Bad Roof Problems

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jena, Oct 18, 2004.

  1. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    My house was built in 1870. It is an Italianate. Flat roof with built in gutters (shallow depressions around the edges that are supposed to collect the water and carry it to the downspouts).

    Someone put a rubber roof on in 1988. Lord knows how many other layers are under that.

    The gutters no longer function very well. There are low spots both on the roof and in the gutters. They tend to clog up easily. I just went up there to get the leaves off so the water will at least stop dripping through the ceiling.

    The rubber has been patched here and there, but it's just too old.

    I know the solution is to tear off all the old roofs and put a pitched roof on, but I don't have an extra gazillion dollars laying around. Besides, why fix the roof when termites are eating it from the bottom anyways? It's a race...what will destroy the house first!

    Any ideas for a cheap or temp fix? Is there a way to build up the low spots in the gutters? How can I put screens on the downspout holes when they are just little holes in the bottom of the gutter? If I lay screen over them, won't that just clog up as well?

  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    May 22, 2003
    Zone 7
    Jena, The least expensive but still not cheap method would be to replace the rubber roof with another. Todays rubber roofs should last in excess of 20 years and with the best glue on the market you should have zero leaks. The next best and probably the most enduring would be to use the roofing method of the now current metal buildings and put a 4/12 pitch corrugated roof on a complete metal truss setup. The spans of the metal and the reduced labor to install plus having screw fasteners makes for a fine, leak resistant, roof.

  3. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    Eliminate the down spouts. I don't quite understand what the edges of the roof look like. I do know a flat roof is a looser from the git-go. Get a big gray tarp like they sell farmers to cover buildings and hay. Put enough loose straw in the centers of the low spots to give the tarp enough slope to drain over the sides. Put enough weights around the edge to keep it from blowing off. Increase your fire insurance.
  4. dla

    dla Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    Damascus, Maryland
    Sorry for your troubles.
    I was going to recommend the metal roof also.
    You are going to have to get down to a reliable surface somewhere to do anything which will last more than a year (like a tar patch or a coating).
    With a slanted roof, you can pick which direction you want to send the water. You can also give the existing mess a chance to dry up (instead of just rotting beneath a new layer) and maybe even offer some insulation.
    But you will have to have enough access to the outside wall structure of the house to support it.
    Wish I could say I thought it would be cheap, but there you go...
    The joys of home ownership!