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Flat Roofing
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 kitchen.

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The digital photo above was taken by a Guardian® home inspector during a pre-purchase home inspection.

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