Low slope roof inspection (C) Daniel Friedman Low Slope & Flat Roof Defects List & Home Inspection Education
     


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This article lists significant low slope roofing defects, definitions, and home inspection education topics. This article series, beginning at BUILDING DEFECTS LISTS, provides lists of common building defects and basic defect knowledge that also outline recommended curriculum content for home inspector education. The building defects and inspection points listed in these articles also guide homeowners and home buyers to building areas that merit careful attention and often point areas of safety concern or important maintenance and repair tasks. Also see ROOF FLASHING DEFECTS LIST

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Home Inspection Education Curriculum - Low-Slope Roofing

Readers should see ROOFING INSPECTION & REPAIRfor our complete list of articles on this topic. Also see HOME & BUILDING INSPECTORS & INSPECTION METHODS. Use the Search Box at the top or bottom of these pages to find in-depth information about building, energy savings, and indoor environment inspection, diagnosis and repair at this website. Watch out: these inspection lists do not list all possible defects for the systems discussed, and not all home or building inspectors will examine all of the items listed here. CONTACT us to suggest corrections or additions to articles at this website.

These curriculae and building defect lists are based on smilar curriculum documents first prepared by Joe Scaduto, an ASHI member who prepared course material for Northeastern University's Building Inspection Certificate program in 1988, subsequently by DF, InspectApedia's editor, for New York University ca 1988 and later, with others, recommended to ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. ASHI did not adopt this material though currently that association as well as others offer extensive HOME INSPECTOR EDUCATION material. The curriculum and lists of defects are informed by additional analysis of the process of home inspection that was developed beginning Calgary, AB for Canadian and U.S. home inspector education and certification examinations in 1997. Other early contributors to home inspection education in the U.S. and Canada include Dr. Jess Aronstein, Alan Carson, Mike Casey, Mark Cramer, John Cox, Dwight Barnett, Douglas Hansen, Rick Heyl, Larry Hoytt, Bill Merrill, Kevin O'Malley, Dennis Robitalille, Keith Peddie, Pat Porzio, Roger Robinson.

1.3     Low slope roofing Inspection Recommendations & Defects List

1.3.1 Knowledge Base for Low Slope Roof Inspections

1.    Describe the function of  low slope roofing systems, differentiating them from steep roofing systems.

2.    Describe these common types of  roofing material: built up roofing, modified bitumen, synthetic rubber, plastic roofing, metal roofing, roll roofing, single ply, poly foam

3.    Describe the features of good installation and repair techniques for each of the roofing materials described above.

4.    Outline typical life expectancies for each of the  roofing systems.

5.    Define the following terms: IRMA roof, protected membrane roof, blister, alligatoring, wind scouring, fish mouth, ridging, ponding, rubberized asphalt, standing seam, cant strip, base flashing, counter flashing, through-wall flashing, termination bar, stack jack, pitch pan, internal drains, scuppers, overflow drains.

6.    Describe these common base flashing materials on  low slope roof systems: roofing felts, fabric reinforced asphalt products, modified bitumens, synthetic rubbers, plastics, composition materials.

7.    List three common counter flashing materials on  low slope roof systems (steel, copper, aluminum).

8.    Identify the codes or standards which apply to  low slope roofing in your area.


1.3.2 Inspection Skills for Low Slope Roof Inspections

1.    Describe the inspection procedure for  low slope roof systems.

2.    Identify the following common defects listed on the next page.

3. Describe the implication of each defect .

4. Identify the safety issues for inspectors and occupants of the home (fall hazard and shock hazard).

5.    Communicate findings to client verbally and in writing, recommending corrective action where needed.


LOW SLOPE ROOFING TYPICAL DEFECTS

BUILT-UP Roof Defect List

      • Blisters, alligatoring 

      • Damaged, punctures, tears

      • Debris on roof

      • Discoloration

      • Exposed felts

      • Gravel erosion

      • Leaks

      • Membrane movements, slippage 

      • Multiple layers

      • No gravel, paint etc. (UV protection)  

      • Exposed nailing 

      • Leaning parapets, stacks, etc.

      • Old, worn out

      • Openings at seams or flashings

      • Patched 

      • Ponding

      • Ridging, fishmouths

      • Splitting

Modified Bitumen Roofing Defects List

      • Asphalt on PVC or other incompatible sealants/coatings

      • Blisters

      • Brittle

      • Cracking

      • Damaged, punctures, tears

      • Debris on roof

      • Discoloration

      • Fasteners loose, backing out, corroded

      • Leaning parapets, stacks, etc.

      • Loss of granules

      • Multiple layers

      • Old, worn out

      • Openings at seams or flashings

      • Patched, ponding

      • Seam runout missing (cold joints on torch-down product)

      • Seam runout excessive (overheated on torch down application)

      • Taut (due to shrinkage)

ROLL ROOFING Defects List (on low slope roofs)

      • Blisters

      • Brittle

      • Cracking

      • Damage, punctures, tears

      • Debris on roof

      • Fasteners loose, backing out, corroded

      • Leaks

      • Leaning parapets, stacks, etc.

      • Loss of granules

      • Membrane movements, slippage

      • Multiple layers

      • Old, worn out

      • Openings at seams or flashings

      • Openings at seams or flashings

      • Patched, ponding (standing water more than 24 hours after rainfall)

      • Wrinkling, ridges, fishmouths

EPDM  Roof Defects List

      • Asphalt based paint or sealant on EPDM or PVC (incompatible)

      • Damage, punctures, tears

      • Debris on roof, oil on roof

      • Discoloration

      • Fasteners loose, backing out, corroded

      • Leaks

      • Leaning parapets, stacks, etc.

      • Mastic on EPDM      

      • Multiple layers Single Ply plastic

      • No UV protection (paint, granules, etc.)

      • Old, worn out

      • Openings at seams or flashings

      • Patched, ponding

      • Surface cracks, splitting

      • Taut (due to shrinkage), tenting

      • Wrinkles, ridges, fishmouths

METAL Roof Defects, Low Slope

      • Asphalt on metal

      • Damage, punctures, tears, bent metal

      • Old, worn out

      • Debris on roof

      • Failed caulking

      • Fasteners loose, backing out, corroded, missing

      • Polystyrene touching PVC

      • Leaks 

      • Surface cracks, orange peeling

      • Open, loose seams

      • Patched, ponding

      • Rust


Low Slope Roof Flashing Defects

      • Caulking, sealant dried out or  cracked

      • Clamps or termination bars loose

      • Counter flashings not let into masonry

      • Damaged, loose, bent

      • Drain or scuppers missing, clogged,  ineffective

      • Fasteners loose, rust, missing

      • Incompatible materials

      • Leaks

      • Membrane stretched

      • Missing, too short

      • Old, worn out

      • Open at seams or ends

      • Patched

      • Ponding on wall flashings (horizontal parts)

      • Pitch pockets not filled

      • Rust

      • Sagging or slipping (base flashings)

      • Skylight curb missing or too short

      • Skylight not well secured

Use the Search Box at the top or bottom of these pages to find in-depth information about building, energy savings, and indoor environment inspection, diagnosis and repair at this website. Watch out: these inspection lists do not list all possible defects for the systems discussed, and not all home or building inspectors will examine all of the items listed here. CONTACT us to suggest corrections or additions to articles at this website.

Also see ROOF FLASHING DEFECTS LIST

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