We receive many questions about commercial roofing on a regular basis.

Questions:

TEAR OFF (RIP) OR ADD ON (RECOVER)?

Core-Test-Two-Roofs

Its always best to tear the existing roof system down to the structural deck. That way, the new roof system can sit evenly on the deck, without any dampness or deficiencies caused by the old roof system affecting your new system.

However, it adds a significant cost to the job in the form of:

  • Numerous dumpsters are needed to haul away the old roof system
  • Additional time is needed for our crew to rip off the roof
  • Thicker insulation needs to be added to accommodate building code (R-Value of 20)
  • And on…

Not to mention the noise and disruption a rip can cause.

Therefore, building owners typically follow building code requirements, which state that no more than two roofs can be one on building. Therefore, if two roofs exist, we are required to rip the roof down to the structural deck.

During our roof design and estimate, we will conduct a core analysis, as shown on the left, which will tell us how many roofs exist on your building. We always patch up the core test opening when we are done.
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WHATS IN MY ROOF?

Whats-In-My-Roof-2

A single layer of roofing is comprised of:

  1. Structural Beam (Steel, Wood, Concrete, etc)
  2. Structural Decking (Steel, Wood, Concrete, Gypsum, Tectum, etc)
  3. Rigid Insulation
  4. Flat Roofing Membrane

Two layers of roofing consist of the above, plus another layer of Insulation and Membrane. This is also known as having two roofs.

Most roofing work encompasses tearing off existing insulation and membrane down to the structural deck (known as “ripping” the roof), or adding on a second layer of insulation and membrane to the roof system.

In some cases, small sections of structural deck need to be repaired or replaced. The amount and extent of replacement cannot be determined until the existing insulation and membrane are torn off.
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What are some seasonal tips that can help my roof go the distance?

4seasons

You can help protect your roofing investment by following these tips. Our service department is available to perform any of the following rooftop work. We offer simple roof inspections, minor or major repairs, and an overall roof maintenance program.

  • Check rooftop drains, scuppers, and gutters. Are they clear of leaves and debris?
  • Check drain baskets. Are they all in place and secure?
  • Check roof drain lines. Are they flowing freely?
  • Check flashings at walls, rooftop equipment, and edging. Do they appear to be secure and watertight?
  • Check pipe flashings and pipe boots. Do they appear to be secure and watertight?
  • Check pitch pockets. Has the sealant settled, cracked, or shrunk?
  • Check rooftop equipment. Are all covers, doors, and service panels, etc. properly secured and watertight? Is ductwork tight?
  • Check roof around rooftop equipment. Check roof surface for holes, punctures, and slices that could have occurred during service work on rooftop equipment.
  • Check walkpads. Are the walkpads adequately secured in place? Do you need more walkpads?
  • Check above roof. Are tree branches, electrical wires, or anything else close to the roof causing problems? Are higher structures above the roof in good condition?
  • Check chimneys and other masonry. Are brickwork and mortar joints in good shape? Is there any cracking or other deterioration?
  • Give the roof a “once over.’’ Check entire area for anything else that might cause problems. Is there excess debris on the roof? Leaves, HVAC filters, fan belts, and the like can blow around, clog drains, and lead to premature aging. Is gravel or other surfacing (if any) properly in place?

 

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Where do most leaks come from?

Over 90% of roof leaks come from rooftop units, such as HVAC units. The reason is that flashing these units into the new roof system requires advanced flat roofing experience in the type of system you use. If the installer doesn’t have strong experience, these highly skilled work areas will be the first parts of your roof to show it.
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Will a new roof system heat or cool my building?

The short answer is, it depends. Some studies have shown that, with the amount of insulation we are using on our flat roof systems today, the impact of having a white roof or a black roof is minimal. The same insulation that keeps warm air and cold air inside the building also prevents warm air and cold air from outside the building getting in. However, the actual impact on your building varies based on who you ask and what study is referred to.

One fact is that, once snow falls in New England, you will have a white, snow covered roof.
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Is there any way to reduce the noise generated during a roofing project?

Noise always exists when completing roofing work, particularly if your existing roof system is being removed or we are drilling into concrete. While we can’t minimize the amount of noise being generated, we can control when the noise is generated. A popular option we offer is to complete the roof removal work at night, when the building is empty.
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Do Fully Adhered Roofs have fasteners in them?

Unless a 2 part adhesive system is used, there are fasteners in a fully adhered roof system since the insulation still needs to be fastened to the structural deck. In fact, since the adhesives are relying on the insulation to be secured to the structural deck, fully adhered roof systems actually have more fasteners in them than mechanically attached systems! Typically, 5-8 insulation fasteners are required in a mechanically attached system, versus 12-24 insulation fasteners required in a fully adhered roof system.
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Why is a manufacturer’s warranty so important in a flat roof system?

For any flat roof system, the manufacturer’s warranty is important for a few reasons:

  1. It dictates the specifications that we as a contractor have to follow. How many fasteners are installed, how flashing details are completed, etc. If a contractor writes their own specifications, they can install the roof however they want, which gives them the incentive to cut as many corners as possible.
  2. A manufacturer’s warranty comes with a third party inspection. The inspector always completes a thorough inspection of the roof, because after they sign off, their company owns the roof for the duration of the warranty.
  3. With a Carlisle or Firestone roof system, a labor and materials warranty is what they say it is. Unlike shingle roof systems, where a “Lifetime warranty” might cover materials after a fight, any issue covered under a Carlisle or Firestone warranty will get resolved. And, they will typically send Chaffee out to resolve these issues.