Tar & Gravel roofs

Originally Posted By: rmoore
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



I have an inspection coming up on a rambler with a tar & gravel covering on what appears to be a 3:12 gable roof. This will only be my second such roof. The first took me by surprise but fortunately (unfortunately for the house) had deeply alligatored bald spots all over and was an easy call.


This next house (1955) evidently has vaulted ceilings throughout (no attic) and "we" already know it has a leak in the garage area.

My questions...

How can you determine the condition of these roofs (and flashings) in areas where the gravel is complete? (I feel a disclaimer coming on!)

Could even a good roofer (contractor or engineer) reliably determine the condition?

Are repairs possible? It seems to me that strip down is the the only answer.

Thanks,


--
Richard Moore
Rest Assured Inspection Services
Seattle, WA
www.rainspect.com

Originally Posted By: kmcmahon
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



I believe you are referring to a built-up roof. The gravel is referred to as ballast.


Best you can do is check the flashings around any penetrations or parapet walls. The rest you have to just check for stained ceilings, etc.


I would guess disclaimers would be a part of it.



Wisconsin Home Inspection, ABC Home Inspection LLC


Search the directory for a Wisconsin Home Inspector

Originally Posted By: ssmith3
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.


I normally walk the roof (quiet RR icon_lol.gif ) I try to notice “soft spots” while doing so. That is usually a good indicator that something more is going on under there.



Scott Smith


Marinspection


Vice President NorCal NACHI Chapter


I graduated from collage. Now my life is all mixed up.

Originally Posted By: jpeck
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



As Scott said ‘soft spots’ (you might fall through if they are ‘too soft’, also check for blisters. While you will not likely see the blisters, when you walk on what you expect to be an area with excess gravel (a raised hump) and the raised hump is soft, its a blister.


Walk all the edges ... carefully ... least you put your foot through.

Find out the age of the roof and when it was last replaced (if it was replaced), down here, those roofs are good for about 15 years - if installed properly (and most are not), and m-a-y-b-e 20 years absolute max. On a 1955 house, I would expect that roof to be about the 3rd or 4th roof on that house.

Down here, the gravel should also be fully embedded in the asphalt. Otherwise, the gravel will blow off during high winds (hurricanes), and once the gravel ballast is gone, the roof is now susceptible to being sucked off (the weight of the gravel ballast is what provides much of the holding power keeping those roofs down).

Repairs are difficult to make and typically stand out like large 'added' areas where hot mop was 'added' to the gravel around the patch (that's because it was).

It is also difficult for a roofer to determine the condition of those roofs, because all you can see is the gravel. They are looking for all the other things being pointed out.

Repairs are difficult to do properly.


--
Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: rmoore
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Thanks guys…


It sounds like the buyers negotiated a sizable price reduction and are already expecting to have to replace the roof. On the one hand...good to know... on the other hand, obviously, I can't let that affect my inspection.

As usual, I'll see what I can see and report what I can't.


--
Richard Moore
Rest Assured Inspection Services
Seattle, WA
www.rainspect.com