This is a skylight in an old three layer felt roof. Although the roof is leaking and needs changing, the skylights are sound and can be used again. You can see the old skylights being cleaned, ready to be re-used. The old black tar is scraped away from the upstand, ready for re-fixing.
This gives an idea as to what we were up against. Our specification for this new flat roof was to strip the old roof, apply insulation and re-roof using EPDM rubber. Just what we were going to do with the parapet walls and chimneys was always going to be up for debate and, as part of the pricing, we had discussed that a Provisional Costs (PC) sum should be put to one side to deal with the renovation of this area.
Here you can start to see the buildup of the complete new flat roof, including the decking and insulation. Thermal bridging through the joists is prevented because of the use of the wood fibre insulation – this bridges across the tops of the joists in a continuous slab.
This flat roof is not an EPDM roof, it’s a TPO flat roof. The roof is in North London and is around 1000m²; it’s a new flat roof, but there are several problem areas on the roof, most of which are down to other contractors not being vigilant. However some of the problems are down to the joints in the material not being made correctly.
This flat roof has been covered with a single ply flat roofing membrane. It’s a TPO and not an EPDM single ply. The water tank on the flat roof is in a unbelievably bad state of repair; the lid to the water tank has rotted away and is falling into the tank so the water must be compromised!
This shows what can happen if the roofers are not trained in the flat roof material they are laying. The roofing market is now being flooded with good flat roofing materials, however if the roofer laying your new flat roof is not trained correctly the roof will not last.
Ply decking with torch on felt being applied over the top, ready for liquid rubber coating. When dry, I remove the liquid rubber and the mineral felt from the ply decking, showing how good the bond of the rubber is to the ply and the mineral felt.
What is EPDM Rubber? Good question – I’m asked this all the time! EPDM is a manmade rubber that we use for all sorts of things around the house and in automobiles. However we also use EPDM on flat roofs and these EPDM rubber flat roof coverings have been used to cover roofs all over the USA for years.
One thing’s for sure, all the insulation on the roof will have to come out and we will have to probe the timbers to find out their moisture content before we can even think of re-roofing. We have our suspicions that not only was the vapour barrier not installed correctly on this roof, but the roof was also leaking in places. I will post more videos as the job progresses.
This flat roof is covered with a single ply roofing material and at the moment we don’t know if the roof is leaking or there is a problem with the vapour control barrier, we have to make holes all over the roof to assess the situation before our surveyors can work out what the exact problem may be.