Author: ibroofma

Flat Roof Repair in Needham, MA

We performed this PVC roof repair in Needham, Mass. in October 2011. This was the second time we repaired this 25+ years old Sarnafil PVC flat roof in the last two years. The first time we fixed this roof was exactly two years ago, in October of ’09 – check out our first overview, which covers this roof in particular, and nuances of repairing old PVC flat roofs in general.

Quick Overview of the First Repair

In October of 2009, we fixed this roof for the first time. A contractor was doing some fascia repair work there, and threw some tools onto the roof, creating a hole in the old PVC membrane. We repaired it using new IB PVC flat roofing material. First, we cleaned the old roof with warm water (to remove all dirt and small debris). Next, we rubbed it with acetone and a rough brush, to clean the membrane thoroughly, so the new patch would weld nicely. Then, we welded a PVC patch over the hole, which sealed the roof.

Old patch next to 2 new patches:

Image of PVC Flat Roof Repair in Needham, MA, done by CoolFlatRoof.com

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Cool Flat Roof Video Channel On YouTube

CoolFlatRoof.com has its own YouTube video channel, where we post videos of the work we do, as well as educational videos about all aspects of roofing.

Check CoolFlatRoof.com video channel on YouTube, and please subscribe.


Here are some highlights of our roofing video channel (updated Aug. 29, 2012):

  • 2,220,000+ video views!
  • Approximately 3000 daily video views
  • 150+ video uploads
  • 550+ subscribers!

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Flat Roofing Tapered Insulation Questions (from an email conversation with a customer)

This post is actually an email conversation with a customer, regarding Tapered Insulation and our flat roof installation in Cambridge, MA done in the summer of 2010. This email conversation is posted as is with the customer’s permission – the only editing on this post was done to remove any personal information, and spelling :). I thought this would be helpful to our readers, who are interested in tapered insulation and/or have ponding water problems with their flat roofs.

Here is the original roof video, so you have a better idea about this roof:

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What makes PVC the Best Single-Ply Roofing Membrane for Flat and Low -sloped Roofs

Senior project written by Riess Stanley
Nov 4, 2010

With economic strife on the rise, it has now become necessary to seek out ways to save money, as well as to find ways to “stay green”, and to do what you can to help the environment. Unfortunately, accomplishing both at the same time seems to be very difficult. Believe it or not, there is a smart, fairly simple, and very efficient way to succeed in these two areas in a way not often looked upon as a money saver, but rather a necessary and costly project when it doesn’t need to be; the roof. When you really get down to it, the roof is either costing too much, or saving plenty.

First off, if a building with a flat or low-sloped pitch was to have a black tar roof, it would be taking more money than one would realize. In warm weather, the black roof will absorb so much heat that an abundance of energy and money would need to be invested into cooling down the building. Moreover, all that heat beating down on the roof will make it crack, which in turn will cause it to leak once the rainy weather begins. This defeats the entire purpose of a roof. So, what is a low cost alternative for a black tar roof, that can keep the roof cool during summer months and can keep out the rain? The answer; PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) single-ply membrane. Continue reading

Flat Roof Installation in Cambridge, MA

Image of Flat Roof in Cambridge MA

We installed this flat roof near Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the summer of 2010. The installation consisted of four separate roof sections on different levels of this house, which at the time was undergoing major renovations inside and out, including total new insulation in walls and between roof rafters, a new heating system with radiant floor heat, new energy efficient windows, and a new IB PVC flat roof (which we installed of course).

The old rubber roof was leaking and we had to remove it, including the wet roof insulation. We installed a new 50-mil white IB Flat Roof, with 4 inches of tapered insulation (4 inches at the highest point and 1 inch at the lowest level). The tapered insulation system was utilized to eliminate ponding water on the two bigger sections of the roof. At the deepest point, there was as much as 2 inches of ponding water, and a puddle with at least 12 feet diameter. This ponding water caused both roof leaks and the roof rafters settlement.

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Get Metal Roofing Tax Credit Before It Expires on Dec. 31 2010

If you are a homeowner and you are planning to replace your roof soon – whether because it leaks, or it is getting old and you want to replace it before its starts leaking – a metal roof is one of your best options. Of course, costs might be a factor in your re-roofing decision. While a metal roof initially costs more than an asphalt shingles roof, there are a number of ways it will actually save money in the long run.

Longevity

Metal roofs provide a much longer lifespan, compared to regular asphalt roofs. An asphalt shingles roof costs about 2-3 times less than a metal roof, depending on various factors. At the same time, a metal roof lasts a lifetime, whereas most asphalt shingles roofs will need to be replaced within 15 years. Galvanized steel or aluminum metal roofs will last on average 50 or more years, giving you peace of mind in knowing that your roof will not leak, and that you won’t need to do regular maintenance or occasional repairs.

Tax Credits for Cool Metal Roofs

The cool roof coating on metal roofs makes them much more energy-efficient, which will substantially reduce your cooling costs, even in the mild climate of New England. Moreover, the government offers a 30% cool roof tax credit, with a $1500 cap, for any qualifying metal roof installation.

All of our metal roofs do qualify for this tax credit, as they come with a cool roof coating and are Energy Star certified. There is a catch however – the tax credit will expire on Dec. 31, 2010. So if you are considering installing a metal roof, doing so before the new year is the way to go.

Consider this – most residential metal roofs will cost about $15000, so the tax credit is about a 10% discount off the total roof cost, and most metal roof installations will qualify for the full amount of this tax credit. Basically, now is the best time to have a new metal roof installed, because we don’t know when or if the cool roof tax credit will ever be reinstated.

Protection Against Ice Dams

Metal roofs offer supreme weather protection for your home, which will save you a lot of money on repairs. Most houses in the north east region, get ice dams along the roof eaves, and the way an asphalt shingles roof is designed, allows the ice dams to cause roof leaks, which in turn can cause substantial structural damages, and will require other repairs to the roof and the interior of your home.

Metal roofs offer inherent protection against ice dams. The interlocking design of metal roofs will prevent ice dams from penetrating your roof. Also, most of the snow will just slide off your roof, even before ice dams can form.
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Flat Copper Roofing – Newton MA

In July of 2010 we installed a new IB PVC flat roofing system with custom-made copper drip edge metal, on a new construction home in Newton, Massachusetts. This house is located around the corner from Newton Center.

In this job profile we will demonstrate all stages of this roof installation, and show the new Copper Drip Edge, which IB roof systems has recently introduced and made available to its certified roofing contractors.

First, let’s go over the roof specs and details. The building on which the roof was installed is an new construction garage / guest house with two car bays on the first floor and guest rooms with a balcony / deck on the second floor. Because of height limitations in Newton, MA, the top portion of the roof had to be flat, with a little slate roofing mansard around the roof perimeter, to resemble the slate roof on the main house. The home owner chose IB PVC Flat Roof, as the roofing material for their building project.

image of Flat Roof with Copper Drip Edge in Newton, MA

The roofing material we used was an 80-mil white IB PVC membrane, mechanically attached to a wooden substrate, over 3 inches of tapered ISO insulation. All seams were hot air welded using Liester welding equipment.

Around the roof perimeter, we installed IB’s new Copper Drip edge metal with PVC coated flange, which allows us to seamlessly integrate copper with an IB roof. The PVC cover tape is welded to both the roofing membrane and a drip edge metal, leaving exposed copper to give this roof a beautiful look of a classic slate roof with copper flashing.

On the second floor, we installed the same 80 mil roof with differently shaped copper metal, over a walk-out balcony deck, and additionally flashed the roof and door opening, with IB’s pre-manufactured flashing accessories. After the membrane was installed, a floating roof deck was installed on top.
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PVC Roof Repair – Trocal and Sarnafil PVC Roofs Repaired With IB Roofing Material

Update – Oct 26, 2011: Exactly 2 years after the initial Sarnafil PVC Roof repair (read details below) I went back to that roof. This time, there were 17 new holes in the roof. I repaired it once again with IB PVC flat roofing material. Check out the full review of this latest .

Update 2: a Trocal roof repair also reviewed below – a section of that roof has completely shattered over the past winter, and we had replaced it with an IB PVC Flat Roof in the spring of 2011.

Check out the video of this new PVC Roof repair:

Original PVC Roof repair article

PVC roofing is one of the longest lasting flat roof membrane systems, and most PVC roofs installed, will last in excess of 25-30 years. PVC roofing utilizes Hot-Air welding of the seams, which allows the roof to remain watertight for many years, as there is no adhesive to fail ( as is the case with EPDM rubber roofing ). Still, even PVC roofs can leak. Sometimes because of poor installation, and sometimes because of physical damage to the roofing membrane. You may have heard about the Trocal PVC roof failures, which was the only major case of PVC roof failures (below we will explain how Trocal roofs failed).

In this article we will discuss and demonstrate the PVC roof leaks and repair procedure, based on two recent repairs we have done. First, please note that even if your PVC roof leaks – you should not be too worried – PVC roofs are rather easy to repair, and you will rarely need to replace your entire roof.

Trocal PVC Roof Repair – West Hartford, CT – Winter, 2010

As promised – a quick look into why Trocal PVC roofs failed on a massive scale, forcing the company to be sold to another large roofing materials manufacturer.

Image of shattered Trocal PVC roof

Trocal PVC roofing was one of the first commercially available PVC roofs in the US, and they worked great at first. But they had one major drawback – they were unreinforced (today, most PVC membranes are reinforced with polyester scrim sitting between the top and bottom ply of the membrane). When the ambient temperatures were below freezing, a Trocal roof could crack or shatter if you simply stepped on it. Later, all PVC manufacturers switched to reinforced membrane, and some would add special chemicals to increase the elasticity of the membrane. Today, unreinforced PVC membrane is used only for flashing accessories such as inside / outside corners, pipe flashing, etc.

Repair of a Trocal PVC Roof

Image of Trocal PVC Roof Repair

This Trocal roof sustained damage from a falling tree branch in December of 2009, and cracked along the edge. Although the roof was over 20 years old, it was still fully weldable and we were able to repair it with a new IB PVC roofing membrane in Jan. 2010. We removed the damaged section of the roof, cleaned the surface with MEK solution, installed new PVC coated IB Drip Edge metal, and welded a 50-mil white IB roofing membrane. The repair was performed in a 25 degrees outside temperature, so we had to take special care not to damage the rest of the original roof.
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Metal Roofing in Attleboro, MA

In April, we installed a new lifetime Steel Metal Shingles roof on a house in Attleboro, Massachusetts. The house is located on a beautiful quiet street not far from Attleboro Center, as well as Mass / RI border. The new metal roof replaced and old, failing asphalt shingles roof, with some shingles blown off by the wind.

The metal roof we installed was a Tamko Steel Shingles with real slate look, in a beautiful Sequoia Red color. Steel metal shingles are an interlocking metal roof system, where each shingle is locked on all four sides and is held in place by clips and roofing nails, and the other six shingles around it.

Steel shingles metal roofs offer great flexibility in terms of installation, excellent water-tightness, and prevent Ice Dams formation, as metal roofs shed Ice and Snow. On top of being an excellent solution to leaks and Ice Dams, metal roofs last 50 years or more!

Metal Roof installation

The old roof was two layers of asphalt shingles, which according to building code, must be removed before the new roof is installed. Removing the old roof is also beneficial in terms of removing extra weight off the house. Although metal roofs are VERY light, weighing 40 lbs per 100 sq. ft. in aluminum, and about 65 lbs. in steel shingles, they will not add nearly as much weight as 1 layer of asphalt shingles (about 275 lbs per 100 sq. ft.), and can be safely installed as a second layer, it is still a good idea to do a full tear off, to allow the repair of any rotten wood, and to improve roof ventilation.
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NERCA Roofing Convention in Boston, MA

Last week, Boston was a host to hordes of roofing sales people, roof manufacturers’ reps and local roofing contractors from all over Massachusetts and New England. It was the NERCA (North East Roofing Contractors Association) annual convention, where most roofing materials, tools and equipment manufacturers were present, promoting their new products and services.

Boston MA a roofing convention

After being to a few of these shows already, I have found that they don’t get any more exciting, but it’s always nice that NERCA sets up up open bars with semi-decent wine, and cheese / crackers / fresh veggies & berries tables. I think that for roof sales professionals, these roofing conventions have become a boring necessity, as all they do is schmooze with each other and talk about competition. As for me and other roofing contractors, we can always find some new and exciting roofing materials, tools, equipment and services, such as infra-red roof scanners, roof lifts, a hydraulic-powered dumpster, which can be lifted to the roof level to speed up roof tear-off and clean up process.
As a Flat Roof contractor we were there supporting IB Roofs, which had a booth there, and I got to meet IB’s new Regional Manager, Dana Spurgeon, as well as IB’s local reps in Massachusetts – Jerry Lang and Kevin Laprte (whom I already know of course).

Roofing Equipment Presented at the Show

Besides the obvious and now ritualistic visit to the IB Roofs stand, I wanted to find as many cool, interesting and innovative roofing products at this show, and quickly wondered off, to explore the unknown. My first find was an excellent new automatic hot-air welder by Leister – the new Varimat V2.
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