Shingles on low slope roof

flat-roof-repair-leak - What compounded the problem on this roof is that there was a skylight.
Relatively flat shingle roof will cause leaks
  1. Installing shingles on a low pitch roof. See the image below.
  2. To nail down flashing.
  3. Installing a second layer of shingle over a roof that is not suited for it.
  4. Skylights that are meant for flat roofs are installed on pitched roofs.
  5. Not adequate flashing against a wall or transition areas to another roof.

Common mistakes by roofers – they install shingles on a flat roof. So many so-called roofers have no idea where to draw the line between what is suppose to be the flat roof and what is a pitched roof. The homeowner will pay for that inexperience. Shingles on a low pitch roof like this one are just not right.

Installing shingles on a low sloping roof

This is a very common mistake. If there is a skylight, that will increase the chances of a leak. What compounded the problem on this roof is that there was a skylight. The skylight will cause more leaks due to the low pitch of the roof.

Roofing Cement – Tar

Tar – tar – tar. Why so many people believe that tar will solve a roof leak. The tar that was smeared around this skylight just made it worse. When you use tar you have to be careful not to cover some flashing areas like the bottom part of this skylight. The pitch of this roof is too low to even try to make a repair. The best way is to strip and remove the shingles and install a rubber roof.

The pitch of this roof is to low to even try to make a repair.
Tar is used to seal the flashing around the skylight on the shingles

Where Roofs meet

When two roofs meet, there is a potential to have a problem, but when you add a third element to this (skylight), then you asking for a leak. The design of this roof is also wrong. When you see a corner of a skylight flashing in a valley, you know that will cause a leak.

flat-roof-repair-leak - The design of this roof is also bad. When you see a corner of a skylight flashing in a valley
Corner of the skylight ends up in the valley of the flat roof

Suggestions on how to handle this low pitch shingled roof

Suggestions on what to do

  1. Strip the shingle off from the low pitch roof
  2. Clean and repair flashing around skylights and wall areas
  3. Remove shingles from adjacent roof about 5 rows up
  4. Install fiberglass base paper
  5. Install new drip edge
  6. Install Modified Bitumen Rubber membrane Torch Down going up unto adjacent roof
  7. Re-install shingle over membrane on adjacent roof

The low pitch area on the roof to be stripped and be replaced with the rubber membrane

The best is to remove the shingles on the flat roof section and replace it with a rubber roof.
The green section indicates a too low pitch for shingle
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5 thoughts on “Leak on Shingle Flat Roof”

  1. The roof at my work building has had some leak problems lately whenever it rains really hard. We’ve already invested a lot of time into making the necessary fixes. I really liked this post though because of the focus on maintenance. I like the advice to get regular inspections to prevent problems before they arise, which is exactly what I am going to start doing!

    1. Thanks Joel for the comment
      I notice that you also have a roofing service. I hope you do well and attract many customers to your site.
      We are building an online flat roof repair business and hope to help many people across the world.
      I have decided to add your website link here - I hope it helps you.

      Best regards


  2. I have see you use turbo poly seal on chimneys. You also stated in the silver coating video that ultra violet breaks down the turbo poly sealant. If I use turbo poly sealant on a chimney top or flashing, is it necessary to coat it with silver coating?

    1. It is not necessary but will help extend the life of the Turbo Poly seal. For the esthetic reason, you might not want to coat it. Just make the Turbo Poly Seal coat very thick and it will do.

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