The Inspector Newsletter
March 2019: Phantom Loads
Snapshots From The Field

What’s wrong with this picture?

What we see pictured is membrane roofing applied over an existing metal standing seam roof. Single ply membrane roofing may, on rare occasions, be retrofitted over a metal roof to extend its life or add an extra layer of insulation. While an entirely new roof is ideal in the event that a metal roof begins to fail, retrofitting is quicker and considerably less expensive. However, what we see here is membrane roofing with seams that are beginning to come up, signaling an installation error. This retrofitting was likely not completed with the strength and stiffness of a standing seam roof (24 gauge) in mind, but with a 22 gauge steel deck in mind. While our inspector confirmed that a sufficient number of fasteners appeared to be used on the perimeter of the roof, in the event of a high wind, there’s still a good chance the membrane roofing will fly off.

For a retrofitting, it’s crucial to hire a professional who can assess your home and recommend materials and techniques that are compatible with your preexisting metal roof.


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