Thursday, July 29, 2010

Flat Roof Replacement - Day 4

Day 4 started with a light approach to finish off the sloped area of the roof while strategizing a better approach to the flat roof areas. Given the weather has been in the 90's lately, I certainly have empathy for how hot it must be to work on a black roof all day. With Day 3's work closing on a bad note, we used this time to reconcile a new approach to negate the ponding over the new installation.

Although much of this work is the same as Day 1 & Day 2, I think it helps to document the process day by day to get a sense of the amount of work and time it's going to take to finish this roof. Again, up comes the existing 4 layers of roof, down goes the batt insulation, followed by the 3/4" T&G plywood and the new roof.

At the transition to the flat area that has major existing ponding issues, we discovered that portions of it actually have 2 layers of built-up roofing, originally we thought there was just one. The sexy photo to the left gives some perspective on just how many layers builds up to about 2-3" of material to be removed. My roof thanks me every day we have work done.

After the final install, we got some soaking rains. It's a good thing they seal each days work off, the small puddles along the transition between the new and old roofs is a result of the level change. Removing the existing roof could almost be considered excavation. Day 5 & Day 6's work are complete, so I need to catch up on posts to catch you up to where we're at. In the meantime, be sure to check out CincinnatiModernation's facebook page for more photos, Day 5 going up shortly.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Flat Roof Replacement - Day 3: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Day 3 of the roof replacement started very wet, with storms having dumped a ton of water and a lot of ponding to sweep off. The goal for day 3 was to work on half of the north side of the roof, or what you see to the right. This area is entirely over our kitchen.

I was fortunate to be home for a bit in the morning to catch some of the initial tear off. Pulling up the existing membrane reveals the anticipated moistness underneath. You can see the juicy fiberboard for the most part. The cutout beyond is the drain. The original built up roof can be seen exposed beyond. When you step on the exposed fiberboard, water literally squeezes out.

This was the scene upon getting home from work later on Day 3. Seeing as this was the first area to receive 'tapered' insulation, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. About half the roof has new installation and membrane on it at this point.

Here's a better shot that shows the angular valleys that run to the new downspout boot. We had stainless steel boots custom fabricated for our four downspouts. Basically a layer of 1/8" per 1'-0" tapered underlies the area. Then 'crickets' or mini pitched roofs as I like to call them slope to the valleys at 1/4" per 1'-0". The valleys, in theory slope about 1/8" per 1'-0" because of the underlying tapered insulation. This insulation carries about R-5 per inch of thickness. In areas we will have several inches, add this to the R-19 batt and existing construction. We are making leaps and bounds in R value.

Here's a close up of the new stainless drain. As you can see, the drain has a lap joint to seal the EPDM roof to the stainless. Another layer of lap seal will go down before all is said and done. The new downspout boots are extra long to provide plenty of purchase space for the downspouts to overlap.

Although it looks kinda nasty, here's the new condition where our flat roof wraps around the sloped roof. Beyond our large windows can be seen. The painter will paint over the visible clutter when the painting is done following the roof. All in all a much better installation than before.

Over at the chimney, the inital new termination installation started. This is a critical spot to ensure no water can leak down the chimney. We had a bit of water damage in our studio at the other end of the chimney where water had rotted away the roof joists and the plaster below.

The bad, here's a shot at the existing fascia. It's in pretty rough shape in spots, you can see here the corner isn't exactly aligning. I'll be grabbing a few pieces of redwood to let the roofers replace as needed. Hopefully this will scrape and clean up nicely. A coat of paint can do wonders.

More bad, here's the mostly concealed from street view of the sloped roof fascia. With the rotted piece laying on the roof, this is where I'm thinking some replacement is in order. One nice thing is the flat EPDM roof area extends up and is tucked behind the upper fascia board.

The ugly. Well, there's not much optimism in this photo. After taking a good look at the dry install, my eyes seemed to be fooling me, so I grabbed my 4' level and immediately realized something wasn't right with the tapered insulation slope. After bringing the hose up onto the roof and letting loose, it's easy to see what's not working. Ponding is exactly what we don't want. Ponding leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to me wishing I had a pitched roof. That said I think since this photo was taken we have worked out a solution with the roof company and will be able to report more soon. Be sure to stay even more caught up with photos on CincinnatiModernation's facebook page, be sure to 'like' it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

CF3 Bellevue Park Cookout, Swap Meet, and Movie

Got some MCM goods hangin around the house that you feel like trading? Like barbeques? Want to watch some rare movie footage of the local Frank Lloyd Wright designed Tonkens Residence? Wanna check out one of the most swank park structures in town? This Saturday evening be sure to stop by Bellevue Park to join us for a CF3 cookout, MCM swap meet, and movie viewing. To the left is a photo of the cover of City Beat, a free local publication. Yours truly was interviewed and featured with two other CF3 co-founders for a great article highlighting the weekend event and talking modern preservation. Check the end of the article for a couple of my quotes.
Bellevue Park may be one of Cincinnati's most iconic Mid Century Modern park structures. The shelter was designed by R. Carl Freund in 1955. The structure and form has a clear Frank Lloyd Wright influence and a dramatic view of downtown Cincinnati.

So what more do you need? Clear out your spare room or space piled with modern goodies you know will never fit into your MCM motto, load them in the car/van/truck and enjoy a casual modern evening with a view while swapping for other MCM goodies. Be sure to check out the CF3 evite for more details.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mid Century Modern Flat Roof Replacement - Day 2

With a short delay due to weather late last week, work reconvened on the roof early this past week. Day 2 was dedicated to finishing most of the low sloped roof. Luckily this area had been found to be in great shape. A couple of 2x purlins here and there have needed replaced. The existing redwood fascia is going to need some remediation as expected as well. To the left a view of the open structure and beginnings of the batt insulation installation.

The two most critical areas of a flat roof are the flashing and transition details. Part of day 2 would entail the connection of the roof to the massive brick chimney. Previously the roof was just draped up to brick.

Looking the other way, the crew is busy setting plywood over the insulated area. After the 3/4" T&G plywood is installed, 1" polyisocyanurate insulation board is mechanically fastened to the plywood deck before the new EPDM is glued to the insulation board.

A view of the critical transition of the 'flat' roof over our kitchen to the sloped roof. You can see many things going on in this photo. The old fascia cover peeled away reveals the existing redwood fascia
with the existing membrane roof draped up to a termination bar fastened to the fascia. Needless to say, a very hideous condition.

The insulation installation is kind of a pain as it has to be run under the purlins between the 2x10 joists. On top of that an airspace has to be left above the batt and under the purlins to allow an airspace to keep the roof ventilated. The roofers are doing a great job making sure there are no gaps. The relief on my conscious almost is making me look forward to winter heating, almost.

This is a closeup of one of the recessed bullet ceiling lights I installed a couple years back. Around it the existing aluminum baffling, a remnant of the old radiant ceiling heating system. We took our high efficiency bulbs out of all these fixtures and taped bags to the ceiling at each light inside as a precautionary effort. I'm glad we did, we had a bit of debris fall into the bags.

Day 2 work completion to the left. I'm only able to stop by to check out and photograph the work at my lunch break and at the end of the day. It's impressive to see what can get done by a working crew in 4 hours. At this point we have about 18' of the sloped roof mostly complete end to end. The flashing and painting won't go down for awhile.

To the left, the new rubber flashing condition at the chimney. This looks super clean compared to the previous debacle. Addition splice layers double up the strength and durability of this connection. Note the new perimeter dam of the roof edge. After perimeter flashing is installed, this will keep the roof from overflowing on the remediated fascia.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mid Century Modern Flat Roof Replacement - Day 1

Happy coincidences are good. It's Cincinnati Modernation's 50th blog post and it's about none other than the new roof finally starting work here at Westminster. Coming home to the scene on the left during my lunch break, the roofers had begun excavation, juicy.

The goal for day one was to rip up about 8-9 feet of the existing sloped roof, install insulation and new decking, then 1" of polyiso insulation, then glue down the new reinforced EPDM membrane.

Some of the initial discovery involved just about what was expected. The roof joists and 2x purlins are in pretty good shape as is the existing redwood fascia board. The workers are standing on the existing plywood decking, probably the original plywood. On the sloped portion there was very minor damage and wear. Nonetheless this must be removed and replaced for the insulation installation.

Trying to get a shot of the existing fascia, which is fastened to a perimeter 2x that is connected to the stepped exterior masonry wall. It's a long way down to the back yard from the high point of our roof.

Here's a look at the open structure. A couple of the purlins had to be replaced, but since not much water has ponded and been absorbed in this area, not much damage. The 2x10 joists are 12" oc and with the 2x purlins the roof is a bit overbuilt to today's residential standards. This shot reveals that our solarium didn't have a ceiling before the vinyl 'Gened Up' nightmare that occured to it during the 90's. Thankfully we will resolve this in the future.

A closer look at the edge of the existing shingle roof. The roofers use a ginormous saw with wheelbarrow like handles set to depth to rip the existing roof into strips, ply it up by hand and to the dumptruck it goes.

A closeup of the four friggin layers of roofing at this area. Shingles over EPDM membrane over rolled asphalt shingle roofing over the original built-up tar and gravel roof. Almost a new roof for every 15 years. Photos speak louder than text here.

Later after Day 1 completion of work, I grabbed my ladder and headed up to check out progress. Here's a closeup of the new construction vs. the old from what I could get a photo of. The roofer's policy is if it's predicted to rain, no tearing off and any work that is done is sealed off in case of weather issues. It has rained a good bit since this work was done.

Overall everything is securely weighted down and the new rubber looks extremely clean.

A nice view from the side. Note the perimeter of the roof is now higher to create a mini dam which will lend to a nice coping condition at the edge of the roof. With all the existing layers of roof, this is a flush, overflowing condition in heavy rain currently. I'm thinking we need a couple of overflow scupper locations on the flat area just in case.

Nothing like dead weight to do the job. As of today with the rain, Monday will be the earliest that work will progress. It's hard not to be anxious seeing the smooth field of new reinforced EPDM. We're doing an infrared thermal scan after the next phase to analyze the difference in the existing and new. Make sure to check out more photos on Cincinnati Modernation's facebook website as the roof makes progress.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mid Century Modern Flat Replacement - Final Prep work

Maybe in a perfect world, all roofs would slope and trees would be spaced a good distance from any flat roofs. For us it's a normal world, a flat roof and a very large nearly 50 year old Pin Oak tree hovering above. Before investing in the new roof, part of our prep work was to trim some of the suspect and detrimental branches. We used the same tree people that cut down a couple of dying trees in our back yard a couple of years ago. One guy ties himself off throughout the tree, ties of branches, cuts and lowers them down. This left us with a mounding heap of branches to clean up and a truckload of thicker branches for firewood.

With the thankful cooperation of our MCM neighbors next door, we were able to team up on the tree work. I must convey a shout out to their generosity. In all the tree had 8 branches trimmed and is looking better than ever. To the left a little perspective on how tall this tree is compared to our house. Did I mention all this timming went down on the same day of the concrete pour? It gets exciting to have a couple of projects go down in a single day.

As of this evening, the roof tear off begins at 7am tomorrow morning. Our final bit of prep is interior oriented as we have to take expensive high efficiency light bulbs out of the ceiling fixtures and tape plastic over all the recessed fixtures. With all the shabangin going on during the roof demolition and installation, we are trying to be preventitive. Upcoming is some thermal infrared photography to see the difference between the existing and new roof constructions. Be sure to keep up with the roof progress sooner on my facebook fanpage. Go ahead and 'like' cincinnatimodernation on facebook while you're at it.