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The curiously concave roof


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A regular client who rehabs POSs for profit had me look at a 110-year-old candidate today. Check out the photos of the concave roof. Water is intended to be directed toward the lone, undersized scupper on the upper, rear portion of the roof, and then trickle off of the lower tier. As you can see, though, none of the surfaces contain proper slopes. Water is seeping through the membrane seams, and also through the outer-periphery metal flashings. The soffits are being destroyed, but worse, water is seeping behind the stucco and eroding it. The dark areas within the second-to-last photo are layers of paint over previous repairs, but they're also wicked damp due to the moisture penetrating the stucco and trickling down the exterior of the house. Has anyone seen this configuration before? And does anyone have a clue how it could be remedied without spending a fortune?

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Yeah, I've had one that was literally sloped with a 5:12 pitch from the parapet to the center on all four sides, where a big copper catch basin gathered the water and then drained down through the center of the house via a cast iron waste stack and from there to the sewer. (Older house in a portion of town where there aren't any storm sewers in the street and gutters are connected to the city sewer.) Doing the attic was a royal pain because it was like working my way through the longest kneewall attic in the world. Attic was insulated with sawdust too!

How to fix without spending a fortune? Nope, I got nothin'. I'm thinking viel Geld.



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viel Geld? I don't know what it means but I'm thinking I want to.

There was no attic access in the joint described. But there appeared to be a few feet of airspace between the ceiling joists and rafters. I'd have loved to've had a look at what was beneath the membrane. The ceiling beneath the chimney was damp mush.

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At the beginning of my HI career, I inspected several of that style in a neighborhood built in the late 30s. Very unusual for this region. Often had to wear my Wellies to inspect them. I always called them elevated ponds and told them to build a real roof. 20 years later, almost all have shingled hipped roofs.

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