Caldwell’s Roofing is pleased to announce that they are a GAF Authorized Roofing Contractor!
The GAF AuthorizedTM Roofing Contractor program certifies roofers to deal with low-slope roofing applications, such as are encountered in commercial roofing.
However, this program is also good for residential roofers, as homes often have sections of roof that are 2:12 or less in slope (especially carport roofs, additions, dead valleys, and cut-up roofs). Many roofers simply roof over these lower slopes, not realizing that asphalt shingles were never intended to be a “water-proof” barrier, but rather a “water-shedding” layer. When there’s not sufficient gravity to get the water off the roof quickly, it will seep back up under the shingles and create leaks.
Caldwell’s Roofing doesn’t like to use asphalt shingles below a 3:12, because it simply is asking for trouble, in their opinion.
Low-Slope Options – Roll Roofing, TPO, PVC, EPDM…
When you have lower slope roofs, you need to use a low-slope solution, such as properly-installed roll-roofing or single-ply membranes like TPO or PVC. If you’re wanting a long-lasting roof, you need to make sure the low-slope portions of your roof are installed properly. In fact, the first of ten common roofing mistakes is just this – installing shingles on slopes that are too shallow to adequately shed the water off. Make sure that your roofer understands not just shingles, but is versed in acceptable low-slope options as well.
In the Past, Built-Up Roofs (“BUR”) Were Common – Using Asphalt or Coal Tar Pitch (“CTP”)
Built-up roofs were used a lot in the past few decades. The asphalt-based bitumen or coal-tar-based bitumen were the off-products from the gasoline and steel/aluminum industries, respectively. Richard Fricklas had this to say – “Coal tar pitch was a by-product of processing coal to make coke, which in turn was used in making carbon steel and electrodes for the aluminum industry.” They were relatively inexpensive, and the pea-gravel layer on top shielded the sun’s UV rays from deteriorating the bitumen and also improved the roof’s fire-resistance.
Nowadays, Cool Roof Options Are Taking Over – TPO & PVC
Today, the old-style black-colored built-up roofs are quickly phasing out of production in favor of light-colored, single-ply membrane roofs like TPO and PVC. Not only are these alternatives lighter in both color and weight, they are also easier and safer to install! Some buildings, in the past, have even been burned down because of trying to install a built-up roof (the burning hot bitumen and open flames caught the building on fire)!
An added benefit of some low-slope materials is their cool, reflective ratings. TPO and PVC, while sometimes available in other colors, typically come in plain white, and are able to reflect much more radiant heat than traditional shingles or built-up roofs.
These two examples of single-ply membrances (TPO and PVC) are both hot-air-welded together at their seams (either by hand, or, for whole roofs, often by robot) to ensure a water-tight roof. When you use a GAF Authorized Roofing Contractor, you lessen the likelihood of call-backs, as the roof will be installed per manufacturer’s specs. For one example, the edges of the roof will be sealed off to a drip edge via a careful, two-step process.
EPDM, a Black Membrane, Has Its Pros and Cons
Another type of low-slope roofing is EPDM. It was generally black, but nowadays it can also be produced with a white coating on the top. From what I’ve heard, the white top coating is not that great, as it breaks down over time, and the reflective property is diminished. While EPDM is great for stopping water (it was originally used as pond-liners!), and can handle ponding water on a poorly-designed roof that lacks positive drainage; nevertheless, it has a tendency to pull away from edges, pipe-penetrations, and other roof penetrations.
What Are the Best Flat Or Low-Slope Roofing Options Today?
In view of this discussion, Caldwell’s Roofing prefers to use one of the following – TPO or Roll Roofing. In GAF parlance, that would be:
- GAF’s EverGuardⓇ FreedomTM Self-Adhering TPO, or
- GAF’s LibertyTM SBS Self-Adhering Roll Roofing.
And between the two, Caldwell’s Roofing prefers TPO, because of its clean appearance, reflectivity, possible energy savings, and ENERGY STARⓇ qualification (for white only). Also, it’s the opinion of Caldwell’s Roofing that TPO will last longer. If you’re worried that TPO and PVC are new technologies that are unknown, you needn’t worry, as they have been around for decades, and are time-proven.
On a technical point, GAF’s TPO, whilst self-adhering, comes in two varieties – one with self-sealing seams, and one with hot-air-welded seams. Only the latter of these sub-options can carry their 20-year limited warranty for use as a partial system on the low-slope sections of residences. That’s why we opt to use it, and ensure that the customer is able to get as much warranty as possible, even on the low-slope sections of their homes.
While Caldwell’s Roofing prefers the use of TPO over roll-roofing, one advantage for roll-roofing is that it comes in a variety of colors, as seen below:
Caldwell’s Roofing, As a GAF Authorized Roofing Contractor, Is Qualified to Do Low-Slope Roofs
When you select Caldwell’s Roofing to do your residential roof, you can rest assured that we will seek to provide you with the best matching option for the low-slope parts of your roof, and will follow manufacturer’s instructions. Give us a call today! (334) 332-7799.