This new house has a nearly flat EPDM (synthetic rubber) roof and when you see one problem on a new roof, others will likely follow.
This roofing material is made by Firestone. They have very high regard for this product, and it demands total understanding when installing it on a roof. Firestone even offers an installation course FREE, on line!
So, when I peek out a window and see immediate installation problems I know that the installer does not know how to install the material.
EPDM is an acronym meaning Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (M-class) and the thickness most often used on residential roofs is the 60mil product. Depending on the amount of sunlight it gets, the expected life span is about 15 years. With good installation longer! With poor installation it will leak very quickly.
What did I see out windows?
There were improper seams, the edges were not finished properly, at the edge it glues to other glue with a gap and a screw nearby, there were sharp things left on the roof, bubbles and wrinkles everywhere, stains from puddles here and there, and little rocks had been glued underneath the roofing. All this says that it was glued DIRECTLY to the OSB underlayment, which is a huge NO NO, already releasing inside of a couple of months, and will leak soon, soon, soon.
This installer has little knowledge of EPDM and how to install it.
Obviously, when you see a downspout elbow sitting on the roof (not visible from anywhere unless you go ONTO the roof) there is something missing.
And look. The elbow sitting there obviously doesn't work. And fitting and securing the proper elbow into that space at this point is next to impossible.
But still, even with the right elbow, this would discharge right onto the corner in the upper right photo above.
A downspout should never discharge at the edge of an EPDM roof, or onto a corner.
THIS ROOF IS A DISASTER, SET UP FROM DAY ONE.
My recommendation: you have heard often enough, new construction needs a home inspection just as much as older construction. Just this simple examination of this new roof, combined with the home inspector's knowledge obtained directly from Firestone at their week-long class for interested students, has saved huge headaches and expense for this homeowner. Always insist that inspections be done.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560