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My new TPO roof

Post in 'The Green Room' started by precaud, Jun 25, 2007.

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  1. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I spent 10 years of my younger life one year as the bucket man on a hot mop crew. No pumps and pipes, a pulley and rope and then a five gallon bucket in each hand on top of Texas roofs in July and August. And every Monday morning of that year unloading the shingle trucks.

    I never want to put on another roof as long as I live!

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  2. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Amen BB, Ive done the bucket thing & the pumper thing, mop man, roll man, kettle man it all sucks. The hot roofing I do not miss.
  3. Inspector911

    Inspector911 New Member

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    TPO is the best, so easy to work with. You can build a deck on top of it. Some applications in the inter cities have homes with a small flat roof that allows for a platform also. These are great to build a deck on.
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I owned a house with a standing seam tin roof once. Keep it painted and forget about it. Beautiful.
  5. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Exactly, well maintained a metal roof with last generations.
    Tops in my book would be slate for longevity & beauty. But again must be maintained.
    Then cedar, again must be maintained.
    Asphalt & fiberglass shingles are basically maintenance free, but don't last as long as slate or cedar. They are getting them up there in warranty years though.
    prices go in pretty much same order.
    Old world metal roofs are truly an art.
  6. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    There's a lot of slate roofs in northern New York and into New England. I agree, they're the best. Apparently, the weak link is the quality of nails and wire used to hang them. If they used cheap fasteners back in the day, then they'll corrode over time and there goes your beautiful roof after 80 or 100 years. You also need a pretty good frame to hang all that weight on.

    Nearly all the roofs in the town I used to live in were standing seam tin affairs. Apparently, early in the 20th Century there was some concern about fires (probably from all the wood stoves and boilers) and everybody went with metal roofing. Mine was laid over cedar shingles. I painted it myself--once. What a pain; I'll never do that again.

    I've got a couple of asphalt roofing projects in my future, Hogwildz. I'll be sure to check in with you before I start.
  7. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    The problem with fasteners was less as existent back then. The fastener or nails were also made from copper. Which lasted as long if not longer than the slates.
    Its when folks got cheap and used steel nails or even galvanized nails that the nails would fail prematurely. When you mention wire, I can only think of the hooks used when replacing single or very small areas of slate that do not afford one to access to the nails underneath the remaining existing slates. Instead, the slate above was shifted over at the bottom, they actually do move a couple inches either way this way. then a hole is punched a couple 2"-3" through the slate below the one slid over (which is also the slate in the course below the one being replaced. a copper wire bent in a long almost but not quite an "S" is hooked into the hole, the new replacement slate slid up over the wire past the lower hook and slid back down to rest in the hook. The other method which is a lil easier is then slide the new slate in place, spread the two slates above a lil, then punch a hole through the new slate, then insert a nail into the lath below to hold it. Then slide a slightly curved pc of metal up over the nail and under the next course above, pretty much unnoticeable from the ground. I'll attach a photos of these two methods along with a wrong method. No I didn't draw them, just found them as example. Wallah, done. Of course a big job of several hundred all separate areas is not so wallah, and very time consuming. :)

    For anyone thinking about a slate roof. There are several colors , mixed colors and several styles or actually areas they are quarried. Vermont is known for green slate. New York I believe a more blue & gray with some red also, (been a while). Same in PA as New York,. PA also had what was called Pennsylvania slate. It had a diagonal grain & pattern unlike the others. Very cool looking, but very brittle and does deteriorate faster than normal. It breaks & delaminates along these diagonal lines. Slates come in several thicknesses also. Anywhere from 3/8" to I think 1-1and1/4". Different widths & heights also. Uses basic substrate as cedar. A heavy true 1"x3" lath system. They make a pretty good fake slate these days also.


    Nearly all the roofs in the town I used to live in were standing seam tin affairs. Apparently, early in the 20th Century there was some concern about fires (probably from all the wood stoves and boilers) and everybody went with metal roofing. Mine was laid over cedar shingles. I painted it myself--once. What a pain; I'll never do that again.

    Best way I have found to paint them is with a roller. Use a brush at the seams & rioll the field in between the seams.
    As you can tell I am still a tad passionate about roofing LMAO. Once a roofer, always a roofer I suppose.


    I've got a couple of asphalt roofing projects in my future, Hogwildz. I'll be sure to check in with you before I start.

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  8. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I was a passenger in a car driving through Vermont and eastern New York State yesterday, Hogz, and I snapped some shots of some roofs for your viewing pleasure.

    It's hard to get good shots from a moving vehicle, but some of them turned out OK.

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  9. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Beautiful pics Eric!
    Its views like that, that do make me miss roofing at times.
    Slate roofs are no picnic to put on, tedious & slow, but so nice looking when done.
    Nice photo of that metal roof. The lines of the standing seams on a standing seam roof, just always catch ones eye.
    Not to mention the vertical lines are slimming for the width challenged roofs :)
    I still have not unpacked many boxes since my move last year. When I do, I will look for the photos of the last standing seam I did.
    I think I took some in progress photos, I know Iat least too some of the pre paint, primer and finish coat.
    I used to drive by that roof once in a while. About 9 years later I saw it was not upkept. And the paint was starting to peel. My bosses were a bit stingy on paint, so part of that was not the roof owners fault, but a problem of using a less expensive paint, which shows. Added with the dirt & debris collected in the build in gutter.
    They never did one thing to clean or maintenance it. Oh well, at least I have the finish photos to remember.
    Nice photos :) I know now I am not the only one to be looking up at roofs wherever I go LOL. Habit
    Thanks for sharing
  10. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Glad you liked 'em Hogz.

    The porch placement in the standing seam photo is, IMO, a design flaw, at least this far north. Mine was like that. The problem is that in a bad winter you can get big chunks of ice and snow sliding off the top roof and onto the porch roof. When all that weight drops 8 or 10 feet with the momentum going away from the house, it tends to want to tear things up. Keeping a cold attic is one solution. An expensive venting retrofit is another. I opted for the cold attic (just leave the windows open). The guy who bought the house had the attic remodeled into a bedroom, but the contractor didn't bother to vent it correctly, so I think he's asking for trouble. Not my problem, I guess. I told him to specify a ridge vent, etc. in the contract, but it wasn't done that way.
  11. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    There is a much simpler solution to the upper snow sliding off onto the lower roof. I always used claws, or snow stops as some call them. They are as simple as plastic cleats with double sided tape on the bottom that stick to the panel face, to very ornate steel or aluminum cleats that are fastened same way or with solder or screws. Usually staggered up & down on each panel, a few feet from the bottom of the eave.
    Some are fastened with a slit cut through the panel and the cleat mtg flange screwed or nailed to the lath underneath the panel. I stayed away from the last way. Hate putting holes in a perfectly good roof. The screw method can be trick also, a good sealant must be used between the cealt base & the roof panel face. The cleats work very well, and do hold the snow. They must be installed right & sturdy though as to not rip out of the roof.
    The stick on ones can be tricky with a painted roof that has loose paint.
    If you can get cleats on the roof, they will help alot.
    Another help would be a gutter at the eave of the upper roof, fastened well with screwed in hidden hangers, it will hold the snow back on roof also. Without either, yes the snow will slide and in big slabs doing damage below.

    Do a search on: metal roof snow guards and you'll see what I am talking about.
    I just saw not they have a system that is a bar that goes across and is clamped to each seam, I'd like to see one of those up close. Good idea & no penetrations through the panel. See link -----> http://www.alpinesnowguards.com/


    Sheesh I am editing the heck out of this post. You can alost attach snow cleats on with adhesive ( good strong caulk, construction adhesive, etc.) I used to use this stuff called Geocel that stuck to anything and was a real biach to get off :)
  12. solman

    solman New Member

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    To Master of Fire in New Mexico - Could you post your TPO installer name and phone /email. I am about to specify TPO on a job in Taos but a previous client of mine had installation problems, ie inexperienced crew from Albuquerque. Many thanks!
  13. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    PM'ed to you.
  14. jimo

    jimo New Member

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    To PRECAUD, thanks for the info, I too am getting ready to do a TPO install in Abq. and would appreciate info. on who you used, thanks
    -Jim
  15. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    8 or 10 feet? How about 30 feet? The pic is my car from college, right after a couple hundred pound chunk of ice let go from the roof in the spring. The result of a combination of an old house with no insulation and a freakish UP winter of both extreme cold and lots of snow. I was 10 feet away through the basement wall, it sounded like a bomb.

    I see I'm a little late on this thread, but just wanted to share...

    I see those snow stops here in DC a lot, not sure why since it never snows. I never saw them in the UP; I'm not sure how long they'd survive anyway. People up there just shovel the roof off once or twice. (Not my cheap landlords, of course!)

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  16. Gibbonboy

    Gibbonboy New Member

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    The snow dogs really only work to a point, then nothing will stop the slide. They stop "normal" snow around here, not sure how they'd do in an area that got more. They're certainly strong enough, should be too for 7 bucks each.

    Pennsylvania made the rule last year or before that if you don't clean your vehicle off, and someone is injured or property damaged by the snow/ice coming off your vehicle, you are criminally liable. Of course, it's one of those laws that's almost impossible to enforce- unless a cop sees the stuff coming off your vehicle, or someone has video, how do they prove it was you?
  17. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Hello roofing experts, esp Hogwildz!

    We bought our 4 year old house when it was two years old. This'll be our second winter.

    It has a fabral grandrib 3 screwed on metal roof, http://www.fabral.com/res-grandrib3.asp , and a porch on either side, which do take some pretty good hits when the snow slides.
    Last winter the snow kind of stayed on the porch roofs. I thought I'd try to push it off but it had stuck by that time.
    For more info, this is what Fabral has on cleats (not too conclusive to me): http://www.fabral.com/technical/Snow_Guards.pdf
    We haven't had any problems that we can tell with the roof, save for the noise of the rain coming off the lower porch when the bedroom windows are open during the summer.
    I've been resisting gutters, since we don't have any basement water woes (knock on wood), we have a little stone at the drip line, and at least one local gutter guy wouldn't touch a metal roof 'cause he said the snow just rips 'em off.

    Some questions:

    1) I know it's not a top-notch metal roof, but will this roof last? It seems that a renewal of the screws/washers might be necessary at some point (when?) but along with painting, they're both probably a lot cheaper than a new roof. Does the screw-on style have any advantage?

    2) Can gutters be installed on metal roofs? I've looked at residential metal roofs while driving around and have not seen too many with gutters.

    3) Should I just let the snow pile up on the porches? It eventually slides off in big globs, carrying the snow that already fell onto it from the main roof. My attempt at pushing it (with a shovel through the windows!) was less than satisfactory, as I mentioned, and there's always the possibility of scraping through the paint. Also, darned if I'm going to be walking around up there, on ladders, etc, at that time of year if I can help it.

    4) As far as snow cleats, so far the porches have taken the hits. I like the idea of the snow shedding on the main roof too. Are they necessary? (I'm leaning towards status quo)

    5) Any tips for walking on this roof? I'm going to try to NOT (eg, sweeping from below), but one thing I imagine would be that it be perfectly dry, and use some kind of rope/harness. (I had an old row house in Reading, PA back in '76 or so, and would've killed myself if I didn't have a rope to grab onto when I slipped when coating the terne roof with shiney roof paint-yes I do believe it contained asbestos :) )

    5) Any other suggestions?

    Thanks.

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  18. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Some questions:

    1) I know it's not a top-notch metal roof, but will this roof last? It seems that a renewal of the screws/washers might be necessary at some point (when?) but along with painting, they're both probably a lot cheaper than a new roof. Does the screw-on style have any advantage?

    As with any roof, the better maintenanced, the longer it will last. Metal roofs are not alot of maintenance. Just keep the paint in good shape, which yours looks fine from the photo. The screws most likely have neoprene or rubber like washers. They are usually the first thing to need replacement. Which basically means the whole screw. The washers are not worth trying to remove from the screws to reuse the screws with new washers. The screws are fairly inexpensive. Of course they last quite a few years, and your roof from the photos looks pretty good. If ya look at the washers, if the are cracked, dry rotted, or deteriorating, time to replace, if not, your good to go. When the paint finally does start showing noticeable fade or rust starting, then repaint with proper metal paint. These metal type roofs are usually seen on barns, sheds, machinery buildings etc. But have become a much more used option for new roof for more & more residential homes in the last few years. Nothing wrong with these roofs. Economical, can get in many color choices, easy to install, easy to maintain. Is it the top of the line, no, is it the worst roof you could have, far from it. It looks good, keeps you dry, and if you don't mind the patter of rain etc, its fine. The screws should be driven through the top of the upward ribs. I have seen them screwed through the flat lower area on many roofs, and that asking for a leak when the washers let go. On the top of the ribs, even after the washers rot away, it will still be less likely to take in water. But I still recommend replacing the screws if/when the time comes. The barn that came with this house I bought last year has same type roof. Unfortunately, the previous homeowner used the real cheap stuff, several dif colors, and screwed it in ther low spots. But its and empty barn for now, so low on the list of things to do. I think your roof looks nice, looks to be in great shape from afar.

    2) Can gutters be installed on metal roofs? I've looked at residential metal roofs while driving around and have not seen too many with gutters.
    Gutters can be installed on metal roofs, but its basically a waste of time. You have to use roof hangers, which on a metal roof are screwed through the top face of the roof. And with enough ice weight, will rip the hangers from the metal, leaving holes where they once were. Even through the lath underneath, the screws will eventually pull out for ice weight and down goes the gutter. If you have a solid face board (fascia) under the roof edge, thats the way to go. Or you can mount the hangers to the rafter tails if exposed. If you don't need the gutters, don't waste your money. There is a reason you don't see alot of metal roof with gutters :)

    3) Should I just let the snow pile up on the porches? It eventually slides off in big globs, carrying the snow that already fell onto it from the main roof. My attempt at pushing it (with a shovel through the windows!) was less than satisfactory, as I mentioned, and there's always the possibility of scraping through the paint. Also, darned if I'm going to be walking around up there, on ladders, etc, at that time of year if I can help it.

    There are several roof rakes out on the market for just this purpose. Most have extension handles for far reaches. I'd try one of those. Depending on how much snow & weight is on the roof, You might want to get some snow off if its a wet heavy load.
    You can try the snow stops, if the roof is not taking a beating, and there is no danger involved where the snow slides off. I'd personally leave them off. Again, either adhering to the roof face, or worse yet screwing in through the roof to th lath or deck below. I am just a firm believer of putting least amount of holes in a perfectly good roof. Least holes = lesser chance of leaks down the road, when rubber or caulk deteriorates. If your going to use them, I recommend trying ones that are adhered, and use a good adhesive. Just keep in mind, years down the road, you might be readhering them. On the tin roofs, they were soldered on. Not many tin roofs around these days. Dying art.

    4) As far as snow cleats, so far the porches have taken the hits. I like the idea of the snow shedding on the main roof too. Are they necessary? (I'm leaning towards status quo)

    See above

    5) Any tips for walking on this roof? I'm going to try to NOT (eg, sweeping from below), but one thing I imagine would be that it be perfectly dry, and use some kind of rope/harness. (I had an old row house in Reading, PA back in '76 or so, and would've killed myself if I didn't have a rope to grab onto when I slipped when coating the terne roof with shiney roof paint-yes I do believe it contained asbestos :) )

    I suggest avoiding walking directly on the roof for a few reasons.
    1. It will dent, buckle the panels.
    2. They are easy to loose footing on and end up on the ground in a world of hurt.
    3. Depending whats under the metal, if its just lath, good chance of going through.

    Harness is an ok idea, but if you go through, its still going to hurt.
    I suggest making a chicken ladder, they take your weight and also spread it out along the ladder to the roof. Much safer if you make one correctly.
    I honestly have used many dif ones. I even have split an alum extension ladder in half & used the 2 slide brackets as the hooks for over the peak.
    I would not do that anymore, and don't suggest it. You need something with a good enough reach over the peak and back to the other side.
    Chicken ladders are the way to go for metal, slate and steep pitch roofs.



    5) Any other suggestions?

    Keep her maintained when needed, which isn't a rel lot. And it will last 20-30 or more years.


    Thanks.[/quote
  19. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Hogwildz,
    Thanks very much for your very complete and informative answers.
    I appreciate it.
    VF
  20. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Anytime, glad to help, anytime. I might not know all the answers, If I have some knowledge, I'll share, if I don't know, I won't blow smoke up anyones arse, I'll just admit, I don't know LOL. ;)
  21. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    Talk about a hijacked thread... sheesh.
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