This project features two best alternatives to the conventional roofing materials: rolled PVC membrane instead of a rubber roof, and interlocking aluminum shingles instead of regular asphalt shingles.
Both roofing materials are considered to be permanent solutions requiring minimum to none maintenance.
Both metal and PVC roofs are also a great solution for the ice dams problem – once installed, water cannot find its way in because PVC membrane is welded together, to form one continuous piece and metal shingles are interlocking, preventing water from getting under the adjacent shingles.
Two-story colonial with pitched roof over main house and large addition with a flat roof
Remove existing roofing material, install new plywood
Interlocking aluminum shingles installed on the main house
PVC membrane installed on the flat section
Skylights, chimney and multiple pipes
GAF DeckArmor breathable underlayment
Brown aluminum interlocking shingles
Custom made color matching aluminum accessories: valleys, drip edge, rake gables and ridge caps
60-mil white PVC membrane
1″ fiber board insulation
Snow guards over doors and walkways to prevent snow from sliding down in big chunks
One of the common uses of flat roofs is to install a floating deck over them. Having the rubber membrane underneath the deck makes it extremely complicated when rubber fails.
Eventually adhesive in the seams of the rubber roof lets go and homeowners are facing very costly and labor-intensive repairs when they have to take the whole deck apart and then rebuild it.
A great alternative to the rubber roof with a floating deck on top of it is a PVC membrane with hot-air welded seams; because they will never come apart it will create a permanent and maintenance-free solution for those types of applications.
Two-level deck over newly built garage
23 railing posts
2 sliding doors leading to the deck
4″ wide extra strips of membrane for future decks slippers
1/2″ fan-fold styrofoam
80-mil white PVC membrane with ChemGuard technology and fleece back
PVC membrane is by far the most superior material for flat roof installations. Unlike rubber which relies on glue to hold the seams together, PVC membrane is fused together to form the seams that are stronger than material itself. Properly welded seams will never come apart – this is why all PVC membrane installations come with lifetime warranty.
Shed dormer is a most common way to increase inside space without serious reconstruction and always has either flat or low pitch roof.
Shed dormer with rolled asphalt roofing material
1 chimney – color matching PVC flashing, aluminum counter-flashing
Persisting problems with ice dams and ponding water
Poly ISO tapered insulation with 1/8″ per foot increase
This custom home, designed by regionally renowned architect Bimel Kehm in 1954*, has three separate roof sections with multiple layers and two different types of flat roofing materials, both of which were failing.
With Hurricane Sandy freshly in the rearview mirror, the homeowner knew that it was time to upgrade the failing roof systems for a more permanent solution.
We removed the existing two layers of tar-based roofing along with some unused venting that wasn’t in the plans for renovation. Skylights were added, the rot was replaced and a false wall was built at one of the perimeter edges to keep the architectural integrity of the original design.
A 3/8” insulation board was installed along with a pressure-treated perimeter wood nailer, followed by the installation of the perimeter edge metal. The edge metal is coated in PVC which allows us to bond the seams of the roof from edge to edge and create one large protective PVC blanket over virtually any flat or low-sloped roof.
With the old tar and gravel roof ponding water and the torch-down roofs losing their seasonal coatings each year, this home was ready for roof relief. The new PVC roofing membrane is not only warranted for ponding water but also there are no coatings or seam sealing needed. Once the seams are heated and melted together they become impenetrable and sealed for life. The white membrane is eligible for the 2013 tax credit up to $500, but the PVC comes in a handful of colors and thicknesses.
With the new 50 mil PVC roof system, this custom home is ready to withstand anything Mother Nature can throw at it for decades to come and will save the homeowners money in the long run by lowering energy costs and eliminating roofing expenditures for repairs and replacements for life.
This custom home was designed and built by a local architect in the outskirts of Boston.
The homeowner approached us in January of 2013 and needed his newly constructed home to be sided and roofed in the coming weeks. He had already selected the metal roofing and siding for the project but had yet to select a contractor nor a material to be used on his flat roofs and decks. Once we proposed our durable PVC membranes the homeowner had made his choice; all that was left was to find the weather breaks to proceed.
The metal roofing and siding consisted of individual metal tiles. Cedar siding was also implemented following the metal tile installation.
The unique profile of the metal tiles presented little challenge to our crew and the project turned out to be a great success.
The flat and low-sloped sections were roofed in an 80 mil thick PVC membrane, as were the decks. The durability of the PVC membranes took preference over black rubber for a variety of reasons. Since the homeowner is installing composite decks over the membranes, seam strength and reliability were huge factors. Our PVC membranes are heated and bonded for an impervious seal at the seams, ensuring a worry-free system has been installed beneath the composite decking.
As with all our residential installations, this homeowner received a lifetime materials warranty on his flat roofs, which is fully transferable over the next 25 years if he decides to sell the home.
This home in Lexington, MA was suffering from leaks on the tar and gravel roof and needed a permanent solution to solve the low-sloped roofing problems. With a slope of less than 3:12 the only viable options were standing seam metal or a membrane roofing system (asphalt shingle manufacturers DO NOT recommend their products on low-sloped roofs, although many roofing contractors will install them regardless). We proposed adding rigid insulation and an 80 mil PVC single-ply membrane with a lifetime materials warranty and the homeowners knew they’d found the answers they’d been looking for.
We removed the failing tar and gravel roof system and discovered damaged plywood and fascias from the leaking that had occurred over a period of time. We replaced the damaged plywood and fascias, installed a perimeter nailer to the entire roof edge, installed a PVC-coated edge metal, and added 3.3 inches of rigid insulation to achieve an R-20 insulating value. We then installed an 80 mil thick white PVC membrane with a lifetime materials warranty and our own ten-year workmanship warranty (and added snow guards for good measure), and the homeowners couldn’t be happier.
With the white membrane, which reflects nearly 90% of the sun’s rays and will keep a house up to ten degrees cooler than a black rubber roof, the homeowners were eligible for an Energy Tax Credit and also benefitted greatly from the added R-20 insulation.
This new roof is backed by a lifetime materials warranty from the manufacturer, IB Roof Systems. The family-owned business was founded in 1978 in Eugene, OR and to this day their roof systems are performing without concern, some 35 years later. We are proud trained and certified installers of IB Roof Systems and afford our clients the leading warranties and materials in the industry. This is a good example of a low-sloped roof system that is going to save the homeowners a large sum of money over the next few decades.
Our next project, a house in Lincoln, MA, has a several years old addition, with a roof that changes a pitch from being very steep in the top to almost flat toward a lower portion. The flat section of the roof had asphalt shingles, which created two problems: skylights started to leak and massive ice dams started to form during the winter time, allowing the thawing water to get under the shingles and inside the house. To fix these problems we decided to remove old asphalt shingles and install new 50-mil PVC membrane, mechanically attached over ½ inch Styrofoam insulation with bronze PVC coated drip edge to match the existing fascia color.
Once the old asphalt shingles were removed we installed insulation and PVC membrane, so that the upper part of the PVC flashing would go about 10 inches up under the remaining part of the roof. We had to use separation sheet (in this case we used GAF Deck Armor) to avoid the contact between PVC membrane and asphalt shingles because asphalt can damage membrane material.
We also had to remove about 10 inches up of the existing red cedar siding to allow proper wall flashing installation. On the chimney we removed old led counter flashing and installed new flashing made of PVC membrane with white aluminum counter flashing. PVC flashing was also used to install two new skylights and flash a bathroom pipe.
Once the installation was completed, the roof became absolutely watertight and thus resolving the issues that forced the homeowner to replace the roof. Even if ice dams form again, water would not find its way under the roof because all seams were welded with hot air, forming a single piece of a membrane on the entire roof. And let’s not forget the lifetime warranty IB PVC roofing material has!
A shed dormer is a very popular way to expand a living space without building an addition. Shed dormers have almost flat or very low pitched roofs, and if covered with regular roofing materials, like asphalt shingles or rolled asphalt, they tend to leak and allow ice dams to build-up. A rolled PVC membrane is the great solution to prevent leakages and ice dams. Not only it is designed for flat and low sloped roofs, it also carries the lifetime material warranty and has an extra benefit of reflecting a lot of sunlight, keeping cool the space under.
For this project, we decided to go with a 50-mil white PVC membrane, mechanically attached over ½ inch Styrofoam insulation. Originally there was one layer of asphalt shingles on the roof, but since the roof deck was in a great shape, we decided to leave them and go over the top, which essentially cut the cost for the homeowner. We cut back shingles along the edges, removed the old drip edge, and installed 6 inch wide pressure-treated nailer to allow proper PVC coated drip edge installation. In this case, we decided to weld membrane directly to the drip edge (as opposed to the method when drip edge goes on top of the membrane and then the 6-inch stripes are welded over), and we used extra screws every 6 inches to hold drip edge in place really tight.
Because this roof had a ridge vent on it, we installed a pressure-treated 2×4 stud along the ridge and wrapped it with pre-welded PVC flashing piece, to serve the purpose of a substrate for the new ridge vent and ridge cap installation.
Another possible problem is snow slide during the winter. Usually, it is not a problem on the flat or almost flat roofs but shed dormers usually have a substantial pitch (somewhere between 2 and 4). In addition, a wet PVC membrane is pretty slippery. These two issues can be causes of snow slide formation. Since our client had a big porch under the roof section where work was done, we decided to install plastic snow guards – every foot in a staggered formation. To ensure the proper installation, we installed another piece of 6-inch pressure-treated nailer one foot above the one along the edge prior to the membrane set up. We used special screws with rubber gaskets to hold the snow guards in place and we also used SolarSeal 900 sealant between the snow guard and the roof to cover the screws up. We also installed two 5 inch two-way vets to ensure proper condensate evaporation from under the membrane.
Unlike majority of home owners our client really did his homework. He had a problem with his rubber roof (which was only a few years old and yet had multiple leaks along the skylights, chimney and lower side of the roof) and was looking for a permanent and more efficient solution. He already knew about the material, so after some consideration we decided to go with 50-mil white IB PVC Membrane, mechanically attached.
Another issue that he had was the upper bedrooms getting too hot during the summer, so 3.3 inch ISO insulation was chosen to address that. Another reason for choosing such insulation was the 30% tax credit that Massachusetts offers.
As the two layers of old roof were removed (old rubber and rolled asphalt under it) we discovered that there was significant water damage to the roof deck.
Water was getting under the rubber constantly, so some of the fascia boards had to be replaced and new 3/8 inch plywood was installed over the old roof deck.
We also decided to raise and tilt all three skylights to prevent them from getting covered with snow during the winter, so the new skylight curbs were built.
Tilting the skylights also prologs their service life, because if they are too flat water would sit on its surface for a long time, little by little getting under the rubber seal and gradually destroying it especially during the winter time. And finally 3.3 inch pressure treated parapets were built along the perimeter of the roof to match the new insulation height and also to serve as a nailer for the drip edge.
PVC membrane was installed using the mechanically attached method, pre-manufactured PVC flashings were used for the pipes and the 6 inch PVC pipe that was installed through the roof for the future range hood.
Skylight curbs and chimney were flashed with the same membrane as the main roof using pre-manufactured outside corners.
Aluminum counter-flashing was installed on the chimney. Gravel stop was installed along the three sides of the roof to prevent water getting off the roof on the sides and regular drip edge was installed along the lower side.
New aluminum fascia was also installed to cover up the new parapets and finally new 6 inch seamless gutter with two 3×4 inch downspouts was installed to handle the water load from the roof. This project was done in late November with temperatures swinging around 32 degrees Fahrenheit – well below the threshold allowed for EPDM rubber.
Among other strong qualities if IB Roof System such as great looks and lifetime warranty comes very wide variety of its accessories, colors and footprints. Even though white is the most popular color due to its reflecting properties, not everybody likes it, or simply cannot install it. For example we had one client who could not use white roof because it would blind people passing through the hill near his house. That’s why IB came up with the wide range of colors (full color chart could be found here).
This article describes installation of the IB Traditions – basically it is the same IB membrane only it has the image of the architectural shingles printed on them. The owner of the recently built house in Lenox, MA decided that he wanted to build the screened porch with flat roof and to match gray shingles on the main house we decided to go with Gray IB Traditions.
It has very similar installation procedure to the regular PVC membrane (mechanically attached with two inch barbed plates over ½ inch fan fold insulation) except for the fact that it’s welded right to the drip edge, unlike regular membrane, were drip edge goes over and then 6 inch stripes are welded on top. In case of IB traditions it can’t be done because it would break the pattern of shingles.
The wall flashing is done with the same membrane and 10 inches up to the wall so it could be covered with the siding board to make it completely watertight.
Even from a short distance it is hard to tell the difference between real shingles and the one painted on the membrane. Another thing worth mentioning is that the whole project was done in one day with temperature being 18 degrees Fahrenheit – it shows that because PVC roofs are hot air welded rather than glued they can be installed all year round unlike EPDM rubber.
A beautiful mansion in Newport on the famous Bellevue Ave has a penthouse with an EPDM rubber roof and deck that have multiple issues.
Flashings on the lower roof were installed improperly and were leaking, seams on both roof and deck were leaking as well due to the ponding water, and also green carpet on the deck served more like a sponge, which held the water within it for days, making the deck practically impossible to use and causing a nasty smell.
To fix all these problems we decided to go with white 50-mill IB Membrane on the lower roof, mechanically attached over ½ inch fan-fold insulation and with gray DeckShield Membrane on the deck, fully adhered over ½ inch Dens Deck boards.
There were a couple of things we had to do differently than usual, because the mansion is right next to the ocean. First of all, due to the high wind uplift we had to install double half sheets along the edges, and use barbed plates every 6 inches to ensure that membrane will stay in place no matter what.
Second of all, because of the salty ocean air, which dramatically increases corrosion, a regular drip edge could not be used, so we had to order custom made stainless steel PVC coated drip edge.
Another thing we had to keep in mind was that under any circumstances we could not allow any water to get inside the penthouse during roof replacement because it would ruin the freshly made interior.
To address that issue we decided to brake this roof into a couple of segments and do them one by one, striping and covering them one at a time and making temporary PVC to rubber seams every evening using Solar Seal 900 adhesive and barbed plates.
And finally we had to build a parapet wall along the far side of the roof, because there is a skywalk underneath it and owners did not want nay water falling from the roof on it.
Once all these major points were figured out it was pretty much usual IB membrane installation.
On the upper deck old carpet and rubber were removed and the Dens Deck boards were installed.
They were glued down using liquid nails and then screwed down to ensure the proper bonding.
After Dens Deck boars were installed all gaps and holes were filled using joint compound to make sure the surface is smooth and even, because any imperfection or seam would be seen after DeckShield would be installed.
The next step was adhesive and the DeckShield application, after which we welded the overlapping sides in the manner we do with the regular IB membrane.
As the result – all issues are taking care of, both roof and deck are watertight and look much better.
This is a waterfront house in Warren, Rhode Island facing the bay.
The old rubber roof was failing, there were multiple leaks along seams and corners, plus the owner complained that it gets pretty hot in the dining room located below during the sunny days.
Both these issues were resolved by installing a single-ply 50-mill white IB membrane.
First of all old rubber and insulation were removed and the roof deck was inspected for rot damage. Because the homeowner addressed his leak issues in a timely manner no rot damage was found and no repairs were necessary.
We installed new ½ inch fanfold insulation and IB membrane on top of it. To properly flash the membrane to the walls 3 rows of siding were removed, the membrane was flashed 1 foot up to the wall and a few inches into the gap under the sliders.
After the siding was reinstalled and all the gaps sealed, the leaking problem was taken care of, as well as the dining room’s overheating, because the white membrane reflects about 90% of sunlight, thus making living areas under it much cooler.
Even though this was a relatively big two-family house with the roof being about 1200 sq. feet it only had one 3 inch drain in the middle of it – that was just the way houses were built back in the days.
The roof was originally tar & gravel and naturally, after installing couple more new layers, it lost its slope towards the middle of the roof where the drain is. That, of course, caused water to the pond making the situation even worse and resulting in multiple leaks.
A roofing contractor who was called for repair charged $3500 and installed another patch right where water was ponding – naturally, the story repeated itself in no time. So, when we met the owner he was very frustrated and angry about the whole story – costly repairs were done but with no improvements.
We decided to strip the top two layers, recreate the original slope, and install a 50 mill IB PVC membrane over ½ inch fan-fold insulation.
After the strip was done we discovered that because the water was getting under the roof for a long time there were multiple places where the roof deck was completely rotten and deteriorated, we even found a termite colony at one place (wood and moisture, talk about the better combination for termites!).
Another problem was the drain itself: after multiple repair attempts, it had some build-up around it making it not the lowest point of the roof.
After all rot damage was repaired and the frame was rebuild we proceeded with installing IB membrane. 6-inch wide pressure treated wood nailer was installed around all edges. Then we installed ½ inch thick insulation and started rolling out IB membrane.
Two old vents were removed and replaced with IB vents; both chimneys were wrapped around about two feet high and terminated with masonry anchors and a termination bar.
After all, seams were hot-air welded together – forming one continuous piece of membrane – it was a time to replace the drain. We cut the old piece out and installed a new 3 inch IB drain with a rubber gasket to prevent possible back-flow and an aluminum dome over it to prevent it from clogging with leaves and other debris.
Two old vents were removed and replaced with IB vents; both chimneys were wrapped around about two feet high and terminated with masonry anchors and a termination bar. After all, seams were hot-air welded together – forming one continuous piece of membrane – it was a time to replace the drain. We cut the old piece out and installed a new 3 inch IB drain with a rubber gasket to prevent possible back-flow and an aluminum dome over it to prevent it from clogging with leaves and other debris. As a result – nice watertight roof, no ponding water and one happy customer.
ID Flat Roof is an authorized installer of IB Roof PVC membrane– the best solution for the flat roofs market these days. There are other PVC roofing products on the market but all of them have different weaknesses and none have strengths ofIB PVC Roof.
We received a call from a client in West Hartford, CT about the old Trocal roof. Even though the Trocal PVC roofs have been on the market for a while they have one very big issue: they get fragile at temperatures around zero degrees Celsius (32 F) and exponentially become more and more brittle as temperature drops further. In our case, it was a combination of things: very cold weather (which is not that unusual for Connecticut in the December-January period) and wind that broke of the branch of the tree near the house. The branch fell on the roof completely shattering 15×6 feet section.
We decided to repair that section with IB PVC Membrane – first of all because it is not sensitive to the temperature fluctuations and is very flexible and second because it can be hot-air welded to the existing Trocal PVC.
We started with cleaning up approximately 25×6 feet section making sure that there are absolutely no cracks left behind. Then we replaced old drip edge and made sure that old insulation and PVC is fastened reliably using 2” barbed plates.
The old fasteners weren’t working very well and there were definitely not enough of them. Then old PVC was cleaned using acetone and the pieces of the new IB PVC membrane were installed and welded together and to the old PVC.
Now the single piece of IB membrane and old Trocal was formed and roof became completely watertight again.