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I have a low pitched metal roof and it is leaking.

The roofer I spoke with says to stop the leaks they need to tear the metal off, put down plywood, and use a torch-on-roof system of roofing. He said due to the pitch and such this is the only way to effectively stop the leaks.

Is a torch-on-roof the best solution to solve a leaking problem for a low-pitched roof?

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Is this a good system? They want to tear all the metal off the roof, put plywood on , then put the torch on roof? Says that is the only way to stop the leaks as the pitch of roof to low. –  Arlene Willings Oct 4 '13 at 17:34
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I have a near flat roof 1" over 24" and my metal roof works fine. Replaced a tar & gravel roof 3 years ago. –  Jason Oct 4 '13 at 19:04
    
Where is the roof leaking from? Is it all over, only at seams, only at through-the-roof fixtures, or what? –  wallyk Oct 4 '13 at 19:57
    
There are a number of low pitch roofing applications that all work well. Saying there is only one solution is an example of the saying "If your only tool is a hammer, every problem is a nail". –  bcworkz Oct 4 '13 at 21:58
    
The carport is leaking all over or seems to. Then the other over an add on, which is also metal, is only leaking around the chimney to a propane stove. I have had 2 different companies out to fix and apparently not as now leaking on my floor and have some bubbles in my ceiling . Thanks for the info. –  Arlene Willings Oct 4 '13 at 22:24
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2 Answers

There are many solutions that work well on low slope roofs. There are EPDM membranes and PVC roofs. Those materials are available in large continuos pieces so it's often possible to have a roof without any seams. I would consult at least two more roofers and see what they say. Additionally, did the current roofer locate the problem source? Even though it's often really hard lot find leak sources, he should be able to have an idea of the possible problem areas. It could be that the roof is fine and the water is coming from elsewhere. Proper flashing is extremely important.

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While it could be a good solution, a new deck and torchon covering might not necessarily be the best solution. Without knowing more about the roof, it's hard to say for sure, but metal roofs are certainly capable of suitably covering on a low pitch.

As an alternative solutuion, I'd suggest that a single-sheet rubber (EPDM) or glass fibre reinforced plastic roof would be less likely to develop future issues than a torchon felt roof.

Unless the existing roof is seriously deteriorated or compromised, there are several options for repairing a roof. It could be that the roofers you have approached so far have more experience with torchon (it's easy) or to re-lay the roof would be more profitable for them than to repair the existing roof. (Cynical, yes, but having experienced some areas of the construction industry, entirely possible.)

Is the leak on the edge of the roof or in the centre? An edge leak could indicate a flashing problem rather than a roof problem. Are there any penetrations (pipes, ducts, etc) through the roof near the leak?

Also bear in mind that flat / low pitch roofs can show the water on the inside some distance from where the actual leak is.

Is there even a leak? Have you ruled out that it's not a condensation issue? If warm, moist air is getting past insulation and hitting cold metal, you will get water dripping, which will appear as a leak.

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