Doing a new construction inspection, with a flat, front-porch EPDM roof, it's hard to do, but I found every mistake possible on one brand-new roof.
For the client, to say it was disappointing would not begin to approach their true feelings. This house provided me 8.5 pages of notes, and I write my notes in shorthand.
EPDM is a synthetic rubber roof, made by Firestone. Properly installed it is a great product. Poorly installed the roof can have rotting within a couple of years.
This is what every post on the guardrail over the porch looked like.
Obviously uninformed as to how to do seams, this "installer" simply piled layer upon layer of material.
Under and all around each post!
See how the subsurface is already sinking?
There should be no puddles on an EPDM roof - the material can't handle it!
And never mind gluing the edges!
Of course the edges must be glued. But even when they are the top of the edge is not left exposed like that.
There is a special way to finish the edge, and a professional installer would know that.
See what's going on in the background, against the brick?
Yes, the EPDM is merely left vertically pushed against the brick.
That is not flashing!
And all along the roof!
This front porch is the last thing they did on the house during construction.
You are looking at a surface that is less than one month old.
It is already puckering, bubbling, ponding water and loose.
That is because this synthetic rubber had been glued directly to the oriented-strand board subsurface. That's okay IF THE OSB WAS CLEANED AND PRIMED PROPERLY FIRST.
Not only does the glue not stick well unless it's cleaned and primed, but it is a very rough material and there is little surface for the glue to stick to.
Firestone has many recommendations as to better subsurfaces to use. They even make one!
Firestone even offers a free on-line course to demonstrate how to install this stuff! It's, um, free!
This roof is how the inspection began on this house, costing well over $1 million.
Like I said, 8.5 pages of shorthand notes!
You want one more?
This is what counted for caulking all over the house.
This builder needs to stop raiding the local elementary school for fourth graders who will work for cheap.
I joke about that, but that is precisely what is going on here - "professionals" hired because they are cheap.
Forget experience. Forget skill. Forget pride and craftsmanship. Forget it.
This is what we have now!
And it stinks.
My recommendation: don't count on the house to be your dream house until you examine it thoroughly and go as high into the organization as it takes to get the builder to present a final product that you are proud of. Who is the boss here anyway? I was already on the bad-boy list with this builder because on the pre-drywall inspection on this house I had the nerve to suggest that the flaps on each side of insulation was to facilitate stapling to secure the insulation to the studs forever. You would have thought I wanted them to fly to Mars! Finally, after presenting the builder with a multiplicity of links I provided, my client got them to relent on stapling the insulation. Why have to fight over that? STAPLING INSULATION IS BASIC!! If I was the supervisor I would be embarrassed to my toes to walk through this house with my clients on the "reveal." I'm going to expect that he will not say everything I identified in the voluminous report, NOT IN SHORTHAND, is "already on my list to do..."
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560