What to Expect From Your Roof During Heavy Heavy Rain – Hurricane Sandy

Your house or commercial building is not a boat or a submarine and even they take on water.

When Hurricane Sandy like rains come, many roofs may leak and never leak again. This type of abuse only happens every few years or so. Ernesto was a named storm in late summer 2006 that dumped 10″ of rain in approx 3-4 hrs in Hampton Roads , VA. I was on a low slope TPO single-ply membrane roof in downtown Portsmouth, Virginia in that rain and there was an 1-2 inches of running water from up slope to the interior roof drains. This water covered the entire roof surface. If those drains wouldn’t have performed properly, that roof would have folded under the water weight and leaked badly or even collapsed. Water weight temporarily sags the roof structure and can cause seams and flashings to fail by pulling them loose. Keep your interior roof drains, suppers, conductor heads, gutters and downspouts clear of debris so water runs off and does not back up causing leaks. Also remember that fiber glass asphalt shingles, shake, slate, tile, metal roofs are lapped for water shedding – not for water proofing. There is a big difference. Too much rain water just can’t shed fast enough and your roof may leak even though you don’t know it. Keep it maintained regularly and draining well and the first most important thing is to put the right product in the right place. For example, you would not install a shingle on a slope lesser than 2″ in 12″. It will leak if you do.

Do not let debris like pinestraw pile up in roof valleys, behind chimneys, etc. because heavy rain will make the roof leak and this lack of attention also shortens the life of the roof system.

With the appropriate product for the application and with excellent workmanship and maintenance your roof will handle most of the even “perfect storm” rain scenarios.

Robert Andrews ll , President Andrews Roofing                                                                   robert@andrewsroofing.com

Purchasing A New Shingle Roof

When getting a new or replacement roof on your home or business there are a few simple facts to remember.

All roofing contractors are not the same. The right company will install it to perform better and last longer. The materials must be installed the way the manufacturer specifies because they engineered them. Check the roofing contractor out before you hire them. Make sure they have a good, long reputation for quality.

All shingle types and manufacturers are not the same either. See consumer reports and look around online before you buy. I ( Robert Andrews) recommend CertainTeed manufacturer for quality and service and warranty.

The limited lifetime guaranteed fiber-glass asphalt algae resistant shingles are driving the market in the mid Atlantic region including Hampton Roads and Richmond, Virginia and in the Outer Banks (OBX) of North Carolina. They look great and perform well with a 130 mile per hour (mph) wind warranty when installed properly with the proper accessories such as pre-cut starter strips and cap or ridge shingles. A 3-tab shingle will work, but only comes with a 60 mph wind warranty in some cases and does not look as good. Wind rating may be higher. Architectural shingles are reasonably priced making them the best value in many cases.

Remember that your roof is a big part of how your home or business looks from the curb too. Take your time making decisions about style and color. Go online and consult with the contractor.

A roof is not cheap so pick the right roofer and material for the job. It is at least a 20 year commitment once it is on your building. Thank you. Good luck!

Robert Andrews                                                                                                                       robert@andrewsroofing.com

TPO Membrane Roof System

Single-ply roof systems include TPO, P.V.C., E.P.D.M. and some modified bitumen assemblies. TPO or thermo-polyolifin is currently driving the flat or low slope roof market and is used on residential, commercial and industrial applications. Because of its lite weight, hot air welded seams, and competitive price many roof consultants consider it to be a great value compared to other roof system options. It comes in 45, 60, 80 mil (.045 ,.060,.080) thicknesses and also comes in a fleece back option. A mil is equal to 1/1000 of an inch. It can be mechanically fastened or fully adhered. It is reinforced for durability. It is white in color and can be bought gray or tan as well. Many consumers believe a white roof is best because it reflects sunlight and heat but sometimes this is not true. If you have trouble cooling a building in summer then a white roof will help of course but with proper attic, roof ventilation and building insulation the color does not matter. Many old buildings do not have either so a white roof does make since especially when you are installing TPO over top of an existing roof. Often the best value is to install a one half inch poly-iso , e.p.s., or high density wood fiber board insulation as recovery board and a TPO membrane roof system right over a built-up roof with gravel.

Firestone Building Products offers workmanship and material warranties from 5 to 30 years. A certified Firestone contractor must install it to get one of these warranties. Many call single-ply roofs rubber roofs. TPO roofs are also easy to repair and easy to install. I (Robert Andrews) believe that because of all of these characteristics ,TPO membrane will continue to be the roof system of choice in most flat or low slope applications for a long time and will even grow in popularity over the years.

Robert Andrews II                                                                                                                     robert@andrewsroofing.com