Why do all flat roofs leak?It seems to be a public consensus that “all flat roofs leak”. That this is just how it is, and leaks are normal and expected. We recently replaced a torch down roof with an EPDM flat roof on a residential house in Huntington, NY. The owner had replaced the flat roof portion of the house three times by comparison to the shingle roof portion of the house. The owner was strongly considering changing the flat roof to a pitched roof. This would have been an extremely expensive project, as it had 3 skylights and 3 gutter edges. The conversion from flat roof to shingle roof would have involved an obvious reframe and sheath of the area, as well as framed tunnels for the skylights, interior and exterior finish. What was needed was a well-designed, well-executed flat roof. With any form of roofing, pitched or flat, there are 3 primary components.
Field + Design + Flashing = Roof SystemIf you break them down, you will understand why flat roof systems have developed a reputation for failing.
(Field)– This should start with understanding the building’s primary use, budget, and exposure. We have noted through the years that most roofers have their preferred system of roofing and make it fit all scenarios (One trick pony). There are many good roof systems out there, and when they end up having problems, it is usually the fault of the installation or design, not the product. When choosing the right roof material for the field, the buildings primary use needs to be established. We recently replaced a flat roof in Hauppauge, on a building that is used for office and manufacturing. A PV solar system was to be installed upon completion of the roof. This roof is going to see a lot of action over its life, from maintenance of the HVAC systems, solar install and maintenance, and potential tenant turnover. We specified a 3 ply SA modified roof system for this building. It provided a 20-year life expectancy and is very durable, so it can handle the traffic and was reflective. On a different project on a residential home in Commack, NY we chose a .060 EPDM rubber roof because there was much less traffic on this roof and its ability to expand and contract on a wood structure is much better than modified bitumen systems. Different buildings, different needs, different roof systems. Using the wrong system has certainly added to the consensus that “all flat roofs leak”. The chosen system should also be installed in strict accordance with manufacturer installation guidelines, to insure the field membrane can perform as it is designed.
(Design)– Many leaks in flat roofs can be tied directly back to design flaws in the roof itself. As good as the system and installation may be, design problems with the roof assembly can lead to its demise. A good example of this is a customer we had in Smithtown, that had only gotten 6 years of life from an installed SBS modified roll flat roof. The execution of the installation and material were not the problem. The roof did not pitch correctly to the drain location and the drain itself was undersized for the area of roof that it needed to service. There was a sliding glass door that allowed access to this roof and it was installed less than 2” off the roof deck. The standing water, lack of draining capacity, and door height caused leaks every time there was a substantial rainfall. The standing water caused premature deterioration and seam failure to the membrane as well. The roofing contractor who installed this roof should have made the corrections to the design of this roof prior to installing the new roof system. We put in an EPDM roof system, but we also corrected the design problems with this roof prior to the install. Two additional drains were added to upgrade the volume of water that the roof needed to handle. One of the drains was located in the area of standing water, and the sliding glass door was removed and the threshold was brought up to a full 4”. A stainless steel door pan was fabricated and installed prior to the reinstall of the door. These modifications to the design insured that the new roof could perform correctly for its entire life expectancy.
(Flashing)– In our experience, flashing deficiencies are the primary cause of failure 9 times out of 10. The term flashing would be defined as anything that penetrates the roof or transition walls, gutter edges and perimeter edge metal systems. A residence in Oyster Bay, which we restored this summer, had a multitude of flashing disasters to a relatively new roof system. There were 7 skylights, 8 plumbing vent pipes, 2 chimneys, and 200’ of perimeter edge metal, and all of it was leaking. This was one of the worst executions of flashing details that I have ever seen, and as the existing roofs were removed, many of the areas had significant plywood and structure damage from years of water intrusion. Each flashing detail, whether it is a skylight, drain tie-in or parapet wall, has a very specific, best practice, industry standard method of being done. In many cases, the cost of doing all of the flashing details correctly will cost as much as the installation of the field. This is where it gets really confusing when getting estimates to repair or replace a roof. On paper, the estimates may look the same. The specified roof material is the same, but there may be large disparities in the cost from one roofer to the other. The primary reason for this is usually the method and execution of the flashings. Due to the expense, roofing contractors that are trying to compete for a job by being the least expensive, will generally move away from best practices on the flashing details in an effort to present a cheaper price. It is critical to understand each method of flashing being proposed, so the roof that is purchased will perform correctly for its specified life expectancy. Once the right field, proper design, and detailed flashings are established, then competitive budgets can be considered. Price should not be the main indicator when choosing a roof. In closing, the reason flat roofs have a reputation of “Always Leaking,” is that more times than not, the wrong roof system, lack of correct design, and poor flashing details were applied to the problem roof. Flat roofs can give you a long, problem-free life if done correctly. In follow-up blogs, we will be breaking down specific flashing details and designs for each area of flat roofing in order to help understand what to look for when you need to replace your roof.
NOMINATIONS ARE NOW OPEN FOR NASSAU COUNTY’S FREE ROOF GIVEAWAY.Roof Pro Inc. joins No Roof Left Behind™ for a free roof giveaway.
Article from February 9, 2017Bay Shore, NY – Roof Pro Inc. today announced they are now accepting nominations for its No Roof Left Behind Campaign. This nationwide program provides free roofs to local community members in need. Nominations are being accepted at www.noroofleftbehind.com from April 1,2017 until September 30, 2017. The process is simple. Anyone can participate and nominate a friend, neighbor or family member in need of a new roof. From the submissions, four finalists will be chosen for the final online public voting campaign. The four finalists’ stories and photos will be displayed on Roof Pro Inc.’s No Roof Left Behind homepage. From October 15, 2017 until October 31, 2017 the public will be able to vote for the finalist they feel is most deserving. The winner will be revealed online on November 15, 2017. Nominees must own the home they are living in and be a resident of Nassau County. Also, the free roof recipient must be current on his/her mortgage payments. Nominees will be accepted until September 30, 2017. A team of local volunteers will review all the nominees and four will be selected as finalists. Roof Pro Inc. joined the No Roof Left Behind initiative as a way to give back to their Long Island community that has brought them success for more than 20 years. Owner Scott Summers had this to say about the program “It is a privilege to become a part of No Roof Left Behind. The direct positive impact this initiative has on members of the community is something that can’t be described. We look forward to seeing our, neighbors and customers come together to help one of our own in need.” Other local businesses are invited to participate as sponsors or volunteers. “No Roof Left Behind is a great way to rally the community together,” said Scott. “There’s a way for everyone to help out. Whether you’re looking to donate services, products or time just give us a call and we’ll find a place for you.” For more information about Roof Pro Inc. and the No Roof Left Behind program and interviews with Scott Summers, please call 1.800.766.3773 or sign up and be a sponsor for someone at: www.noroofleftbehind.com.
THIS PROGRAM HAS ENDED IN THE LONG ISLAND AREA DUE TO LACK OF RESPONSE AS OF OCTOBER 4, 2017ABOUT NO ROOF LEFT BEHIND: No Roof Left Behind is a nationwide program that gives folks in the community a way to help their good neighbors that have fallen on hard times. The No Roof Left Behind program provides a local contractor the framework to provide a new roof at no cost to a deserving homeowner in need.
Roofing Contractors? Friend or Foe?Choosing a roof contractor can be a hard decision. Will the company be properly insured? Well trained? Financially affordable? It’s easy to hire the wrong contractor and hard to find the right one. There are two kinds of contractors that you should stay away from. The first is called a “bottom feeder company.” These contractors are usually the cheapest estimate you will receive and as a result you end up getting a subpar roof installation. If it’s a small operator with just a few employees, they will likely be working out of their house, difficult to get a hold of and improperly insured for roofing. As a result, they will be unreliable and unprofessional in all aspects of their operation. “Bottom feeders” can also be a larger, more established operation with many employees that rely heavily on speed, volume and cheap production to remain profitable. The common link between all bottom feeder companies is their business philosophy, “The Cheapest Price gets the Job”. Although the idea of getting a cheap price may be appealing, it always comes at a cost. To be the “cheaper” price, the cost of everything in your operation needs to be minimized. These costs will include cheap or substandard materials, unskilled labor, down grated flashing details and improper insurance endorsements. An obvious sign that a company isn’t insured is when these contractors don’t have “roofing” included in their company name. For example, this can be seen in companies named ABC Home Improvements or XYZ Contracting. Being around for over 20 years as a roofing contractor, we have not only seen, but also have repaired and or prematurely replaced countless roofs that were installed by the “bottom feeders”. If you are lucky enough to get through the actual installation unscathed, these roofs will generally begin to show their issues in 5 to 10 years. The second kind of contractor is referred to as a “Sales and Profit company”. Many of these roofers are untrained and not properly insured, even though they have led you to believe otherwise. They are generally large operations with huge marketing budgets that have high-pressure salesman and sub contractors for a labor force. Although they can be very professional and prompt at the time of the sale, they still however can get a very poor grade when it comes to the execution of the contracted work. These contractors will have you paying a very high price for the job, which will include marketing budgets, commissions and the cheapest possible labor installation they can find just so they can maximize their profits. However, it is possible to find contractors that are reasonably priced and qualified for the job. These contractors are referred to as “Production Based Contractors”. These companies are usually well established with good industry accreditations, proper insurance and a clean reputation. The production crews are made up of well trained and well-equipped, in-house employees. The philosophy of the “Production Based Contractors” will always be to inspect, specify and execute the best possible job that meets the customer needs and will perform for the life of the installed roof system. At Roof Pro, we are “Production Based Contractor”. Our goal is to exceed customer expectations with quality, service and execution.
Gutter Cleaning and Screening InstallationIn Autumn, plants are withering, landscapes are looking scarce, and leaves are starting to fall. With changing temperatures and falling foliage, are your gutters clean? Many homeowners across Long Island neglect the chore of gutter maintenance for multiple reasons; lack of equipment, shortage of time, or in many cases, limited mobility. Keep your home protected from preventable water damage with Roof Pro. Gutter and leaders systems protect your home, basement, foundation, driveway, deck, and landscaping from water damage. This system channels water off your roof and away from your house. If such a system was not in place, water may seep into foundations and eventually effecting basements. This may cost thousands in damage. In order to make sure your gutter system is working efficiently the removal of leaves and debris is recommended a minimum of two times per year. Although, some retailers promote the use of permanent leaf protection systems we do not recommend them. These systems are not 100% effective, giving the homeowner a false sense of security. In some cases, water and debris enter the system making it very difficult to remove. At Roof Pro, we use a durable screening that is removable. This piece is screwed into the top of the gutter with its back end positioned under the first shingle roof. Our technique provides an easier gutter-cleaning alternative to the other brands that lock in the screening preventing a complete all around cleaning.
Home Improvements During Any Season | New York Roof Pro
Many homeowners are under the impression that outdoor home improvements can only be made during warmer months. However, renovations such as roofing can be performed during any season, weather permitting. Understanding and adhering to manufacturers’ restrictions is essential to a successful installation. A contractor must know its limitations during changing weather conditions. Although temperatures fluctuate, winter roof installation is possible. For example, RoofPro installed a new roof last winter in West Islip. Temperatures were in the mid 50’s, allowing for a full week of work. In fact, cooler temperatures provide a simpler installation process with less damage to existing landscapes.
Waiting may benefit your wallet; contractors are often more inclined to offer a discount in the winter months in order to keep their schedule full year round. In some circumstances, depending on your residence, renovations are not permitted during the summer. Areas such as beach communities, which have frequent tourists, do not allow construction during their busy season.
With Labor Day marking the end of summer, people are more apt to start a new home improvement project. Vacations are winding down and schedules are now free. While cooler temperatures make roof installation possible, homeowners should be aware of the restrictions that may halt its process. For instance, heavy snowfall and severe cold may delay installation. Some roofing manufacturers have temperature restrictions when applying their product. To create a seal or cosmetically “lay down”, temperatures must be appropriate. Furthermore, limited daylight can add time to the installation job, simply because there just aren’t as many hours to complete it per day. Sometimes snow removal maybe included as an extra expense, depending on the amount of snow and the big issue if there is solid ice attached to the roof.
NY Selecting a Contractor | New York Roof Repair
When the time comes for a roof replacement or repairing your roof it will be stressful enough. Having to know about the roofing industry and looking into roofing contractors will just add to your stress level. That’s why here at Roof Pro we keep you informed and have some tips to help you make the best decision.
NY Top 5 Warning Signs | New York Roofing Services
Has your shingle roofing been on your home for quite a long time? Are you concerned whether you may need a new one? You can always get certified and qualified roof contractor to assess the quality of your roof, and you should if you plan to replace one. However, you can educate yourself on some of the key warning signs to look for when inspecting your own roof.
NY Roof Maintenance Tips | Suffolk County Roofing Services
Becoming a homeowner is an exciting life event. When you own a home you are responsible for the up-keep and maintenance to be sure that you and your family can enjoy the benefits of home ownership for many years to come. Your roof is one major piece of a home that you want to be sure is in great condition. It is one of the more important attributes of your home as it is one of the main sources of protection and coverage of the home itself. Damaged residential roofing could cause a plethora of problems that you don’t want to have to deal with.
NY Roof Financing | New York Roofing Services
When it’s time for a new roof, thinking about the cost can be stressful. The roof of your house is pretty important, it protects your home or business and everything in it from the elements. Choosing a roofing company based on lowest price is tempting, but when you think about how important your home or business is, what you really want is the roofing company offering the highest quality work.
NY Roofing Story | New York Roof Replacement
A national hotel chain with locations in Hampton Roads, Virginia, recently found out why hiring professionals, sticking to industry standards and ensuring quality work is so important.
We’ve all been there. Faced with a major repair, we collect bids and look at quotes – and the temptation is always to save a little money, especially when the contractor seems to be providing near-identical services.
NY Roof Maintenance | West Islip Roofing Company
Summer is a time of beaches, barbeques and balmy days. It’s also the time for summer roof maintenance, and Roof Pro has some tips. Taking the time to check your roof will ensure your roof is in good operating condition, you are on track to meet the life expectancy of your roof, and that it is in good operating condition.
NY Check Your Roof | New York Residential Roofing
It has been one of the worst winters in recent memory. New Yorkers are tough, but this was a challenge even to them. With snowstorm after snowstorm, there was a lot of accumulation. When snows, then melts, then freezes it can do serious damage to your roof. Now that spring is here, you may see insurance company representatives out and about, checking on the condition of the homes they insure.
NY Roofing Services | NYC Torch Applied Roofing
If you are in New York City and you are thinking of installing a roof, you should know that it’s illegal to use a torch on a wood structure roof in all 5 boroughs. The NYC fire marshall made it a law in 1999, because of an average of 35 roof fires a year caused by this practice. The professionals at Roof Pro couldn’t agree more with this decision. They highly recommend never using torch applied roofs.
New York Flat Roof FAQs | NY Roofing Company
When your NY flat roof needs replacing, there are a lot of factors to think about. Roof Pro wants you to remember that the most common cause of flat roofs leaking is improper installation, or missing penetration and wall flashings. This happens when a roofing contractor gives you a low estimate on the cost of a new roof, then cuts corners.
NY Roofing Drainage Systems | Kings Park Roof Repair
April 28, 2015
When it comes to your commercial or residential roof, proper drainage is one of the most important aspects of long term maintenance. Roof Pro, your local New York roof repair has the answers on how to accomplish this. Since 1989, this family owned business has been installing and repairing roofs in Nassau and Suffolk counties, as well as the five boroughs. Let’s go over some of the basics of roof drain systems.
NY Roof Visualizer | New York Residential Roofing
April 09, 2015
Sometimes the hardest part about getting a new roof is choosing the color! It’s very difficult to visualize how the end result will look with the design and color of your house. So Roof Pro has partnered with up with a software company to bring you the Roof Pro New York Roof Visualizer. It’s free and fun, and can be done right on the Roof Pro website.
New York Roof Venting | West Islip Roofing Company
March 26, 2015
Why: Venting for your Roof
If you have a pitched roof then you need a venting system. Here are two reasons why: The first is because venting allows heat gain to escape during warm weather months. The second is because it allows heat loss and moisture to escape during cold weather months. Our New York residential roofing company can help you save on money during these months.
NY Roofing For Troops | Dix Hills Roof Repair
March 12, 2015
Roofs For Troops
If you live in New York you know how extreme the weather can be. It puts wear and tear on everything around the home – from heating systems to pool pumps. One area of your home that is often neglected is your roof. Living in areas where the summers are extremely hot and the winters are extremely cold such as Plainview and Melville, it’s a good idea to inspect your roof regularly.
New York Roof Special | Long Island Roofing Services
February 26, 2015
Winter Roofing Specials
Do you need minor or even major work done on your home? Roof Pro is dedicated to bringing our customers the best prices and specials on quality NY roofing services in New York. Right now, we are offering two unbelievable Winter Roofing Specials when you book a roof job from 1/01 to 02/28.
NY Roofing Replacement | Plainview Roof Contractor
February 12, 2015
Why Choose Roof Pro for Your Repair?
We at Roof Pro are dedicated to providing every possible roofing service to your home or business in the lower Dix Hills, New York surrounding areas. It is our mission to exceed all customer expectations and we strive to do that on every project we undertake—be it large or small, long or short, minor or extensive, and anything in between. So why choose Roof Pro, your local NY Roofing Company for your project?
NY Residential Roofing | New York Roof Contractor
January 29, 2015
How to Choose the Right Residential Roofing Contractor!
We know that choosing the right New York roof contractor can be the difference between a beautiful addition or renovation to your home and a complete disaster. Prices can vary wildly, and roofing is always an expensive prospect.
NY Roof Repair | Nassau County Roofing Services
January 15, 2015
Can You Lay New Roof Shingles Over Old?
Even though it can be less costly than replacing or repairing your roof, adding two or three layers of roofing to your home may lead to more problems in the future. Recently, we performed a professional roof inspection on a home in Kings Park.
NY Roof Insurance | Long Island Home Roofing
December 30, 2014Why Residential Roofing Insurance is Important!
One of the most crucial elements of hiring a NY roof contractor is verifying that they are fully insured. Unfortunately there is some history of dishonest practices in the industry, so it is important to inform yourself about the situation and make educated decisions. Some companies will even avoid the issue all together, by attaining insurance for other methods of construction instead.
NY Ice Damming Roofing Services | New York Roof Repair
December 18, 2014Preventing Ice Damming this Winter!
Ice damming prevention is one of the more important things to consider when weathering a snowy New York winter. An ice dam is a confluence of multiple events that can lead to both roof and structural damage to your home. In a perfect world, snow accumulates and melts off your roof at the same rate across the entire surface. But if your Nassau County or Hauppauge roof is not insulated properly, or even at certain points that can’t be helped, such as skylights, chimneys, and gutters, the snow will accumulate and melt unevenly.
NY Home Roofing & Gutter Cleaning | New York Roof Contractors
December 04, 2014Protect Your Gutters This Winter!
Gutters are one of the most important parts of your roof whether your in Kings Park or Hauppauge, New York. Gutters protect your home, basement, foundation, and deck from water damage. Water coming off of your roof is caught by the gutters and channeled down spouts to the ground and away from your home. Without gutters, water could cut a line into your concrete, soil, or deck, eventually seeping into your foundation and then your basement.
NY Roof Fall Specials | Long Island Residential Roofing
November 11, 2014New York Roof Service Savings!
Roof Pro is concerned with providing you with the best service at the best prices. In keeping with these practices, we are currently running several NY Roof Fall Specials. These specials are only valid if you book your roof job by December 1st, so give us a call at your earliest convenience.
NY Roof Replacement | New York Home Roofing
November 03, 2014Residential Roof Replacement Options
Planning on replacing your roof? The options available are almost infinite. Two of the most popular are flat roofs and shingles. There are four main types of flat roofs and three main types of shingles that we professionally install throughout New York residential homes.
NY Chimney Repair | New York Residential Roofing
October 14, 2014Chimney Cleaning, Chimney Repairs, & Chimney Inspections
Out of sight, out of mind? Many homeowners never give residential roofing and NY Chimney Repair a second thought, until something goes wrong. But ignoring your chimney’s normal maintenance, like most things, can cost you more the longer the problem persists. Smithtown weather, from hot sun to punishing ice and snow, can contribute to damage and degradation of your chimney. Whether you need someone to check the integrity of your chimney system, or you are at a point of needing repair, the New York roofing contractors are the ones to call.
NY Roofing Services | Long Island Roof Maintenance
October 09, 2014Roof Damage Caused by Birds
Bird infestation is a problem that is not often taken seriously enough. Sure they look cute when they are in the cage at a pet store, and sure many people enjoy feeding them breadcrumbs down at central park in New York, but when they take up residence in your home or place of business the problems start to multiply. Their nesting materials can block drains, ventilation systems and other vital parts of your Smithtown or Commack home, and these materials are can also be a fire hazard as they are often made from twigs, straw and other flammable materials. Also, their droppings can damage roofing materials.