Mendocino/Fort Bragg



Flat (or low-slope) Roofs

This torch-down roofing was the common roofing type we used for many years and it served us (and our customers) very well. But enter the insurance companies who quadrupled their rates and significantly tightened what they would and would not cover. Needless to say they were not crazy about flame throwers, I can't blame them. So flame throwers are no longer allowed. After much research we've come up with alternative roofing systems that will work well for us. Check them out in the other flat roofing link on my site, after 2004.

Click any image to view the entire "story" one page at a time, but with larger versions of the images - slide show style..



First Example

Why did anyone ever build a house with a flat roof? They always leak! Well, the truth is, obviously, the sooner the rain gets on the ground, the less likely it is to get in your home. However, all is not lost. If you own a home with a flat roof, it it not difficult (for us) to put on a flat roof that should last 20 years! After doing hot tar roofing (which does work well if it's done properly) for many years, 10 years ago I started installing a torch-down product called "Dibiten". I have found this to be an excellent flat roof system that's easy to install, easy to repair and maintain, and should last at least 20 years.

In this picture you see an aging hot tar roof. It has started to blister and crack. In many cases I roof right over these but often they need to be stripped before the re-roof.

One of the most common flat roof failures we see in this area is flashings and drains thaat have rusted out. Since all of the water from a flat roof ends up at the drain, even a small hole can leak a lot of water. The best way to deal with this problem is to use copper drains. Other flashing needs are easier to repair later on but whenever possible I like to use copper for the drains. Here you can see an old galvanized drain and a new copper one side by side.

In this picture you can see the lap being torch welded. This needs to be done carefully so as to not over or under heat the lap. During the torching process there is always a roofer walking behind the torcher, stepping on the freshly heated lap to make sure it's secure.



In this example we're re-roofing over a typical old hot tar roof. The existing surface is smooth so going over it is no problem, and less costly. You can see a welded seam to the right and the momentarily flopped back sheet. Also visible is the nailing pattern we use for the Dibiten. We nail it secure on approximately one foot centers. Our Dibiten installation techniques exceed factory specs. and in a few pictures from now you'll see even more of why I think this is the most wind resistant roof we do.

This is obviously a wider angle shot of the previous picture showing more of the roof and a long finished welded seam.

On this project the flat roof connects to a shingle roof. How easy to just roll the Dibiten up the shingle slope and then continue on with the new shingles!

So we've rolled the Dibiten past the pipe vent and flush with the edges. Now the new pipe flashing and the new edge metal are nailed down. You can see the nailing pattern on the edge metal is approx. 4" to 5" on center. This holds the perimeter so tight it would take a hurricane to blow this baby off! All of our metal is nailed in a similar fashion.

Obviously we can't leave exposed nails like that so the next step is to cover the metal and nailing with more Dibiten. Here you can see the pipe saddle and the edge strip ready to be torched down.

First the saddle is carefully torched in place.

And then the edge strip is welded also. I wish I could show you the finished roof but on this particular day the school called me to say my 7yr. old had gotten sick and needed to go home. So off I went and left my crew to finish up. We have done this procedure so many times I think they could do it in their sleep!

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