Low slope roofing products are used on flat roofs, low pitched roofs and some patio roofs. The most commonly used low slope roofing products used in the Phoenix Valley are Rolled Roofing, Modified Bitumen Roofing “Torch Down” and a product referred to as Peel and Stick. There are also commercial grade products such as Built-up Roofing and TPO products “Thermoplastic Polyolefin”. In this section we will discuss the use of the first three noted above. Each system type has its place. The decision on which system to use should be based more on the use of the building, and not primarily on cost.
- Choosing the wrong low slope roofing product for the wrong application
- Inadequate, rotted, and/or damaged sub-decking in which to install the products
- Perimeter flashings not installed properly for adequate edge sealing
- Lap seams and overlaps not to standards, which can cause poor sealing
- Driving nails or other fasteners through the low slope roofing products
- Base sheets improperly installed, causing buckling in the low slope roofing membrane
- Mechanical damage caused by dropping tools or objects puncturing the membrane
- Counter-flashing at roof to wall unions not installed and/or installed incorrectly
- There are fewer joints and laps in low slope roofing products as compared to shingle and tile roofs.
- Low slope roofing products are inexpensive as compared to some traditional roofing products.
- Low slope roofing products are easy to repair and replace.
- Low slope roofing products, such as peel and stick, can be used around chimneys and dead valleys.
- Low slope roofing products have no exposed fasteners.
- Inspect the low slope roofing membrane for gaps, buckles and loosely sealed edges.
- Inspect the membrane for missing granules. Missing granules can cause pre-mature deterioration.
- Confirm that the low slope roofing membrane wraps up the wall at roof to wall unions and that counter-flashing is present and properly secured. Make sure no water is entering behind the couter-flashing.
- Inspect the condition of the sub-decking for softness, dry-rot and water damage, which may indicate that there may be problems with the low slope roofing membrane.
- If anything is penetrating the low slope membrane, like a satellite dish, make sure the fasteners are properly caulked and sealed to eliminate any chance of water intrusion.
Depending on the overall condition of the low slope roofing product, the membrane can be restored by installing an elastomeric coating over the membrane. Also, simple repairs can be performed to repair gaps and/or poorly sealed areas at edges, laps and seams. In other situations, sections of the low slope roofing membrane can be cut out and overlaid with a new membrane to repair the damaged area. Low slope roofing products require some skill to repair and install. We recommend you contact a Phoenix Roofing Contractor for these types of repairs.
The most commonly used product in the modified bitumen roofing family is referred to as “Torch Down”. Torch down requires a base sheet and a cap sheet to complete the installation process. The final price will depend on a number of factors like the size of job, the difficulty of the job, and if new wood decking is required to install the new torch down membrane. There are many products to choose from that will dictate final pricing.