Problem with new roof - it's melting!


I am a newbie on here… so ‘hello’!

I need a bit of help - and some advice would be appreciated.

I have a roof that is also used as a deck. It had a thick plywood base, with numerous layers of roofing roll on it (the asphalt with gravel on it kind). I was careful with furniture and it was doing okay, with little surface damage despite years of robust use. For various reasons (animals trapped in roof, it leaked around skylights etc), I have had it replaced.

Contractor knew that I used it as a deck, and we discussed that we would need to put pads on the feet of furniture and avoid wearing heels on it. My longer term plan is to place a kind of floating deck on it.

However, two weeks after it has been laid, the tar is starting to melt. I walked across the roof, and have left footprints where the grit has now just been pushed aside leaving just black gooey footprint patches. I live in California, it’s 82 degrees today, but will get hotter as summer starts.

I have had numerous problems with the contractors anyway… but can anyone advise if this is a product defect, a cheap and unsuitable product has been used, or if it’s to be expected and now have an unusable space and will never again be able to access my washing machine?

Any advice appreciated. Roofing contractor treats me like a stupid child at the best of times - and is really intimidating…

Thanks for any help…

The asphalt-tar based materials that your contractor used are not the most appropriate ones for a walkable surface. Obviously, as you surmised, their treatment of you as a customer is not acceptable, and they really dont have the experience necessary for this type of application.

Your fears are correct… as the temps warm up this summer, the situation will get worse, and soon you will be tracking goey tar into the house and getting it all over.

As I see it, you have 2 options: 1) Remove and Replace the current materials with a WALKABLE MEMBRANE material. Several manufacturer’s come to mind… including DEK-KING, DURADEK. Do a quick web search and you will see what I am referring to. 2) Install a wood deck, or “floating” deck on top of your current configuration. That will keep the waterproof integrity, and will keep foot traffic on a more user-friendly surface.

Hope that gets you pointed in the right direction!

Thank you so much for your reply; I appreciate it!

A bit cheeky but can I also ask:

  1. how come the previous roofing material (which looked very similar, but obviously isn’t the same, and is currently doing fine on another part of the roof) doesn’t melt? Have they just used a really cheap product?

  2. Do you think that this melting will affect the viability of the roof when it rains?

The melting was just one bit of a list of sorry sagas relating to the roofing job done; all in all, I think this has turned into one very expensive lesson learnt about roofing contractors. Basically, I picked the wrong one to trust!

Why not throw some patio stones on it?

Without knowing exactly what kind of material you had previously, and what the new system is, its hard to say why you have a difference.

Most likely, because the other section of roof that is the original asphalt-based system is older, more of the petroleum has cooked out over time and with heat, leaving you with a much more “dry” asphalt condition. The new materials that were just installed are “fresh” and more “wet” asphalt. The newer materials will contain more petroleum distillates and thusly will get soft in the heat.

Over an extended period of time (as in YEARS!), it too would “dry” out, and be more user friendly.

No, it wont affect the roof’s ability to maintain a watertight condition, it just makes a mess and is a headache to deal with as a walking surface.

The previous poster had another good idea…you could put patio pavers down, either over the whole thing, or in the main walking areas. Same could be true of area rugs or runners. Those are just a couple of things you could try, see what works best for your situation before you spend a bunch of money re-doing things.