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Schenectady Roofing: Article About Common Problems With Built Up Roof

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A built up roofing membrane has been used for commercial applications for decades. Sometimes called tar and gravel roofs, these membranes employ a system that alternates layers of fiberglass reinforced felt mats with several layers of bitumen. The top layer consists of a gravel coating or reflective material that protects the membrane from being damaged by the sun's rays.

Unlike other roofing materials, a built up roof is constructed on site. There are strict standards for the materials used. However, faulty installation practices can lead to serious problems, especially if the roof isn't thoroughly cleaned, dried and primed prior to the membrane being built.

Almost all built up roof failures occur due to flashing or membrane interruptions. Leaks can also occur if there isn't an adequate moisture barrier or if thermal expansion causes the insulation to separate from the roof deck. In addition, roof performance can be compromised if the Schenectady roofing contractor doesn't relax the sheets before torching them. Building the roof when the air temperature isn't within proper specifications can also cause the membrane to wrinkle, shrink or leak.

Another problem is blisters. When moisture and air become trapped and then vaporized underneath the gravel, blistering, splitting or ridges might appear. Blisters can vary in size and easily pop if the roof is walked on, resulting in gravel erosion and accelerated aging of the membrane.

The expert roofers at Ideal Construction of Schenectady NY can answer any questions you have regarding windows or doors.

Blisters will also pop as the roof heats up and pressure inside the blister causes it to explode. To correct the problem, a roofing expert will have to find the source of the moisture and eliminate it before the area can be patched.

Another potential problem occurs when a variety of small cracks appear on the roof's surface. These cracks show up once the asphalt dries out and will grow larger, causing the membrane to split, if they are not addressed in a timely manner. While a competent contractor can coat the affected area with an additional layer of tar, the problem is due to shrinkage, so the best that business owners can hope for is to slow down the spread of the cracks.

Choosing the wrong contractor for a built up roofing system can result in unexpected expenses, as well as a compromised roof. Roofing systems not installed properly will bring premature failure or a drastic reduction in the roof's life expectancy. Roofs do not get better with age. Problems only increase, so it will be more cost effective for business owners to go with the best contractor they can afford.

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