Flat Roof question

I have a flat roof with roll shingles and some type of black flashing around the sides of the roof up to the brick top. I was wondering what kind of flashing to use to fix the cracks, and where it has rolled back due to recent heavy rains. I wanted to just reroof on top of existing shingles and repair/replace flashing…would this work okay? What kind of rolled asphalt roofing to use and tar? Alaos to make the roof last longer and seal it I was told to use aluminum paint on top when through - any type suggested or what to use? So any suggestions, what kind of materials (Home Depot or Lowes) to use would be appreciated.

Aaron this one goes 10-1 buddy

Im with Lefty on this one. :slight_smile:

what exactly is a roll shingle so i know if i ever come across it!

hello gstrawn,

what your explanin does not sound good.
if you have a flat roof, you dont even want to say the word shingle.
or roll roofing.
just dont.
when messin with a flat roof you goin to have to be very intelligent or
find a roofer.
if you go the intelligent route then tear off your roll whatever along with that black stuff up the wall, and install a peal n stick system.
look it up on internet.
follow instructions.

do it when ya got a few days no rain.
put your valueables in other rooms till ya get a few good rains post reroof.

good luck.


Since your description falls short for many of us, and based on your description none of us know what to tell you, may I suggest photos.

“Roll shingle?” Should I assume you are talking about a granule-surfaced roof membrane?

You can follow this link to upload and then post pics at RoofersReview.com

Login with user name demo1 and password demo1.
Click Add items in left column.


Thanks for the suggestions…I guess I shld have clarified. I am in New Mexico where many of us have flat roofs and even the businesses. Flat roofs are not meant for large amounts of rain no matter how good the roof. My roof has had rolled shingles for over 15 years (previosuly rock roof) with no problems or leaks until recently - due to rains of over 15+ inches it caused some problems. Many of my neighbors have rock roofs so I am in better shape than they are. Even new businessess built recently with flat roofs were leaking & had damages. Home Depot Wal Mart Lowes etc all had many buckets throughout their own stores catching water leaks - so you can imagine the mess. When roofers re-roof our flat roofs at 5,000 plus cost it still leaks - my neighbor next door has had his roof done 5 times with many layers and finally a thick white foam on top of everything. I have not heard of the peel-n-stick and will check it out. If I can at least get the areas that have peeled back repaired and a new layer of roll shingles on top of the existing with lots of tar I might be able to get the roof fixed for a 10+ years again - unless we have monsoon rains again whereby everybody’s flat roof leaks anyway. FEMA declared us a disaster area with 15 inches of rain. Maybe some pictures will give you an idea - I feel that I can do a better job myself than paying a large amount to a roofer.

see, now this is the problem. all those roofs sound like theyre either tar and gravel roofs and rolled roofing. Rolled roofing is not a good system for a truly flat roof. In my area theyre junk in like 5 years on a semi sloped roof and useless on a truly flat roof. Now as far as the tar and gravel roofs go, theyre good roofs. But I bet those people hired roofers to do it that simply made repairs… and by the way, tar and gravel roofs are tough to repair. Once the tar starts cracking, you go in and “repair” the area thats leaking and more often than not you step on a blister somewhere else and cause another leak. Ask Aaron on this one, but I think that foam roof sounds appropriate because of the heat you get there if its installed right. Just a thought, but I think a great idea would be to find out what materials you should use, then get a reference from a manufaturer on which roofer to use in your area since most are apparently incompetent there. a roof shouldn’t leak with 100 inches of rain in my opinion. Thats incompetence, plain and simple.

its nice when you know were the poster is from.
its understandable that one would like roll roofing if he/she is livin in the desert.
i get those monsoon rains your talkin about almost daily.
so yeah use your peal n stick, tar it good, and if it doesnt work youll only notice it a couple a times a year. lol.

good luck


I would say foam or a 3 ply built up and mineral cap with a white coating on top of the mineral to reduce, if not eliminate thermal shock.

Although I do not concur with the poster’s comment that flat roofs cannot take that much water, I think there may be better ways of doing them in NM than what is currently being done.

I also do not believe that there arent any good roofers out there. A new roof should be watertight no matter how much rain, as long as the water can evacuate the roof.

Anyhoo…I would say foam or BUR. 1.5" of foam and an acrylic coating can reduce , if not eliminate thermal shock. Thermal shock rips roofs apart, splits them, twists, them and mangles them.

A 4 ply BUR and a mineral surfaced cap sheet should stand up leak-free for a long time (20 years or more) if you had and maintained a white acrylic coating on it.

Of course, either of these systems would be worthless with worthless installers.

Im going to elaborate on this even though it means belittling myself, because I accept that I’ve made mistakes and learned from them. I once did a rubber roof (actually many within a complex) and marveled at how the existing roof (BUR) had excellent valleys and that the BUR Installers clearly had pride in doing it right. I installed my rubber over existing substrate as test cuts said was fine to do. My roof didnt leak for a month. THEN, after a month, I got a call saying my roof was leaking. I was shocked, as I did the whole complex solo, not a single helper. So I respond to the call and go to check out the leak… as I said, the valleys were excellent and it was very pitched for a flat roof… to my suprise when I got there, I arrived to a roof with literally 24" of water at the drain. I walked to the center where the drain was and pulled out a tennis ball where there was previously a mesh protecting such… now I was shocked at how much water my rubber roof held… I was scared to death walking to that tennis ball having some kind of idea how much weight was on that roof. That roof leaked a little… flat roofs installed water tight are very water tight. I removed the tennis ball and returned it to my customer and apologized and showed him pics. I just did a job for him a month ago eight years later. The mistake I made? I will now solder the strainer attachment to the drain so it doesnt come out again.

I wouldn’t recommend soldering the drain dome to the clamping ring, assuming I understood what you say you do, because it will prevent maintenance to the drain. The best thing the building owner could do is keep people off the roof that have no business on the roof, and then the drain dome will stay in place and prevent tennis balls from clogging the drain pipe.

understood cerberus. youre thinking i do this with a clamping ring. I’m talking about an old housing project in historic salem massachusetts on those brick buildings that dont have a clamping ring and instead just BUR over a cast iron drain with a wick. I put a copper insert in those and those are typical here. I’ve got all the business in the world being on a roof and i would think you’d know at least that by now. You may be more scientific, but I’m a damn good roofer with some intelligence and physical prowess and its a damn good mix for me and my customers. Maintenance to the drain will have to include a roofer with a soldering gun to disconnect the solder, agreed. I’m fully aware of what youre saying cerberus, I just dont think youre allowing for the fact that everything here is historic and not so ideal all the time. It would be great if I could pay a plumber ten thousand or whatever ridiculous price to run the pipes and carpenters to make the path and plasterers etc… stick to new construction and leave me alone here. I’m doing the homeowners a great justice here. I’ve also installed these specs on harvard and M.I.T and had inspectors ok them. You’re wrong and I’m right here cerb. All respects given.

Thought you were talking about soldering the dome to the clamping ring; glad to hear that is not the case.

As for people who shouldn’t be on the roof, I wasn’t talking about you! I have lots of clients that don’t let people on their roofs without first getting approval from the building engineer, and then they have to sign-in and get keys to the property to access the roofs. Obviously, this only works with mid- to high-rises, but on just about any property there are ways to restrict traffic on the roofs. Too many times I’ve seen roofs damaged by HVAC contractors, window-washers, painters, and people that just need to be monitored while on the roof.


Is that your spouse?




are you calling me hun?



are you calling me hun?[/quote]

opps I think I meant hun as in head scratch on the question of shingle roll roofing