Balcony -- Flat Roof Repair & Flashing Fix

Hi – I’m hoping for some advice on how to proceed; I’ve called several roofers and had little luck getting a) return calls, or b) follow-up once they know of the job (small I guess). So I’m trying to patch things best I can to make it through winter and find someone that can fix things properly. Here’s the deal:

I just moved into a house in late July (fairfield county CT), and just discovered a roofing issue: The small EPDM roof off a bedroom balcony has a 12-18" tear, and worse, it looks like the roof job that was done in 1998 was a hackish job. There is no flashing where the flat roof meets the sloped roof at the corner. So the tear has exposed a hole where water has been leaking into the ceiling below.

  1. I’ve researched two solutions – The “Quick Roof Single Ply Roof Maintenance & Repair Kit” from HD to seal the tear and try and flash the hole (sorry links not allowed for me yet), or a roll of 4" Eternabond to do the same.

Is one better than the other? I’d just like to get things sealed for now, and while I’d like to have a repair that could last a few years, I’m not sure if hat would be possible with my limited experience, as the flashing is complicated.

  1. I think this has been leaking for a good year, assuming the tear was caused by Sandy last year (the EPDM was laid over the regular roofing with nothing to hold it down but adhesive – looks like wind got under it and the aluminum flashing on the trim board tore it at the corner and it pealed back). How concerned should I be about mold/water damage in the interior? Should I pull the ceiling and replace insulation?

  2. I can’t figure out what do do about the material below the EPDM – looks like some crap particle board that is falling apart. Is this standard? The weekend warrior superstores were of little help when I asked what should be there, but there is clearly water damage. Not sure how to approach this.

I’m trying to get some photos up shortly to clarify

Unfortunately when water gets under EPDM it becomes a problem because the nature of the rubber keeps the now wet substrate from drying out. Your best fix is to remove that part of the roof and get all the wet fiber board (or whatever) out and replace it. If the roof is as small as you say then you probably need to re-roof that entire area from scratch. For a DYIer I’d say clean the patch area good and then slap some Eternabond on it. Please keep in mind that while this will keep it from leaking, you are trapping the moisture inside, which will eventually cause further damage, rot wood and perhaps draw Carpenter Ants, etc.

Bite the bullet and get it fixed by a pro if you can.