Roof FAQ

What is the difference between the 180 and the 250 membranes?
The number in granular cap sheet titles dictates the weight of the polyester reinforcement fabric. So the Soprema Flam 180 GR membrane has 180 grams per meter squared of polyester. Thus the Soprema Flam 250 GR membrane has 250 grams per meter squared of polyester. One would think the higher the number the better the material. HOWEVER – checking the Soprema spec book on both of these membranes, upon comparison, all things are equal except one item. The length and width of roll are equal. The coverage is equal. The difference is in the weight. Makes sense until you learn the 180 is heavier by 1 KG! Yes that’s right the 180 is heavier! There are three “ingredients” in a roll of SBS torch on membrane. The mat, the SBS modified bitumen, and the semi-ceramic coated granules. The granule usage is consistent throughout all membranes so that is not a weight factor. Both 180 and 250 use the same amount of granules. So if the mat is heavier in the 250 but the 180 roll is overall heavier it only goes to say that the 180 roll has more of the desirable SBS (black rubberized asphalt). One other simple fact. It is the SBS that keeps the water out. It is not the mat. I want more SBS in my roof so I choose to install only 180 base and 180 cap roof systems.
What are the choices for drain pipe couplers?
A U-flow is intended to be a waterproof connection between the new copper drain I install and the existing plumbing pipe (usually either cast iron or ABS plastic) should the pipe get blocked down-line and water “backs up” onto the roof. Fernco couplers are better than u-flows when you can access the ceiling space under the roof deck and above the drywall ceiling to install said Fernco. When that access is not available U-flows go inside the drain pipe. This is OK but it reduces the diameter of the drain where the U-flow is installed and thus somewhat restricts flow. O-rings have been used for many years before the invention of the couples and joiners. I commonly use O-rings. Before O-rings, believe it or not, they used horse hair. When used properly all of these details work. When it isn’t used properly then all can fail if ever required due to a roof drain pipe blockage or back up.
What are my choices in metal flashing?
The number one of three qualitative factors in metal flashings is that it is steel and not aluminum. The next factor is that the steel has to be protected (baked enamel) and the final one is the thickness or gauge. The smaller the number the thicker the gauge. The RCABC requires no less than 26 gauge. A number larger than 26 is not acceptable in my opinion. 28 and 30 gauge is readily available and many contractors choose to use thinner metal to save money but it is nominal savings for a substantial improvement; especially when you are talking about metal valley flashings in steep slope roofing.
What is your guarantee?
Guarantees vary in roofing depending on the work performed. All work performed by Crucial Roof Services is guaranteed. Because of the slope and the fact water will not sit on a shingle roof, we are able to provide a guarantee for up to 50 years! The flat or low slope torch-on roofs are a different style of roof. They are more membrane like or “enveloping” roof systems that are required to withstand ponding water. These roofs need to be of a much higher quality & integrity and because they are tested on a regular basis with standing water the guarantee is far less than that of a sloped roof. Crucial torch on roofs are guaranteed for up to 20 years. Where the guarantee topic gets tricky is when we talk about roof repairs. Regardless of the type, slope or age of roof – NO ROOFER CAN CONFIDENTLY GUARANTEE TO ABSOLUTELY STOP A LEAK. It is just the nature of the beast. I can be very positive and secure in that I have found a cause of the leak but what we don’t know is, if what we found is the only deficiency contributing to the leak. Many times there is more than one contributor to a leak. With concrete tile roofs, a leak can be as simple as a broken water channel on one single tile. Unfortunately the water channel is hidden by the adjacent tile so you can’t easily see or find the cause of the leak unless you remove and inspect each and every tile. With tar and gravel roofs the leak will most always be hidden under the topcoat covering of gravel so it is not identifiable until the rocks get scraped off the roof surface (called spudding) and the split or deficiency exposed. Add to this the complication that water will travel from the point of entry on the roof to where you see the evidence inside the building and you have a challenge with variables that are not in your control. With repairs, the results or end product of the patch efforts Crucial Roof Services does are unconditionally guaranteed. The patches, or my leak finding efforts, will not cause a further leak. The patches are applied properly and will stand up to both time and weather. But we will not know if the leak is resolved until it gets further tested by Mother Nature.
Do I need to be home?
Once I have identified where the leak is dripping from, inside the house or property, I no longer need inside access. When I come inside to see the leak I am merely taking stock of the drip location. If the leak happens to be around a specific protrusion on the roof such as a skylight or drain then I don’t need to see the inside for a landmark location. I simply find the skylight or drain on the roof and look around it for signs of a leak. I photo document all work performed whether you are in the estimate gathering stage or have already given me permission to fix what I have found. These pictures are e-mailed to you once the work is completed and it is at that point that an invoice is also e-mailed. So the answer to the question is – NOT ALWAYS. It is not imperative to be there to show me the leak, monitor the work or even pay the bill. It’s bad enough the roof is leaking. I don’t want you to lose a day’s wages because of it.
Do you do the inside repairs also?
When roofs leaks rarely is there not interior evidence or damage. If you’re lucky it’s only a paint job that is needed. Worst case scenario is not only drywall repair or replacement but also wood repair or replacement due to extended moisture rot. Just as Roofing is a specialty trade, with many categories of systems, these things too are specialty trades and best suited for experienced workmanship. I know a couple contractors who do such repairs but chances are if you were smart enough to find out about me then you’re also capable of finding a good dry wall guy or painter guy. I get asked a lot about mold too. Some people are very conscientious and almost paranoid about the possibility of one spore existing and others wonder if it can just be painted over by them. I’m always more than happy to have these conversations with my clients. But to answer this question directly – No I do not do competed interior repairs required due to roof leak damage.
Do you need dry weather to do my repair?
For the most part the answer to this question is YES. Qualitative permanent roof repairs require a dry substrate on which to apply the patch or repair. That is the standard answer. There are always situations and circumstances that will supersede that general answer. Temporary repairs can be put down on wet surfaces if required. We did one last month on a tar and gravel roof that was leaking onto a large stack of sensitive files. The leak needed to be stopped immediately and a Bentonite clay drop solved that urgency. We returned a few days later and did a permanent torch on patch. Cost was not the primary issue – immediate resolution was. Other roofing or waterproofing repairs may only require a small bead of caulking applied to a critical junction. If we can get that surface dry enough, by towels and small torches, to receive the caulking then we can apply a qualitative permanent repair.
On concrete tile roofs, how often is pan flashing maintenance required?
Pan flashing maintenance has no exact or predetermined schedule. It’s dependant on several factors. The primary factor is typically being the surrounding tree amount and how much they drop on the roof. A roof with little or no tall trees, to “shed” on the roof, will not need as often maintenance as that which is surrounded by deciduous trees. The other strong factor is the age of tiles. The newer the tile roof the bigger chance that the factory applied top-side sealant is still existent. Although the primary purpose of the sealant is not to prevent moss from growing or to reduce erosion effects (it’s actually to prevent calcium or efflorescence from leaching through to the top layer and direct this chalky calcium “bleed” to the underside of the tile where it is not visible) we find that the older the tile is the faster the erosion occurs. The “cementious” wash-off you collect in your aluminum eaves troughs will start to increase exponentially. It will also collect in the pan flashings.