Month: June 2009

Flat Roofing Insulation

As of June 23, 2008, we now offer our customers a choice of using Recycled on New Poly-Iso insulation.

Benefits of using recycled insulation include instant and continuous financial benefits. Since we get recycled ISO board at a discount, we pass on the savings to you, and with more insulation for the same amount of money you would spend on a new ISO, you will continue to save money on your energy costs year round.

But that’s not all! Although ISO insulation is not “green” per-se, using recycled insulation is a green choice, since by reducing your energy consumption, you will contribute to the reduction of carbon monoxide emitted into the atmosphere. Moreover, by using recycled insulation, you save space in our nation’s landfills, another invaluable benefit to the environment.

Types of insulation we use:

By default we use a 1/2 inch fan-fold Styrofoam insulation, which is mostly used when there is already some insulation on the roof. Fan-fold insulation comes with 2-R value, so it will add some insulating value to the roof. It also acts as a separation barrier between the deck or old roofing material and IB membrane. Fanfold insulation is attached with heavy-duty screws and corrosion-resistant insulation plates. It is light-weight, features quick installation and is ideal for a roof layover. It is also the most economical option.

Another option you have is to use a common ‘new-construction’ and complete roof replacement choice of insulation – Poly ISO board, which comes in a wide range of sizes and features high R-values from 3 to 20-R. Sizes include 1/2, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3 and 3.3 inches and R-value is calculated using 6-R per 1 inch of insulation.

If drainage is a concern, ISO insulation comes in tapered design which has different thicknesses at each end, and is used to create pitch ( slope ) on a completely flat roof. Slope is usually directed toward drains or drip edges and diverts the water flow to where it can exit the roof.

Green Roofs – Benefits, Design and Cost

The concept of green roofs, or roof-top gardens that create healthier cities is great, and fortunately it is not just for enthusiasts. However, despite their many benefits to the environment and homeowners, green roofs still face many obstacles in becoming main-stream. Some of those obstacles are technical and, some (the most important ones) have to do with the price tag associated with a green roof.

Green Roofs carry numerous benefits from reducing the heat-island effect and extending a roof's life span, to creating a great aesthetic feel, which enhances productivity of office workers, and ultimately creates a healthier city.

We will review green roofs, not only from the Eco-friendly perspective, but also from a roofer’s point of view, as it is the roofer that makes green roofs work. We’ll also discuss recent technological breakthroughs in the green roofing industry, which have to do with simplifying design, installation, and greatly reducing costs.

Cost of Green Roofs

Green roofs are expensive – no doubt about that. The Main reason being the relative difficulty of building and maintaining a green roof, while making sure the water-proofing membrane is intact, and performs for its specified life-period. Another reason is that all the components of a green roof (of which there are many) are expensive, and only a handful of suppliers offer them. Green Roof vegetation is also a concern, as these plants must be able to survive in a limited amount of soil and if a drought hits, these plants might not survive. It may also be necessary to set up some kind of a sprinkler system to maintain the required moisture level.

When all is set and done, a green roof will create a beautiful roof-top-garden and should significantly increase, if not double the life of your roofing membrane, as it protects the roof from the sun and the elements. A green roof will also make your building a lot cooler, as it absorbs most of solar heat.

Technical (installation) issues

To reap all these benefits of a green roof, it is of the utmost importance to use the best available flat roofing membrane, such as 80-mil IB Roof and to have a quality installation performed by a certified flat roofing installer. Just imagine that your new green roof is installed, and some time later it begins to leak – now you have to disassemble it: remove the vegetation and soil, moisture retainers and water-flow base, while the leak may not even be where you think it is. That is why from the installation perspective everything must be installed to the highest standard; all seams must be checked and double checked in order to ensure a leak-free, functioning roof.

IB Roof and GreenRoofBlocks

IB Roof and Green Roofing Blocks create a perfect combination for a long lasting, easy to maintain and inexpensive green roof.

To make the installation and maintenance of a green roof as simple and inexpensive as possible, we chose to combine our IB PVC roofing products with a simple, modular approach of Green Roof Blocks. These green roof sections come in 2×2′ aluminum boxes with specially formulated light-weight soil. Green Roof Blocks offer a quick installation, ease of roof repair – if there is ever a need to do some roof maintenance, all you need to do is to simply lift up the sections where you suspect the leak may be. Green Roof block is also the most cost-effective green roof you can find. Vegetation can be planted and grown before the roof is installed, or right on the roof-top.

Flat Roof Installation and Consulting

Cool Flat Roof - full service roofing company. We provide installation and Consulting services
We are an Eco-Friendly, full service flat roofing company specializing in installation of Cool Roofing systems for a wide range of Residential and Commercial roofing projects. We carry all necessary General Liability and Worker’s Compensation Insurances, OSHA certifications, and are a Licensed IB Roof installer.

Installation Services

We offer a complete-package roof installation service, from pulling all necessary building permits, to coordinating with other contractors and service providers (such as utility companies, architects, etc.) involved in your roofing project. We specialize in Energy-Efficient flat roofing solutions for Residential flat roofs and Commercial / Restaurant flat roofs. We strive to provide our customers, with Eco-Friendly roofing solutions that are recyclable, and will help you conserve energy, as well as benefit environment.

Our installers and roof mechanics work safely, wear all necessary safety equipment and use state of the art installation tools and equipment. We pay top wages, and provide premium workmanship and services.

Installation Service Details:

For flat and low-slope roofing applications, we exclusively install IB Cool roofing single-ply membranes with up-to 25 years Commercial and Lifetime Residential warranties.

Unmatched Labor Warranty

While a standard labor warranty in the roofing industry (a minimum required by law) is the 2-year period, all our roof installations include a Labor warranty that matches the material warranty (i.e., 80-mil IB membrane has a 25 year material warranty, which we match with our 25-year labor warranty).

CoolFlatRoof Quality Promise: We are so confident in the quality of IB roofing systems and our installation, that we guarantee our roofs against any leaks. If the roof we installed ever leaks due to installation error, not only will we fix it, but we will also give you a check for $250.

Licenses and Registrations

    We hold all necessary State Construction Licenses and Registrations:

  • MA Home-Improvement Contractor registration (HIC) and Unrestricted Construction Supervisor License (CSL)
  • CT Home-Improvement Contractor registration (HIC) and Major Contractor Registration
  • RI Home-Improvement Registration and Special Commercial Roofing Contractor Registration

Consulting Services

Cool Flat Roof - full service roofing company. We provide installation and Consulting services
We offer roofing consultation services which include a complete analysis of your present roof condition, inspection of structural components, roof deck and roof insulation. We analyze your roof’s drainage situation, and identify whether you may need more insulation, drains / scupper, or other roof components installed to improve your roof’s performance and extend its service life. We will provide you with a complete report of what has to be done on your roof, and identify parts you may not need. We can also negotiate with your General Contractor and/or Architect on your behalf, to get you the right products/services, while including needed items, and eliminating unnecessary and costly ones. This will prevent future “change orders” and up-charges from your GC / Architect / Contractor, and save you money and frustration.

Our Customer’s Comments:

CoolFlatRoof installed an IB roof on a flat section of my house. They did an excellent job. I had problems for years with leaks and would hire someone to repair it, but after awhile it would leak again. It had never leaked since Leo and Alex put this excellent roof on my house. It also seems to be more insulated: warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Thanks guys. I recommend you to everyone who mentions a roofing problem. – Jack from Providence, RI

Flat Roof Leaks and Repair Information

When your flat roof begins to leak, the process is irreversible, and the sooner you start to deal with these issues, the less you will have to spend on repairs and roof replacement.

For your convenience, we created a series of roofing guides that will help you choose the best solution for your flat roof and provide you with information that many roofing contractors and manufacturers do not want you to know. Check out our Do-It-Yourself Guides for rubber roof repair and tar & gravel roof repair for immediate steps you can take to temporarily stop roof leaks, until you can perform a complete re-roof. You can also read our comprehensive Flat Roof Repair Guide to gain insight into issues associated with leaks, costs involved in repair, and ways to minimize your expenses.

Discover different types of flat roofing materials and choose the best roofing product for your home or business. It is a shame that in the 21st century many roofing contractors still use 19th century roofing technology, which is inferior, inefficient and cost you more than a modern single-ply roof. Learn about different single-ply flat roofing systems and compare them to IB Roofs, the leading manufacturer of long-lasting cool flat roofing products.

Compare the two leading single-ply cool roofing products in our PVC vs. TPO roofing guide.

Flat Roofing Job Profiles: Industrial, Commercial and Residential

Residential Flat Roofing – Forget About Your Roof Leaking With IB Roofs

  • Does your low-slope roof leak due to Ice Dams problems? Does your ridge vent leak, or did you have to completely remove the ridge vent to stop leaks? Poor ventilation and attic insulation is causing your ice dams, but now you can solve this problem efficiently and economically.
  • An IB PVC Membrane is a solution that will keep your home, probably your biggest investment, watertight and ice dams free for decades to come!

Residential IB Cool Roof in Wallingford, Connecticut. This 80-mil grey roof perfectly blends with the house, keeps the water out, and homeowners happy. No more patching or repairs, no more worries!

Ice Dam leaks and Poor Ventilation

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 hiring 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 cause 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 Membrane Solves Ice Dams Problems

An IB membrane is a 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 from entering your attic space through the holes in the ridge vent, while allowing the warm air to escape the attic. Check out our special Low-Slope roof ridge vent assembly, which improves your attic ventilation and eliminates leaks!

Cool Flat Roofing Sitemap

Flat Roofing – Home Page

Cool Roofing Blog – Our official blog were we post our roof installation reports, new roofing and green building products and technology reviews, metal roofing system comparisons, IB Roof installation tutorial, Roofing Do-it-yourself guides, and our customers’ comments about our work. Experience what a cool roof installation is like, and how we would install your roof.

Roof Learning Center provides helpful roofing guides for Do It Yourself enthusiasts. Features educational roofing articles that address common roofing problems including Ice Dam build up, failing shingles, valley roof leaks, and roof repair articles. Find out things you should know when choosing a roofing contractor.

Flat Roofing Guide:

IB Flat Roofs – IB PVC single-ply membrane roofing – Products, Installation methods, system component and benefits of installing IB Cool roof.

Flat roofing prices – Detailed guide into the price-structure of flat roof installation. Discover why there is such a discrepancy in pricing from different roofing contractors bidding on the same roofing job. Learn the consequences of hiring the lowest-bidding roofing company that does not carry any insurance, and does not stand behind their work.

Flat Roofing technology guide – Overview of different flat roofing products and systems present on the market today, and installed on flat roofs throughout New England and US.

Roofing cost calculator – Calculate the cost to install a new IB roofing system and get instant quotes for other flat roof types such as Epdm rubber, Tar and Gravel and built-up roofs. You will also be able to estimate approximate annual energy savings that you will receive if you install a cool white IB single ply roof.

Roof Repair Guide – When a flat roof leaks, it is advisable to know all your options and what to expect from temporary flat roof fixes. This flat roofing repair guide outlines the possible scenarios and costs involved in patching up a flat roof as compared to a complete replacement.

Rubber roof repair – DIY guide to fixing rubber (EPDM) roof systems.

Tar&Gravel roof repair – DIY guide to fixing Tar & Gravel / Built-Up roof systems.

Single-Ply Roofs – Brief overview of different single ply roofing membrane technologies such as PVC (Poly-Vinyl Chloride) or CPA (Co-polymer alloy) – chemically IB’s CPA is equivalent to PVC, Epdm rubber and TPO (thermoplastic olefin roof)

PVC vs. TPO roofing – Detailed comparison of major differences between seemingly identical PVC and TPO membranes. Here we discuss the major issue of TPO’s curing after just a few years in service and its consequential inability to be welded, once the membrane is cured.

Green Flat Roofing – Green roof benefits for urban heat-island effect, design and costs guide.

Flat Roofing Insulation – Recycled Insulation, ISO, Styrofoam and EPS insulation technologies.

Flat Roofing Deck – Overview of roof deck waterproofing products, leak elimination and installation methods. Choose between IB DeckShield and conventional installation using 80-mil IB membrane and wooden deck + railings system

EPDM Rubber Roofing – Overview of flat rubber roofs, contractors installing rubber for residential customers and why homeowners should avoid using rubber as a flat roofing option on their homes.

Our Services, Job Profiles & Contact information:

Connecticut Flat Roofs – Overview of installation, repair and consulting services that we provide in the state of Connecticut to homeowners and businesses. We specialize in Commercial and Residential roof replacement using IB cool roofing technology. Check out the job profiles for the roofs that we have installed in CT, including a picture gallery and a short video clip.

Massachusetts Flat Roofs – Installation, repair and consulting services for flat roofing projects in MA. We specialize in Commercial and Residential projects. Also you can view some of the flat and Metal Roofing projects that we’ve completed recently. A picture gallery of each roof installation from start to finish.

Flat Roof Installation & Consulting Services

Roofing Estimate Request

Residential Flat Roofing

Commercial Flat Roofing

Contact Us / Information

Job Profiles:

Some of the Flat Roofs we installed:

Asphalt Shingle textured flat roof – This beautiful IB Traditions roof looks like asphalt shingles, yet it will never leak and will provide energy savings for this gorgeous house in Arlington, MA

Residential Flat & Metal roof (New) This house in Old Lyme, CT had a badly-leaking tar and gravel roof, which caused rotten plywood and some framing. Now it has a Lifetime 80-mil White IB roof and Tamko metal slate.

Flat roof house 80-mil grey IB roof was installed on this residence in Wallingford, CT.

Industrial Flat Roof – TesTex Corporation manufacturing facility in Central Falls, RI

Restaurant Flat Roof – Deli / Meat market located in the tourist attraction of Hampton Beach, NH

Condominium Flat Roof – Residential condos on the East Side of Providence, RI

Apartment Building with Restaurant / Deli Beautiful brick building in the center of North Attleboro, MA had flat roof leaks for years and patching did not help. An IB roof solved all the problems!

Flat Metal Roof – Metal roof acrylic coating – Power Generation Plant in Bellingham, MA

Restaurant Metal Roof – Permanent Aluminum Roof on an IHOP restaurant in Hyannis, MA

Stone-Coated Metal Roof – Beautiful Spanish Tile metal roof on Venus De Milo Restaurant / Reception / Wedding Capitol of Rhode Island located in Swansea, MA

Solar Flat Roofing, Solar PV Guide and Rebates:

Solar flat roofs – IB SolarWise – Building-Integrated Solar PV for flat roofing

Solar PV guide – Prices, ROI, system design & installation guide includes cost break-down for residential and commercial solar systems in MA, CT and RI

Solar Rebates / Incentives – Summary of Federal Tax Credits and State rebate programs for Solar PV and other renewable energy installation in MA, CT, RI

Massachusetts Solar Rebates – Overview of all available Rebates & Incentives for Residential, Commercial and Public buildings solar PV systems

Green Construction Directory and eco-friendly resources:

Green Building Directory – Lists Eco-friendly resources, green construction web-sites, green and solar blogs and construction companies that build green buildings and use energy-saving technologies.

IB Roof Contractors in US and Canada

Green-Living Directory – Sustainability, Eco-Friendly and Renewable links.

DIY Green Home Improvement – List of websites for do-it-yourselfers with the emphasis on green technologies and energy efficiency.

Home Improvement Sites – General home improvement sites with a good number of eco-friendly categories.

Metal Roofing Directory – A list of manufacturers and contractors specializing in Cool, Recyclable and Permanent Steel, Aluminum and Copper metal roofs.

Suppliers of Metal products – Metal Buildings, Specialty metals suppliers and manufacturers

Energy Efficient Siding and Windows – Manufacturers, Distributes and Contractors installing energy-saving Wood, Aluminum and Vinyl Windows and Siding.

Green home & garden

Roofing Contractor / Manufacturers

Uncategorized / Coming Soon pages:

IB Flat Roof Warranty

Solar PV Price Calculator – An interactive tool to estimate the cost of installing Solar PV for your home or business.

IB SolarWise Pay-off / ROI guide

Flat Roof Decks and Patios

How Much Flat Roof Costs - Calculate Prices
Roof Size
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Leaking Roof Decks – Why they leak and how to fix problems:

Many homes in New England have walk-on, flat roof decks with living space under them, and 90 percent of these deck roofs leak, ruining your rooms.

Stains on sheet-rock ceilings, popping hardwood flooring, wet carpets and rotted framing are just some of the damages that you may sustain as a result of these leaks.

Destruction of personal property such as beds, book shelves, computers, TVs and other electronic equipment can also occur in cases of severe leaks.

Most roof decks leak because they are typically made of flat roofing materials, that were created over a century ago, and were not designed for use as roofing for residential homes and living areas.

Another reason is the original design flaw implemented by architects and/or builders, who have no experience in flat roofing, and do not have appropriate roofing technology to use.

Avoid conventional flat roof materials – they will leak!

A properly waterproofed deck should never need repairs or replacements. Even with a floating wood deck on top, you should never have to do maintenance or deal with leaks.

This CANNOT be accomplished with rubber roofing (EPDM), becuase rubber is a GLUED system. Glue breaks down with time, and even faster, when you add water to it.

However, using IB / PVC Cool Flat roofing membrane, you can waterproof your deck and forget about!

Here is what a well done roof deck looks like:

Flat Roof Deck in Wellesley, MA

Flat Roof Deck in Wellesley, MA

What causes flat roof decks to leak

Ponding Water Leaks

Very often you can find ponding water accumulating on these deck roofs. The majority of flat roofing systems existing today cannot sustain constant ponding water, and as a result water enters your house, and destroys your possessions and property.

Average Flat Roof Costs in US Average Flat Roof Costs in US
Rubber Roof
PVC Roof
TPO Roof

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Wood Deck and Railing Leaks

Often there is a wood deck installed on top of a flat roof or some sort of a railing system. To make these railings securely attached to the roof, builders often create penetrations for every railing post on the roof. The only way to “seal” these penetrations for most builders, is to use roof cement or pitch-pockets – both of these methods are considered unacceptable by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA). Yet, most builders don’t have the appropriate products, expertise, and many times, don’t care enough to make these penetrations water-tight.

This results in more leaks – usually these leaks don’t appear inside your home for years, but the hidden damages can cost thousands of dollars to fix. Water slowly enters your home and rots the beams and studs. While unnoticed for a long period of time, such leaks may sometimes result in partial or complete re-framing of your roof and/or support walls.

Creating a leak-free Roof Deck with IB roofing systems

Damages caused by leaks are very expensive to fix. Yet, you can easily solve this problem in a fairly cheap way (when compared to costs of replacing and repairs you have to incur if you let the leaks continue) with IB’s life-time roofing product. With an IB Roof, you will never have to worry about leaks again and you could finally regain full use of your roof deck or patio.

We offer two different solutions for you to permanently solve your deck leaks. Both ways utilize IB’s time-proven CPA membranes, featuring hot-air welded seams. The main difference between the two methods is the product you choose to use, and the aesthetics you desire.

Assembly Type 1:IB DeckShield

A fully integrated waterproofing membrane system designed for use on walk-out roof decks. DeckShield is highly slip-resistant, and not only complies with, but also exceeds ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements. DeckShield can be used for a small balcony, as well as a large roof deck, and for everything in between. Hot-air welded seams make IB DeckShield a long-lasting waterproofing solution that is both eye-pleasing and safe to walk on when it is wet. Expect many compliments from your family and friends when they get to see your new roof patio with IB DeckShield.

Since IB DeckShield is made from the same material as other IB membranes, it is easy to accommodate for any roof penetrations, such as a Railing System and Roof-Wall detail. This will ensure that your roof will be water-tight and you can take full advantage of your deck or patio once again, invite your friends and family for a cookout, enjoy a cocktail, or watch the stars.

IB DeckShield Roof / Deck Assembly and Installation

DeckShield is easiest to install on new construction homes. However, it can be easily adopted for retrofit use on existing homes. IB Deck Shield is installed as a fully-adhered application on top of Dens Deck – a fiber-cement type board that is 1/4 of an inch thick, or over plywood.

The surface for installing IB DeckShield must be clean, smooth and flat. That is why in some retrofit applications use of DeckShield may be difficult or impossible. When you have an uneven surface, it is best to use the regular IB Roofing Membrane with a wooden deck over it. If you still want to use Deck Shield for a retrofit roof deck project, expect the additional costs of making your roof surface even.

Learn more about how IB Deck Shield membrane is installed, installation prices and more general information on roof deck waterproofing, using IB DeckShield membrane.

Download DeckShield brochure

IB DeckShield – a beautiful and durable decking waterproofing membrane.

Benefits of Using IB Deckshield Assembly

  • Enhances the appearance of decks
  • Eliminates annual painting and staining of wood decks
  • Durable, slip resistant waterproofing system
  • Resists mildew, chemicals, and UV rays
  • Eliminates hazardous wood splinters and unsightly concrete cracking
  • Complies with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements

Average Flat Roof Costs in US Average Flat Roof Costs in US
Rubber Roof
PVC Roof
TPO Roof

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DeckShield Colors and Texture

Assembly Type 2:IB PVC membrane with a wood deck installed over it

A more traditional way of roof deck construction, features an IB Lifetime single-ply membrane with fusion-welded seams. This method will ensure permanent water-tightness of your roof deck, combined with a deck and railings system built with your choice of wood and pattern. Download IB Roof brochure

Benefits of Using IB 80-mil Membrane with PT / Composition Deck on Top:

  • Wooden deck on top of IB 80 mil roofing membrane protects the roof from accidental mechanical damages
  • Allows you to have a more traditional wooden deck / patio
  • Composition deck assembly eliminates the need to stain / paint the wood
  • Allows extended use of outdoor grills, without worrying that you’ll burn through the roof
  • Allows for creation of beautiful deck designs and the use of steel outdoor furniture

IB 80-mil PVC roofing membrane with composition board deck assembly create this beautiful patio

A happy client enjoys her private roof-deck in Arlington, MA. Roof assembly consists of 80-mil IB Roof for waterproofing, and a diamond-shaped, low profile deck.

Roof learning Center for Do-It-Yourself Repairs, Pricing and Roofing Materials

For homeowners, it is of the utmost importance to be educated about the roofing choices they are going to make. Since roofing is one of the most expensive home improvement projects, and a roof protects arguably one of the biggest investments in your life, it is necessary to understand all your options and to know how to select the right contractor. This collection of How-To Guides and roofing technology overview is designed for homeowners, as well as building and property managers.

Flat Roofing


Benefits of Cool Flat Roofing – learn how an Eco-friendly Cool Roof will help you dramatically reduce your energy resources consumption and costs, benefit the environment, eliminate your roof repair expenses, and reduce construction waste going to our landfills.

Flat Roofing – Top 5 Biggest Myths

Green Roof – Roof-top garden design, benefits and cost overview

Flat Roof Resources

Single Ply Roofing

PVC vs.TPO roofs

Flat Roofing Materials

How to repair a rubber roof using peel and stick rubber flashing materials and EPDM primer – no more black glue and much better results!

Fixing rubber roofs – DIY guide to fixing rubber (EPDM) roof

Fixing Tar & Gravel roofs – DIY guide to fixing Tar & Gravel /
Built-Up roof systems.

Fixing Flat Roof – General overview of flat roof repair: What
to expect, repair costs, how long a roof patch will last.

Flat roof ventilation for low-slope residential and commercial roofs where a ridge and soffit vet system is present, but creates leaks from wind-drive water entering the attic trough the ridge vent. Learn about a special ridge vent assembly for low-slope roofs, which we have designed and use on all our residential roofs.

Roofing Cost Calculator – estimate roofing prices using online roofing estimate calculator. Research roofing materials and learn about roof costs for standing seam metal roofs, asphalt shingle roofs, and flat roofing materials.

Metal Roofing Articles and How-to Guides

Metal Roofing Installation – Comprehensive Do-It-Yourself HOW-TO Guide to install a Standing Seam Metal Roof. Learn how to install a Vertical Panel metal roofing system with concealed fasteners (Architectural Standing Seam Roof) using this easy-to-follow step by step guide, brought to you by Metal Roofing Professionals over at Guide includes a list of tools required, safety precautions / measures and tips & tricks used by the Pros.

Solar Metal Roofing – Overview of the benefits of using roof-integrated solar PV with Metal Roofing panels vs. asphalts shingle roofs and stand-alone Solar Boxes that require re-roofing every 12-15 years.

Roofing Installation Video – Collection of short video clips of Cool Flat Roofs installation and Metal Roof Installations. See how IB hot air welding is performed.

Solar PV Rebates & Incentives: Federal and State – MA, CT, RI

Renewable Energy is becoming increasingly popular among homeowners, small businesses and large corporations alike, especially with sky-rocketing energy costs. Solar PV (photo-voltaic) is by far the most popular renewable-energy technology, but despite such popularity, Solar is not economically feasible for most people without government support.

Solar PV technology has a huge potential to provide if not all, but a bigger chunk of US electricity, which at this moment comes mostly from fossil-fuels, such as Coal and Natural Gas, as well as some Nuclear and Hydro power. Still, fossil-fuels provide most of our ever-rising electricity demand. While gas and coal are relatively cheap compared to other energy sources, they are polluting our atmosphere with ‘green-house’ gases. Also, due to rising energy demand, the cost of gas, coal and oil keeps rising, with no end in sight in the near future.

Solar, on the other hand produces clean, ‘free’ energy in the form of electricity, heat, and light. Although benefits of solar are enormous, so is the initial capital investment, which without additional incentives becomes not so attractive to the end user. Fortunately, the US government, as well as many other governments throughout the world see great potential and need in renewable energy, and offer end-users financial rebates and incentives to promote the spread of renewable energy. This in turn, reduces the cost of such technologies.

Here we will review rebates and incentives offered by Federal, State and local governments, as well as utility companies and other organizations in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island (Note: Due to the recent budget deficit and slow economic conditions in RI, most of the State-sponsored renewable-energy incentives are temporarily suspended – we will keep a close eye on the situation and post updates as they become available).

Federal Tax Rebates for Solar PV: Commercial and Residential

Commercial Rebates

The Federal Government offers a Tax rebate for solar and other renewable-energy installed on your building. You can claim 30% Business Energy Tax Credit in the year of installation, and a 5-year accelerated depreciation thereafter. No maximum cap for Solar PV, while other technologies may have a limit.

Residential Rebates

For residential Solar PV systems, the Federal Tax Credit is 30% percent with $2000 cap.

Note: Current Federal Tax Credits for renewable-energy are set to expire on December 31, 2008. Unless they are renewed before expiration, Tax credits will be reduced to 10%.

Currently, Big-Oil companies receive over $1.5 billion/year in Federal Tax Credits from the US government for oil exploration and drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. These same companies had over $130 billion profit (net income after all expenses and taxes paid) in 2007. This money can be used to the advantage of the people of the United States in the form of a Renewable Energy Bill, which President Bush promised to veto, if it passes in the senate. We urge you to call your Senator, State Representative, Governor, and other officials as well as Presidential Candidates, and tell them that we, the people, demand support for renewable-energy.

State Tax Rebates, Incentives and Grants for Solar PV

Each State has a different Solar Rebates and Incentives Program, and to eliminate any confusion, we list them under each state’s respective page. These programs are designed for residents and businesses located in each state to take advantage of all the great benefits of Renewable Energy, and to help out the environment.

Massachusetts State Tax Rebates, Incentives and Grants for Solar PV

In 2008, Governor Patrick’s administration passed a new Solar Electric Photo-voltaic Initiative for the Commonwealth, which includes Solar rebates for residential and commercial Solar PV installations, as well as rebates for other renewable-energy technologies. This new program will allocate $68 million over the next four years (2008 – 2011). Here is a brief summary of rebates for Residential and Non-Residential (Small and Large Commercial, Non-Profit and Government) solar PV systems.

List of Massachusetts residential solar rebates:

Type of Rebate $/Watt DC
Base Incentive $2.00/Watt
PLUS: Additional to Base Incentive
Mass. made system components $0.25/Watt
Moderate Home Value $1.25/Watt
Moderate Household Income
Option A: Less than or equal to $91,552 $1.00/Watt
Option B: Less than or equal to $76,296 $2.00/Watt
Maximum possible rebate


Moderate Home Value varies by county and ranges from $300,000 to $400,000. If your home value is equal to, or less-than your county’s Moderate Home Value (determined by municipality), you are eligible for this rebate.

County Moderate Home Value
Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire $300,000
Bristol, Suffolk, and Worcester $350,000
Barnstable, Duke, Essex, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, and Plymouth $400,000

Massachusetts made system components: If any MAJOR component of your solar system was produced in MA, you are eligible for this rebate.

Official wording to qualify for this rebate adder:

To qualify for this adder, the Applicant must provide evidence that either the PV modules or the inverter(s), or another significant component are manufactured by a company with a significant Massachusetts presence as determined at the sole discretion of MTC and DOER. Current companies and products on this list are:

Evergreen Solar: modules

RWE Schott: modules

Satcon: inverters

Solectria Renewables: inverters

How to Calculate your Massachusetts Residential Solar Rebates:

For our example, we will use an imaginary Family – the Simpsons – living in the Bristol County of Massachusetts. Their home value is $279,000 as determined by their City’s Tax Collector Office. The Total Household Income is $90,000/year (which is above Mass. median household income of $76,296). The system consists of SolarWise PV and an Inverter manufactured in Mass.

They plan to install a 3 kW Solar PV system that costs $8 per watt. Total Cost of this system is $24,000 (3000 watts * $8)

They qualify for:

  • $2.00/watt – Base Rebate
  • $0.25/watt – Mass. made components adder
  • $1.25/watt – Moderate Home Value adder
  • $1.00/watt – Moderate Household Income adder
  • $4.50/watt Total Rebate ($13,500)

Their cost/watt is $3.50, and the total system cost is $10,500. They also qualify for a $2000 Federal Tax Credit, which reduces final cost to $8,500.

Now, their new system will generate an average of 4000 kWh per year. At an average cost of $0.19/kWh and assuming they will sell their REC (Renewable Energy Credits) for $0.06/kWh, this solar system will save the Simpsons $1000/year (~$83/month) in electricity costs, which they would have to spend anyway. At first, it seems like the pay-off period (or the ROI) is about 9 years. But if they finance that $8,500 with a 5-year Home Equity loan, with a 5% APR, their monthly payment would be $160.41. If we subtract the $83 reduction in electric bill from $160.41 we get $77.41 monthly loan payment for five years. After that, the new solar system will be paid off and will generate FREE electricity. Any reduction in the total system output (which is common with ALL solar modules, and for IB SolarWise PV it is about 1/2% per year or 10% over 20 year warranty period) is more than offset by the inflationary increases in electricity and energy sources’ costs.

Massachusetts Commercial and other Non-Residential Solar Rebates:

While total non-residential solar PV rebates in Massachusetts are less than those for residential solar, they still cover a major part of the total cost, and considering much more attractive federal tax credits, the ROI with any commercial solar PV system is higher than that of a residential one. Here we will not get onto complicated tax-related calculations, but bear in mind the 30% federal tax credit with no limitation, and the 5-year accelerated depreciation. With that you get the reduced electric bill and of course the state rebates. Bellow, is an overview of what you can qualify for.

Note: At this point, Federal tax credits for Solar PV on other renewable-energy technologies is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2008. We assume that once the presidential election is over, the Renewable-Energy Bill will be updated and renewed for another 8 years as was proposed in the 2008 Energy Bill, but never made it through the Senate. President Bush also said that he’d veto this bill if it passed the Senate vote. (PS, the bill passed in the House of Representatives, and was 1 vote short of passing in the Senate)

Non-Residential Rebates for Incremental Capacity ($/Watt DC)

Incremental Capacity: 1 – 25 kW > 25 to 100 kW > 100 to 200 kW > 200 to 500 kW
Base Incentive $3.25/W $2.50/W $2.00/W $1.50/W
PLUS: Additional to Base
Mass. made components $0.25/W $0.25/W $0.25/W $0.25/W
Public building adder $0.50/W $0.50/W $0.25/W $0.25/W

For more information, directions, and step-by-step guides, visit the Commonwealth Solar Program which cover all aspects related to this topic in great detail, and we based this article on the information from there.

You can also read the Mass. Solar Program Handbook which is a detailed summary of Mass. solar rebates for residential and non-residential installs.

Connecticut Solar PV Rebates Overview

– Section Coming Soon

Rhode Island Solar PV Rebates Overview

Apparently, due to an excessive budget deficit in RI, there are no renewable-energy rebates available at this time. This is very unfortunate, and we try to do anything we can (which is not a lot, as this matter is in the hands of RI policy makers) to bring those rebates back. To find out what is being done, and how you can contribute to these and other renewable-energy initiatives, visit Apeiron Institute – a group of volunteers and activists of Sustainable way of life in RI and surrounding areas.

If you live or do business in RI, you are paying a Renewable-Energy charge on your electric bill. Fight for your right to access a State-sponsored Solar PV rebates program, to which you and EVERY customer of electric companies in RI contributes every month. Yet, your money goes somewhere else, while the National ‘Greed’ keeps on hiking your electricity rates. Contact the RI Governor and the members of state senate and tell them you want the Renewable-Energy Program back!


With these incentives in place and their availability through 2011, it actually makes sense for any business to have a solar PV system installed on their roof, and even more so for public entities, such as schools, city/town halls, etc. For an average commercial installation, a state rebate will range from $2.75 to $3.50 per Watt DC, and considering that the initial cost for larger, commercial solar PV installations is less than that of a residential system, it is a bargain!

With IB SolarWise PV system, the cost/Watt scales down as you increase the system size. This happens because all you do is add more solar panels, and some labor to actually weld those panels to the main IB roof, while most of the labor is on the electrical side of the installation: Connecting all panels to the Inverter, installing power shut-offs, generation meter, and connecting the system to the building’s electrical system and the main eclectic meter. Also, bear in mind that the Inverter is already there, so when you add more panels to the system, you do not need to add inverters, which reduces total cost/Watt even more (of course you need an adequate size inverter).

Solar PV Guide: Prices, Design, Installation and Pay-off Period (ROI)

Solar Photo-voltaic (PV) technology is the way of the future, for generating and supplying electric power for homes and businesses in the US and across the world. Despite the great potential of Solar PV, current cost and efficiency of solar panels makes them a green, yet expensive alternative to conventional ways of generating electricity, such as Coal, Gas and Oil operated power plants, as well as Nuclear and Hydro electricity.

The main obstacle that is holding back the wide-spread of solar PV is the long ROI (return on investment), which in some situations may exceed 10 years. Fortunately, the US federal government and local and state governments have a multitude of incentives and rebate programs for solar and other renewable energy projects.

The Purpose of this Solar PV System Design Guide is to help you squeeze the most efficiency out of your home solar system, making it collect as much sunlight, as is available throughout the year.

Solar Guide Quick Navigation:

A rack-mounted Solar Photovoltaic system installed on a flat roof

rack-mounted solar panels on flat roof

Planning a Solar PV System for a Home or a Small Business

First and foremost – you need to figure out if your site can accommodate a solar pv array, so that it operates at or near its rated efficiency. If your site conditions (roof of your home or business, backyard, etc) will limit the electricity production even by 20-25% – everything else is irrelevant, and solar is probably not for you.

Step 1 – Determining if Your Site Can Accommodate a Solar Photovoltaic System

Southern Exposure: Solar PV systems operate by converting sunlight into electricity, so the first thing they require is enough light throughout the day and year, with as little obstruction or shading as possible. If you plan to use a solar system that will be fixed (usually a roof mounted solar array), you will need to position it so that it faces South. In this case, your solar PV system will collect as much sunlight as possible, as the sun will move from East to West.

Shading: Throughout the year, the sun is positioned very differently, depending on the season – in the summer the sun is up high and in the winter it is very low. You need to consider this, as this issue has the potential to make your system very inefficient. Solar Pathfinder is used by solar professionals to determine the position of the sun during the year and to find any shading that will obstruct the sunlight to the Solar PV Panels. By using a pathfinder, you could determine whether it makes sense to have a solar system installed at your location, and if you would need to remove some of the shading – eg. cut down some trees or move your neighbor’s house 20 feet to the left :).

It is unlikely that a homeowner will have a Solar Pathfinder handy, but using just common sense, you can get a good idea if you have too much shading, or if your location is perfect for the installation of a Solar PV system.

Angle or slope for solar panels: Depending on where you live or plan to install your solar system, an angle or incline of the panels may have a significant effect on electricity production. Here in New England the sun is at about 20 degrees to the earth surface and at about 45-50 degrees during the summer. If you plan to have a fixed solar system installed in MA or at a similar longitude, an ideal angle for your panels would be 30-32 degrees. Down south, the sun is higher in the sky, so it is better to lower the angle of the solar panels. At the equator, solar panels can lay flat on the ground and will get the maximum electricity production. At the north or the south pole, they should stand up vertically.

Size of your roof: If you plan to have a ground-mounted solar system, this will be irrelevant, as there is usually enough room to have a decent size system installed. If, like most other people, you plan to have solar panels installed on your roof, depending on the number of Kilowatts you plan your future solar system to produce, you may need a considerable roof area. If you have a large roof and you are thinking about a metal roof, a Roof-Integrated Solar PV System, a standing seam metal roof with Uni-solar panels is a very good choice. It provides a long lasting roof and slick-looking yet efficient amorphous-silicon thin-film solar panels. These babies require more space to produce the same amount of electric power, but are a better choice from the perspective of roof / solar system longevity and integration.

Lets assume that now you have performed a site inspection and determined that it would make sense to have a solar system installed. Maybe you will have to trim some trees, but over all, you have a decent size south facing roof with a good 35 degrees angle, and none or very little shading going from east to west.

Example of a solar PV system integrated into a flat roofing system:

Step 2 – Figuring Out the Size (in Watts) of Your Solar PV System:

This will surprise many people, but solar PV systems are priced in Watts or Kw – NOT in Sq. Ft.

Every second person calling us about a Solar Roof, asks me: “How much is solar per square foot?”. The truth is – I cannot answer this question and frankly, no one can. The question itself is wrong, but here is the right answer: The cost of solar will be determined by the system size measured in KW. Here, I will explain how many kilowatts of solar you may need or want, and below you can find out how much it will cost.

How many Kilowatts do I need? – This is actually simple, but pay attention to the theory behind it all.

Electricity production of your solar system depends on how many “sun-hour-days” you have in your area. In Massachusetts and surrounding states (Connecticut, Rhode Island, Southern NY) we have an average of 4.2 – 4.5 hours of sunlight (sun hours) per day annually. This accounts for rainy and cloudy days, as well as long, sunny summer days and short winter days.

Most households in the US consume on average 750 kWh (kilowatt-hours) per month. Assuming a 4.5 sun-hour-day in your area, 1 Kilowatt solar pv system should produce 4.5 kilowatt-hours of DC electricity per day. Per month, it will produce 135 kWh DC. Now, this DC electric current has to be converted to AC, so that your home appliances could use it. An inverter takes care of this part, as well as making your solar panels work at optimal production. However, as any electrical device it has resistance, so there will be power losses. An average modern inverter loses 3% of electricity due to resistance, while total power loss can be as much as 7-10% or more, depending on how well or poorly your system was designed.

Basically, to become completely independent from your Utility company you will need to produce about 750 kWh of AC electricity. With 4.5 sun-hour-days you will need 6 kW solar PV array (5.83 kW to be exact, but bear in mind that this is all relative), which is optimally designed and is placed in an optimal location – no shading, perfect angle, etc. This is the best case scenario.

So what size solar system will YOU need?

When considering installing a Solar PV system, you as home or business owner will need to know the future size of your solar system in kW ( 1 kilo watt is 1000 watts) and the cost associated with this solar system. You also need to establish your current annual electricity usage and decide if you want to reduce or completely eliminate the use of electricity that you purchase from your utility company.

First, gather your electric bills for the last 12 months, record your total electricity consumption – the number of kW-hours, and the total amount you had to pay, excluding any late fees and other miscellaneous fees. Divide your total cost by the total number of kWh – this will give you the real cost per kWh.

In Massachusetts, the average cost of electricity for residential use is 19-24 cents per kWh, and 15-17 cents per kWh for commercial use.

Designing a Solar PV system, tailored for your need

Assuming the 4.5 hours of sun per day, a 1 kW Solar PV system will produce 4.5 kWh per day, and 135 kWh in a 30-day month (4.5 x 30 days). Please keep in mind that the energy produced is in DC volts, and when it goes through the conversion into AC, you lose about 20-25% of that electricity.

Average household electric consumption is 750 kWh per month for a single family home. To cover 100% of this consumption with solar electricity, you will need about 8 kW solar PV system. 135 kWh DC x 8 = 1080 kWh – 10% = 972 kWh AC at 100% production output of solar panel. Note that ALL solar panels loose an average of 0.5% of production output per year, or 10 % through its 20-year warranty period.

Average residential solar installation is 2-4 kW system which usually eliminates 50-70% of electric power that you purchase. However, those installations are still dependent on additional electricity.

Commercial solar installations can range from 10 kW to over 1 MW (1 megawatt = 1000 kW). Commercial Solar PV systems can supply power to the building they are installed on, or they may be a so called solar farm – or a solar power plant supplying electric power directly into the electric grid. For the purposes of this guide, we will concentrate on smaller, roof-top solar installations for individual home or business use, as the topic of solar farms goes way beyond the scope of this guide, and is considered a power utility for taxes and other purposes.

Step 3 – How to Choose Equipment for Your Solar System:

This is the most difficult part, as there is no right answer to this question. However, there is a general guideline to follow, which will help you choose the longest-lasting and best performing solar panels, inverter(s), control units, production monitors, etc.

We will pretend that we are designing a 3 KW solar system for residential installation, in Massachusetts. Some of the variables will be different for your state, but this will be a good reference point for you.

Basic metrics for choosing solar equipment (or any electronic equipment for that matter) is such that you don’t want to be an early adapter. You want to buy a 2nd or even 3rd generation stuff (inverter for example), which is a very safe bet that all the bugs of first / second generations were worked out and the equipment performs at maximum efficiency. You also want to get UL rated equipment, or your electrical inspector will never sign off on the permits. A good example of such an inverter is the Sunny Boy 2500, which is a 3rd generation, tried and true work horse which also offers one of the best expandability and efficiency. This is not to say that other inverters are bad – you should use the 2nd/3rd generation metric and do your due diligence.

You also need to keep in mind that the average lifespan of an inverter is 7-10 years, while it’s cost is up there (on average you can expect to pay just under $1 per watt of the inverter’s capacity). If you plan for a big solar system, it is better to have many smaller inverters, than one big inverter. If a small inverter dies, others are still performing, and your system is only partially down, and it is a LOT cheaper to replace one $3000 unit, out of 5, than one $15,000 unit.

For our hypothetical solar system, we will choose one of the more simple inverters from Sunny Boy, rated at 3000 or 3500 watts. There is never an exact number of watts produced, and in the first year, your Solar system WILL produce about 10% more than its rated capacity. You want to utilize that and also don’t want to “overload” your inverter: this is a little confusing – an inverter will only accept as much electricity as it’s rated capacity – not more, so anything extra will just disappear.

A slightly larger inverter will allow for some future expansion of your solar system.

Cost of Solar PV Systems:

The national average cost to install a Solar PV system ranges from $9 to $12 per watt or $9000-12000 per kW DC (direct current) of solar system installed, with smaller installations being at the top of this price range, due to fixed costs such as equipment, setup, installation, permits and paperwork.

The most expensive components of the solar PV system are the solar panels themselves, however equipment such as an inverter (which converts DC into AC and feeds it into your meter) also add a considerable amount to a smaller size PV systems. Therefore, for a 3 kW residential solar system, the cost will be around $11 per watt or $33000 total system cost when using conventional solar panels.

Fortunately the $33000 price tag is not your actual cost, as many states have a wide range of rebates for solar PV installations as well as federal tax credits, available for both commercial and residential systems.

ROI and pay-off period for Solar PV

For the purposes of this guide, we will use two hypothetical solar PV systems – one being a 4 kW residential system and the other being a 25 kW commercial system. To simplify this guide and to avoid any confusion, both of those systems are installed in Massachusetts. This way we know exactly what the MA state rebates are for each system and what the local electricity costs are from N-Star and National Grid utility companies. These two utility companies have the widest presence in MA market.

Tar-n-Gravel, Built-up & Modified Bitumen Roof Repair for DIY Homeowners

Usually, when a tar and gravel roof begins to leak, it is not considered ‘repairable’. Thus, this guide is intended to help homeowners and facility managers to temporarily patch the roof and stop leaks, until complete roof replacement can be done.

Complete roof replacement is highly recommended to avoid / prevent the ‘sunk cost’ – costs that have been incurred and which cannot be recovered to any significant degree (or simply – waste your money).

An analogy can be drawn with an old car, where you keep on fixing a small thing, one after another, until something major breaks, and all the money put into fixing it, is lost.

These can be purchased at your local roofer’s supply warehouse, lumber yard, Home Depot or Lowe’s. Roofer’s warehouse is a preferred place to buy your supplies, as they will have the best selection and knowledge of products you will need.

Try Bradco Supply, ABC roofing supply, Beacon supply or Harvey Industries (in New England only). These are all either regional or national roofing supply warehouses, and they usually stock everything you may need, and also have a somewhat knowledgeable staff to answer your questions.

These are the places where most roofing contractors shop, so you should be able to find what you need!

Tools you will need:

  1. Utility knife with a few spare blades
  2. A bucket (or two) of tar
  3. Asphalt saturated fabric (cotton or fiberglass, it doesn’t matter too much)
  4. Plastic trowel for spreading the tar
  5. Few dry towels / rags.

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Tar & Gravel flat roof in Lynn, MA

tar and gravel flat roof

Finding the Leak

This is the essential step in patching of the roof. The nature of flat roof leaks makes it difficult to identify the spot where the water is coming in, since it may ‘travel’ under the roofing membrane, until it finds the lowest spot, and only then you see the stains on your ceilings.

Flat roof chimney flashing used tar and reinforced fabric. After 7 years, tar dried up and began to crack, letting water penetrate the roof.

The easiest way to find a leak is to start at the lowest spot, where the water may be collecting and sitting for days after each rain – this is called ponding water, and it is one of the most common leak spots. You will need to shovel off the loose gravel to the high spot and clear at least about 100 sq. ft of roof area. If you have ponding water under the gravel, you can use old clothes / rags and a dustpan to put it in a bucket and get it off the roof.

Now It’s Time to Do Some Repairs – a 10 Step Process

First, watch this video on step-by-step tar & gravel roof repair, and it will be easier to understand and follow the steps and procedures described below.

1 ) Once the area is clear of water and dry, look for blisters, cracks and openings in the tar, or other signs of water entering spots.

2 ) Cut out the blisters with the utility knife – make a large ‘X’ cut and then pull it back a little. Let it dry out, then open up the cracks and let them dry out also.

3 ) When everything is dry, use a plastic trowel to apply a thick layer of tar under the area you have cut, and set the sliced portions of the roof back in the tar.

4 ) Use the towels to clean up the area under the X. Sweep away all dust and dirt under, over and around the cut area. This will greatly improve the quality of your repair.

5 ) Now spread an even coat of tar over the patched area approx 1/8 inch thick or a little more, so that it goes at least 6 inches beyond the repair area.

6 ) Cut out a piece of fabric that would be enough to cover the repair area and place the piece of fabric in the tar. Use a towel to set it in, so that the fabric gets saturated with the tar until you see it coming through the fabric.

7 ) Apply another thin and smooth coat of tar over the fabric and beyond its edges.

8 ) Feather the edges into the old roof.

9 ) Put back the gravel with your hands, over the repaired area – make sure you do not use a push-broom, as that will disturb your new patch. This gravel will protect the repair from devastating sunlight.

10 ) This is a 3 course tar and fabric patch. Add another layer of fabric, then tar and it is a 5 course.

Next Steps: Roof Repair or Replacement

Bear in mind that this repair will last you about 3-6 months, after which another repair in the same spot will be required, and at the same time more leaks will probably appear elsewhere. The purpose of such repairs is not to get rid of leaks all together, but to temporarily stop leaks, while you gather resources and information to install a new roofing system. Due to the nature of tar and gravel roofs, there is no permanent cure for roof leaks. As tar dries up, it turns into a ‘dust compound’, which helps the de-lamination of the patch from the existing tar roof. Therefore, unless you are willing to take the continuous roof leak and repair cycle, which not only has direct repair costs, but also does hidden damage to the structure of your home or building, which in effect will increase your out of pocket costs, when you finally go with a full roof replacement.

Also, if you do not feel comfortable performing these repairs yourself, we recommend that you hire a professional roofer specializing in flat roofing – not Joe, the shingler, that your friend knows. Flat roofs are completely different from regular shingle roofs, and require special training/experience when dealing with them.

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