Vinyl/pvc roof membrane

I believe this is vinyl/pvc heat seamed roofing membrane. If so, is it normal to apply cualking? its not all seams.

Evening, Tom. No one responded yet?

Those are inappropriate repairs.
List defects.
Prior suspect repairs not preformed by a licensed professional.
Membrane pulling away from curbs.
Recommend a licensed roofing contractor further evaluate the roof prior purchase.

1 Like

Yeah, that looks like hell. Hard to say the material without being there. If it’s somewhat pliable it could be EPDM rubber which would explain the bubbles and loosening on the curbs. Caulking is more common/acceptable on EPDM but not that much or that poorly done. I had EPDM on an RV once and ripped off a piece on a tree branch and the repair was basically caulked.

1 Like

So, there are different ways to patch a PVC roof. Much depends on how much the roof has degraded, contaminated or the size of the patch. The caulked edges do not necessarily determine if the patch had or had not been properly installed. In fact is pretty common and there is likely a weld in there somewhere.

You certainly can call out failing, aged weathered or degraded caulking, loose edges or poor workmanship. But the existence of the caulk does not make it wrong.

Edit. I found this article which is pretty good.

1 Like

Never seen PVC roof covering. TPO in my neck of the woods.
That is one shoddy roof covering.
Thanks for posting, Brian.

Caulk is a flexible material used to seal air leaks through cracks, gaps, or joints ‘less than 1-quarter-inch’ wide between stationary building components and materials. For components that move – doors and operable windows, for example – weatherstripping is the appropriate material.
In this case the caulking was not tooled/finished by applying force with a tool to spread out and ensure the caulking bonds to the material, vinyl pool liner, to a uniform depth using a controlled force to both surfaces. In this case the caulking acts like a dam or lip trapping mud and debris.
caulking pool tears & ripps

One must ask themselves the question, what is mud, and lots of it, doing in the pool in the first place? Twiggs and Debris from from nearby tree branches yes, but not that many, and mixed with mud leaves me to believe the surrounding pool deck hardscaping is sloped towards the pool and/or for the mud, the inlet hose beneath the soil broke sending mud into the pool, and possibly behind the liner.

The caulk may be compounding a drainage problem. The substrate may not adequately contoured or sloped and the covering is lacking general maintenance. Roofs collect debris, it should be cleaned periodically as part of a regular maintenance cycle.

If that caulking is needed to make the roofing membrane water tight, it’ll never hold long.

1 Like

Thank you all for the feedback. Day of inspection, Although staining of roof framing and framing components were noted due to possible past moisture intrusion, no visible water was detected. Roof material functioning as designed. Homeowner should regularly monitor especially during rain and snow melt.
(something along these lines)

I think you just applied a warranty to the roof covering on a day which it was not raining.

Monitor for what? Leaks, ponding water, alien landings?

Here is a narrative you could play with:

Roof covering had debris and sediment build-up which will impede drainage and may promote leaking. There were some apparent patches, repairs or added caulk/sealant. Additionally, old moisture stains observed on the roof decking and framing materials, however I was unable to conclusively determine if the leaks were recent or current. Recommend removing and cleaning sediment/debris from the roof surface and further evaluation for possible active leaks by a qualified roofing contractor. Recommend asking the home owner to disclose knowledge of past or recent leaks as well as provide any repair documentation.


That’s an odd statement meant to impress real estate agents. Lol.

There is enough ‘hard evidence’ there to show advanced failure.
Recommend further evaluation for a new roof covering. I don’t think a tune-up would do.
Good luck with all your endeavors.

1 Like

Only up for a moment. Hope you got that. Feel free to use it.

Thank you Robert for your time and input. I feel we have an appropriate narrative to use without sucking up to realtor and keeping me away from suits.

Tom, saying “Roof material functioning as designed” is an omission of knowing how to create a well formed narrative of the component you observed. Like “The roof covering was Serviceable.”
The roof covering material is long past it’s life expectancy.
I know you can do better.

Hello Robert,
Functions as designed is not in the final report. I do endeavor to keep learning all the aspects of the home inspection business. I always believe I can do better and learn from mistakes. Asking for help is on other story. I do hope to have more of these conversations in the future with you if you don’t mind.
Thank You for your help,

The correct term in past its useful life, not expectancy because you have no idea what that is based on the photos and provided information?

So, what is the expectancy of that covering? What mil is it? When was it installed? What is the warranty?

I am curious what condition you observe that indicates this covering is long past it’s useful life?

1 Like

Thank you. I was making a point. I stand corrected.

Consider this. From what I understand, Product lifetime, or product lifespan, is the time interval from when a product is sold to when it is discarded. I suspect any reputable licensed roofing contractor would sell them another roof covering. Roof Repairs do not come with warrantees.

Life span. Most vinyl roofs have material warranties for over 20 years, this does not cover reinstallation. An installation guarantee warrantee would be covered by the installer.

It has been ripped, torn, there are air blister, the membrane has pulled away from the curb in the photo and the color of the vinyl is bleached and stained in areas.

Most vinyl roofs have warranties for over 20 years, this does not cover installation cost. Improperly installed or repaired voids warranty. The roof covering material would likely be void by the manufacturer as improperly cared for.