By TOM DANIEL
Though people often take the roof over their heads for granted, in today’s volatile housing market it doesn’t pay to ignore trouble with your roof.
Shrug off the warning signs and you could be in for some sticker shock when it comes to fixing problems with your roof. And there are warning signs.
Is it ‘just a roof,’ or should your roof be a thing of beauty that takes your structure decades into its future? R. Thomas Daniel Roofing Company is a third generation, family-owned and operated business that provides honest roofing assessments, estimates and quality craftsmanship. The company specializes in replacing, coating and repairing roofs of all types, especially the flat and low slope roofs common on Capitol Hill, Georgetown and throughout Washington, D.C.
Providing quality workmanship on distinct residential and commercial roofs, including tin, copper, slate, shingle and synthetic membrane roof systems such as EPDM and modified bitumen is what Daniel-family roofers have specialized in for more than 90 years. We take pride in working on the unusual roofs that can be found in historic Washington, D.C., such as slate turret roofs. Many of the slate turret roofs are the originals and more than 100-years-old.
This article will provide an overview of these roofs and their energy efficient capabilities.
Membrane roofs are most commonly made from synthetic rubber (EPDM), thermoplastic (PVC and TPO) or modified bitumen (MB).
EPDM roofs are single-ply membranes that have been in use in the U.S. since the 1960s. Usually black EPDM roofs are installed but they also come in white. EPDM is UV resistant and does not require an additional surfacing layer such as tar and gravel as with asphalt “built-up” roofs (aka “slag” roofs). These roofs can be applied either fully adhered, which uses adhesive to connect the rubber to the substrate of the roof, or mechanically fastened, which is attached by using manufacturers’ approved fasteners to the substrate.
PVC roofing has been in use in the U.S. since the early 1970s. PVC is a vinyl single-ply roof membrane. The PVC membrane is installed on the roof by heat welding overlapping edges with an electrically powered heat welder or hand-held welder. These roofs also come in white.
TPO roofing, usually in white, is designed to combine the diversity of rubber with the performance of hot-air-weldable seams. This process creates a physical bond between two separate sheets of roofing membrane effectively making them one piece and highly resistant to leaking. It is highly resistant to tears, impacts and punctures with good flexibility to allow for building movement.
Modified Bitumen (MB) is a roofing membrane consisting of asphalt and plastic or rubber polymers and is considered an evolution of asphalt “built-up” roofing. MB is generally applied using a heat application process that melts the seams together to create a seal but sometimes a cold adhesive application system is used. MB is available with a white granulated surface for higher reflectivity.
Demand has increased for heat-reflective and energy efficient roofing systems and all of the above systems can offer resistance to UV, ozone and chemical exposure. In addition, some of these products meet the new version of the California Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Non-Residential buildings and some are also rated by the Cool Roofing Rating Council (CRRC) which has a product rating program for evaluating and labeling the solar reflectance and thermal emittance (radiative properties) of roofing products.
A cool roof reflects and emits the sun’s energy as light back to the sky instead of allowing it to enter your building below as heat. There are numerous benefits to having a cool roof including:
• Reducing utility bills associated with air conditioning resulting in energy savings typically of 10-30 percent;
• Lowering roof maintenance costs and extending the life of the roof and reducing solid waste;
• Mitigating your community’s Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIF);
• Reducing green house gas emissions by conserving electricity therefore reducing CO2 from power plants;
• Mitigating the UHIF and reducing ambient air temperatures thereby improving air quality and smog.
These developments in roofing membrane systems and complimentary energy efficiency and green qualities offer homeowners in need of a new roof an opportunity to have a quality roofing system, reduce electricity usage and help the environment.
Whenever possible we work to provide an alternative that is less expensive than an entirely new roof — saving our customers money by extending the life of their current roof. However, if a customer does need a new roof we will recommend a replacement.
Tom Daniel is the owner and general manager of R. Thomas Daniel Roofing and specializes in working on flat and low slope roofs on Capitol Hill. Reach him at 202-569-1080, firstname.lastname@example.org or via rthomasdanielroofing.com.