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  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Susie in North Dakota needs some help with a leaky roof. Tell us what’s going on.

    SUSIE: Oh, I’ve been here 13 years and this flat roof is driving me nuts.
    TOM: (chuckling) OK.
    SUSIE: I had half lap put on it. Still leaked. I put hot tar on it. I had the overhangs enclosed and the last application was spray foam that was supposed to be guaranteed not to leak for 10 years. First time it rained it leaked.
    TOM: Oh, boy. Have you been having a time of it with these roofers? Have they been coming back and living up to warranties or what’s the situation there?
    SUSIE: Oh, I can’t talk about that. It’s in court.
    TOM: It’s that bad, huh?
    LESLIE: Oh.
    TOM: Alright. Now what kind of house do you have?
    SUSIE: I bought two old churches.
    TOM: OK.
    SUSIE: And this flat roof is in between them.
    TOM: Mm-hmm. So you’re getting water that’s like dumping on from both sides?
    SUSIE: No, I have commercial eaves; five-inch.
    TOM: OK. OK. But the flat roof section is in between two buildings? Is that what’s going on?
    SUSIE: Yes.
    TOM: Alright. Well, if you’ve been putting stuff on top of this and it’s still leaking, you’re probably at the point now where everything needs to be stripped down to the frame. And once you do that, then it can be speced out for a brand new roof.
    When you’re trying to decide what kind of roof that you’re going to use, you’re probably going to either do a built-up roof – and if you do a built-up roof it’s going to be at least a five-ply, not a three-ply – and if not, you might want to consider a rubber roof. Now a rubber roof is a good option because, once it’s sealed in place, it’s totally impervious to water and it lasts a really long time. But to try to deal with an existing roof that’s had so many applications of so many different products, you are doing nothing but masking the problem and I think that if you got this stripped down and started from scratch, with a good-quality roofing company that delivered on a good-quality warranty on top of the work, that’s the only way you’re going to get this thing to stop once and for all.
    LESLIE: You are tuned to the Money Pit, on air and online at MoneyPit.com.

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