Woe is my roof

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  #1  
Old 01-06-04, 08:47 PM
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MattG_
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Woe is my roof

So my roof is leaking. I bought a home with this irregular roof. You see, my roof is a low-pitched, built-up roof. No shingles here, this roof is covered with layers of gravel and tar. For the record, so is a shingled roof, but in a different way.

Built-up roofs (BURS) notoriously leak, as I have been told, and the surfaces have very low life expectancies. A top-notch shingle will last about 30 years. A good BUR will last about 15 years.

Too much detail is my fault. The point that I am leading to: nobody agrees on roofs and roofing material. Why build homes with flat roofs that arenít going to last more than a decade? Of course, we must acknowledge that there are those architects who will go with a fad. My home was constructed in the 1960ís decade. It seemed to be the decade of fads. These faddish individuals probably find the flat or semi-flat style roof to fulfill some primitive, archetypal urge. Perhaps they are reincarnated dwellers of the southwestern regions of the current territory reigned in by these United States of America. Perhaps architects of flat roofs just plain find them to be sexy and hypnotic. Perhaps they do not. But who can blame them? Why are roofing contractors so intimidated by my roof? Are they secretly a bunch of wussies?

I challenge any roofer out there to resurface my roof in a way that is reliable and affordable. I want a low-pitch roof that will last the better quarter of 6 decades and not leak. Who will arise to the challenge? Are we the still the great Americans who conquered the Germans, English, and the whim for wall to wall green, shag carpet. Please respond, or I must climb to my low-pitched roof and dash my fragile and overly dramatic person to the shrubbery below.

P.S. Flat roofs forever!!!
 
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  #2  
Old 01-06-04, 08:51 PM
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bungalow jeff
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Hey, even the great Frank Lloyd Wright, famous for his flat roofs, is equally famous for his leaky flat roofs.
 
  #3  
Old 01-06-04, 08:57 PM
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MattG_
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So I have a roofing offer from Bungalow... What is your price? Keep in mind, I can only pay in Turkish francs.
 
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Old 01-06-04, 09:51 PM
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Ahhh...the "catch"......

It's easy to get "reliable".....what you want is "affordable" also.
I've seen flat roofs last better than 50 years in some cases, but you will need to pay for it.
The old saying "You get what you pay for" is ESPECIALLY true with flat roofs.

Roofers typically won't touch these because most of the time the homeowner refuses to pay the price to get the most reliable roof.

Some insulation, a few base sheets mopped down, and a premium modified roll will last a very long time when done correctly.
It's not just a flood-coat with gravel.

Reliable - easy.
Affordable - a little trickier.

Good luck.
 
  #5  
Old 01-06-04, 10:42 PM
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Well delirious nomad, I see that you're "stuck in the 80's" and cannot understand the mind of a Low-pitch roof aficionado. I'm surprised that you did not mention vinyl cladding and pastel paint as a solution, characteristic of your generation.

The smart young roofing salesman at my house today in his brown leather jacket talked of drip edging. When I asked if his roofing solution would involve ballast, he stated "it would." When I asked him what would hold the ballast if a drip edge was used, and why a drip edge, if no gutter? I explained that the current roof is BUR and has no gutters or drip edge, but I have no preference. He asked "Your roofing has gravel?" I replied "yes." He stated "your roof is commercial grade, we don't do your type of roofing, I'm sorry. I measured the roof. It was dark and I couldn't see."

Let me shed the light, illuminate the topic. My roof is not flat. My roof does not have shingles. It has a very low pitch. It has gravel. Who has the guts to mount it and return with the guarantee that it will not leak? I will buy you a coat and pay you handsomely for the roof. I will not take you to court and you can wear your leather jacket in the Spring. Buy yourself a motorcycle like the Fonz.
 
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Old 01-07-04, 06:16 AM
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Originally posted by MattG_
Well delirious nomad, I see that you're "stuck in the 80's" and cannot understand the mind of a Low-pitch roof aficionado. I'm surprised that you did not mention vinyl cladding and pastel paint as a solution, characteristic of your generation.
You made a challenge:

"I challenge any roofer out there to resurface my roof in a way that is reliable and affordable. I want a low-pitch roof that will last the better quarter of 6 decades and not leak."

I merely stated that the reliable is easy, the affordable is tricky.
There is no need to challenge my "understanding" of a so-called "Low-pitch roof aficionado". You know nothing about me.

If you can't find someone to do this, you are either not looking hard enough or you are not willing to pay.
Although there is another possibility. I know plenty of roofers that avoid doing roofs for lawyers and architects because the roofer knows that either that homeowner will never be happy with what they do or that homeowner will be a "know-it-all" and will constantly be telling them "how to do their job".
Roofers don't care to do business with "headache homeowners". No matter how much they charge, it will not be worth it in the long run.
Possibly you could be one of those.

Good luck finding someone.

Although I'm curious. If you know so much about flat roofs, why don't you just do it yourself?
 
  #7  
Old 01-07-04, 06:41 AM
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Two solutions, neither one is difficult, but neither one is easy, neither is expensive nor is it inexpensive. All of these terms are relative.

If you don't like the archetural style of the "flat" roof (a term I always use for a pitch of less than 2" in 12") have an arechetect draw plans to reframe the roof into a desireable roof. I've done this, it's not too difficult, although not something a "typical" weekend warrior would want to tackle. If you stay living in the house during the construction be prepared for lots of dust. This can completely change the exterior look of your house and may be particularly advisable if your the only, or one of the few "flat" roofs in the neighborhood.

If you want to stay with the flat roof find someone that can do a "torch down", or modified bitumin roof. This is the only way to eliminate the hassles of what we jokingly refer to as "tar and feather" roofs. Anything else is a waste of money.

BTW, drip edge have no relationship to gutters. They're to aid in shedding water and protect the underlying wood. Every house I've had the past 20 years I've ripped the gutters off. IMHO they cause more harm than good, of course NONE of those houses have had basements and they've all had pretty good overhangs.

Regarding styles of houses. We own a place in Taos New Mexico. I wouldn't change the "flat" roof for anything else, nor the stucco, nor the lantillas, nichos nor anything else that goes to make that styele, that style.

Frank
 
  #8  
Old 01-07-04, 01:49 PM
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Frank, you forgot solution 3... MOVE
 
  #9  
Old 01-07-04, 03:51 PM
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Matt G.
I will take your challenge. I can give you a 25 year leak proof on a low pitch. Not a problem. But, it will not be cheap. You will have to get out the big check book for this one. I will be in Oklahoma City in 3 weeks for a job. But, there is one condition.
It will be done my way, or the price will double.
 
  #10  
Old 01-21-04, 09:08 PM
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MattG_
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4th Solution

Hellrazor I have read your reply and can plainly see you do not have the ability to rise to the challenge. "Move" from the home he recommends; retreat!!! Run like a impotent jack rabbit from your semi-flat and you will be saved from the duties of roof resurrection. Hallelujah!

Hellrazor... would you prefer to swear allegiance to Hitler and speak German ever your live long days... Nine, nine, nine!!! We Americans did not, do not retreat.

I have heard your solution and now here is the 4th solution, for the unimaginative. For those true-blue contractors who dream of "This Old House" editorials and ne'ry see their trade as a business. I heed your advice, retreat, and Coldwell B props a sign in the front yard, and furthermore, I do a patented quick-fix and hide it with the gravel job - costs less then $100 for Home-D materials. And then, some more poor young chap comes along with his newly obtained pregnant wife and bonified college degree from the local State university, pays his Certified Home Inspector to do his quick-look inspection and signs a don't hold me liable for more than the $300 "price of inspection" contract; and then our dewy-eyed prospective buyer, as required by local ordinance, pays another fee to the "We just do a surface scan", local professional-roofing-contractor, County Inspector who certifies the roof for another 5-10 years as peers up to the roofline from the ground. The sale goes thru, my eyes gleam as my falsely obtained equity pays in dividends, as the roofing patch gives way to the very sun under which our newly-weds look up to heaven and thank God for their wonderous home, and little-know that which I know, that they will be stuck with a $9,000 roofing bill within a year to add to their student loan repayment expense and costs of feeding and diapering newborn Junior. When the newly-weds complain... Watch everyone scatter.

That's just not my way of living... And I don't even have an American flag or sticker. Not a single one on my car, lunch-box, no refrigerator magnet stars and stripes. Now I know, no one has ever thought of this Solution 4, it's only a sickened mind that that does his neighbor this way, and I don't have to raze any hell to get my roof done right. Just a little "Tar and feather" and its not for the roof if you get my meaning.

I thank Jack the Contractor for his courage, but can hardly see that he can do the 1700 squ. ft. job for less than $9000 what with the expenses of traveling from Oklahoma City to St. Louis and back to who-knows where. I have an offer from a local contractor, EPDM style, for just over $9K and he doesn't need a coat, as does Mr. Leather Jacket who I formerly addressed in DIY correspondance; Otherwise known as "We're the best in the business" Contractor and therefore must replace all the plywood sheathing and drip edges are a must.

Thank you for your sincerity Slumlord Frank, but no, I cannot see replacing my semi-flat roof with a brand new, raised pitched, shingled, blue-light-special, dime-a-dozen roof. However, I have seen no local ordance restricting roofs in the style of the Shwedagon Pagoda and think that a Castle-like Turret would cause quite a stir in the neighborhood. But even these roofs seemed too contrived and my neighbor, The Lawyer, would probably find some way to profit from this at my expense.

Thanks for all of your help.
 
  #11  
Old 01-22-04, 07:00 AM
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MattG;

Some of us were wondering what had become of you. Now we realize that Nurse Ratchet must have taken away your computer priveleges for two weeks.

Good luck, now go back to your crayons and coloring books.

Frank
 
  #12  
Old 01-22-04, 01:59 PM
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Wow, delusional. He must have read the self therapy post in the electric forum on hooking up jumper cables to the main...

Jack, i would run far far away from working on this ones house. He would be the one offering you invisible coffee in the cold weather. Oh and of course, sign the contract in invisible ink.
 
  #13  
Old 01-22-04, 04:18 PM
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MattG_
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That's the spirit.

Delusion is the illusion of one who speaks of invisible coffee and presents himself on-line as a cartoon character.

Let's test a delusion. Contact a local roofing contractor who completes County/City inspections per local ordinance. Tell the contractor that your roof was inspected less than a year ago and given the okay for another 5-7 years. Further explain that the roof is now leaking due to rotted sheathing and ask the contractor why it is leaking. Oh sure, Tom Sylva would say this and Mr. Certified roofer will say that, but give it a real try. You are a Hellrazor aren't you. Let's go to reality in the real world.

Will the contractor attempt to waive the seriousness of the inspection? Hmmm, I wonder.

Have you ever completed a roofing job on a flat roof, Hellrazor? How did it you do it and how did it work out?
 
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Old 01-22-04, 05:02 PM
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I'm not even touching this topic... too weird for me.
 
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Old 01-23-04, 05:20 AM
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I think this thread wins the award for "Most appropriate discussion to be acted out by a drama troupe." Seriously, a bunch of guys with goatees in black turlenecks and John Lennon-ish glasses reading these posts in a coffee shop would be rather entertaining.

MattG, I'm really not sure what you're looking for on this forum, but I hope you've found it.
 
  #16  
Old 01-23-04, 06:29 AM
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Last chance, I leave for Oklahoma City in the morning. Your correct. I would not do it for $9000 (1700 sq.ft of low pitch roof guaranteed not to leak.) Better hire the other guy. Have a good day. It has been nice visiting with you.
 
  #17  
Old 01-23-04, 12:01 PM
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It Wasn't Me!
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MattG
I do think that the Shwedagon Pagoda style roof is highly over-rated and very hard to shingle. Although you could run the lightning rod cable over to your neighbors house and sit back sipping your Dom Perignon while wearing a, (I would like to be a roofer but don't want to get my hands dirty) leather jacket and watch the fun.
But on the other hand the contractor that bid EPDM has a good Idea but check your bid to see if he is installing reinforced fully adhered EPDM because of the slope of your roof. There are many types of single ply roof systems PVC is another example. Also you mentioned you wanted a LONG lasting roof and EPDM will last on the average of 15 to 20 years and you will have to pay for the warranty. There are other flat roof systems like the lead coated copper roof that was installed at the Minnesota capital building which I was the inspector and guaranteed for 100 years. It all depends on your checkbook. I would also like to add that the people in this forum are here because they like to help others and are not being paid for their suggestions or advice. A lot of people want to pay for a Yugo and have you build a Cadillac. Roofing as with all types of construction is based on the customers financial depth. And without knowing this a roofing contractor tries his best to design a roof system that a customer can afford. If you would have said I want a roof system that will last 100 years I have a solution for you when do you want to start?
 
  #18  
Old 01-23-04, 05:09 PM
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Mattg, nope i have no concept of a flat roof at all and i do not work for a place with 5 large buildings all with a flat roof. I do not know a thing about either commerical sprayed on or rubber with ballast roofing either. Its all a dream..

Not sure what you are drinking or smoking out there, but you could share...
 
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