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Micro problems — 6 Comments

  1. In my limited experience any flat roof, once it fails is a lost cause. (I assume it’s flat if it has a tank on it?). My Dad’s house had a flat garage roof on the side of the house, it always leaked. It was resealed, rebitumened etc, but a year or so later water always found its way back through because being technically flat there were always puddles after rain, sun and frost damaged the seal and that was it. We solved it eventually by literally jacking up one side bit by bit to put an almost imperceptable slope on it, then redid the flashing along the side against the house a brick higher, a reaseal and it was OK from then on. If you have a tank on it you can be sure it sags under the tank so water runs and collects there, it’ll test any seals, tape etc to destruction. On my garage, also flat roofed originally and always needing attention, I eventually had a pitched roof added, surprising not outrageously expensive when compared to fixing all the problems. Can you move the tank – If it has to be there can it go one end or a position where where it’s on a supporting wall and clears the main roof area to stop water trying to run under it?

    • We have two flat roofs – one on the garage and a much larger one on the main extension. The latter is a single sheet of some kind of very heavy duty plastic which gives no problems. Also there is a built in slope to the roof which drains perfectly. The only hole in the continuous sheet is for the chimney stack and for the pipe work to the water tank. That’s where the problem lies. The tank can’t be moved [there isn’t much point as there is nowhere else to put it] because it’s plumbed in.

      There are really two solutions –
      1. Raise the tank and try to waterproof the gap where the pipes come through.
      2. Case the tank in a waterproof cabinet.

      2 is the obvious one as the casing also acts as frost protection. The support is fine – the roof is designed the take the weight of a full tank, and then some. I hope.

      • If it has a bit of a slope your problem may be that the slope (or prevailing wind) is effectively funelling rainwater to where the pipes go through the roof. If they are directly under the tank then a cover over the tank won’t work unless it’s fully sealed to the roof.
        If you assume the tank itself does not leak, the pipes are sound and any brackets and tank supports fixed through the roof are sealed you are down to getting access to either seal those pipes properly or preventing rainwater running under the tank.
        Without seeing it – but having read about it here before – I would look into the cost/effort of permanently moving or lifting the tank enough to access and fully seal the pipe holes in the roof, or replacing the pipes and rerouting to an accessible position for both now and in the future. They are only pipes and I’m sure you have plumbers in Eire, who would be cheaper than roofs or building covers.

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