts of applications. You may find that the obvious problems with the roof are just the tip of the iceberg. When I find one area of a roof that is incorrectly installed and/or causing problems I look for more and usually find them.

BUR, Roll products, etc. also should not have ponds and can fail sooner than a single ply system.

Always remember a roof is designed to get water off of it as quickly as possible, the product that is installed is designed to do this job to a minimum slope after that a different or specialty product is needed.

3/12 and up can be serviced by shingles, below 3/12 to 1/12 a roll product is usually acceptable (note, I don’t like roll products), 1/12 and below (though we shouldn’t go below 1/12) a single ply system should be used.

I am sorry, the pictures did not download clearly so I cannot advise on what I cannot see however if you care to send me the picts via PM or email please do so. I would be happy to look closer and give you my opinion.


I agree with eveythng you say. The Florida Building Code states that a 4:12 pitch must be on all flat roofs. However, the local jurisdiction does not follow that rule. Most times, they will allow water on a roof so long as it evaproates within 48 hours. Sounds dumb, but that is what they allow. The local building department did approve and sign off on this roof. This whole situation is becoming a mess. We will see how it plays out.

I have repaired these situations where the slope was too little and the structure was built in the past by installing a tapered poly-isocyanurate insulation system. It’s great, there is just something fun about installing 11" screws at one end and 1 1/2" screws at the other end of a roof section.

Wish ya the best here.


Due to our reports (and the attorney he hired) the city has agreed to come back out and re-inspect the roof. We may actually be getting somewhere here.

I am an NAHB auditor here in Florida. If you want to win your case, follow the city roofing inspector and film him doing his “inspections”. My guess is that he never even walked on the roof or even used a level if it was not rainy season. The reason I say this is that when I was doing an NAHD audit on the installation of insulation the insulation was going up and right behind them was the sheet rockers! No inspection accomplished at all. When I asked how is this done, I was told that the city inspectors knows the insualtion company always does a good job and there was no need to look!

South Florida isn’t it wonderfull. It is rare to find a flat roof with any slope. So for this I have a solution I bring a fishing rod and compare the size fish to the slope. Just inspected a home the had been inspected by the Cooper City Building department who gave it a passing grade only to have the home owner extract 28 quarts of water out of their bedroom. One of my clients had the complete tapered roof ended up in the neighbors yard.


We should get together. I am about 15 minutes from you.