With many flat roofing systems, roof leakage is not identified until dark ceiling stains
appear at various areas inside the home. However, in most instances, roof leakage and
damage can be avoided by evaluating the physical condition of the roof cover -- paying
special attention to any visible "ponding" on the roof surface.
As seen in the photo above , multiple "ponds" appear after heavy
rainfall. These ponds are the result of improper roof installation and if allowed to
go uncorrected, will create roof leakage. Such leakage often causes water damage to
underlying wooden components (roof sheathing and framing) which begin to rot due to a wood
destroying fungus (wood rot) that grows in and quickly decays the wood.
CLICK on image to zoom in and we see that several
of the ponds are quite deep. While some ponding is a common occurrence after heavy
rainfall, as a general rule of thumb, the ponding should dry (evaporate) within one to two
days after any substantive rainfall.
Roof leaks commonly occur at flashing areas where protrusions pass
through the roof surface (such as vent stacks, chimneys, and skylights). But roof
leaks can also occur at seams or connection areas such as valleys and flashing areas where
a lower roof slope meets a cheek wall. Commonly, roof leakage in flat roofs
does not appear directly under the leakage pond. Often the water will travel laterally
between the various roofing layers until water leaks into the home. As a result, a
stained ceiling in a guest bedroom could actually be the result of a leak above the
click on image above
The digital photo above was taken by a Guardian® home inspector during a pre-purchase home
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