What roof is this? Help with mid- century modern

Hi. Thanks in advance for any help!
I live in Northern Utah and am getting my roof replaced but all the roofers that have looked at the roof have told me different things. I have talked to 5 different roofers & gotten 5 different answers and I am feeling unprepared.

  1. Does anyone know what type of roof I have? The house was built in 1967. I can’t imagine this is the original roof but it does seem old. It has a UV type coating on top that has just a little bit of small type gravel in the coating, but underneath that is a black rubber type looking surface that is cracking.

  2. There is a small drop off around the whole edge of the roof where the eaves begin. There is an upraised surface around the actual living quarters of the whole house. It’s not very noticable unless you are looking for it. I had one roofer tell me that it is insulation and that I will have to replace the insulation because the insulation will come off when they tear off the roof. He said it was due to the fact that the ceiling inside my home is tongue & groove. Is he right? All other roofers either didnt notice it or said he was wrong, & that insulation is under the decking.

  3. All the roofers have said the same thing - They dont do these types of roofs anymore. Bummer because it seems like a solid roof that held up for a long time. Every one of them quoted me for a 60 mil TPO. Some wanted to put TPO over the existing roof, all the others said no way. That it has to come off because there were no gutters and water has leaked into some of the eaves & caused damage. Who is right?

  4. If I do need insulation, can you recommend what I would need? I only had 1 quote for insulation and they didn’t say what it was. I wanted to go with them originally but they stood me up. The other roofer I want to do the job seems great but told me I wouldn’t need insulation, just fanfold to protect the TPO.

Thanks again. I was told flat roofs were cheaper but…this is getting so very expensive!! I was hoping I wouldn’t have to pay over $10,000 but not so lucky. I want the job done right but I also dont want to overpay.

I think you need to do a core sample to find out what you’ve got up there. I’m just guessing but it looks like, whatever the material was, it was flood coated with something. It could me smooth modified that has been flood coated, or just layers of ply 4, with type 3 hot tar, mopped. Whatever it was, the coating was strictly visual appearance.


This is a smooth torch-down roof.
It was never coated, maintained untill it had already failed.
Someone aluminum roof coated it heavily
After the product had already cracked up everywhere from not being protected with a coating.

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Thank you! Could you help me with 1 more issue? Is it typical with this type of roof that insulation is installed on top of the decking? Or is it more typically under the decking?

It depends. Pay someone to take a core sample and know for sure what you’re dealing with.

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No , it is not typical.
But it is optional.
I dont know for sure but i believe the one contractor is right that there is insulation on top of the decking and they stopped it right at the exterior wall leaving the rake overhangs out.

If the insulation is there, the roofer might be able to take the modified off of the underlayment and or keep the insulation intact.
But he might not. It could get all destroyed like he said.
Its a huge risk.
He should be prepared to replace it all
But he might be able to save it all.
Dont know until he really tears into it.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I really appreciate it!

looks like a torch applied smooth surfaced roof that was not regularly coated,to be cost effective if ther is only one layer of roofing you can prime the roof allow a couple days to dry,install 2nd layer app modified,theres plenty of roofers that install that type of roof

My stock answer, DO NOT OVERLAY in this situation.
Old house, don’t know what is under it, etc. Get to the deck and be ready to deal with the consequences to make it right. There’s plenty of roofers that will install anything as long as they get the job. Do it right.

DO NOT Layover any coating with mod bit or adhesives. A coating is a sacrificial layer that is designed to protect the existing membrane. What you are doing is accepting the coating as a substrate, and risking failure when the coating divorces from the membrane due to vapor drive or chemical incompatibility with the adhesive.

I’d propose a tear off
But i cant discount what weldman said.
I agree with him.
Especially in special circumstances
Of insulation board and exposed cathedral ceilings.
Id have to go inside and
If there is no known leaks seen or smelled
Along with good positive drainage
I would proceed.

Another way is priming it, then installing Self-adhered basesheet, then Torch-down.

Better cap nail that base sheet…

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