Archive for the ‘Flat roof repair’ tag
This is part 2 of our rubber roofing guide. In this part we will explain shortcomings of rubber roof (such as inherently faulty design), inability to hold ponding water and generally short life span, etc.
We will aslo demonstrate how many roofers are “trained” in installation of EPDM single ply roofing systems, results of their work (our Horrible Rubber Roofs series), and explain why we recommend that you avoid installing a rubber roof on your house.
Read this and you will save yourself lots of cash and many headaches. Also see our special “Horrible Rubber Roofs” video series below!
The truth about residential flat roofing market and contractors.
This rubber roof is just 1 year old, and has been leaking since day one, until we replaced it with a lifetime IB PVC flat roofing membrane.
Rubber Roof Contractors: It is unfortunate, but most residential flat roofs are installed by roofing contractors that specialize in asphalt shingles. Since they can easily purchase rubber roofing materials from their roofing supply warehouse, and are not required to be certified installers, nor do they need any special training or equipment, they will often undertake such projects to keep their crews busy.
Incorrectly installed EPDM roof in Quincy, MA – rubber glued right over shingles:
Horrible Rubber Roofs videos:
Horrible rubber roof part 1.
Location: Brockton, MA
Date taken: SUMMER 2011
Horrible rubber roof part 2.
Location: Revere, MA
Date taken: Fall 2011
Horrible rubber roof part 3.
Location: Country Club in Central MA
Date taken: Summer / Fall 2011
These are just some roof inspections that we did in the summer / fall of 2011. Look – even commercial roofs are not immune to hack roofers and faulty materials (like rubber roofing), but in residential, this is much more common.
Getting a quality flat roof installed:
The truth is that to get a quality rubber roof installed, it usually has to be done by a commercial roofing company that specializes in flat roofing. However, it is often the policy of such companies not to work with residential customers, for which there are many reasons. These contractors work with large commercial and institutional customers, employ union workers who are trained roof mechanics, specializing in their particular niche. For example, a commercial roofing contractor will have separate crews doing metal roofing or slate – these guys are “roofers”, and yet another crew doing flat roofing ONLY – these are “roof mechanics”.
A residential roofing contractor usually employs just roofers, who are good at what they do all day long – install asphalt shingle roofs, and often do not have a clue about how flat roofs work. When they get a potential client with a flat roof, they go to their supplier, ask what supplier has for flat roof, and the salesman at the supply warehouse TEACHES the roofer how to install EPDM rubber. This is not creative fiction or a product of my imagination – I see this happening nearly every time, when I come in to the supply store to get something.
“Trained rubber roofing installers”: If you are lucky, you may get a roofer that has received some sort of training about rubber roof installation. For example, one of my suppliers, provides installation training programs for their roofing contractors who install only asphalt shingles. The idea behind such training seminars is to increase awareness and solicit sales of more roofing products. A manufacturer technician provides a sample installation on a 8×8 feet demo stand.
Bellow is and example of such “hands-on rubber roofing training”.
As you can see, the roofers just sit around the demo stand while the MFG Installation technician shows them what to do. The whole demonstration took about an hour and a half, and covered thing like installing flat roofing insulation (ISO), adhering rubber to the ISO board, flashing a sky-light / chimney penetration with un-cured flashing material, installing the membrane up the vertical wall, cleaning & priming seams and installing seam tape, installing drip edge and a tape to seal the drip edge fasteners, and installing termination bar. In the same 1.5 hours we’ve also “learned” how to correctly apply yellow glue – membrane adhesive, seam primer – seam & flashing glue and how to install these systems in the winter, while violating manufacturer’s installation specs.
Out of 25 or so roofing contractors present, there were about 15 or so questions particular to the installation details. 7 of them where asked by me! Bear in mind that I already knew how to install a rubber roof and attended the event to talk to my salesman, representatives of the metal roofing manufacturer and for free refreshments
In any case, each one of those 25 or so roofing contractors, willing to learn a new, and very complicated roofing system, asked an average of 0.3 questions about this system.
Rubber roofs for residential customers: It was clear that my supplier and the roofing representatives were selling to Residential Roofing Contractors. Not once did they mention roof-top HVAC units, roof hatches, elevator shafts, gas/electrical pipes, roof drains, etc. They did however insist that the rubber is a good choice for a low slope shed dormer (without mentioning the poor low slope roof ventilation and ice dam prevention associated with shed dormers). They also mentioned that rubber is a good choice for a flat roof decks and patios.
Here you will find video profiles of roofs we installed in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. These videos will demonstrate how the roof was installed from beginning to end, as well showcase short excerpts taken during roof installation, such as installing standing seam metal roofing panels, or hot-air welding of seams on IB PVC roof installations. Most videos are available in High Definition (HD 720P) to better show the details of the work performed.
You can also check out our roofing job profiles gallery which shows some of the roofs we installed in MA, CT and RI. Roof video profiles here will be presented in no particular order. If we’ve already written a full job profile, we’ll reference it below the video.
You can see more of our roofing videos on our YouTube Roof Video channel.
New Roof installation videos, added in March 2011
IB Flat Roof installаtion with Tapered ISO insulation- Cambridge, MA
IB PVC flat roof installation with 1/8″ tapered ISO insulation in Wayland, MA
IB PVC Flat Roof installation wit 3″ ISO insulation in Weston, MA
Flat roof installation and slate roof repair in Brookline MA
This PVC flat roof was installed in Brookline, MA on a roof of a home undergoing major renovations. The old rubber roof (with 5 layers of tar roofing underneath the rubber) was leaking, and the slate roof adjoining the flat roof was also in poor shape.
We removed old roofing, wet insulation and old slate roof, and installed new plywood over entire roof deck, 20-r value 3.3″ ISO insulation on a flat roof (sloped roof had insulation between the rafters) and new 80 mil IB PVC roof on flat and sloped sections of the roof, 4 inch Dark Bronze drip edge around roof perimeter, and copper drip edge with PVC coated flange on the sloped edges of the roof. The video is in two parts – on showing preparation work and slate roof repair, and the second one showing roof installation.
Part one – roof preparation – tear off, plywood installation and slate roof repair:
Part two – installing insulation and IB PVC Roof:
Standing seam metal roof in Plymouth, MA
This aluminum standing seam metal roof was installed in Plymouth MA in the spring of 2008. The job was about 2500 sq. ft. total. The roofing material was .032″ aluminum metal roof in Patina Green color. Check out full roofing job profile – Metal Roofing in Plymouth MA.
Rubber roof repair in Boston, MA
This rubber roof repair was performed on a residential rubber roof in Boston MA in October 2010. We prepared and patched three leaking outside corner flashings – two at HVAC units, and one at a parapet wall. If your rubber roof roof leaks, we offer rubber roof repair service in metro Boston MA, which includes 2 hours of repair work, all needed EPDM flashing materials and accessories, and costs only $375.
80-mil IB PVC flat roof with copper drip-edge in Newton, MA
This new IB roof was installed in Newton, MA in summer 2010. The job features include IB’s new copper drip edge with PVC flange – now you have a choice of not only PVC clad galvanized steel drip edge in white and dark bronze colors, but also stainless steel and real copper drip edge, and the roof system integrity will remain the same as IB material can be welded to the flange of copper drip edge. Check out the IB flat roof installation steps, to see how an IB roof is installed.
This flat roof in Newton MA also had a walk-out roof deck / balcony on the side, for which we used 80-mil IB membrane with floating deck on top. Check out the complete roof job review of this flat roof in Newton MA.
Metal Shingles Roof in Johnston, RI
This Tamko Metal Works steel shingles roof was installed in the summer of 2007. Back then, the GAF DeckArmor underlayment, which we use on all out metal roof installation was in it’s first edition – you can see that it is grey, whereas now it is light blue color, and a little thicker and stronger.
This metal roof installation included tear off of 2 layers of asphalt shingles, installing the GAF DeckArmor underlayment and Tamko steel metal shingles roof – Stone Crest Slate profile in Vermont Blue color. There are four roof sections and about 75 feet of roof to wall flashing, where we had to remove old ceder shingles siding off the walls, so we could install underlayment and side-wall flashing at least 6 inches up the wall. Total roof size was about 2100 sq. ft.
PVC Roof Repair
Besides rubber roof repair, we also provide PVC roof repair services (as well as TPO roof repair) in the metro Boston area, and within 50-mile travel distance from Boston. Here are two examples of PVC roof repair that we did. In all PVC roof repairs, we use new IB PVC roofing material, and MEK cleaning solution or acetone to clean and prepare an old roof for welding a new membrane. Check out our PVC Roof Repair page.
Trocal PVC roof repair using IB PVC membrane in West Hartford, CT:
Sarnafil PVC roof repair using IB PVC membrane in Needham, MA:
If you like the work we do, and need to replace your old roof or install a new flat or metal roof, or need a rubber or PVC roof repair done, request a roofing estimate, and get a free roofing price quote – click the Roofing Estimate button below or call us at 617-444-9020.
- Are you tired of waking up in the middle of a rainy night, changing buckets under leaking ceilings, and worrying how much the repairs will cost you?
- Are you sick of that old flat roof above your house, which you’ve been patching for the last few years, but it just does not work, and the roof leaks keep on coming back?
- Are you considering building a sloped roof and going with a shingle roof, because there is no end to your roof leaks?
- Does your low-slope roof leak due to Ice Dams problems? A poor ventilation and attic insulation is causing your ice dams, but you can’t always solve the problem economically. This is where IB roof is a perfect product to eliminate Ice dam related leaks.
- Does your ridge vent leak, or did you have to completely remove the ridge vent to stop leaks? Check out our special Low-Slope roof ridge vent assembly, which improves your attic ventilation and eliminates leaks!
The truth is, there is a solution that will keep your home, probably your biggest investment, water tight for decades to come. The flat roof you can truly forget about, and the one that will actually save you money on the ever-rising energy costs.
If you have a flat roof deck you can choose between an IB DeckShield or a conventional 80-mil IB roof with wooden deck and railing system to solve your leaks problems and create a permanent water-tight roof-top patio.
When you want the looks of an Architectural Shingles and unsurpassed reliability of an IB Roof, IB Traditions gives you both!
IB Cool Flat Roof – The Best flat roofing for your Home!
An IB roof has its roots in commercial flat roofing, where the requirements and expectations of building products are much higher than in the residential market. In fact IB Roof has been chosen as the roofing choice for Hospitals, Airports and Universities through-out the country, where a leaking roof is not an option. Many of these roofs installed over 25 years ago are still performing well, without any leaks.
Most low sloped roofs in the northern United States have Ice Dams, which cause roof leaks and expensive roof repairs as well as cosmetic interior repairs of ceilings, walls, carpets and wooden floors. Those are the damages that you can actually see. Ice dams also create invisible structural damages which you can’t find until you open up ceilings and walls. These damages are extremely expensive to repair, as it would require to hire interior remodelers to fix structural damages, outside and inside walls, electrical systems, plumbing, etc.
Ice Dams in a nutshell: Ice dams are caused by poor attic ventilation and heat loss from the inside of your living space. Large piles of snow will accumulate on your roof after a snow storm. If your attic is improperly insulated and ventilated, the warm air escaping from your living area into the attic, will melt the snow. The water from melting snow will run down the roof and refreeze, usually along the eaves of your roof. These are Ice Dams. The more snow is melting the bigger Ice Dams you have. After some time, the ice dams become so big, that the melting water cannot travel downward anymore, so it starts to travel upward underneath the roof shingles or rolled roofing seams. As it freezes under the roof, warm air melts it, and it slowly starts to drip inside the attic, causing all of the above and below mentioned problems.
It becomes a vicious cycle were more heat loss creates more ice dams, which causes more damages to structural walls and insulation, destroying your home from the inside, increasing your energy-related expenses, and causing more heat loss, which creates bigger ice dams…
One negative effect caused by Ice dams, and which many homeowners neglect to address is the wet insulation in the attic and inside walls. When insulation gets wet, you loose insulating value, so your energy costs increase, as heat loss in the winter drives up your heating bill. The same happens in the summer with cooling. Also, mold begins to grow in the attic and inside walls, which cause and/or aggravates allergies, asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
IB roofing membrane is perfect way to eliminate Ice Dams on a low slope roof, as it is a seamless blanket over the entire roof. Hot air welded seams prevent water from backing up and re-freezing as is the case with shingles and rolled asphalt roofing, therefore eliminating the effects of Ice Dams. Also, Most of the snow will actually slide off the IB roof, thus there will be a minimal Ice and Snow accumulation along the eaves.
Additionally, we’ve designed a special Ridge Vent system, which we use on every low-sloped roof with ridge/soffit ventilation in place. This system prevents the wind driven water form entering your attic space through the holes in the ridge vent, while allowing the warm air to escape the attic.
Now you too can have this outstanding roof installed on your home. IB make the perfect choice for any residential flat and low-slope roof. IB roof will give you years of worry-free service, and make your home more energy efficient, as well as provide a transferable Lifetime Warranty! IB will also add beauty and usability to your home with its specialty Traditions & DeckShield membranes.
Traditions Classic: Printed Shingle Pattern
If you have a low-pitched roof, which is flatter than a minimum required for a conventional roofing, but is still visible from the ground, IB has the perfect solution – ‘Traditions Classic’.
Traditions is a single ply membrane that was designed to eliminate the problems associated with conventional asphalt shingle, but will give you the looks of an architecturally designed shingle roof that fits your home.
Traditions Classic carries a Lifetime Material Warranty and is also fade resistant and is perfect in the Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut climate. It outperforms any shingle roof from any manufacturer.
Traditions – Design and appearance:
Traditions Classic gives you the perfect combination of integrity and beauty. It takes the excellent qualities of Industrial Grade IB flat roofing membrane and an outstanding looks of asphalt shingles with a choice of three popular colors:
Sierra Vista: Light Brown color will give you a perfect combination with red brick homes as well as other red, tan and brown shades of conventional siding.
Stony Ridge: Grey color – will blend perfectly with grey and most other colors.
Mountain Spruce: Great for suburban areas, and will bled well with background forest, as well as bushes and trees surrounding your home.
Traditions – Maintenance and Life-cycle:
A good roof is the one you can forget about and Traditions classic is no different. Traditions Classic is virtually maintenance free and is specially designed for low sloped roofs. The high quality membrane resists mold, mildew, algae, chemicals and ultraviolet rays, and will continue to look great on your home for years to come – guaranteed!
Rubber roofing (EPDM single ply membranes) it the most common flat roofing system in New England (MA, CT, NH, RI, etc.) and the rest of US flat roofing marker – most people refer to a flat roof as “rubber roof”. The main reason for such popularity of rubber roofs is the lower initial roof price. However, rubber roofs have many inherent problems, which cannot be solved by technology, because of the rubber roof’s design, as well as issues with unprofessional roofing contractors claiming to be “rubber roofing pros“.
What you need to know about Rubber Roofing:
There is much confusion about rubber roofing, as well as misunderstanding of its benefits and limitations. In this article we will try to clear up the confusion and show you that rubber roofing is NOT the best flat roofing material, and there are better and cheaper alternatives to rubber.
If you have a leaking rubber roof in Massachusetts, Connecticut or Rhode Island we can give you a roofing price quote to replace your rubber roof with our flat roofing material of choice – a new, lifetime PVC Flat roof manufactured by IB Roof Systems. We can also repair your rubber roof at a relatively low cost, using only the best materials that rubber systems have, and extend the life of your rubber roof by a few years. One example of such materials are peel-and-stick flashing and seam tapes. We do not use black rubber glue as it is outdated, and leaks much faster.
- Why homeowners should avoid rubber roofing – The truth about the residential flat roofing market, why you should stay away from rubber, and carefully choose your roofing contractor.
- Alternatives to rubber roofing – Find out what other, better flat roofing products are available for a similar cost, but without the EPDM’s inherited problems.
- Residential rubber roofing – Learn why rubber roofs should NOT be used on a roof of your home.
- Commercial rubber roofing – Limitations of EPDM rubber in the commercial flat roofing applications.
- Why rubber roofs are so popular – Quick history of EPDM rubber in US flat roofing market, and the key to its popularity
BAD Rubber Roofing Video – this why you don’t want to have a flat rubber roof:
EPDM Rubber roofing and flat roof homes.
Homeowners with flat roof homes often find themselves in a situation where their roof starts to leak rather unexpectedly – i.e. only after a few years since the roof was installed. This for the most part happens to homes that have a rubber roof on them. While most flat roofs will only last 10-15 years, older systems such as Tar & Gravel, Bur and in some cases Modified bitumen roofs are usually installed by roofing contractors that are somewhat specialized in their scope of work – these are “the old-timers” or former union guys that decided to try their luck working for themselves, and they actually went through special training and have years of experience. The problem is that roofing systems they install do not last long for many reasons outside the scope of this article.
Homes that have a rubber roof begin to leak well before their minimal life expectancy is reached because in many cases they are roofed by your typical shingle roofing contractor that is so confident in his/her abilities, and a rubber roof is merely a roof with a low slope.
Why rubber roofs are so popular?
The truth is, rubber roofs (EPDM) are the most used flat roofing products in the US / Canadian commercial roofing market. Rubber roofs we first put in service over 40 years ago, and since gained popularity among roofing contractors and their customers. The reason for such success lyes in the condition of the flat roofing market at that time and the available alternatives.
Back in 1960′s oil was still very cheap, it was more than a decade before the oil crisis of the 70′s and there wasn’t that much demand for oil. The oil refining process was far from being efficient and the industry was looking to get rid of many by-products of the oil refining process.
At the same time, the flat roofing industry was the same as at the turn of the 19th century, and the most common product to use on a flat roof was either a BUR (built-up roofing, using multiple layers of tar paper, saturated in hot tar or hot asphalt) or Tar & Gravel roofing, which was essentially a BUR roof with gravel added for additional protection. Flat roofing technology has not changed for 100 years and contractors needed a new, easier to install and cleaner product, hence, the EPDM was born.
EPDM consists mainly of oil (carbo-hydrate) based by-products with some modifiers and stabilizers added to extend its service life. Rubber roofing was cheap to produce, easier to install than conventional (BUR) roofs, did not require any special equipment to put it down and the membrane could potentially last for decades, as it was UV stable and did not break down when exposed to the weather.
Because rubber roofing was cheap, quick to install, and offered a potentially long service life, and with lack of any opposition from better roofing products, it quickly became the king of flat roofing and the pioneer of the single-ply flat roofing market.
DIY epdm rubber roof repair – Our original article on how to fix a rubber roof with EPDM rubber adhesive (no peel-n-stick tapes)
Rubber roof repair guide – A part 2 of our Do-it-yourself guide teaching you how to fix EPDM rubber roofing systems with primer and seam tape.
Read part 2 – Why homeowners should avoid Rubber Roof for their homes, see examples of HORRIBLE RUBBER ROOFS, and learn how roofers are “trained in EPDM roof installation” (which is a complete joke)!