Facility Maintenance Decisions

Roofing Q&A: Installation Issues

By Dave Lubach, Associate Editor   Roofing

OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Roofing Project Questions and AnswersPt. 2: This PagePt. 3: Post-Installation Questions When Planning Roofing Projects

When a roofing system fails, scrutiny often falls on the system's installers first as the possible source of the problem. Paying attention to installation materials and processes can go a long way toward limiting these problems.

"The quality of the product is only ever as good as the guys who install it on your roof," says Brian Impellizeri of GAF Materials Corp. "Typically, if a roofing system fails, it is the product that is blamed first, but poor installation is much more likely to be the cause."

Here are the key questions managers need to consider.

What are the experience level and credentials of the installer?"

"One of the first things to check is whether or not the contractor has been trained and certified by the manufacturer to install your type of roofing system," Impellizeri says. "They should have some sort of documentation that supports this claim. Another (step) is going back to the manufacturer to see if they offer any type of continuous education courses that reinforce proper installation techniques. You should also ask (other) building owners or facility managers for references for work (the installers have) done in the past. This way, you'll not only see the quality of their work, but have the opportunity to speak with another customer who has worked with the contractor before."

What steps has the installer taken to prevent standing water on the roof?

"Proper slope is advantageous in ensuring roof membranes meet their desired life expectancy," Berg says. "It is not desirable to allow water to sit or pond on a roof membrane. It is necessary to allow for the immediate removal of water from the roof membrane. This can be achieved by installing proper slope to your roof system by using tapered insulations and installing roof drains and scuppers. Care should be taken in any roofing project that proper slope and drain usage is factored in. It can be an expensive undertaking that could be a factor in whether a roof membrane lasts five years or 20."

What future rooftop activities or installations should be considered?

"I've seen in recent years people putting solar panels on their roof, or vegetation, making a patio area or an outdoor space that can be utilized by occupants," says Brian Alexander of Firestone Building Products. "I think sometimes those future design considerations are not included in the initial decision. If you knew going in up front that you may put photovoltaic or solar on the roof, there are design considerations you can make on the front end that are fairly inexpensive rather than having to retrofit after the fact."

Continue Reading: Supplier's Perspective: Roofing

Roofing Project Questions and Answers

Roofing Q&A: Installation Issues

Post-Installation Questions When Planning Roofing Projects

Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »

  posted on 4/18/2015   Article Use Policy

Related Topics: