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Old 04-01-2010, 03:41 PM   #1
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Roof cracking, 70 years worth of roofing, need suggestions


Hi Everyone,
I am new to the forum. Kind of retarded on my part for not realizing that something like this existed already.

To introduce myself: I'm 29. Two years ago I bought a two family house with my wife. My father-in-law and I gutted the entire second floor and built a pretty amazing apartment in the span of about two years. All done on weekends and after work. It was a biotch to say the least. I am talking about changing the layout, new plumbing and electrical, skylights, sun-tunnels, making my own doors, kitchen, bathroom, everything was hand made, hand lacquered, etc etc. I will post up pictures shortly.

I was more interested on getting in the house so I didn't bother with the roof. It seemed fine 2 years ago. I know mistake, I should have torn that **** out and taken 2 days of my life to redo it. Would have been easy to cut it out between the beams and rip everything out.

Roof type: Flat, pitch seems like 1/2" per foot, lowest point in middle of house where there is a gutter drain. Current roofing looks like rolled roof, not sure if its nailed or glued, or whatever, but it has the asphalt pebbles on top.

Well I now have a spot on my bathroom ceiling where the joint tape is coming off. There are no wet spots yet, but when I poked through the tape, it felt moist.

Got on the roof, I have air pockets , punctured a hole in all of them, let the air out, patched it up with roof tar and tar-mesh (not sure if that is the proper terminology). A couple of spots were not air pockets, but water pockets . Same thing, except I used the torch to heat it up like crazy. I also have what I will describe as folds or bumps that are appearing all over the place. WTF. I am curious as to why this is happening, but either way I want to do a proper fix.

I would like to know how, and what is available to take the old roofing off. When I was putting in my skylights, I cut through the roof and the decking, and noticed what looks like 5-7 layers of roofing on top of the decking . Is this even normal? Who the hell would do something like this? I am sure this weighs a ton.

Can I get some sort of giant roofing knife, cut lines in the roof and peel it off a square at a time? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I am going to do a torch down roof. I have experience on putting it on top of current roofing material, but not as a new roof. What am I in for here? I am pretty sure I will need some sort of fireproof membrane. Is there something out there, and what is it called? How do I keep it in place?

Thanks for your help in advance.

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Old 04-01-2010, 08:00 PM   #2
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Roof cracking, 70 years worth of roofing, need suggestions


Yes, there are roof cutters available, but if you're only doing one roof, I would suggest a cheap circular saw.

There are better options for a non-trained person than using torch down material. I strongly suggest you use something else.

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Old 04-02-2010, 10:03 AM   #3
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Roof cracking, 70 years worth of roofing, need suggestions


Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronB View Post
Yes, there are roof cutters available, but if you're only doing one roof, I would suggest a cheap circular saw.

There are better options for a non-trained person than using torch down material. I strongly suggest you use something else.
Thanks for the reply. Please keep them comming guys.

With the cheap circular say, do you mean that I should just cut lines in the roofing and then just peel it up?

Or are you suggesting that I cut through the roof and the decking?

More questions.
1. How far apart should I do the cuts? 2-3ft, smaller, between rafters?

2. What should I use to peel the old roofing off? I am guessing scraper, but want to know if there is some proper type of tool that will greatly speed up my process.

3. Is there a membrane that I need to put down on the decking before the torch? (I am considering other options other than torch, but I have done 3 roofs with torch, and have all the equipment for it, including fire extinguishers).

4. How do I make the membrane stay in place?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:35 AM   #4
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Roof cracking, 70 years worth of roofing, need suggestions


I would suggest being very careful not to cut the (wood) decking unless you are sure you want to replace that too (rotted?). Aside from that, any method of peeling off the layers of roofing would be okay subject to the time you have to work between rainstorms.

If there is loose gravel as in a tar & gravel roof, it would probably be less tedious to shovel the loose material off into buckets and then resume peeling off layers.
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:10 AM   #5
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Roof cracking, 70 years worth of roofing, need suggestions


Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
I would suggest being very careful not to cut the (wood) decking unless you are sure you want to replace that too (rotted?). Aside from that, any method of peeling off the layers of roofing would be okay subject to the time you have to work between rainstorms.

If there is loose gravel as in a tar & gravel roof, it would probably be less tedious to shovel the loose material off into buckets and then resume peeling off layers.
I want to have the entire roof removed in one day. 1200 sq ft. I hope there is a proper tool for this, let me know if you can. Thanks.

No loose gravel, took care of that already. Didn't want it going into the gutter.

Anyone have any help on the membrane?

Thanks.
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Old 04-04-2010, 12:10 PM   #6
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Roof cracking, 70 years worth of roofing, need suggestions


To The Top for the weekend. Anyone else have any input. Thanks.

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