Do I Need a New Roof?

November 12th 2002

Question from Mark in Delta, B.C. -----

Hi Shell,

I bought a 30 year old home in Tsawwassen in August. It has a Mansard? roof. It is comprised of 4 separate flat roofs all on different levels, one draining down on to the other and then down drainpipes hidden in the facade of the house.

The Home inspector gave it a low rating of causing any problems at least in the immediate future. The Roofing inspector had done a re-roof/repair (I never did find out which for sure) 1-1/2 years ago on 2 of the roofs. Apparently the other 2 roofs are somewhere between 12 and 15 years old.

I was on the roof today and one of the old roofs has at least 1" of standing water on part of it. There are no leaks detectable in the house. The previous owner had said that if he still owned the house, he would not do anything to the roof this year. I don't like the standing water. How long should a tar and gravel roof last, considering the age of 2 older roofs?

Are there any signs that I should be able to see, besides the standing water, to indicate the necessity of a re-roof?

Can these types of roofs be re-roofed separately? Roofers will come and say I need a re-roof. How do I know to believe them? I know it's a little late in the year to be thinking of this. But I need expert advice! Any recommendations on roofers near me that are honest and up to the task of this kind of a job.

Thanks very much.



Dear Mark,

First, let me set the record straight.

Having one inch of standing water on your roof is not necessarily a problem. It can even be a good thing because water will reflect the heat waves of the sun.

A roof that is 12–15 years old is not considered an old tar & gravel roof but for your peace of mind, you could call our HouseSmart Referral Network at 604-542-2236 and we’ll send you a roofing specialist to confirm the state of your roof.

"It's Just That Easy!"