Home Buyer Need Advice


Hello All,

I have a home I am interested in purchasing in PA. It has a flat roof and is part of 4 unit town-home.

I had a home inspection done and the inspector said there was evidence of ponding and alligatoring.

My question from looking at these pictures can anyone give me an idea of the possible remaining life span of the roof?

Also the cost of repair or if the roof needs to be fully replaced, what would that cost might be?



Where at in Pa. ?


Looks like Stroudsburg at a glance…


Stroudsburg. Can anyone answer?


Hard to tell from the pics. It looks as though it has been coated in the past. IMO you need a professional roofer to look at it to answer your question. The coating can be used as a preventative maintenance and extend the life of the roof. it is also used when a roof begins to fail and leaks. It is meant for extending the life of the roof. One of the members here may be in your area and willing to help.


Without knowing how many layers or whether or not it’s wet, it’s hard to advise. But I’ll try.

Are their any leaks?..if no, than can install coating every 3-5 years to try an extend the life. Remember, coating is to extend the life, not to prevent water from getting in. Figure around $1.50 a s.f. to do so.

If the existing roof insulation is not wet and no multiple layers, then you could do a cheap modified overlay and get 10-12 yrs out of it for around $2.00 a sq ft.

If it needs tore off and a good 15-20 yr system installed such as epdm(rubber), I’d say around $5.00-$7.00 a sq ft. Tapered insulation(if the exisiting roof is too flat and holds water), is needed, then you could have an additional $1.80-$2.50 per sq ft.

Make sure to get advice from a commercial type contractor. They will have more experience with long lasting flat systems. Ask what type of work they do, percentage wise. If they do mostly shingles, chances are, their expert and workforce knowledge will be on shingles. A commercial contractor that does some residential would be preferred. They’ll have the commercial knowledge and still know how to go easy on the shrubs and bushes.

From the pictures, the roof is not in terrible condition. However, appears to be getting toward the end of it’s life. Coating may help prolong as discussed but there are to many variables that determine exactly when a roofing will start to fail. Weather, winters, ponding water, and building movement to name a few. If you start to get leaks in the middle of the field of the roof(and it’s not a puncture), it’s most likely ready for replacement. If leaks are near walls or pipes, it’s possible that these can be patch and still last a while.

Hope this helps.


It is hard to tell from pics,but it almost looks like the roof has had work done in different areas. This is usually the case in multi-unit buildings,the owners don’t get together and replace the entire roof at 1 time…I am just north of Stroudsburg if you would like me to take a look…How much of the roof belongs to you if you buy?Without a physical look,you can’t determine anything…could be 5 layers at 40sq.


if its not leakin n ow dont mess with it.
it looks good in the pics.
cant tell what kind of roof it is.



if your the unit in the middle on the left,
comparatively speaking…your roof looks reasonably
re-sealable…especially if compared to your neighbor to the rear in that picture. What a sweet job it would be for all units to get re-roofed at the same time.


[quote=“gweedo”]if its not leakin n ow dont mess with it.
it looks good in the pics.
cant tell what kind of roof it is.


3 ply Smooth Surface Built up with Aluminum


Thanks so much for the replies. The roof leaked in 2007 and was repaired and resealed according to the disclosure.

So basically the resealling is just way to avoid making neccassary repairs?


The original roof appears to have been installed with out taper board or cant strip the temp seal appears to be a two or three ply without proper drainage for the roof the water has no place to go one can see the ponding stains check your codes for your area you might not be able to add any more to the roof if you are investing why go for temporary? Installed with a taper system and crickets and scuppers would allow for proper roof drainage a two or three ply system with a cap sheet(grandulated) Firestone makes a good system for that. the life of the roof now five to eight years with out any repairs,the cost of a new roof $$$ get estimates.


next question poster.