Flat Roofing

Signs of an Aging Flat Roof

what to look for in an aging flat roof, pvc, tpo, epdm, built up roofing, problems, salt lake city roofer

By Dymon Brady

A few weeks ago, we talked about estimating the expected life of a pitched roof.    Watching for signs of wear and tear is much different when you are talking about a flat roof vs. a pitched.  In fact,  a membrane roof will wear out much differently than a tar and gravel roof will.   These different signs are important to understand and be aware of.

PVC

PVC membrane typically lasts for about 10-25 years depending on the brand and thickness of membrane.  When PVC begins to age you may see some of the following signs:

  • It can become brittle

  • It has formed cracks

  • It has begun to pull at the edges of the membrane.

If you have ever seen an old, brittle PVC pipe, you will know what to look for.  PVC membrane will age identically to the PVC in the pipes.

TPO

TPO membrane usually lasts from 15 to 25 years (keep in mind TPO has only been a roofing product for about 23 years), depending on the system and skill of installers.  Some brands of TPO come with a lifetime warranty when a 60 ml thick membrane is installed on a residential building.  When looking for indicators that your TPO roof is aging, look for:

  • Worn areas on the roof.  TPO will simply wear thin in certain areas as it reaches the end of its functional life.

  • The membrane edges.  Older systems will infrequently pull from the edges as other flat roofing membranes do.  New methods of installation now help prevent TPO from pulling away from the perimeter.

The seams should not separate in TPO as it is a Thermoplastic roof and the seams are fused together (rather than glued or taped).

EPDM

EPDM membrane itself lasts a very long time with an expected life of up to 40 years with some types and thicknesses.  However, in Utah’s abusive cold weather climate, the seams curl and separate after about 10 to 20 years.  You will find similar issues to TPO with EPDM as it ages:

  • Thinning throughout the membrane and pulling from the edges of the roof.

  • Bridging. Many times the roof fails due to extensive “bridging” or “tenting” where the membrane on the roof turns up a wall, skylight curb, HVAC curb, pipe, etc.

One last thing to look for in EPDM is whether the EPDM has a reinforcement fabric or scrim in the sheet.  If it does, you will be able to see the pattern of the scrim when looking closely at the membrane.  Reinforced EPDM will bridge less than unreinforced.  The non-reinforced EPDM will split in the field of the membrane and will be susceptible to tearing as it shrinks at a faster rate.

It is important to note that the most important factor in your roof’s longevity is the workmanship in how it was installed.  If the roof is not installed properly, it doesn’t matter how thick the membrane is.  You don’t want to have to replace your roof after only a few short years simply because the installers did not do their job the way it needed to be done. The level of workmanship in the application of a system can be determined with a trained eye.  As with any roofing concerns, a simple answer is to contact a roofing contractor to come in and inspect your roof for you.  Brady Roofing will do these inspections and estimates for free!  Call today to schedule a free estimate or to discuss any questions concerning your roof.

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Snow and Your Roof: Developing a Plan

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By Gravitate Design

Once you have prepared your roof for the winter season, it is important to have a plan in place for how you will handle the snow and ice that will come your way. Developing a snow plan for your roof will allow you to be prepared to act quickly whenever a storm hits your building, minimizing any potential possibility of roof collapse.

The first step in your plan is to establish a monitoring system that warns you when snow and ice levels are reaching unsafe levels. This early warning system should give you ample time to remove snow from your roof. It is important to take into consideration the body weight of potential snow removers when ascertaining the level at which you will receive your warning. You want to make sure that it is safe for the snow removers to get on top of your roof.

The second step to your plan is to determine who will remove the snow. Snow removal can be a tricky process and it is important that the snow removers are properly trained and have the right equipment in order to prevent any damage to your roof. If you feel uneasy about removing it yourself, call a contractor who is trained in snow removal. Make sure that your contractor has adequate insurance coverage and that they are able to respond quickly to your call. It is always better to have an established contractor than to try and find someone in the middle of an emergency situation.

The third step in your plan is to prepare for the worst. Make sure that you have adequate tarps and other coverings that can be used to protect important items or equipment. Know where all of your utility shut-off valves are located in case you need to turn off your electricity, gas, or water.

Once your plan is in place, make sure that everyone in your building is aware of and comfortable with the plan. This will help you handle any potential problems with ease.

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Reroofing a Ballasted Roofing System

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By Dymon Brady

We have recently completed a re-roof of a ballasted roof. This particular roof was an EPDM Ballasted System, meaning it was installed with EPDM and covered with rock layers. We replaced the EPDM with TPO membrane and replaced the roof, keeping the ballasted system for a minimal cost to the building owner.

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When installing a ballasted roof system, the membrane is loose-laid, meaning it is not traditionally fastened in place with membrane screws and plates. Instead, sheets of roofing membrane are laid over the roof and sealed only at the seams. It is successfully held in place by the weight of the rock ballast, typically about an inch and a half in diameter. These rocks are layered to create a weight of 10-25 lbs a square foot, securing the membrane below. This rock layer is additionally helpful in preventing the sun from beating down on the membrane below, as well as preventing punctures in the membrane, thereby lengthening the life of the roof.

When reroofing a ballasted roof, it is not a good idea to leave the membrane intact but rather it should either be relief cut, or completely removed (as described in the next paragraph.) This is because the original or bottom membrane will shrink and pull away from penetrations such as skylights, pipes and joints. Also, if the new or top layer of membrane did happen to develop a leak, the water could run between the two membranes for hundreds of feet before it finds a way through the original membrane below. This makes it nearly impossible to locate and resolve leaks.

Instead, we are faced with two options when reroofing a ballast system. First, we can make relief cuts in the original membrane in 10 X 10 ft grids. This way, if the membrane shrinks (which it inevitably will), it does not cause problems to the remaining roof. Also, if a mechanical repairman walks across the roof and causes a puncture penetration, we only have a small 10 ft radius to search for a leak source, as moisture will find their way through at the cuts.

However, if we make these cuts to the membrane below, we might as well throw the membrane away. The remaining membrane does nothing to strengthen the roof. PVC membrane will actually curl at the edges and become brittle, something we refer to as ‘potato chipping’. This can make the new membrane layer bumpy and uneven, inhibiting the proper flow of water.

Instead, Brady Roofing makes it a point to remove the original membrane and install new membrane over the top. This creates a clean, efficient new roof. By removing the original membrane, we eliminate the possibility of it bunching or causing uneven bumps on the roof.

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We do this using a technique called ‘wind rowing’. Instead of hauling all of the existing rock and gravel from the roof, which could cost thousands of dollars, we group the rocks into rows along the roof. We take about ten feet from each side and pile it in the middle to form a row. This exposed 10 ft increments of EPDM spaced 10 ft apart.

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We then removed the EPDM and put down a layer of TPO. In between these two rows of TPO, we still have an entirely built up rock level resting on an EPDM layer. We moved these rocks to lay on top of the TPO and exposed the EPDM. We removed this EPDM and lay down another strip of TPO. We had measured before we began the project, so we knew exactly where to lay down each row to make it perfectly straight and aligned as was necessary. All we needed to do at that point was to seal the TPO seams from the middle row to the outside rows, and lay the rock back on top of the new membrane.

This simple process creates 30 ft of membrane, quickly and effectively installed, without needing fasteners in the seams. We were also able to keep the underlying rigid insulation, which significantly reduces the price of the project. Fasteners are still required through the new membrane around the perimeter, at angle changes, and around roof penetrations such as ventilation pipes and HVAC curbs etc. These fasteners are vital to keep the membrane from bridging or pulling away at the edges and corners as the roof system ages.

The company we bid against was bidding much less, but they were not going to tear off the membrane or even relief cut it. They also were not going to do drip edge detail around the perimeter. We have found we are more thorough than many of our competitors. We take pride in being a better value because we do things the way they are supposed to be done. Brady Roofing is known for being a thorough, honest company with very experienced managers and installers. We are committed to providing the best quality roof possible. For a free roofing estimate, or if you may have any questions, contact us today and we will be glad to serve you.

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How to Preserve Your Roof

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By Dymon Brady

Oftentimes, a roof that has an expected life of 25-30 years can be expected to have problems much sooner after installation if it is not kept up correctly. Areas with varied weather conditions, including high winds, humidity, rain, snow and ice can cause wear and tear on our roofs and homes, which must be carefully controlled. However, if you take steps to preserve your roof, it can last for much longer.

Inspect Your Roof Regularly

First, make sure you are carrying out regular inspections of your roof. Check the roof from the ground once a month. Inspect your gutters from the ground. If you see any build up, carefully clean them out. If debris is allowed to collect, water may back up and damage your roofs fascia. You should be able to see any significant damage by doing these monthly inspections from the ground.

However, it is best to catch any damage while it is small and easy to repair. To catch these damages, inspect your roof more closely by either walking throughout the roof or inspecting it from several angles from a ladder. Be sure to carefully inspect your gutters and your roof. These inspections should be done yearly. You can also hire a roofing company to do a roof inspection annually or every 3-5 years.

Keep Your Roof Clear of Trees and Branches

Next, as you carry out these routine checks, be aware of any trees or branches near your roof. If any branches are hanging over your roof, trim them down away from your home. In windstorms, branches often fall and damage roof structures and shingles. Also, if branches are allowed to grow out to where they are brushing against your roof, they can cause damage simply by wearing down your shingles or membrane over time.

Winter can pose some new dangers. If a tree is hanging above your roof, snow may accumulate on the branches, freeze, and then fall to your roof as large hunks of heavy ice. This can damage your roof as it falls. Avoiding these scenarios can lengthen the life of your roof significantly.

Remove Leaves and Debris Regularly

Even if you keep your roof clear of trees and branches, leaves can still be blown onto your roof. If these are allowed to sit and build up across the roof, they will accumulate moisture and may cause problems with mold or algae. They are also a perfect place for pests and insects to inhabit. During the fall season, be sure to sweep off your roof as you see the need.

Leaves can also be blown into your gutters along with other debris. Not only does this debris inhibit your gutters from doing their job, but they can wear down both your gutters and your roof, particularly the fascia. Be sure to clean out your gutters regularly throughout those autumn months.

Upkeep Your Attic’s Ventilation System

Perhaps the most often forgotten aspect of a roof is the attic ventilation. However, if the attic ventilation is not set up properly, or if it is allowed to become clogged or blocked, the consequential problems can become quite costly. If the attic heats to an extreme temperature, the structure of your roof and it’s integrity can be greatly diminished. For more information about attic ventilation, see our ventilation post.

Finally, be sure to stay away from pressure washers in your endeavor to lengthen the life of your roof. Many homeowners swear by pressure washing their shingles to preserve and clean them. However, this procedure simply weathers away at your roof and accelerates it’s wear and tear. If you feel your roof needs extra help after performing the upkeep we have suggested, call a roofing professional.

Brady Roofing is willing and able to perform regular roofing inspections, as we are confident that we can detect small problems before they become large and costly. For a free estimate or inspection, contact us at www.bradyroofing.net.

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Winter Roofing Safety

  By Dymon Brady As winter arrives, it is always useful to review safety precautions you may need to take with your roof and the winter elements. Over the last decade, OSHA has investigated 16 falls in which workers were working or removing snow from a roof in the snow. There are many more unreported cases in which residents or business owners fall from their roof or a ladder. All of these deaths and injuries are preventable. Many accidents occur as homeowners blow leaves from their gutters or put up Christmas lights.

Winter and Membrane Roofs

Membrane roofing systems, especially TPO and PVC, are some of the most slippery roof coverings out there. They can be somewhat slippery throughout the year with water and rain, but they are particularly slippery when it snows. With the right temperature outside, if you slip on a moderately sloped flat roof (4/12 pitch or less), it can be almost impossible to stop sliding.

This can be surprising and unexpected when many owners of flat roofs may assume that because the roof is mostly flat, it is safer to walk on in the winter. However, even when a roof is completely flat, there is zero friction between your shoes and the membrane below. One wrong step can result in serious injury or death.

Safely Accessing a Flat Roof

If you feel that there is a definite need to get on your roof, it is important that you take every possible safety precaution. I want to emphasize again that even if you do take each of these precautions, it is still not entirely safe to venture onto your roof in the winter. There are too many things that could go wrong or be overlooked.

When setting up the ladder, an extension ladder is much safer than a step ladder. The rungs of the ladder need to extend 3' above the eave line and should be secured with a rope to the gutter or close pipe, etc before climbing from the ladder onto the roof. This should be done tight enough to keep the ladder from sliding to the side when getting on and off the ladder. Never step on a rung that is higher than the eave line as this could push the bottom of the ladder out and cause it to slide.

First, plant the ladder firmly, on a flat surface, and somewhere where there is no snow or ice. An extension ladder is much safer than a step ladder. The rungs of the ladder need to extend 3' above the eave line. Check the rungs for ice. A slippery step could cause a fall before you even reach your roof. Place the base of the ladder a distance from the vertical wall equal to one-fourth the working length of the ladder. For example, if your roof will connect with your ladder 16 feet off of the ground, place the bottom of the ladder 4 feet away from the side of the house or building.

Clean and dry your boots from snow before you climb onto the ladder. The typical rule of thumb is the ‘3 point rule’. Essentially, it is important to keep at least three points of contact with the ladder at all times. Two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot are both acceptable positions to take as you ascend the ladder.

Stop when your head is about 2 feet above the line of the roof, so that you can easily reach down and touch the roof. If there is snow on the roof, it is essential to thoroughly remove the snow. A metal snow shovel or hammer to break the ice will damage the membrane. Instead, use a plastic bladed shovel. Remove the snow as thoroughly as you can safely remove it from the point of the ladder.

While removing the snow, keep the core of your body inside the ladder rails. Do not lean to the side so that you are hanging outside the rails, this could lead to a serious fall. Instead, move the ladder if you need to reach to the side.

Your ladder should be secured with a rope to the gutter or a close pipe before climbing from the ladder onto the roof. This should be done tight enough to keep the ladder from sliding to the side when getting on and off the ladder. Never step on a rung that is higher than the eave line as this could push the bottom of the ladder out and cause it to slide.

If there is a layer of ice on the roof, you may want to use some salt to deice the membrane. If there is no layer of ice, take a towel and wipe off the area you will be stepping on. You need to thoroughly dry the area, so that it is no longer slippery to the touch. Once it is completely dry, you can carefully climb on.

Repeat this process, removing snow and ice and drying the area you will walk on with a towel. Be very aware of where you are standing. Do not step anywhere where there is any snow. Do not think that you will be able to keep your balance if you step on the snow, it is incredibly slick and you can easily fall.

Other Safety Measures

Even if the membrane was not as slippery to walk on, you still would need to remove the snow to reveal any possible hazards as you are walking across the roof. For example, a layer of snow can easily conceal a skylight or other opening. If someone stepped in this area, they could fall through the roof. There are also gas pipes and other tripping hazards throughout the roof. In order to properly avoid these, and a serious accident, all snow must be removed.

In the interest of your roof, it is important to remember not treat your roof the same you would treat your driveway. For instance, do not wear cleated shoes on your roof to help improve traction; the shoes will cause puncture holes in the membrane. Hacking at snow and ice could also cause problems. Only use a plastic bladed shovel and salt to remove snow and ice.

Safely Hanging Christmas Lights

If you are looking to get on your roof to hang Christmas lights, try hanging them from a ladder instead. We recommend home depots instructional safety video at the top of this post. Remember to move your ladder often as you are hanging your lights.

In the end, it is not worth the risk to climb up onto your flat roof in the winter. Calling a professional will be a responsible, safe choice that will still fix whatever problem you may have. If you are worried about spending the money, just remember that any fee a professional would charge to remove snow will cost less than a hospital bill.

Brady Roofing is experienced in working on flat roofs throughout the winter. To receive a free estimate, contact us today.   Share This:
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TPO Snow Fence

beware-snow-sign-k-7435by Dymon Brady

TPO Winter Hazards

With winter approaching, this is the perfect time to evaluate your roof and it’s performance throughout the snowy months. You may feel that your TPO roof is frustrating to manage during the winter, due to constant snow storms, and as a result, snow sliding on and from your roof. Often this snow can be mixed with ice, causing an incredible hazard to any people or objects below.

In Salt Lake City, as with other areas with moderate snowfall, normal snow levels do not slide on textured roofing systems. As a result, systems such as:

tile
asphalt
shingles
tar and gravel
wood shakes

do not generally experience problems with dangerous heaps of snow falling from their roof.

However, any roof installed with a metal or membrane roofing system becomes slick in the winter and can experience problems with snow sliding, even on flat roofs. Any roof with a slope of 2/12 or less is considered a low-slope or flat roof. These roofs are commonly installed with quality roofing membranes such as TPO. Most of these roofs still have a slight pitch, allowing snow to slide on their slick surfaces.

TPO Snow Retention System Dilemma

For TPO roofs, even with a low slope of 1/12, it is recommended to install a snow retention system in areas with moderate to heavy snowfall. If the snow is allowed to flow with the slope of the roof, it could build up in one area, causing damage to your roof and drainage system, or slip off the roof onto walkways or vehicles below. However, snow clips and fences are not usually as effective because TPO membrane is a flat roof system. This means that, without proper precautions, the moisture could sit around the fasteners that hold the snow fences on and cause leaks.

This can be a problem, especially since there has not been an established solution for holding snow onto TPO roofs. In the past, people have screwed down 2” X 4” planks over the TPO, but these make-shift snow retention systems were not solid. They did not hold the snow well, and in some cases the snow would even go up and over the wood.

Our Solution

As we witnessed this dilemma each winter at Brady Roofing, we decided to design a snow fence system specifically for TPO roofs. Our system is a TPO clad metal snow fence that can be screwed into the TPO roofing system. It is stripped in with a membrane such as TPO so it becomes sealed. It is solid, and considerably stronger than any alternative systems I am aware of. Brady Roofing’s TPO Snow Fence is 2 ½ inches tall and will hold heavy amounts of snow, putting your mind at ease. It is generally installed in a single row around the drip edge. On a commercial roof, it may be necessary to install multiple rows.

TPO snow fences

I presented our design to the Versico representative and design team. Subsequently, they have been referring companies looking for snow fence details to us. They have referred our system as being “Versico approved”. Up until now, there has been no answer to keeping snow on roofs installed with TPO membranes. We are honored that our system has been considered a recommended and approved option for home and building owners.

Our TPO Snow Fence system is available to install yourself, or we can install it for you. Keep in mind, that like any snow retention system, I have seen this system installed wrong. If installed incorrectly, it will be unable to hold snow, and may even cause damage to the roof. When installed correctly, it has been very successful and beneficial.

Some claim that a snow retention system on a flat roof is unnecessary and dangerous, stating that if too much snow piles up on a flat roof, the roof could become unstable and collapse. However, if a roof was engineered for asphalt based roofing systems, it will have no problem handling normal snow levels because TPO weighs less than asphalt. In extreme winters seek the help of a professional to remove snow from any roof system.

Our TPO Snow Fence system should prevent the need to go up on your roof throughout the winter, but if you do feel the need to get on your roof, be aware that because of the deceptively low slope of most flat roofs, they can be very slick and dangerous. Before walking around on your flat roof, be sure to shovel it first and then dry it with a towel, or install walk pads throughout your roof that will minimize any risk involved.

If you are interested in our TPO Snow Fence system, contact us for a free estimate, or explore our website to  learn more about our Flat Roofing Resources.

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Should I Convert My Flat Roof to a Pitched Roof?

flat roof conversionBy Dymon Brady

Why Consider Converting Your Roof?

Most people that are interested in converting their flat roof to a pitched roof are simply tired of dealing with flat roof issues. Tar and gravel, and other asphalt based roofing, were the most popular roofing material for flat roofs until recently.

Even today, there are roofing companies that recommend installing an asphalt roof (aka Built Up Roof). These types of roofs dry and crack and lead to headaches even before the material warranty period ends.

Additionally, flat roof systems are less forgiving if errors occur during the installation process. Any poorly installed flat roofing system requires constant upkeep and repair. As a consequence, many people look into converting their low sloped roof to a pitched roof, commonly called a Roof Conversion.

Is a Roof Conversion the Right Choice for You?

For those of you who are in this frustrating position, let’s take a look at all of your options, as well as the pros and cons of a roof conversion. Roofing manufacturers have introduced reliable flat roof membranes, such as TPO and EPDM, which have grown in both credibility and popularity over the last decade. While it may seem that shingles on a roof conversion will solve all of your problems, the fact is that these membranes can be just as water tight as a pitched roof.

It is important to find a roofing contractor that can identify the right kind of membrane and be able to install it properly. This is important, as the dependability of a roof is determined by the quality of material and the skill level with which it was installed. If you can find a qualified contractor to install a dependable membrane on your roof, it can cost 3 to 4 times less than a roof conversion. White roofing membranes can also be extremely energy efficient, resulting in energy savings over time.

If you are considering converting your roof in order to raise the value of your home, keep in mind that the value of your home will only increase about half of the cost of the roof conversion. As a result, if you are considering selling your home within the next 7-10 years, converting your flat roof may not be worth the required time and money.

However, there are some viable reasons to convert a flat roof to a pitched roof. Probably the best reason I have come across is a situation I ran into a few days ago. The owner was concerned that his flat roof support system was not structurally sound. He could hear the rafters in his roof creaking under the weight of recent snowfall. That creaking is usually the result of fasteners that hold the roof together coming apart a little bit at a time. Nails and screws will creak as the structures wood members. If the fasteners back out, or if wood dries and shrinks, it could cause a dangerous and destructive situation.

A pitched roof conversion, done properly, will distribute weight to the bearing walls of the structure. In the previous case, a roof conversion would transform a structurally unsound roof into a long term dependable roof.

Some other pros to converting your flat roof to pitched include:

-You simply like the look of a pitched roof. If money isn’t a concern, the perceived aesthetic value of a pitched roof system can be enough of a reason in and of itself.

-A roof conversion results in easier and more efficient insulation. It is more economical to insulate a pitched roof at R40 than it is to try and insulate a flat roof with even an R19. (Insulating a flat roof cavity usually requires removing sheet rock or roof sheeting.) You can also insulate above the roof deck and below the roof’s waterproofing system with rigid insulation, but once again this is fairly expensive.

-Vapor drive, which causes moisture to form on the underside of a flat roof system, won’t occur with a pitched roof as easily because you can create an efficient pattern of air flow. (If the humidity in the home is equal to the humidity outside, vapor drive will not be an issue with your flat roof.)

-You may be able to create more storage space or even an added room in the cavity between the existing flat and newly pitched roof.

-Pitched roofs have about a 40% longer life than flat roofs. They last 25-50 years, while a flat roof membrane will last about 15-20 years.

-Flat roofs are about 10-20% more expensive to install than a pitched roof (after the conversion). This is because the membrane is more expensive to manufacture, as well as the need for more specialized labor.

In the end, it is really just up to you and your individual situation to decide whether a flat roof or a pitched roof conversion is right for you and your home. You can contact Brady Roofing for a free estimate and consultation. We install both flat and pitched roofs, and are experienced in roof conversions. You can also call us for more information at 801-487-5151.

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Roofing Safety Procedures

rappelling-755399_1920By Dymon Brady

When deciding whether to inspect your roof, do a repair, or walk on your roof for any other reason, there are several steps you can take to ensure your safety. These safety procedures are often overlooked, causing accidents that can effect a person and their family for years to come. However, if you invest just a small amount of time educating yourself of the potential dangers of your roof, you may avoid these incidents all together.

One of the most important things you should know is to avoid getting on a steep roof unless you have proper safety equipment. For example, a safety harness will prevent any falls from doing serious damage. If you do not have access to safety equipment, or if you are inexperienced on a roof, you may want to call a roofing company to inspect or repair your roof.

Even regular and low sloped roofs require precaution. Before climbing on your roof, ask yourself the following questions:

-Could the roof be slippery from dew, ice, rain, snow, etc? If so, wait until your roof is dry.

-Is there debris on the roof? Sawdust, wood, shingle particles and even leaves should be swept up frequently.

-What type of shoes are you wearing? Rubber-soled boots will generally provide good traction, as opposed to leather-soled boots. Be sure your shoes are not badly worn.

-Is the roof stable? If you suspect a leak or any other problem that could effect your roofs stability, be very careful when you walk – testing each area before putting your full weight on it.

If you encounter any issues that could pose a hazard, call a roofing company immediately. They should be better trained to know the hazards and prevent any further damage to your roof or themselves.

There is a vast array of safety gear available to roofing employees. These devices would include harnesses, slings, ropes and cleats, among many other items. Each roofer should easily find the safety equipment that best suits their needs. However, as many as 80 percent of installers do not use these safety devices.

You may be wondering how the use of safety equipment would affect you and your property? Statistics show that the use of roofing safety gear increases productivity, meaning the job will be completed faster and with more efficiency. Also, roofing companies that show care in keeping their employees safe will be more likely to ensure that your property is kept safe and intact.

When faced with the task of picking a roofing company to work on your property, ask about the safety precautions they may or may not have in place. Brady Roofing adheres to all of the current OSHA (occupational safety and health administration) requirements. They also take great care in keeping your property and anyone on it safe during construction.

For more information on safe roofing and procedures, review our quality control checklists.

Contact us with any questions.

Request a free estimate today!

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Installing a Tile Walking Deck

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By Dymon Brady

A failed tile deck or walkway is a common occurrence. Tile is very beautiful, but it is not always the best choice to waterproof the outside of your home or building. Up until now, I have not felt comfortable installing a tile roofing deck, knowing that most applications are simply not adequately waterproofed to keep the structure dry and protected from moisture related deterioration. However, Duradek has recently released a new waterproof tile and membrane combination that has successfully proven to be weather-proof while allowing the tile to adhere properly throughout our harsh Utah climate: Tiledek.

This product is so beautiful once installed, that it is easy to forget it is actually a roofing product. Duradek has been waterproofing roofing decks for over 30 years using PVC membranes. The Tiledek roof assembly is comprised of a 1/2″ thick cementitious board called Durock, which is adhered to the plywood and fastened with screws. Tiledek membrane is then fully adhered to the Durock Cement Board and terminated properly at all perimeters. All seams in this membrane are heat welded together to prevent moisture penetration during summer rains or winter freeze – thaw cycles.

The membrane is unique because it has a fleece effacer on the upper surface of the sheet that allows the thinset used in tile installations to properly adhere. The PVC membrane fleece effacer adheres to a thinset mortar, which then securely holds the tile and grout in place. This process has proven so successful that certain assemblies of Tiledek have been deemed heavy enough for commercial use.

Compared to other manufacturers, there is a reason I recommend Tiledek. For example, most tile walking decks use modified bitumen roofing as a waterproofing material. For areas with extreme temperatures, like we experience in Utah, this material has a tendency to soften, which then causes the tile attached to it to crack. Because Tiledek uses PVC membrane, this problem is avoided. Also, Tiledek is heat-welded together, causing seams to be more secure than membrane seams that are chemically adhered.

When installing any walking deck on your roof or home, it is important to treat the task as a roofing project and not as a tile project. It is best to hire a certified roofing contractor that specializes in roof deck and balcony waterproofing. If your tile deck is installed by tile setters, they may miss crucial waterproofing steps that could actually cause your tile to be more likely to crack, as well as causing water damage to your home or building.

Brady Roofing is specially certified to install Duradek products on homes and commercial buildings. We specialize in waterproofing vulnerable areas to protect your roof from leaks. We also have the experience necessary to make any walking deck look and feel beautiful. Contact us today for a free estimate.

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How to Locate a Leak on Your Roof

Rain Roof

By Dymon Brady

Why is my roof is leaking? What do I do if I find a leak? How can I locate a leak on my roof? Finding a leak in your home can cause frustration and anxiety. However, there is a simple step by step process that will help you know what to do when you find a leak, how to locate it’s source, and prevent further damage.

Is My Roof Leaking?
It is important to keep in mind that if you find a sign of water damage in your ceiling or wall, it does not necessarily mean that your roof is leaking. The problem could also be the result of leaky plumbing or even condensation. If you find water damage on a ceiling that is not directly below the roof, you may want to consider these other possibilities as causing the leak.

Even if you find sign of water damage in your attic, these signs may not equate to a current leak. For example, if your house is 50 years old, it would have had two or three layers of roofing, and the leak could have occurred anywhere during the life of either roof. A water stain on the roof’s rafters is often what sets off an alarm with the building or home owner, but is far from conclusive evidence of an existing leak.

To determine if your roof is leaking, check the water damage during a rain storm or while snow is melting on your roof. If the damage shows up within 5 hours of recent rain or snow activity, it is probably the result of a roof leak. If the damage occurs outside of this 5 hour range, you may want to have the area checked by a plumber.

With any leak, water can build up and put a heavy amount of weight on your ceiling. If you see a bulge in the sheet rock or paint of the affected area, you will want to drain the water to prevent the sheet rock from collapsing and causing more damage to your home. Simply put a bucket under the affected area and poke a hole in the sheet rock with a 16 penny nail to drain the water.

How to Locate a Leak
Once you are confident that your roof is leaking, you can call a certified roofing contractor to locate and repair the leak. If you would like to find the source of the leak yourself, we have provided a step by step guide.

Throughout this process, remember that water runs downhill. If moisture penetrates the roof, it sometimes travels down and even diagonally in both directions before finding it’s way through the underlayment. Once through the underlayment, it needs to find a seam in the roofs sheathing. Then, the water will either drop to the ceiling’s insulation or travel down a rafter. Once the moisture is on the ceiling, it will usually soak up some insulation before finding it’s way to the sheet rock or plaster ceiling material. About 90% of the time, the leak will manifest itself in a joint in the sheet rock.

To find a leak:

1. Determine how many roof layers is on your home. If your pitched roof has only one layer, it is much easier to find the source of the leak.

2. Locate the area where the leak is manifesting itself inside your home.

3. Transfer this area up to the roof. Is it coming through a penetration such as a pipe, ventilation, swamp cooler, chimney, or skylight? The majority of roof leaks come in around penetrations. Look within 5 feet uphill of the affected area, though it can be as far as 10.

4. If you locate a penetration within this area, look for problems with the flashing. These are usually very simple repairs.

5. If there are no penetrations within this area, look for blown off shingles, torn shingles, and nails coming through. Also, pay close attention to valleys, as these areas tend to leak as well.

If you are able to locate a leak in the flashing, you may be able to repair this yourself if you have some knowledge in roofing and can secure the necessary materials. More complicated leaks should be repaired by experienced professionals. Brady Roofing is able to both locate leaks and effectively repair them. We install a large majority of roofing products. We also offer free estimates. For more information, contact us today.

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