Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Roof Problem? Call a Roofer First

A client of ours in Miami started out with a small area of damage to her bathroom ceiling the size of a bread stick. A "friend" referred her to a Public Adjuster (PA) who came out immediately and, once in the house, pronounced it "a goldmine". He proceeded to take notes on any perceived damage he could find, most of it unrelated to the roof leak such as a cracked floor tile.

The PA then called in a mold and water mitigation company (M&W) who also came right out and filled the house with fans and heaters. They also "installed" a big blue tarp on the roof. A few days later an adjuster from the homeowner's insurance company came out, surveyed inside, went on the roof for a few minutes and left. A couple days after that an engineer from the insurance company had M&W remove the tarp and spent three hours inside the house and on the roof. She left saying the cause of the damage was "inconclusive". M&W then put back the tarp and a week later it blew off during a typical South Florida thunderstorm. M&W promptly put back the tarp with some "enhancements".

Around this time is when I received a call from the homeowner. The roof consisted of three attached low slope BUR fiberglass systems in fair-good condition. It was 80% covered by a blue tarp fastened to the roof with intermittent firring strips and nails along two sides. Approximately sixty nails penetrated the roof membrane. The other two sides of the tarp were fastened to the fascia in the same manner. Holes were cut in the tarp around two vent stacks and no visible attempt was made to seal the tarp around the pipes. which straddled the leak area according to my measurements. The tarp should have been placed 10 feet further north to cover the upper roof completely and fasteners should never penetrate a roof membrane to secure a tarp unless the roof is to be replaced. Any combination of sandbags, rope, bungees, boards or other ballasts should be used.

I left and soon sent an estimate to the owner for $1,600 to remove the tarp, repair the nail holes and repair the leak which I determined, without removing the tarp, was routine as their was no weakness in the deck. Two weeks later she agreed.

We removed the tarp and torched Ruberoid strips over the 62 nail holes. It took 2 minutes to find the leak, a nail from the sheathing had penetrated the membrane. I torched a softball-sized piece of Rubberoid over it.

The homeowner told me two other roofers said she needed a new roof. Not surprisingly the insurance company refused her claim. I advised her to report the PA, sue M&W and volunteered to testify. I also gave her a price for an elastomeric roof coating application, which it really needed. Had I been the first responder the repair would have cost her $300+/- and I would have told her not to call her insurance company over such a small claim with a $1,000 deductible. Rogue Public Adjusters are a major reason for runaway home insurance rates.

When homeowners have a problem with their roof, they should first call a roofer. Better yet - call three. www.roofermikeinc.com/re-roofs&repairs


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Anatomy of a Flat Roof

We installed a GAF Ruberoid Torch System on the smallest stand-alone flat roof I've ever done, a giant TV cabinet at a Miami Springs, FL sports bar.

Application of FireOut to the plywood deck for a Class A fire rating.

Install 2 plies GAF GAFGLASS #75 base sheet tin-capped to Miami-Dade Code.

Install 1 ply GAF Ruberoid Torch Smooth

Install 2 scuppers w/back-up,1 ply GAF Ruberoid Torch Granule, stucco-stop & stucco. Done. www.roofermikeinc/re-roofs&repairs