By: Sam Suster, President, CIMA Contractors
David Crouch’s custom-built, 4,380 square-foot home in Greenville, Texas is unique in both its history and composition. Built in the 1980s by a successful real estate developer, the home includes a living room with 25-foot-high ceilings, a huge stone fireplace and a 500-gallon hot tub built directly into the patio deck. Along with traditional steep roof features, it also incorporates low-slope roofing elements similar to those found in commercial buildings.
In the summer of 2019, a series of fierce storms rolled through Greenville, delivering hail and 85-mph straight-line winds to many of the homes and buildings in the area. Crouch decided to get his roof assessed upon the recommendation of a friend and found serious damage. As a businessman who spends much of his time out of state, Crouch needed a fast and reliable solution.
Due to the unique mix of steep and low-slope products on his home, however, finding the right products and a team to apply them proved to be difficult.
“I had some contractors in the past who did a terrible job,” said Crouch. “It’s really hard to find someone who specializes in both residential and flat top roofing.”
The Right Team and Materials
This time around, CIMA Contractors, LCC of Plano, Texas, was consulted to assess and repair the damage to Crouch’s unique roof. The job required the replacement of 2,400 square feet of low-slope roofing and 4,300 square feet of roof asphalt shingles. According to CIMA Contractors Owner Daniel Suster, the size, layout and combination of low slope and pitched areas of the roof presented unique challenges.
“The home originally had a three-ply, built-up roof with a gravel ballast in place. Over the years, another roofer added a second built-up system on top of what was already there,” said Suster. “There were two inches of fiberboard, a modified bitumen base sheet and two cap sheets with no proper sloped areas for the water to drain. The roof also had poor insulation and did not meet current residential code standards.”
Major water ponding on several areas of the roof had caused water infiltration, which caused parts of the deck to rot. To complicate matters, the multiple roof systems and ballast made it difficult to fully assess the condition of the deck, or check for gas and electrical lines that may be hidden under the roofing system. Unlike a steel-framed commercial building, a traditional built-up roof system using hot asphalt, heavy equipment and a torch-applied cap sheet on a weakened residential roof presented a great deal of risk.
“The roof needed major reconstructive surgery,” said Suster. “We decided to use self-adhered roof products to reduce the risk of any combustible items on the roof and eliminate the need for heavy equipment. Given the time constraints faced by the homeowner, a self-adhered roofing system allowed us bypass some of the time and labor associated with manually adhered systems without minimizing quality and strength.”
In order to replace the areas of the deck suffering from wood rot, Suster and his team removed all of the layers from the previous roof system down to the deck, including the gravel ballast. With a fresh canvas, CIMA started by installing FlintBoard® ISO to improve energy efficiency. To promote better drainage, the team installed ISO-T Polyisocyanurate Roof Insulation, tapering it along the perimeter of the roof system to ensure proper water shedding. CIMA then applied CertainTeed’s Flintlastic® SA PlyBase (self-adhered base) and Flintlastic SA Cap in the color white – for its solar reflectivity benefits – to the low-slope areas of the roof. In addition to 220 mils of thickness and protection, the two-ply self-adhered base and cap system provided a faster, safer and less-labor-intensive application than many single-ply options. For the steep-sloped areas of the roof, the team utilized CertainTeed Landmark asphalt shingles in the color Weathered Wood.
A Quicker Solution
Crouch was initially worried about the time it would take to complete the repairs. CertainTeed’s two-ply self-adhered base and cap system, however, provided an optimal solution with a one-week turnaround.
“The use of a self-adhered low-slope system was a huge time-saver,” said Suster. “With no propane tanks or extra equipment to set up, it was a quick rollout.”
“CIMA did a very professional job and the whole project was done in just one week,” said Crouch. “It was a complete transformation from the previous roof, and they kept me in the loop the entire time with photos throughout the installation process. My neighbors have told me the roof looks beautiful. We’ve had no leaks or issues, and are happy to finally have some peace of mind.”