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Roofing/tarred over standing seam roof


I own a very large home in PA which I am preparing to sell.  I have lived there for more than 30 years as I purchased it from my parents.  The steeper main house roof was converted to shingles and half-round gutters many years ago.The low slope front, side and back porch roofs are standing seam with internal gutters.  Long before my parents owned the house, the roofs were covered in tar.  During their ownership, they had these roofs recoated several times over the years.    
I am now reading that tar application is a bad solution for waterproofing standing seam roofs and am wondering what options I have now.  I was thinking of treating the areas which need repair with a tape material after properly preparing ther areas per the product specs. and then coating the entire surface with a elastomeric type sealent.   The proch roof areas total over 2500sf so complete removal and replacement of the old roof is outside of my budget and removing the old tar would be a huge task.  Any ideas?


I apologize for my vagueness in my response, however it is very difficult to provide a reasonable approach for you without knowing more about the specifics of the situation and the construction.

There are acrylic and silicone coating products that are compatible with the metal and the asphalt roofing products.  Performance of the coatings is directly related to the preparation of the substrate.  Also, coatings are only as good as the substrate to which they are applied.  If the roof already has several layers of coating already, then don't expect a miracle, and the investment may not be worth the return.

Consider negotiating the roof replacement with the buyer, that way you can wash your hands of the issue and potential liability.


Bruce Ryan II, RRO
Professional Roof Consultants, Inc.


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Bruce A. Ryan II, RRO


I offer solid knowlege of all types of Commercial and Residential Roofing, Waterproofing, and, Building Envelope systems. Experience ranges across low slope and steep slope roof systems. I am also well versed in matters regarding condensation and ventilation. I enjoy donating some of my time and knowledge to the betterment of others.


Bruce Ryan has 20 years of roofing, waterproofing, and building envelope consulting experience with PRC, with 5 years of commercial roofing experience prior to joining the firm. He became Vice President of the company in 1998. Bruce Ryan plays a key role in the development of practical, long-term roofing and waterproofing solutions, along with implementation of on-site forensic studies. Bruce also has a high level of experience with regard to the impacts of roofing materials and construction for demanding clients with heavily occupied structures.

Oregon Construction Contractors Board Construction Specifiers Institute National Roofing Contractors Association The Institute of Roofing, Waterproofing, & Building Envelope Professionals Oregon Board of Investigators Installation Masters

University of Maryland BS Business & Administration Registered Roof Observer - RCI Private Investigator Certified EIFS inspector - Northwest Wall and Ceiling Bureau Certified InstallationMaster™ - The Installation Masters™ Training and Certification Program (developed by American Architectural Manufacturers Association)

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