Categories
Flat Roofs

Fall Storm Preparation for Your Roof

While fall may bring the wonderful colors of changing leaves, it also brings new challenges for homeowners to protect themselves from. Each autumn, more frequent and powerful storms can cause lasting damage to your roof, drainage systems, and more if proper preventative steps aren’t taken. Let’s take a look at tips for fall storm preparation for your home.

Preventative Steps to Take

Schedule a Roof Inspection

It’s hard to know how at risk for damage your roof is without the assistance of a professional eye. For this reason, it’s important to seek out the right professional to conduct an inspection of your roof. Often times, damages such as cracks or missing shingles will go unnoticed until water begins to leak into your home.

Consider Scheduling a Water Test

If you’re unsure whether or not your roof has a trouble spot where water can enter, it is advisable to schedule a Water Test. A roofing expert from Four Twelve will use a pressurized hose to probe your roof for vulnerabilities, and see if water leaks into your attic. This way we can address risks for leaks before a major storm hits.

 

Clean Your Gutters

Autumn brings fallen leaves, and fallen leaves lead to clogged gutters. Your gutters serve the important role of funneling water from the base of your roof. However, when they clog, water becomes trapped and can lead to roof damage if not taken care of.

Examine Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

If your home does suffer damage from fall storms, it’s important to carefully examine your homeowner’s insurance policy to check what kind of damage is covered, and what you will have to pay out of pocket.

Replace Missing or Damaged Shingles

Roof shingles serve as a protective layer for your roofing system. If shingles are torn off by debris, or become damaged, they can create trouble spots for moisture to enter into your attic and cause damage to your roof’s wooden framing. Professional roofers can help you replace shingles that are missing or damaged.

Cut Down Overhanging Branches

Overhanging branches can cause significant damage to your roof and pose a safety hazard as well. Trimming branches, especially those that are dead, is an important preventative step in fall storm preparation for your home.

 

Additional Things to Keep an Eye On

Membrane: Ensure the protective membrane meant to keep water from entering through your attic is not ripped, punctured, or showing effects of aging.

Flashings: Inspect that all of your home’s flashings are properly attached and sealed to prevent water entry.

Mounted Equipment: Make sure places where equipment penetrates your roofing or siding have been properly sealed, and that the equipment is firmly attached so heavy rains or strong winds will not cause equipment to become dislodged.

Gutters and Downspouts: Check that all of your gutters and downspouts are not only clear of leaves and debris but properly attached and that they are redirecting water to the correct area.

Inspect Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are a prime entry point for moisture. Check each window on the upper floor to ensure that they are properly fastened. Additionally, inspect the flashing of each entry point in your home. The flashing is a layer around the window or door, typically made of plastic, that is meant to prevent water from getting inside. If the flashing is worn or damaged, have it replaced.

Clear Exterior Stairwell of Leaves

Your exterior stairwell can become clogged with leaves and twigs during the fall, blocking the drainage ditch that redirects water. To avoid flooding, clear exterior stairs of leaves and other debris to prevent a drainage backup.

 

Need Help With Fall Storm Preparation for Your Home? Contact Four Twelve Today.

Four Twelve Roofing is Baltimore’s premier roofing service provider. Our experts will come out to your home and complete an inspection to ensure your home is prepared for fall storms. Contact us today to schedule your inspection.

 

 

 

Categories
Baltimore Flat Roofs Roofing

TYPES OF FLAT ROOFS IN BALTIMORE CITY | Four Twelve Roofing – Flat Roof Specialists

If you are a homeowner in Baltimore City, you likely have what we call a “Flat Roof.”

Flat Roofs are tricky, as they are, by definition, flat. With little to no slope on a flat roof, it is hard to shed water, snow or debris, which means you need a Baltimore roofing contractor who is experienced when it comes to these types of installations, such as Four Twelve Roofing. Check What Others Are Saying About Our Services! 

flat roof specialists in Baltimore City

MODIFIED BITUMEN – THE COMMON PRODUCT

Modified Bitumen is the most common product used when it comes to Flat Roofs. Modified Bitumen goes by a couple of different names – rubber, torch down or tar. Tar is the old way of doing things. Typical old rowhomes will have a tin sheet metal cap, with many layers of tar roofing material on top of them. Newer Modified Bitumen roofs will be either rubber or torch down, which is Four Twelve’s preferred flat roofing product. It is cheap and typically has a lifespan of 20 years. It is usually laid in 2-3 layers, on top of the wooden roof deck, and your roofer will use a torch to heat up the glue or adhesive to get it to stick to your roof deck.

SILICONE COATINGS – WATER RESISTANT AS IT GETS

Silicone Coated roofs are typically applied on top of original modified bitumen roofs. Silicone coatings respond well to UV degradation and are water resistant. Typically we recommend doing a modified bitumen roof and then coming back 10-15 years after the installation to do a silicone coating. The UV protection will help in the summer months. UV rays are what degrades your roof most – not snow or tree branches – but rather the hot summer sun. Water resistance also means that when water ponds on your roofs surface, behind a skylight or a chimney, it will not find any seams to sneak through, as the silicone completely prevents this.

EPDM – CLEAN AND SIMPLE MATERIAL

EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer and is basically the same material used to make bicycle tires. EPDM roofs are applied by mopping glue onto the roof deck and then laid flat, taping all seams and edges with a specialty tape. EPDM provides a cleaner look than modified bitumen, with less visible seams, but this material is easily punctured and thus, not as highly recommended as torch down.

Four Twelve has been a flat roof specialists with a 100% satisfaction rate from a Baltimore & Columbia roofing company. Contact us for more information. You may also visit us at 10 E North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21218 for a personal consultation!

 

Call Four Twelve Roofing Today for a FREE ESTIMATE
Baltimore’s Local, Trusted Roofing Contractor.

(410) 989-73
43

 

Categories
Flat Roofs Roofing

A BALTIMORE CITY HOMEOWNER’S GUIDE TO INSPECTING YOUR FLAT ROOF | Four Twelve Roofing

A BALTIMORE CITY HOMEOWNER’S GUIDE TO INSPECTING YOUR FLAT ROOF

Good morning – to every Baltimorean living in Hampden on down to Federal Hill !

Today we are going to share some professional insights on what to look for when inspecting your Baltimore City flat roof. To learn about different types of Flat Roofs. If you need a Baltimore roofing specialist, Contact Four Twelve today.

Below are 3 things to look for, which are the most common problems we see on a daily basis with when repairing and replacing flat roofs in Baltimore City.

 

image of roofing workers cleaning roof

1. Layering

The first thing we do at Four Twelve, when climbing on a flat roof in Baltimore City, is pull back the gutters and inspect the number of layers of roofing material present on top of the roof. Many rowhomes were originally constructed with a sheet of tin metal roofing. Over time, these tin roofs were covered up with layer upon layer of black roofing material taking various forms – tar, rubber, asphalt, etc. In Baltimore City, it is not uncommon to see the original tin roof peeking out from under 6 layers of material. If your roof has been building up many layers over time, it is not a bad idea to get a roofing professional out to your home to take a look.

A few layers is common, but to overdo this practice – by adding 3+ layers on a roof, leads to other negative side affects. One, the sheer weight of 5-6 layers of roofing material puts serious strain on the structure of your home. Additionally with each successive layer of roofing material, the install is less effective. If your roofing material has ripples and you lay next layer perfectly on top of this layer, it does not even matter. The underlying ripples will force the new layer to pop up, as it is in the photo below. The glue is not strong enough to combat the underlying materials defects.

Rowhome roof in Federal Hill. The original tin cap is rusted orange underneath. On top are between 6-8 layers of rubber, tar and torch down roofing material.

2. Alligator Skin

If you own a rowhome in Baltimore City, it is a +90% bet that you have what is called a Torch Down Rubber Roof on top of your home. This material is a quality product, but over time the rain and sun can degrade this product by stripping it of its asphalt coating and drying up the rubber material. When this happens to Torch Down Rubber Roofs, the material begins to splinter and crack – a symptom we call Alligatoring, as it starts to look like the skin of an Alligator. Prolonged cracking and splitting of rubber roof material means that your roof is nearing the end of its life cycle.

If you are able to catch alligatoring before it spreads, you can do what we call a silicone coating (learn more about this product here). But if the alligatoring is too pronounced, like it is in the photo below – then you will have to tear off and replace it the roofing material. The way to determine this, is to take a walk on your Baltimore flat roof and see if the paper is dried up and cracking under foot. It will have lost its adhesion from UV exposure and not be firmly secured on the underside. If the paper is crunching and giving underfoot – then the material is susceptible to punctures and silicone coating is no longer an option.

a pic of a damaged flat roof

Alligator Skin, a symptom every Baltimore City homeowner should be aware of. If you see this, it means that your Flat Rubber Roof is nearing the end of its life cycle.

3. Ponding Water

Torch Down Rubber Roofs must be installed properly in order for the homeowner to realize its full benefit. Oftentimes, a subpar install will create valleys of poor drainage and water may pool behind a skylight or chimney. While rubber roofs are thick, AND shed water effectively (when sloped), they can be porous if exposed to ponding water for extended periods of time. This is the 3rd no-no of rubber roofs – make sure there are no spots where water is ponding.

The spots that are most susceptible to ponding on Baltimore City flat roofs are behind skylights, chimneys and any other roof penetrations. The best way to prevent ponding next to a roof penetration, is to have your roofing build what is called a “cricket” behind the penetration. A cricket is a little triangular hill that sits on the upslope side of the penetration, and aids in the movement of water as it rolls downhill on your flat roof.

image of a flat roof in Baltimore done by Four Twelve

Ponding water is defined as water that sits on your roof’s surface for more than 48 hours. Flat roofs have difficult draining, as they don’t have great slope to shed water. Ponding water must be addressed early if spotted.

Let Four Twelve Be Your Solution
For Baltimore Flat Roof Repairs and Replacements

I can’t tell you how often I hear it – people can’t seem to find the right solution for their flat roofs in Baltimore. The flat roof is inherently a tricky product – with little to no slope – they don’t shed water or debris as effectively as sloped roofs, also there is significantly less margin for error when installing a flat roof.

If you have a flat roof in Baltimore we’d love to help you. Let us come out, inspect it and provide a professional opinion, complete with photographs and a free estimate for the repair or replacement necessary to get your roof in good working order.

All work we perform on flat roofs comes with a 3 year warranty on workmanship and a 15-20 year manufacturer’s warranty on material. Every one of our flat roof installations start and finish within 1 week. We also benefit from being a small business with less overhead, allowing us to be competitive in our pricing for roofing services.

When it comes to your roofing needs, whether flat roof or pitched roof, you can depend on Four Twelve Roofing for assistance. Aside from that, we also specialize in other property improvement and renovation services, including but not limited to gutters and skylights. Contact us today or visit us at 10 E North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21218 for a personal consultation!

Call Four Twelve Roofing Today for a FREE ESTIMATE
Baltimore’s Local, Trusted Roofing Contractor.
(410) 989-7343

 

Categories
Baltimore Flat Roofs

WHY YOU SHOULD SILICONE COAT YOUR FLAT ROOF AND SAVE THOUSANDS

IF YOU LIVE IN OR OWN PROPERTY IN BALTIMORE CITY, CHANCES ARE YOU HAVE A FLAT ROOF…

Flat roofs vary in lifespan and type of material. But one thing is certain about all flat roof products – you can save yourself a chunk of money and extend the life of your flat roof by doing a simple and cost effective solution – a Silicone Coating (something most folks have never heard of before).

 

5 BENEFITS OF GETTING A SILICONE COATING

1. Silicone coatings are roughly 1/3 of the price of replacing your roof. The problem is if you wait too long to do a coating on your roof, and your roofing material degrades too much, the surface will not be smooth enough for a silicone coating. So you must do a coating earlier on in the roof’s lifespan, as a preventative maintenance action.

2. Silicone coatings are energy efficient. Silicone coatings roll out white in color and reflect the suns rays. This helps save money on heating and cooling your home.

3. You buy yourself 7-12 years. If you get a coating on your roof while the rubber roof is still in good enough shape – your silicone coating can buy you 7-12 years of no maintenance on your flat roof for a price 1/3 of the cost of replacing your roof. This is in comparison to 1-3 years for an aluminum coating, which is a much more inferior product other roofing companies try to sell in the Baltimore market.

4. Silicone Coatings are the only roofing material that is water resistant.Another thing that differentiates silicone products from aluminum is their “water resistant” behavior. If water ponds on the surface of your roof, most materials are not “resistant” or in other words, they eventually will become porous if ponding is sustained. Silicone is one of the only products that is completely resistant to water and will continue to keep it out of your home even if it sits stagnant for a time.

5. Peace of mind. Silicone coatings are made from the same material in the infomercials where Billy Mayes is fixing a garden hose with a rubber patch. Every time one of our techs gets it on their hands, it is a difficult process to remove. And every time Four Twelve installs a coating, we do 2 coats, applied perpendicular to each other, to ensure optimal coverage. If your roof receives a coating, you can kiss those leaks goodbye – something that can be a continual problem for flat roof building owners.

image of silicone coating on a baltimore roofWHETHER YOU ARE A COMMERCIAL PROPERTY OWNER OR A RESIDENTIAL HOMEOWNER IN BALTIMORE – IF YOU OWN A FLAT ROOF – SILICONE COATINGS MAY BE A GREAT OPTION FOR YOU.

Imagine 7-12 years of maintenance free time with your flat roof – this solution really is a gamechanger – and that is why our clients all around Baltimore are opting in to coat their roofs around the City and the County.

If you’d like a Free Estimate on coating your roof, call your local roofer in Baltimore – Four Twelve Roofing at (410) 989-7343 and we’ll schedule a time to check out your property and recommend the best course of action.