LESLIE: David in Nevada has a question about a damaged roof. Well, the good news is I don’t think it rains very much in Nevada. Does it, David?
DAVID: No, it doesn’t rain too much but we get … where I live, we get a fair amount of snow.
LESLIE: Ah, and you’re in that now. How’s … what happened to the roof? How’s the damage?
DAVID: Well, it was wind damage and it kind of tore some of the shingling off the tar paper, I guess it is. And my problem is I’ve got a pitched roof and then, in another spot, I’ve got a flat roof. And I’m not quite sure how to go about fixing it. I just got the house just a little while back.
TOM: The part of shingles that actually blew off – those were, of course, the pitched roof or did you lose some … did you have some damage to the flat roof, too?
DAVID: The damage seems to be mostly on the flat roof.
TOM: Oh, okay. What kind of material is being used, right now, to do that flat roof? Do you know? Is it an asphalt based material? Does it look like a shingle but it’s run in sheets? It might be roll roofing.
DAVID: It’s roll roofing.
TOM: Yeah, that’s the least expensive flat or low-slope roof material and it really doesn’t last very long. I would recommend – if you’re having that kind of damage – that you …
LESLIE: Well, and can you even repair that? Because it’s a sheet product, can you go in and patch what’s broken off?
TOM: Not that successfully. I mean is it a … is the flat roof really big? How big is it?
DAVID: Oh, it’s probably 12 by, oh maybe, 30.
TOM: Well, that’s not terrible. If it was my house, I would replace the roll roofing. I hate roll roofing material. It really doesn’t last very long. Even in a perfect installation, I’ve rarely seen that stuff last more than five years. So I would choose an elastameric product; something like a modified bitumen. It’s like a rubbery asphalt material that goes down. You’re going to want to have some sort of a coating on it. In the climate that you’re in, in Nevada, you’re probably going to want to use a fibrous aluminum paint when you’re done; that’s going to reflect some of the UV rays of the sun and stop the material from deteriorating.
But start with the flat roof and make sure that goes up and under the shingles. And as far as the wind damage is concerned, you can use a high-wind shingle. They have hurricane proof, so to speak, shingles that have different glue in them. And they actually stand up to those high winds that you might be getting coming off those mountains.
DAVID: Uh-huh. Well, right now, even the pitched part is rolled.
TOM: Ah, the pitch is rolled as well? Yeah. You know, it sounds to me like you could patch this right now, Dave, but roll roofing is just really a low-quality roofing material. And you’re just not going to get a lot of longevity out if and you’re going to continue to have these issues.
LESLIE: Well, and you’ll end up spending more money repairing it than the lifetime of satisfaction you’ll get if you replace it with a quality roofing product.
TOM: You know, here’s a thought. This was weather-related damage. You could place a claim under your homeowner’s policy for that.
DAVID: Uh-huh. Yeah, but I still want to know how to get it done properly.
TOM: Well, that’s fine. I’m suggesting a way that you could finance some of that work, though. Because, I think, in the best possible situation, you’re going to want to replace that with a better quality material. And if part of that cost could come from your insurance policy, then heck, why not?
DAVID: Yeah, you bet. Now, what were you calling that, for the flat part? Modified what?
TOM: Modified bitumen. It’s called modified bitumen.
DAVID: Could you spell that for me?
TOM: Yeah. Well, now this is the tough one, right? See, I never did well in spelling.
LESLIE: (laughing) I’m like, “Don’t ask me.”
TOM: That’s b-i-t-u-m-e-n; bitumen. David, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
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