Blog Archives

Bulk Water Management with a Low Slope Roof

Low slope roofs or “flat” roofs, as they are sometimes called, typically have single-ply membrane or multi-layer “built-up” roof systems. Although one or more manufacturers offer warrantees for membranes installed with no slope, the 2015 IBC (International Building Code) requires

Posted in Construction Documents, Design, Roofing

Using Continuous Rigid Insulation to Solve a Roof Ice Problem

  This Vermont church roof (top photo) suffered from ice build-up, leaks, and giant icicles below the eaves of the relatively new sanctuary roof. The original intent for construction of the sanctuary roof was a ‘dropped’ cathedral ceiling with fiberglass

Posted in Building Repair, Design, Roofing

Steep Roof Design Basics for Snow Country

Leaks from ponds created by ice dams can frequently be traced to roof design. Roof designs that funnel snow to narrow spaces and narrow eaves are likely to promote the development of ice dams and resulting roof leaks. Roof designs

Posted in Construction Documents, Design, Roofing

A Catch 22 Product Specification

Specifications occasionally include unintended contradictions, and in some instances they are related to schedule. Not long ago, I reviewed a specification for roofing that included a requirement for a particular “ice and water shield” product and allowed no substitutions. The

Posted in Construction Administration, Project Management, Roofing, Specifications

Metal Roofing Specifications: “No Visible Oil Canning” equals Mission Impossible.

On my first visit to the job site after the roofing contractor had started installing standing seam metal roofing, the Clerk called me aside and said, “I think we’ve got oil canning.” I looked at the newly installed metal. It

Posted in Construction Administration, Project Management, Roofing, Specifications

Roof Drainage Design: Foresight or Afterthought?

If we could just get it a little further away or get it to go over there, everything would be okay. Copyright Albert R. Russell 2009

Posted in Design, Gosh Darnit, Roofing

We usually locate the roof drains near the low point

We were working on the layout of the roof plan for a large, irregularly shaped building, designed with the structure gently warped to shed water to the edges. A drafter was adding roof drains to the plan, and I noticed

Posted in Design, Oops, Roofing

A notable roof warranty exclusion

Manufacturers of single ply roofing membranes offer warranties that vary in duration and conditions of coverage. The warranties typically include a lengthy list of requirements and exclusions. One of the most notable exclusions, which appears in all caps and/or boldface

Posted in Gosh Darnit, Project Administration, Project Management, Roofing

Roof Drainage Design: Early design decisions can influence roof and wall performance

It is possible for architectural designers to rely too much on technical details, specifications, and construction quality to overcome the challenges created by a design concept. A design concept can overwhelm the intended performance of roofs and walls that are

Posted in Design, Project Management, Roofing

Roof Shingle Warranty: What’s in it?

There may be a popular notion that a 30-year shingle is one that comes with a full 30-year warranty against leaks, so that if you (or, more likely, your building) experience a roof leak, say, 27 years from the date

Posted in Gosh Darnit, Project Administration, Roofing


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