In 2011, I contracted Dominion Roofing to install a single vent on a flat roof with an EPDM cover. When the contractor showed up, I learned he was the owner of a flat roof company subcontracted by Dominion to do the job (something that was never disclosed to me at the time of contracting Dominion).
At the time, I was inexperienced in EPDM roofing systems and had no idea of the unbelievable problems this company was about to create for me. Firstly, the sub owner - Jake - showed up alone, lacking everything he needed for the job, and I had to help him! Upon lifting the MaxiVent to be installed, it slipped out of his hand and the corner hit the roof. He briefly looked over the roof and decided it was OK. After the first rain storm, the point in which the vent hit the roof leaked and ruined my bathroom ceiling and resulted in a call back to put a patch. Anybody who works with EPDM knows they are extremely susceptible to puncture from sharp objects. Instead of being sure, Jake decided to ignore what was likely a puncture - this is lazy and bad practice.
Back to the installation day, unbeknownst to me a skilled contractor will thoroughly clean an EPDM roof with naphthalene or some petrol-based alternative, BEFORE installing patches (I learned this afterward). Failure to do so will result in a bad seal, ultimately domed to failure. Jake, short of required materials chose to scrub the surface area with a towel. He then proceeded to install a series of patches around the vent, doubling and tripling layers in certain areas, all the while insuring me that it last as least as long at the remaining life of the roof. Inexperienced, I believed the assurances.
Roughly 18 - 24 months later (I don't remember the exact date, but can look it up if needed) the ceiling in the center of my house and directly beneath the vent suddenly shows all sorts of stains from a water leak. Dominion first tries to blame the vent itself (which they recommended in the first place) by insinuating that hard weather might blow rain into the vent. (This shows how they are trying to avert responsibility).
The Vent manufacturer immediately send a rep to review the installation and assures me it's not the vent. To be sure, they even add an upgrade to the vent. The question of culpability is quickly resolved when it's proven that the patches are leaking, as retained water on the roof is dripping through during a clear day. Clearly, one cannot blame weather. EPDM roofs commonly hold water and it should not be an issue, as the "rubber" is impermeable to water, except at the seams if they're bad. (To prove the patch leak in my tiny attic, I had to build a catwalk to be able to get under the vent for drip inspection. While there I built a catch pan - as best as one can do with a truss roof). What homeowner wants to do this???!!!
Dominion sent Jake back, who once again used his trusty towel to scrub clean the area around the vent to be patched and re-apply new patches - with all the assurances that this time it will last.
18 - 20 months later (again, I can look up exact dates if needed), the patches at the vent were leaking. Not trusting Jake's work, I'm continually climbing into my 4 foot high attic to check out the catch pan for water throughout the year. Andreas, my contact at Dominion, was initially unresponsive to my calls and messages to notify and request they come and fix the problem. I called from a number not registered under my name and he picked up his cell, at which point I explained the roof was leaking again at the patches. "How would you feel if it was your house? My ceilings are destroyed".
This time, Jake sent his crew. By this time, I've now done a lot of research into EPDM, EPDM repair and maintenance and, as always intend to supervise the entirety of the work. They were prepared with EPDM cleaner. However, it was cold (late fall) and the patches were not sticking because it seemed the cold was impacting their flexibility. The crew chose to use a flame thrower (the kind you would use on a torched down roofing system - not EPDM - ever) to warm and loosen up the frozen rubber. I was caught somewhere between being impressed with the ingenuity and scared they somehow damage the roof, or worse. The installation seemed to go fine though frozen water doesn't leak.
Two points: 1) Jake called them no less than five times during the installation to pressure them to finish up and get off the job site. It was abundantly clear to me he didn't want them there - no doubt forced by Dominion. I would think if you're responsible for this kind of a disaster, you'd say the reverse - "Do what you have to, to ensure the job is perfect". Clearly not the case;
2) The crew was clear with me that the patch was unlikely to hold because of the cold weather and the extraordinary measures they had to take to get the patches to stick. Further, they felt that the entire installation would have been better done as an "in the field" installation with seam tape. (Basically, rather than having all the seams immediately around the vent, they would've cut a larger segment of EPDM out around the vent and seemed it on that flat surface, instead of peel and stick patches immediately around the vent). They recommended they return in the spring to fix the job properly. I informed Dominion and Andreas of this prognosis by text, as he didn't answer his phone.
The patch work seemed to hold for almost 20 months and started to fail again - water in the attic catch pan. I called and left messages for Andreas. No returned calls.
While normally I would give credit for returning to an installation for address a problem, in this case it is not deserved.
1) Shoddy workmanship time and again.
2) A wrecked ceiling for which they have never offered to fix.
3) An ongoing problem for which I will likely have to get a different roofer to fix or be forced into an entire roof replacement long before the typical lifespan of my roofing material. (An EPDM roof should last 15-30 years - I'm currently at 11 years)
4) Unresponsive to calls and only reacts when "caught" on the phone
I have photographic evidence of the entire episode.
Currently quoting repairs from other flat roof specialist contractors and they universally think the patches and installation of the vent is garbage work. A ballasted field repair will be the way I go.
USE EITHER OF THESE COMPANIES AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!