Roof Repair

14
Mar

Most Common Low-slope Roof Problems : Part 1

Low-slope roof in Chicago

Low-slope roof in Chicago

Common Low-slope Roof Problems

Many “standard” housing in the United States primarily uses what is considered a “low-slope” roofing style.  So what are some of the most common issues with low-slope roofs?

“Obvious or unforeseen, roof problems are always a pain and undoubtedly a significant expense,” says Jane Madison at Builders Magazine, who posted a great article about low-slope roof issue.   Below I posted the first part if her article.

Problems Plaguing Low-slope Roofs

Buildings magazine examined which problems are most common and the conditions that can either cause or be the result of premature failure and reduced service life of low-slope roof systems. This is not a self-diagnostic guide, but rather an informative list of some of the problems most often battled by building owners and facilities professionals.

“If you look at a failure curve, most roofs are the best they’re going to be at the time they are installed. The curve is pretty flat in terms of their deterioration for the first several years, and the last 25 or 30 percent of the roof [life], the curve becomes more steep,” explains Ron Harriman, vice president, Benchmark Inc., Cedar Rapids, IA. Unfortunately, problems are inevitable as the roof ages. Without proper and routine maintenance, these minor problems can even become catastrophic.

ROOF LEAKS AND MOISTURE

“With any roof – no matter what type – if you’ve got roof leaks, then you’ve got a problem,” explains Charles Praeger, executive director, Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA), Cleveland.  Leaks can occur for a number of reasons. Built-up roofs (BUR) might experience leaks due to flashing details that weren’t fastened properly during installation. “The problems an owner is typically going to have [with a BUR system] is that 95 percent of leaks occur at flashing details – anywhere the membrane itself is terminated or interrupted,” explains Helene Hardy Pierce, director of contractor services, GAF Materials Corp., Wayne, NJ. Additionally, hot bituminous and torch-applied modified bitumen roofs may experience leaks when a proper moisture barrier is not installed underneath a coping cap on parapet walls, according to Avoiding Common Roof Installation Mistakes, a CD-Rom produced by the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence (C.A.R.E. Ltd.).

The C.A.R.E. CD-Rom also pinpoints improper installation of flashing as a source of leaks on torch-applied modified bitumen roofs. Inadequate head laps and backwater laps are another mod bit installation problem that can allow moisture infiltration. “Water can get under the membrane if the field of roof is installed so that water flows against the lap. The consequences of backwater laps are leaks and blisters, which can lead to roof failure,” C.A.R.E. explains. With cold-applied modified bitumens, improper storage of materials can result in moisture infiltration built into the roofing system, and under-application of adhesive can result in poor lamination and roof leaks.

Leaks can result when single-ply membrane roofs are installed with poor seams. “You’ve got to have good seams with single-ply, because if you don’t, you don’t have much. The membranes themselves will hold water. You’ve got to have the seams either glued or heat-welded properly,” Harriman explains.

BLOW-OFFS, TENTING, REDUCED WIND UPLIFT RESISTANCE, AND BILLOWING

Leaks are not the only problem that can result from improperly installed flashing. Hot bituminous roofs where flashing is poorly attached may experience open seams and laps and ultimately cause blow-offs, reduced puncture resistance, and code issues, advises C.A.R.E. Poor gravel embedment and the use of an inadequate number of fasteners in the base sheet during application of both hot bituminous and torch-applied mod bit roof systems can also have similar consequences.

Wind uplift resistance can be reduced greatly if seams are not cured adequately on cold-applied mod bit systems. C.A.R.E. notes, “Seams made with cold adhesives do not have good integrity until the adhesive has cured. If the seams are exposed to wind and rain before they are properly cured, moisture can infiltrate the roof system or wind uplift can damage the roof membrane.”

If not adhered properly to the substrate, single-ply roofs are at risk for blow-off and billowing. “With single-ply membranes, we do a little more to hold things in place, and if it’s not done properly, then we end up with tenting of the flashings [and] we end up damaging the membrane,” says Pierce.

POOR INSTALLATION AND UNSATISFACTORY WORKMANSHIP

A faulty installation dramatically increases the likelihood of problems and reduces a roof system’s life expectancy. “Workmanship does tend to be one of the more common problems or common reasons for problems that crop up at some point in the life of the roof,” Harriman comments. BUR system installation can be problematic if specific preparations are not taken. According to Harriman, problems with adhesion can result when the area isn’t cleaned, dried, and primed properly prior to installation. “Those are things that are difficult to walk up on a roof and visually see, but could lead to future problems, premature aging, or premature failure,” he says.

Torch-applied mod bit system performance can be compromised if crews do not relax the sheets prior to installation. Material preparation is important to a quality installation. C.A.R.E. notes, “Sheets installed that have not relaxed or are installed when ambient conditions such as temperature are not right can result in wrinkles, leaks, fish mouths, contraction of sheets, or blisters.” Be sure that the contractor and crew you’ve hired are educated in proper installation techniques specific to the roof they are installing.

LACK OF MAINTENANCE

There are many reasons not to neglect the roof – including financial and business continuity reasons. Being wise to problems can prevent their escalation. “The problem in roofing is a lack of education on all levels. But if the owner of the property is better educated, the whole industry does better and less problems [occur],” explains Chris Mooney, GAFMC/C.A.R.E. national training manager, C.A.R.E., Wayne, NJ. Specific levels of maintenance are required to prevent voiding the warranty. “Perform routine inspections. You don’t have to know a lot about roofing,” Pierce explains. “Things like ponding water, a piece of slipped base flashing, pitch pockets that haven’t been filled – those should be obvious whether you know a lot about roofing or not.” Addressing minor problems before they escalate maximizes roof life as well as minimizes headaches and expense.

PONDING WATER

“Another common problem across all roof types is what I call ‘incidental ponding water.’ If we move the water off the roof, the roof has a really good chance of performing the way it should,” notes Pierce. During the design of a dead-level roof, slope should be added with tapered insulation or crickets. “If we don’t take proactive measures when we’re actually designing the roof, then we’re building in ponding water,” she stresses.

UV rays compounded by ponding water can have adverse effects on BUR and asphalt-based mod bit roofs. During installation of hot bituminous systems, C.A.R.E. warns that improper mopping can produce voids in the membrane, block drains, and result in ponding water as well as void the warranty.

Pierce cautions that before roof repairs are hastily made, the source of the ponding water should be investigated.HVAC units without condensate drain lines could be the culprit. Always inspect thoroughly before making a repair. Check drains to make sure they are free of dirt, silt, and debris.

This wraps up the first part of Common Low-slope Roof Problems. 

Thanks again to Jana J. Madsen (jana.madsen@buildingsmedia.com) the managing editor at Buildings magazine.   For more information about C.A.R.E., visit (www.gaf.com) or e-mail (care@gaf.com).

Next week I’ll post-up the rest of this great article.

Want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us. No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

 

24
Oct

How do I know when to replace my roof? Danger signs for a roof. – part two

Roof problems that help answer the question, “How do I know when to replace my roof?” part two

Last week we pointed out that the guys over at GAF, who manufacture roofing materials, posted a really good set of photos to help you determine if you have red flags that need to be carefully examined.   They call them Key Danger Signals of a Failing Roof?

Let’s look at the other danger signs that likely point to a roof replacement need.  But remember that not every type of roof damage means you have to replace your roof.  You might be able to patch it and then prepare and plan to have it replaced in the near future.

But be on the lookout for the issues below to help answer the question, “How do I know when to replace my roof?”

Stains on Interior Ceilings and Walls or Mold and Mildew Growth

Possible cause: Leaking water supply or drain line OR inadequate, faulty shingle underlayment which allows leakage.  Mold could also be caused by inadequate ventilation which traps moisture.

 

Stains leading to roof replacement

Stains indicating water penetration

Exterior Decay, Sheathing, and/or Siding

Possible cause: Poor attic ventilation.  If the exterior of your home looks like this picture you have a real problem.  Does this answer the question, “when to replace my roof?”  Not yet.  But you need to figure out what is causing this problem. You might have a leak which is slowly eating away at your sheathing or siding.

 

exterior damage indicating roof replacement need

Siding damage

Missing, Cracked, or Curled Shingles

Possible cause: Shingles have reached the end of their useful life OR a major storm tore up the roof.  Sometimes your shingles have just reached their end of life and you need to replace the roof.  If you have 20 year shingles, have had your roof on for 25 years, and it looks like this photo you can answer the question, “How do I know when to replace my roof?” in by nodding your head repeating after me, “Yes.  I need a roof replacement.”

 


singles destroyed indicating roof replacement  need

Major damage to shingles

 

Dark, “dirty-looking” areas

Possible cause: Loss of granules due to age of shingles.  This one is tough.  Your singles might have simple been worn down over time or you might have mold growing on your roof.  It is important to take a closer look.  Do not jump to roof replacement mode just because you have a few worn shingles.  In this photo, the granules have definitely been worn away.  This is a warning sign that a roof replacement is in your future.  But does this answer the question “when to replace my roof?”  Not exactly but it is a warning sign.  At some point these shingles will fail but you still might have a few years if the rest of the roof is in fair shape.

shingles  missing granules indicating time to replace roof

Shingles with missing granules

Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

16
Oct

Roof Problems. How do I know when to replace my roof?

Roof problems that may help you answer the question, “How do I know when to replace my roof?”

The guys over at GAF who manufacture roofing materials posted a really good set of photos to help you determine if you have red flags that need to be carefully examined.   They call them Key Danger Signals of a Failing Roof?

In a nutshell, your roof is like the skin on your body. It protects everything underneath it from the harmful exterior forces.  Once this protective skin is breached then damage rapidly advances.   Your roof may be failing in some areas and OK in others depending on the type of damage.  For example, did the roof sustain damage ina  specific area due to a tree falling on it?  Or has ice built up each year for the last 20 years and wrecked the overall integrity of the entire roof?

Sometime you can get away with simply patching your roof.   Look for these issues to help answer the question, “How do I know when to replace my roof?”

Inspect your roof and its underbelly and look for these types of issues.

Leakage in Attic After Wind-Driven Rain

Roof replacment issues in the decking

Leak in roof shingle and decking

Possible cause: Leaky or inadequate shingle underlayment or deteriorated flashing

 

Leakage in Attic After Ice Build-Up

Ice damage indicating roof replacement time

Crack in the roof

Possible cause: Inadequate shingle underlayment allows water from ice dams to leak into attic

 

Blistering and/or Peeling of Interior and/or Exterior paint

High heat damage indicating possible roof replacement need

Blistering or Peeling Paint

Possible cause: Excessive temperature or high humidity due to poor attic ventilation

 

In the next post we’ll look at a few more danger signals which can signify roof damage which help you answer the question,”How do I know when to replace my roof?”

 

Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us. No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

 

 

 

30
Jun

Want A Job Helping Others Save Money? Roof Bidders Is Hiring

Shaking-hands
How many companies look to put money in their customer’s pockets? This is what Roof Bidders is all about. We talk with property owners about damage on their roof, file a claim on their behalf, and bid their roof replacement out to our list of reputable roofing contractors to get the best price for the work. We have job opportunities in the Houston,Texas area to meet with home owners face-to-face and explain what Roof Bidders can do for them.  You can earn $250 a claim just for helping someone else save money. Below is the job description.
Title of Job:
Field Representative
Position Description:
The Field Representative visits homes that have apparent storm damage. Explaining to the homeowner the benefits of working with Roof Bidders, the Field Representative gains trust so the entire property can be surveyed. Field Representatives educate homeowners about the claims and repair process to insure the highest payout and best price for the repairs.
Background:
Will train, but a good candidate will have experience in the customer relations. Sales background is a plus.
Skills/attributes needed:
• Must possess a high level of attention to detail
• Must be able to recognize storm damage to homes in all trades
• Must have a service heart and truly want to help people
• Must be a friendly and effective communicator
• Flexible and adaptive
Primary Objectives of the Field Rep are:
• Find home owners who have storm damage to their property
• Gain trust of homeowner
• Improve every client’s situation
• Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the insurance and repair process
• Sign up home owners to get the best possible insurance payout and price on repairs
Major Areas of Responsibility include:
• Inspect property to find roof and other storm damage
• Contact homeowners to sign contracts for bids on home repairs
• Reports to Field Manager
Do you like talking to people? Enjoy the challenge of door-to-door sales? Again you can earn up to $250 per claim. Our next orientation training class is Wednesday July, 2nd. Check our Craigslist, or email your resume to info@roofbidders.com.