Mike St. Pierre, O’LYN Roof System Specialist:
Winters in New England are known for their fierceness and this year did not disappoint in that regard. Inclement weather brings with it, an incredible challenge for our homes to stand up against. One particular problem that has become persistent as spring arrives is, flat roof leaking.
A flat roof may consist of TPO, PVC, and EPDM, to name a few. In any case, there are two certainties that homeowners and I have encountered over the last 3-4 weeks; contractor error and material breakdown. When it comes to roofing of all kinds, especially flat roofing, 95% of all roof failures come down to contractor error or poor installation. Of the three types of flat roofing mentioned earlier, EPDM has proven its durability, as it has been used since the 1960s and has been a proven method of flat roofing for Olyn Roofing for 40 years.
I have visited many homeowners over the last month and have been astonished with some of the problems I have witnessed. From poor materials; thin membranes, incorrect flashing materials, and faulty mechanical fasteners, to poor installation; wrong adhesives, installation during cold temperatures, and incorrect wall area flashing, it is easy to determine that sometimes companies wear too many hats. When it comes to flat roofing, there are a few proven methods homeowners can use to ensure a quality product, proper installation, and durability accompanied by an iron-clad warranty.
Olyn Roofing and the forty years of installing flat roofing, among other types of roofing are experts in the field. Experience is a key factor in choosing a company to know the top lasting materials as well as the competency level that is called for when installing a flat roof. Experience and competency are critical when it comes to flashing wall areas, parapet walls, heating or A/C devices (known for being on top of flat roofs) and properly sealing seams of any type on a flat roof.
Many homeowners have asked, “Can we patch the existing flat roof?”, which is a fair question. However, most times the answer is, no. The reason for this is, most flat roofs that I look at due to leaking will continue to present future leaking in the short term and to patch one leaking area, would be a wasteful endeavor. It is not uncommon for homeowners to spend 1,200.00-3,200.00 to fix or patch a flat roof 6-7 times once the first leak has presented itself. The sheer economics of doing that versus properly installing a new membrane would not make sense. Not to mention the ongoing interior damage repair costs.
In summary, choosing the right flat roof specialist who knows the proper materials that should be used on a flat roof and is an expert at installing flat roofs are paramount.