Home Improvement

Home improvement questions? Ask a handyman for answers

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

This answer was rated:

Roofing question - Roofer is offering me choice of FiberTite…

Roofing question - Roofer is...
Roofing question - Roofer is offering me choice of FiberTite roof or “Torch Down” roof
FiberTite is $1,000 more
Is it worth it? Pros and cons?
FYI it’s a 200 sq ft Flat roof that’s adjacent/attached to a sloped shingled roof on two sides
Thanks
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Home Improvement Question
Answered in 54 minutes by:
3/8/2018
Jarrett Baker
Jarrett Baker, Building Inspector
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 46
Experience: building analyst (inspector) at Oregon Home Performance
Verified

Hi, my name is ***** ***** I'll be assisting you with your question regarding your flat roof. I apologize for the extended wait time you experienced, I've only just come online now and would like to assist you with your question. I understand your question to be"Roofer is offering me choice of FiberTite roof or “Torch Down” roof
FiberTite is $1,000 more
Is it worth it? Pros and cons ?" So to answer;

The fibertite roof will have better longevity, and less chance for leaks. The "torch down," or modified bitumen is cheaper and easier to apply.

Single ply roofing is either fully adhered or mechanically attached.

The fully adhered method consists of gluing the membrane directly to insulation, or to the substrate.

The mechanically attached method consists of fastening each row of membrane to the roof deck with screws and barbed plates. Fasteners are typically spaced 12 inches O.C.

The most common problem with the fully adhered installation (typically EPDM rubber) is that the seams are poorly glued, there are bubbles in the membrane, and leaks inevitably result.

Torching is used in the installation of Modified Bitumen, and therefore can be a fire hazard to your home or commercial property.

Today, EPDM is the most commonly installed single-ply membrane both for residential and commercial applications. It is so popular because no special equipment is needed to complete the install.

We strongly recommend that you find a contractor who specializes in single ply roofing to ensure that there will be no leaks after installation. Many customers make the mistake of hiring contractors specializing in sloped roofing (asphalt shingles), who have little to no experience in this field.

It is best to do a full tear-off before proceeding with the installation, to eliminate any moisture and replace any rotted substrate.

Longevity

The most common signs you would notice when your roof starts to get really old. These include:

– Thinning and blistering
– Cracking
– Contractions or pulling
– Flaking
– Slice marks
– Grease and dirt built-up that can no longer be removed

PVC is considered to be the longest lasting. Because of heat-welded seams, it remains flexible throughout its lifetime and can also withstand thermal movement.

A PVC roof can last well over 30 years. Manufactures offer a 25 year warranty for commercial installations and some offer LIFETIME warranty for residential (IB, Flex, Fibertite). Here is a good article on real world performance of PVC roofs: http://www.coolflatroof.com/flat-roof.php

EPDM lasts only about 10-15 years. Even though manufacturers offer warranties that are up to 40 years for commercial roofing (none for residential), its important to be aware that these warranties do not cover failing seams or ponding water. Both of these are the primary causes of failure for a rubber membrane.

Longevity of TPO roofing varies greatly due to issues with membrane’s formulation. Currently, they range from 7-20 years. Manufacturer warranty is up to 20 years for commercial TPO installs and none for residential.

Keep in mind that warranties offered on different types of single ply membranes vary greatly depending on thickness, size, method of installation, and environmental conditions. Thus, you should carefully read and compare warranties for different materials you are considering.

Tar & Gravel as well as Modified Bitumen roofs last about 10-20 years, but are very costly to remove at the end of their service lives. How long they last greatly depends of the installer, because today there are very few roofers who actually know how to work with this material. If you have one of these roofs and it needs repair, it is best to call on a pro who has experience with it; someone who does single membranes will not do a very good job.

Durability

We will cover in extensive detail the most common problems that impact the durability of a flat roof.

Leaks / Moisture

The biggest problem for most of these roofs is the presence of seams and flashing, because that is precisely where leaks occur.

PVC and TPO are the only two membranes that have hot-welded seams that will never come apart, and therefore do not allow any moisture to penetrate.

Tar and Gravel, Modified Bitumen and Rolled Asphalt offer extremely poor protection against leaks and ponding water.

EPDM rubber typically fails at roof penetrations, flashing and seams, allowing moisture to penetrate.

One of the biggest issues with spray-on roofs is that the insulation can be eaten by birds, therefore also resulting in leaks.

Puncture resistance

Built-up roofs are typically 0.5 + inches in thickness, are made from hard materials and are therefore very difficult to puncture.

Single plies and spray foam roofs are generally easy to puncture by direct contact with a sharp object.

Some PVC materials come with a fiberglass reinforcing scrim, which makes it very difficult to puncture.

Keep in mind that increasing the width of a single ply membrane DOES NOT improve its ability to protect against leaks, However, it can extend its overall life, and makes it more puncture resistant.

“Have I answered your question? If any part of my response is unclear, please let me know. It’s my goal to deliver excellent service, so if I've done that, please don't forget to give me a 5-star. It has been my pleasure to assist you! Thank you for posting your question. – Your business is very valuable to us.- J Baker

Jarrett Baker
Jarrett Baker, Building Inspector
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 46
Experience: building analyst (inspector) at Oregon Home Performance
Verified
Jarrett Baker and 87 other Home Improvement Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Was this answer helpful?
Ask Jarrett Baker Your Own Question
Jarrett Baker
Jarrett Baker
Jarrett Baker, Building Inspector
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 46
46 Satisfied Customers
Experience: building analyst (inspector) at Oregon Home Performance

Jarrett Baker is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future.

JimmyBagley, IA

Thank you for the expeditious answer. It's good to know you're out there and awake in the wee hours when I finally have time to ask questions about my Jenn Air.

JeanRiverhead, NY

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Brian

Brian

Architect

2,153 satisfied customers

Licensed Architect- 17 years, L.E.E.D. AP

The Home Smithy

The Home Smithy

Home Builder

2,084 satisfied customers

#1 Home Improvement Expert 30+ years experience

Steve G.

Steve G.

Handyman

221 satisfied customers

VP of electronic repair company and home theater advisor.

StructuralEng

StructuralEng

Civil Engineer

14 satisfied customers

Licensed Structural Engineer

Eric M. Bright

Eric M. Bright

We Don't Comprehend the Word Can't!

1,734 satisfied customers

I've been been doing things for my clients that others have said cant be done for over a 1/4 Century

Phil

Phil

Mechanical Engineer

682 satisfied customers

Retired contractor, 51 years experience

Rich

Rich

Home Improvement Enthusiast

674 satisfied customers

Over 35 years construction and home maintenance experience

< Previous | Next >

Related Home Improvement Questions
Kenmore A/c model 307.83086 trying to remove the plastic
Kenmore A/c model 307.83086 trying to remove the plastic cover to clean the fins on the side of the unit. … read more
Eddie
Eddie
Home Improvement Contractor and Repairs
High School or GED
1,208 satisfied customers
I have precast concrete steps that need to be repaired. the
I have precast concrete steps that need to be repaired. the corner of one step has fallen off. The concrete has pebbles and sand in it. What should I use? … read more
Jarrett Baker
Jarrett Baker
Building Inspector
46 satisfied customers
How do I clean streaks between the glass oven door on model
How do I clean streaks between the glass oven door on model prd486jdgu/07-fd941000053 … read more
HVAC Guru
HVAC Guru
Service Technician
Associate Degree
682 satisfied customers
There is a small drain pipe on the outside of the hose that
there is a small drain pipe on the outside of the hose that is leaking slowly. it is not pvc, it is copper. no leaking seen at hot water heater or air conditioner … read more
Eddie
Eddie
Home Improvement Contractor and Repairs
High School or GED
1,208 satisfied customers
Hardwood flooring. First timer. How do I join hardwood to
Second opinion] hardwood flooring. First timer. How do I join hardwood to carpet with boards parallel to the seam and with boards perpendicular to the seam? Is there a good how to pdf or YouTube you r… read more
David Bowden
David Bowden
Owner
764 satisfied customers
My brand new oak floors were finished on site with poly coat
Hello! My brand new white oak floors were finished on site with poly coat number 3, and final. Looks like they missed some spots and there are paint droplets in some places (paint is below last coat o… read more
Eddie
Eddie
Home Improvement Contractor and Repairs
High School or GED
1,208 satisfied customers
Is there something better and cheaper than using oxy clean
Is there something better and cheaper than using oxy clean powder for sodium percarbonate before applying anti mold to a bathroom. My neighbor the contractor said to use bleach, but the wood seems far… read more
Machinc
Machinc
Retired
974 satisfied customers
I'm looking to deal with rusty patches on parts of the metal
I'm looking to deal with rusty patches on parts of the metal cap on my balcony wall. I've made a video at the following Youtube link that shows what I'm talking about. My question is two-part: What se… read more
Rick the plumber
Rick the plumber
Owner
9,857 satisfied customers
My 20-year-old pin oak trees are covered with branch galls?
My 20-year-old pin oak trees are covered with branch galls? How should they be treated? … read more
Martin
Martin
Electrical engineer
Bachelor's Degree
486 satisfied customers
I have a flat roof which is covered with rubberized material
I have a flat roof which is covered with rubberized material which was then painted silver. I have noticed a number of leaks and places where water pools, but does not leak through. What is the proper… read more
Machinc
Machinc
Retired
974 satisfied customers
I need a joist in my ceiling but my stud finder wont find
Hi. I need a joist in my ceiling but my stud finder wont find it. Actually the finder never shows a gap. As if its all studs.. … read more
Dovetail Greene
Dovetail Greene
President
414 satisfied customers
I have a wall safe from the previous owner that is closed
Hi, I have a wall safe from the previous owner that is closed and we don't have the combination for it. Can it be unlocked or do we have to break it? … read more
Eddie
Eddie
Home Improvement Contractor and Repairs
High School or GED
1,208 satisfied customers
Justanswer: I have been using a 4/wheel for about 9 years,
Hello "justanswer:I have been using a 4/wheel walker for about 9 years, but one of the brakes is broken. Can this be repaired, or do I have to buy a new walker?I live in Golden Valley (Minneapolis) an… read more
Susan Latta
Susan Latta
Kitchen and Bath Designer, Contractor
Bachelor\u0027s Degree
120 satisfied customers
How do I fix this hole in the wall made by plumbers when
How do I fix this hole in the wall made by plumbers when they installed new pipes? What do I need to patch apart from stucco mix?Please also provide some steps and/or video instructions… read more
David Bowden
David Bowden
Owner
764 satisfied customers
I have a kitchen faucet installation problem I need advice
I have a kitchen faucet installation problem I need advice on. … read more
David Bowden
David Bowden
Owner
764 satisfied customers
How do I reattach middle spray arm on my Electrolux
How do I reattach middle spray arm on my Electrolux dishwasher? Model E124ID81SS0A … read more
Eddie
Eddie
Home Improvement Contractor and Repairs
High School or GED
1,208 satisfied customers
I have my retaining wall about finished and it's about time
Hey Rick, I have my retaining wall about finished and it's about time to start on my pavers later this week. My DGA pad needs adjusting. I laid out an 8x8 Grid when for the rock slinger to throw the r… read more
Rick the plumber
Rick the plumber
Owner
9,857 satisfied customers
Rick, One of the springs on my garage door broke and I'm
Hi Rick,One of the springs on my garage door broke and I'm planning to replace the springs on both doors on the theory the others are close to failure, too. Is that a good idea? Second, what size. The… read more
Eddie
Eddie
Home Improvement Contractor and Repairs
High School or GED
1,208 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x