We’ve done quite a few of these row house flat roof replacement, this job was a little different because of the new cornice at the front wall. The existing roof in Alexandria, VA wasn’t leaking but the owner knew it was getting to the end of its useful service life, the wall coping (metal cap around the outside walls) was probably original to the 70 year old house and was pretty rusted out. While discussing the job the owners mentioned that they were looking for ways to add some curb appeal to the front of the house; I came up with the idea of a new cornice to add some mass to the upper front face of the house.
This project started with a leaking flat roof at the skylight; the Owner called us to report that she was seeing stains. We first went out intending to repair the roof (not replace) because it was only six years old; a roof like this should have a service life of 15-20 years if properly installed. When we got up on the roof it felt soggy- in some areas it felt like we were walking in mud as we could feel the roof sinking beneath our feet; when fiberboard insulation gets wet it turns into mush. We alerted the Owner and told her that this might not be a quick fix; since there was no attic space to inspect the underside of the roof the only way to truly asses the roof was to perform a few test cuts to see what was really going on. The testing was done with no further obligation than the small service charge for our time and materials. [Read more…]
This is standing seam tin roof, probably around 40 years old. During high winds the eave edge of the roof was peeled back and flipped over on itself; the owner did his best to push it back and laid bricks across it to hold it down. When the panels flipped over it split the metal along the seams, there was really no repair option, the roof needed to be replaced. [Read more…]
This was one of my favorite projects, the house is around 115 years old and is on the National Historic Register. Although beautiful on the inside; the exterior, specifically the roof, had been neglected. 90% of the roof is completely out of sight so it was easy for deterioration to get out of control. The client called with a small leak in the front part of the house.
Before: you can see the upper flat roof is covered in blisters and various peeling coatings. [Read more…]
This is an EPDM (rubber) roof; it was installed over an existing built up (tar and gravel) roof; due to a number of factors it consistently held about 4″ of water on its surface. Although the name can be deceiving, a flat roof needs slope; not a lot, just enough to encourage the water to drain off to a gutter or roof drain within 24-36 hours after a rain. This house used to hold about 2″ of water all year round; if the owner wanted to he could have started a brine shrimp farm. [Read more…]