Modified Bitumen Roof System

U-haul Brockton Coverphoto

U-Haul of Brockton had a tired EPDM roof system that was incorrectly installed by a national roofing contractor.  Because the national roofing contractor issues their own warranties, they also write their own specifications, which, among other things, didn’t call for perimeter fastening. The result was that the membrane pulled away from the perimeter walls throughout the entire roof system, stretching and opening up the EPDM membrane along the way. This movement also created several wrinkles in the field of the roof, which created more points of weakness.

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Defective EPDM Roof System that existed prior to Chaffee Installation

Another mistake the national roofing contractor made was that they left plugs in the roof drains, which caused extreme ponding on the roof. The roof looked like a lake after any rainfall  Only one poorly installed scupper, plus all of the holes and openings  in the membrane from the stretching, pulling and other hacked work, elevated water from this roof until Chaffee arrived.

flood on roof

Roof flooded extensively before Chaffee installation

After countless roof systems were poorly installed nationally by this roofing contractor, U-Haul corporate removed them from all work on their buildings nationally, and hired expert local contractors, like Chaffee, to perform all of their work. U-Haul specified a 3-ply modified bitumen roof system nation wide, which is the most heavy duty roof system available, to prevent future roofing issues.

Also, to keep all of their roofs in good shape, they signed up for Chaffee’s commercial roofing maintenance program, so that they could catch problem areas before leaks start occurring.

Scope of Work

In order to protect their customers, U-Haul corporate specifies the most heavy duty roof available, a 3-ply modified bitumen roof system. There scope of work always entails:

  • Remove all layers of existing roof down to the decking. U-Haul always removes the existing roof system because:
    • They want as little weight as possible on their buildings.
    • They don’t want wet spots from their existing roof system to continue causing problems after the new roof is installed.
    • They don’t want the slope of their existing roof system to affect the slope of the new roof system (If the existing roof system has high spots, low spots, etc).
  • Install new 3.3” polyisocyanurate rigid insulation, mechanically attached to the deck. The total R-value achieved with this insulation is 20, which is the minimum required by building code at the time of this installation.
  • Install new 3-ply modified bitumen roof system.  For this all U-haul projects, a Modified Bitumen Roof System is specified due to its superior puncture resistance, which is the strongest in the roofing industry, and its ability to prevent leaks, since water has to travel through 3 ply’s of membrane.
  • 20 year total system warranty through CertainTeed, GAF, Soprema, Firestone, or John Mansville. Like single ply warranties, this warranty includes materials and labor.
    • Unlike the national contractors warranty, which lasted until they stopped getting work from U-Haul, a manufacturer’s warranty lasts for the duration specified.


At this point, most of the roofs installed by the national roofing contractor have already been replaced, or patched extensively. Chaffee is continuing to do bi-annual commercial roofing maintenance on all of U-Hauls roofs to prevent future problems, primarily caused from minor problems that turn into major ones (like a drains getting clogged with leaves, etc). And, every roof installed by Chaffee Roofing for U-Haul has been warranted by the manufacturer, and is still in service and leak-free to this day! Many are well past their warranty’s duration, as Chaffee has reroofed well over 100 buildings for U-Haul.