High-End Residence Gets New Slate and Copper Roof After a Tornado

After this home’s roof was damaged by a tornado, Precision Construction installed 22,700 square feet of slate and 3,700 square feet of copper standing seam panels. Precision Construction & Roofing

The Preston Hollow neighborhood in North Dallas is renowned for its high-end homes, but after a tornado tore through it in November 2019, many of them were left with substantial roof damage. Precision Construction & Roofing, headquartered in North Richland Hills, Texas, was tapped to replace almost 27,000 square feet of slate and copper roofing on one residence.

According to CEO Eric Hunter, Precision Construction was perfect for the job. The company specializes in complex projects and storm restoration work. “Our focus when we started the company 12 years ago was high-end residential, mainly historic,” he says, “We do all types of roofing but focus on slate, tile and copper. We’re doing more and more commercial work as the years go by, and we’re planning to launch a commercial division, so we’ll be doing a lot more commercial work in the future.”

The company is well-known for its work on historic homes featuring Ludowici tile. “We’re the Ludowici Contractor of the Year for four years running, and we’ve won Ludowici Roof of the Year for five years in a row,” notes Hunter.

This slate and copper roof was one of the biggest residential projects the company has ever tackled. “It’s a monster,” says Hunter,

The slate roof was a blend of North County Black Slate and Vermont Unfading Green.

The existing roof was comprised of copper panels and Chinese slate, which was installed by the home builder. “We tore that off — or I should say the tornado tore a lot of it off for us,” Hunter recalls. “It had extensive tornado damage. All that copper standing seam you see on the roof at the top was completely gone.”

One of the company’s salesman found a section of the copper roof draped over a power line two blocks away.

Precision dried in the damaged roof and completed the roof replacement as part of an insurance claim. After the claim was approved and slate arrived, the actual installation took about six weeks from start to finish.

One crew worked on the slate sections while another handled the copper work. “It was kind of a combined effort,” Hunter explains, “Naturally, we started with the slate, but there were parts of the standing seam we had to do before we could continue with the slate. I would say the slate was about 85 percent done, and then we did all the copper. We had to go back and actually put on the remaining 15 percent of the slate after the copper was done. There was a lot of coordination involved in that.”

Slate and Copper

For the slate sections, crews installed ice and water shield from PABCO along the eaves, valleys, hips and ridges, as well as Precision’s private labeled synthetic underlayment.

The slate roof combined products from of two different suppliers. North County Black Slate was blended with a Vermont Slate Unfading Green. “I think that North County Black is the nicest slate in the world,” Hunter notes. “It’s amazing stuff. We took that and blended it in with the Vermont S1 Grade Unfading Green.”

Slate can have natural color variation, and proper blending is essential. Hunter estimates that the blending process took 60 man-hours to complete. “The blending is all done on the ground,” he says, “We took one piece of slate from every single palette of the North Country Black and blended that together. We did the same with the Unfading Green. That was all blended, and then we blended the two colors together to come up with the percentages on the roof. When that slate was brought up on the roof and put on the toe boards, it was brought up there to be put on in that order.”

The slates had been hand punched at the quarry with two nail holes. Approximately 22,700 square feet of slate was installed using copper nails

Copper was the only option considered for the low-slope roof sections and details. “Copper should be used, in my professional opinion — if not lead — on every single slate roof in the country, no matter where it is,” Hunter says. “Copper is the only metal that can withstand freeze-thaw, the elements, and the heat for hundreds of years. In Texas, lead isn’t popular because, believe it or not, squirrels love lead. It’s like a snack to them.”

Flashing, gutters, downspouts and other details were fabricated from scratch. “Any slate or tile project we install, no matter what, has copper everything on it — drip edge, valley metal, step flashing, counterflashing,” Hunter says. “Every one of the pipe jacks you see on that roof was hand made from copper. All of the gable vents, dormer vents and any other vents were fabricated by us either on site or in our warehouse.”

Approximately 3,700 square feet of double-lock copper panels were fabricated on the site. “Those panels were taken up, and if any modifications needed to be made, we had our bender, our breaker and our cutter up there at the very top,” Hunter notes. “We hand crimped and hand bent every one of those panels up there on the roof. We made sure those double locks were nice and tight. It probably took about two weeks to do all of the copper.”

Hunter credits his experienced crews for their expert workmanship. “Where there would be a hip or a valley, everything was soldered,” he says, “Soldering is very time consuming. You’ve got to really know what you’re doing.”

Challenges included notorious Texas weather and steep terrain at the back of the house that made access difficult. The slate could only be delivered in the front and had to be carried to the back. “This house was hard because in the back the scaffolding went up three stories,” Hunter says. “There’s a patio area in the back that actually drops down a story.”

Crews were tied off 100 percent of the time for fall protection. “That roof is so steep that you have to be very careful and use every safety measure you can,” Hunter says. “Those standing seam roofs are 45 or 50 feet up in the air.”

The completed project shows off the craftsmanship that is the hallmark of the company, according to Hunter. “It was a very, very time-consuming job, but it was not rushed,” he says. “Our slogan at Precision is ‘#We Build Pretty Roofs.’ It’s kind of spread. People will say, ‘You’re the guys who build the pretty roofs!’ That’s been our hashtag and our motto for years. We just really take pride in our work.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Precision Construction & Roofing, North Richland Hills, Texas, https://precisionconstructionandroofing.com

MATERIALS

Slate: North Country Black, North Country Slate, https://www.ncslate.com, and Vermont Unfading Green, Vermont Slate Company, https://vermontslateco.com

Copper: Double-lock standing seam copper panels

How to Achieve a Balanced Approach to Ventilation

Intake vents at the eaves allow cool, dry outside air to be drawn up into the attic, while exhaust vents at the ridge direct moist, warm air out of the attic and back into the environment. A balanced ventilation system, with equal distribution of intake and exhaust vents, helps optimize air exchange and prevents problems including ice dams. Photos: Owens Corning Roofing

What do blisters, bumps, and mole runs on a home’s roof have in common? Beyond detracting from exterior curb appeal, they may indicate a ventilation problem contributing to a range of comfort and performance concerns. Even the highest-performing roofing system will not deliver its full performance if a home’s roof is not properly ventilated.

Below, we look at how a balanced approach to ventilation supports a home’s structural performance and its occupants’ comfort. Balanced ventilation can prevent problems ranging from ice dams on a home’s exterior during winter to uncomfortable indoor humidity in the summer.

Ventilation supports the natural flow of air into and out of the home’s attic space. The forces of wind pressure and thermal effect work together to ventilate the attic. Intake vents allow cool, dry outside air to be drawn up into the attic, while exhaust system components direct the flow of excess heat out of the attic and back into the environment. A balanced ventilation system has an equal distribution of intake and exhaust vents (50 percent near the eave and 50 percent near the ridge), helping optimize air exchange and supporting effective thermal and moisture management.

Balance between intake and exhaust is key. Inadequate intake vents can cause negative air pressure air blowing across the roof surface to force higher pressure air to move outside the attic. As the displaced attic air needs to be replaced, insufficient intake ventilation will cause air to be drawn in through exhaust vents, potentially drawing in moisture/precipitation from outside.

Managing both the roof’s thermal and moisture profiles demands a balanced approach to ventilation. This balanced approach is comprised of three components: ample insulation, balanced ventilation, and controlled airflow through proper sealing and insulation — the ABCs of ventilation.

Ample Amount

The International Building Code (IBC) and International Residential Code (IRC) require a minimum ventilation ratio of 1:150 (1 square foot of vent area for each 150 square feet of attic/roof area). If certain requirements are met, such as balanced ventilation, the ratio can be reduced to 1:300. Always consult local codes for specific requirements. Owens Corning recommends a 1:150 ratio combined with balanced intake and exhaust ventilation. The free online Owens Corning ventilation calculator (www.owenscorning.com/en-us/roofing/components/vent-calculator) is a practical tool for informing insulation levels. By entering square footage or the metrics of the space, users can determine how much ventilation is required for the space.

Properly installed insulation supports a balanced approach to ventilation in the attic space.

Ample ventilation is about much more than code compliance. Properly installed, vents can help manage moisture that leads to performance problems. For example, in cold climates, high moisture levels inside (from showers, cooking, fish tanks, etc.) combined with cold outside air can cause frost to form on the interior of the roof deck, posing a risk for dry rot to occur. By keeping the roof deck temperature closer to the outdoor temperature, ventilation may also reduce ice dam occurrences, which can lead to water leaks on steep-sloped roofs. And in hot climates or during summertime, ventilation helps exchange hot attic air with cooler outdoor air, contributing to a more comfortable home.

Balanced Ventilation

Good ventilation requires a 50/50 balance between intake and exhaust vents to keep conditioned air inside the house and out of the attic. As exhaust vents (typically ridge vents or off-ridge vents) pull air out of the attic, the intake vents replace this “lost” air, drawing in air from outside. Location of the vents is also very important. Intake vents should be installed in soffits or lower on the roof slope near the eaves. An imbalance between intake and exhaust vents can create negative pressure in the attic, drawing in air from the conditioned part of the home via the ceiling, wall cracks, lighting fixtures and/or joints in the framing. This situation can result in a less comfortable indoor environment, lost energy, and higher heating/cooling bills. In no case should the amount of exhaust ventilation exceed the amount of intake ventilation.

Controlled Airflow

The amount of moisture generated by human activities inside the average home is significant. A common estimate is that a family of four’s combined activities will contribute 1.3 gallons of water per day to the home’s indoor environment.

When trapped in various elements of the roofing system, liquid or vapor moisture contributes to problems ranging from structural damage to mildew and indoor odors. Similar to temperature differences, moisture in the air can lead to deck deflection as the wood in the roof deck deteriorates and warps. Too much humidity may also have a corrosive effect on metal components in the attic, including ductwork and HVAC equipment. Inside the home, high relative humidity may help facilitate the formation of mildew or peeling paint.

External Factors To Consider

In addition to proper balance of intake and exhaust vents, adequate insulation, and controlled moisture, other less-controllable factors may also influence ventilation rates — including variations in wind speed, wind direction, and surrounding topography. While higher wind speeds tend to increase ventilation rates, ventilation rates at a given wind speed may vary by a factor of 10. Ventilation rates are highest when the airflow/wind direction is perpendicular to intake openings. Ventilation rates decrease as wind direction becomes more parallel to the opening. Even topography can influence ventilation by influencing the speed and direction of wind. For example, the number and location of nearby structures, a home’s height, trees/vegetation, and variance in surrounding elevations can all affect the flow of wind. Predicting the impact of these factors requires sophisticated building science technologies, which can serve as useful tools for comparative analysis and help influence product innovations.

Modeling and Building Science

Owens Corning uses advanced technologies to inform ventilation approaches for mitigating thermal and moisture challenges. For example, computer simulations were used to evaluate how different ventilation strategies would impact attic temperature. Using AtticSim software, team members simulated temperatures in a Tampa, Florida attic during one week in July. The modeled attic had a gabled construction, measured 50 feet by 27 feet with a 4:12 roof slope, and had R-30 insulation installed in the ceiling. The analysis evaluated two ventilation schemes: one with balanced ventilation (soffit-to-ridge) and one with unbalanced ventilation (soffit-to-soffit only). As a “control” measure, a sealed attic (attic without vents at the soffit and the ridge) was also evaluated. Analysis reveals that temperatures in a sealed attic without any ventilation exceeded 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The balanced ventilation between intake and exhaust was effective in reducing temperature in the attic when compared to the soffit-only approach. The balanced ventilation reflected a temperature difference of more than 30 degrees when compared to the soffit ventilation approach.

What practical application can we make of this building science research to inform a ventilation strategy? This analysis shows the benefits of a balanced approach. When the roof’s intake and exhaust system is balanced, the benefit of wind pressure and buoyancy-induced ventilation work together to increase air exchange and lower attic temperatures. The unbalanced approach (soffit-to-soffit only) is more variable and does not lead to the same air temperature reduction. The unbalanced, soffit-only ventilation is less effective and appears to be impacted by changes in wind speed and direction.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t take a building scientist to understand the benefits of getting the ventilation right with a balanced approach. Balanced ventilation keeps homeowners more comfortable, contributes to the roof system’s proper functioning, and helps a contractor walk away with confidence, protecting both the businesses’ reputation and the bottom line.

About the authors: Lucas Console is Product Manager – Owens Corning Roofing and Greg Keeler is Technical Service Leader  Owens Corning Roofing. For more information, visit www.owenscorning.com/roofing.

Detailed Work on California Home’s Unique Roof Wins Prestigious Award

Photos: IB Roof Systems

Premium Roof Services was built on the philosophy that good relationships are good business. Founded in 1996, Premium Roof Services is proud of its team of skilled roofers, who have more than half a century of experience. Their level of quality workmanship was showcased on a recent residential project in Cardiff, California. The Palm residence was named the Residential Project of the Year by IB Roof Systems, the manufacturer of the PVC roof system installed on the project.

This custom home showcases spectacular ocean views and stunning architecture. Premium Roof Services replaced the 6,000-square-foot roof, which is configured in a unique shape with rounded edges. After removing two layers of old roofing, crews inspected and replaced the damaged sheathing. They then installed Securock cover board over the wood deck, followed by a 50-mil white PVC roof system from IB Roof, which was mechanically attached. The newly installed roof system was accompanied by custom copper and two-piece compression edge trim. The entire project took seven days to complete.

This beautiful estate, which has the ocean as its backdrop, posed some installation challenges, beginning with the abstract configuration of the roof. “Due to its unusual shape and scale, the estimating process needed close attention,” says Peter Codallos, president of Premium Roof Services. “The material yield/waste factor was close to 25 percent. Due to the owner’s request, we attained copper edging locally, which was different from our usual ordering process with IB. It was not a real issue but involved details we had to work though.”

“All involved on this project are extremely humbled being awarded the Residential Project of the Year,” Codallos notes. “The time and attention to detail began with estimator Angel Blas, our amazing roofing technicians, foreman Juanito Lopez, and supervised by Jose Macias. With one of the best residential warranties available that we know of, we feel confident that our client’s amazing home will be well protected with their new IB Roofing System for years to come.”

“We are proud to award Premium Roof Services the Residential Project of the Year Award,” states Jason Stanley, IB Roof Systems CEO. “The beauty and installation of the new roof is amazing. We are proud of them for their ongoing commitment to using the highest performing roofing products, offering extremely strong warranties and providing overall service to their customers and community. They are the type of roofing company that we are proud to work with.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Premium Roof Services, Spring Valley, California, www.premiumroofservices.com

MATERIALS

PVC Roof System: 50-mil IB PVC, IB Roof Systems,  www.ibroof.com 

Cover Board: Securock, USG, www.usg.com

Omaha Re-Roofing Project in Historic District Wins Top Honors From ARMA

When the Molly Jenkins Carriage House was damaged by hail, a new roof system featuring CertainTeed Carriage House shingles was installed to protect the home and recapture its classic look. Photos: Everlast Exteriors

The Molly Jenkins Carriage House is located in the historic Country Club District of Omaha, Nebraska. The home, originally built in the 1920s, needed a new roof after it sustained hail damage and multiple leaks were discovered. The homeowners wanted an aesthetically pleasing, durable roof system that would be true to the style of the neighborhood and capture the look of the house as it was originally designed.

Omaha-based Everlast Exteriors was called in to consult on the project after the storm. “Their insurance agent recommended us to the homeowner,” says Brent Hall, co-owner of Everlast Exteriors. “The Country Club historic district is an early 20th century Omaha neighborhood that was marketed to attract homebuyers who expected an exceptionally high level of quality. The community was added to the National Register Of Historic Places in 2004. On this home, the existing asphalt shingle roof had to be replaced, as did the inlaid gutters, which were also damaged.”

Hall recommended asphalt shingles due to their beauty and performance. After consulting with the homeowner, the company installed CertainTeed Carriage House shingles.

The first step was to replace the gutter system. “We had to remove the first 3 feet of the roofing and put down a high-temp ice and water shield,” explains Hall. “We installed it within the inlaid gutters, and then ran it 3 feet up the roof. Then we fabricated and installed the inlaid gutter, before we went back and roofed it. We had to do it that way because the gutter system extends under the shingles and underlayment.”

The gutters were custom fabricated out of 24-gauge pre-finished galvanized steel and installed in the existing wood frame. “We also re-flashed the chimneys using the 24 gauge pre finished steel color to match shingles.” Hall says.

The new shingles were installed over a synthetic underlayment and ice and water shield. New accessories included lead boots for the plumbing vents, a new gutter apron, drip edge and exhaust vents.

Standout features included a custom-fabricated turret cap and a new weather vane. “We fabricated a copper turret cap that might be the biggest one we’ve ever made,” says Hall. “She also purchased a copper weather vane, and we installed that for her, too.”

The copper turret cap was the final touch on the project. According to Hall, the homeowner really wasn’t sure what she wanted, so the project was put in the hands of Todd Sterba, a top metal fabricator at Everlast Exteriors. “Executing something like this takes the right tools and the right fabricator,” notes Hall. “He worked on it in our shop and even took it home to his own workshop to put some finishing touches on it. We never even saw the final product until he brought it out to the job. The homeowner really loved it.”

The style of shingle was chosen because it fit in with the character of the area. “It’s an old house in a historic neighborhood, and that asphalt shingle really has a timeless look,” says Hall. “It’s made to emulate a slate roof, and it looks like something they might have installed in the era when the home was built.”

Everlast Exteriors submitted the project to the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association for the ARMA Excellence In Asphalt Roofing Awards program, which recognizes industry professionals for their high-performing steep-slope and low-slope asphalt roofing projects across North America. The Molly Jenkins Carriage House received the Gold Award in 2020. The company received a check for $2,000 at the 2020 International Roofing Expo.

“We were really happy to learn that we won,” Hall recalls. “We try and just knock out the coolest, best roofs around. We use the best products out there and provide the best workmanship. That’s our goal. Our top priority is to put out the best product not get the biggest profit — so it’s nice to get recognition.”

According to Hall, the award-wining project showcases the company’s strengths. “We match high-end material with high-end labor,” he says. “We try to bring together the best shingles and accessories, with the best labor practices to install the best product we can while meeting every customer’s budget. We provide a transferable lifetime labor warranty so we make sure every roof we do is aesthetically pleasing and maintenance free.”

Submissions are being accepted for ARMA’s 2021 Excellence in Asphalt Roofing Awards. For more information or to apply, visit www.asphaltroofing.org.

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Everlast Exteriors, Omaha, Nebraska, www.everlastexteriorconstruction.com

MATERIALS

Shingles: Carriage House Gatehouse Slate, CertainTeed, www.certainteed.com

After Devastating Fire, Couple Designs Home with Fire Resistant Roof

For the roof of their new home, the designers selected Inspire Classic Slate by Boral, a durable roofing system offering a Class 4 Impact rating for hail, and a 110-mph wind uplift rating, and a Class A system fire rating. Photos: McKinley & Associates

Their original home in idyllic Stonington, Connecticut, was designed in the Arts and Crafts style and was a place of fond memories and milestones for the family of four. Architect Michael McKinley, owner of McKinley & Associates, designed the home about 25 years ago specifically for his family. But a few years ago, on a very dry and windy afternoon in March while he was home with one of his two daughters, the house was ravaged in a fire.

“It didn’t sound so much like a fire, but instead like a bunch of squirrels running across the roof,” said McKinley.

Unfortunately, the sound wasn’t squirrels. The fire tore into the roof, destroying it as well as the whole second floor of the home. Extensive water damage plagued the ground level as a result. Luckily, nobody was harmed. But the fire completely uprooted the family — who immediately relocated into a rental — and set the couple into motion.

Sustainability was a key focus of the design. The home features a geothermal system and rooftop solar power.

Michael, along with wife Kathy, an interiors expert who also works for the firm, ultimately set out to rebuild; however, they decided not to build a replica of the first home. The couple instead forged a completely different design direction, ultimately deciding on another aesthetic altogether while addressing a responsibility to build more sustainably and with fire safety top-of-mind.

As was the case with the McKinley’s first home, fire can erupt on the roof when embers hit the surface and one or more ignite. When trees and brush pair with fire and wind, the dangerous concoction enables the embers to blow onto the roof.

The McKinleys knew the roof material chosen would be incredibly important in reducing the risk that future embers could ignite the surface. For their new abode, the designers selected Inspire Classic Slate by Boral, a durable roofing system which mimics the beauty of natural slate and that integrates cutting-edge environmentally conscious technology. The roof is resilient to harsh weather conditions, offering a Class 4 Impact rating for hail and a 110-mph wind uplift rating. Perhaps most important to the family, the Classic Slate provides a Class A system Fire rating, the industry’s highest.

The Roof Installation

JSD Home Improvements of Waterford, Connecticut, was contracted to install the roof. “The family had already decided to use a material with a high fire rating,” says Jeff Dennison, owner and installer with JSD Home Improvements. “Hail can also occur anytime where this home is located. They considered standing seam metal roofing, but ultimately went with the Classic Slate, not only because of the performance benefits, but because it gives the look of Vermont slate, which better complemented the architecture and look of the home.”

Moving away from the Arts and Crafts genre of the damaged home, the couple instead designed their new abode to pay homage to the region’s historic 200-year-old farm heritage. Evoking a modern rendition of the traditional farmhouse, the home integrates the gabled roof concept. The roofscape features multiple gables and pitches.

“A mix of Olive, Ash Grey, Evergreen and Red Rock hues were combined to create an authentic look,” adds Dennison. “The trick during installation was to take two of the colors and use them as accents, weaving them into the other three colors. We had to stand back numerous times to get the visual right and make sure the accent colors stood out.”

In all, it took Dennison and two other team members eight days to complete the roof. No real challenges interrupted them, with the exception of a couple of rainy days.

“This roof material is extremely durable, strong, and easy to work with,” Dennison adds. “Working with Bob Wood Construction on this project was also great. They are a general contractor known for orchestrating a jobsite well and keeping everything moving.”

The roof adorns a home designed by the McKinleys to protect the environment while functioning well. The McKinley’s daughters, now in their early twenties, have left to pursue their own paths, and the new home is much smaller than the original at 3,200 square feet, yet still encourages regular visits and stays. At four bedrooms and three baths, the home’s functionality is also improved as compared to the last home, with many spaces designed to be multifunctional. Michael notes that in the decades since designing the family’s first home, his skills have been refined. “I’ve become a lot more creative with designing smaller spaces that are more efficient,” he says. “This is a key part of the new home’s sustainability story.”

Eco-friendly it is. The home features large windows, making use of abundant natural sunlight, and incorporates radiant floor heating. Closed cell spray polyurethane foam insulates the home, ensuring a dramatic reduction in energy usage. The home also makes use of a geothermal system and solar power.

Waldo Renewable, an Old Lyme, Connecticut-based electrical contractor specializing in solar system design and installation, led the photovoltaic install. The 6.4 kW grid-tied rooftop system includes 20 LG 320 solar panels and SolarEdge 7600H with a DC optimizer. The Waldo Renewable team utilized flashing for a seamless installation with the Inspire Classic Slate.

The McKinleys designed one additional intuitive feature into their roof. An elaborate drainage system collects water from the roof and stores it underground in a cistern for use in the garden where Kathy grows vegetables.

Michael and Kathy McKinley created an incredible new home. The combined materials and systems ensure optimized performance and return on investment for the long term, with fire safety to boot. And one glance at the home proves curb appeal wasn’t sacrificed for that performance. The home is ultimately a testament to the meaningful material and construction advances of the past two decades.

“We are 25 years into the future,” says Michael, speaking of his home’s vast improvements over the last one. “No matter how well you did it then, it’s not the same. All the factors have changed.”

About the Author: Rick Hackett is product manager with Boral Roofing, a leading provider of durable and energy-efficient new and retrofit roofing solutions. He can be reached via email at Rick.Hackett@boral.com. For more information about Boral Roofing, visit www.BoralRoof.com.

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: JSD Home Improvements, Waterford, Connecticut

Solar Contractor: Waldo Renewable, Old Lyme, Connecticut, www.waldorenewable.com

MATERIALS

Roof System: Inspire Classic Slate, Boral Roofing, www.boralroof.com

Solar System: 20 LG 320 solar panels, www.lg.com/us, and SolarEdge 7600H, www.solaredge.com/us

Horsepower Has a New Meaning on Historic Roofing Project

Mackinac Island’s historic Chippewa Hotel was built in 1902. Its existing 13,000 square-foot roof was covered with a PVC roof system manufactured by IB Roof. Photos: IB Roof

Mackinac Island, Michigan, is a community that takes you back to the older, golden days of the past. There are no vehicles allowed on the island so visitors and residents must use horse-drawn carriages, walk or ride bicycles to get where they want to go. The only access to the island is via a ferry and that shuts down in the winter when ice forms in the channel.

With no vehicles and limited access to the island, imagine how challenging it would be to re-roof one of the island’s waterfront hotels — not to mention doing it as winter was right around the corner. That is the challenge that Traverse City, Michigan-based Bloxsom Roofing took on when they were hired to re-roof the Chippewa Hotel.

The historic hotel was built in 1902 and had several renovations over the years. Its existing 13,000 square-foot EPDM roof was failing, and the owners called Craig Bloxsom at Bloxsom Roofing for assistance. “We received a call in the fall of 2018 asking us to look at the project, but it was too late in the year and we didn’t have resources available to take on the work,” explains Bloxsom. “They called back after the first of the year because they still had not had their roof looked at and they wanted a price for re-roofing it.”

It was mid-March when Bloxsom visited the island. With ferry service unavailable due to ice, he had to take a small plane to get there. He was met at the airport by a horse and carriage that took him to the hotel.

No motorized vehicles are allowed on the island, so materials were transported by ferry and delivered to the jobsite using a team of horses.

His first impression when he saw the jobsite was not good. He noted that AT&T had two transmission towers that were non-penetrating, but each took up a 12-foot-by-12-foot area and had a large trunk line running across the roof between the towers. There were also two very large HVAC units along with two shed-like structures in the center of the roof that each had a 10-foot-by-10-foot footprint. This left Bloxsom wondering how they were going to get underneath the structures. “You couldn’t go more than three or four feet in any direction without there being some penetration,” he says.

Beyond the penetration challenges, Bloxsom was worried about logistics. The roof was 50 feet high, and with no vehicles allowed on the island and restrictions on other equipment, he wondered how he would be able to get the materials and equipment onto the roof.

After inspecting the existing EPDM membrane that was fully adhered over cover board, Bloxsom determined that he would be able to leave it in place, eliminating the challenge of removing the old roof and getting it off the island. Wanting to make sure that the new roof would provide strong protection from the elements and from all of the inevitable roof traffic, Bloxsom recommended an IB Roof 80-mil PVC Fleeceback system that would be mechanically attached over the existing roof. Because the roof was vented, with open air space underneath, there was no need for insulation.

Bloxsom said that in addition to IB Roof’s strong track record of performance, another reason he thought that the IB Roof PVC membrane was more ideal for the job is because it comes in 6-foot-wide rolls. “Most manufacturers have 10 or 12-foot rolls and between having to lift the rolls to the roof height and all the penetrations on the roof, the six-foot rolls would be much easier for my crew to work with,” explains Bloxsom.

Numerous penetrations and multiple HVAC units made the roof installation a challenge.

The owner liked the proposal and hired Bloxsom Roofing to perform the work. With work set to begin in November, Bloxsom began the challenge of figuring out the logistics of the project. The property owner was able to find an apartment for the crew that was located just across the street. “It was kind of like a bunkhouse for our guys,” Bloxsom notes. “It had a kitchen for them to make food since most of the restaurants on the island were closed for the season. I became a shopper, making weekly trips to the island to deliver food and supplies for them.”

Now that the crew had quarters, Bloxsom needed to worry about how to get the equipment and materials to the island and up onto the roof. He found a company that was dedicated to getting freight over to the island and they were able to ship the job trailer to the island and leave it parked at their dock. The membrane and job materials were transported to the hotel by a team of horses.

The property owner had a Skytrak lift that would go as high as 80 feet, so crews were able to use it for much of the roof loading, but the lift wouldn’t be able to handle the weight of the membrane rolls and the generator. Fortunately, there was one crane on the island, and they were able to arrange to use it to get the membrane and the generator loaded onto the roof.

Once the job began it was not all smooth sailing. The crews discovered that someone had cut a sort of trench into the roof to direct water at either end where two large scuppers were located. “Every direction you turned there seemed to be a challenge,” says Bloxsom. “The trenches were 3 to 4 feet deep, 10 inches wide and about 12 feet long. We ended up removing the scuppers and installing roof drains.”

Getting underneath the HVAC units and shed-like structures was challenging for the crew as well. “We found that the HVAC units had roof curbs, so we were able to drill through the curbs and raise the units using floor jacks,” explains Bloxsom.

Cold weather comes early in northern Michigan and there were a few days of sub-zero temperatures not to mention the 10-inches of snow that fell the week before they were set to finish. Fortunately, the crews had installed a good portion of the roof before the snow and were able to shovel the snow over to the finished parts in order to complete the installation.

The Chippewa Hotel is now watertight, with a brand-new roof backed by a 15-year IB Roof Total System Warranty.

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Bloxsom Roofing, Traverse City, Michigan, www.bloxsomroofing.com

MATERIALS

Low-Slope Roof System: 80-mil PVC Fleeceback, IB Roof, www.IBroof.com

Complex Metal Roof Replacement Becomes Award-Winning Project

The main roof on the historic Dilley-Tinnin home was made up of multiple roof planes and featured an internal gutter. Photos: Texas Traditions Roofing

Located just outside of Austin in Georgetown, Texas, the historic Dilley-Tinnin home dates back to 1879. When it was struck by lightning, the main roof was damaged beyond repair. The original soldered, flat panel roof would have to be removed and replaced as part of a restoration project that posed numerous challenges.

The roof was made up of some 20 roof planes and included an internal gutter system, numerous penetrations, and multiple low-slope transitions. The new metal roof would have to be watertight and durable — and meet strict guidelines for historical accuracy.

Crews from nearby Texas Traditions Roofing were up to the challenge. They removed the damaged sections of the existing roof and installed a striking red standing seam metal roof manufactured by Sheffield Metals.

Michael Pickel, vice president of Texas Traditions Roofing, was called in to assess the damage. The original roof had a standing seam look to it in some sections, but it was comprised of metal panels that were soldered together. “It was metal 100 percent, from the fascia, to the gutter, to the flat portion, all soldered together into one piece,” he notes.

Crews from Texas Traditions Roofing removed the damaged sections of the existing roof and installed a red standing seam roof manufactured by Sheffield Metals.

The entire main roof area would have to be replaced, while the gray metal roof system on one wing was left in place. The main roof was comprised of multiple roof areas with slopes ranging from completely flat to pitches of 3:12 and 4:12. “It really wasn’t that steep, and that’s what caused us to recommend the double-lock panels,” Pickel says. “Given all of the soffits and all of the transitions, the slope required us to use a double lock.”

The Texas Traditions team worked for eight months with the local historical committee to ensure that the new roof would meet its guidelines. The committee approved the 2.0 Mechanical Standing Seam roof manufactured by Sheffield Metals, and the roof restoration work began.

The metal panels of the original roof were removed, along with most of the internal gutter. “The home was leaking pretty bad,” Pickel recalls. “There was some significant damage to the integral gutter, and we had to rebuild at least 80 percent of it. It was flat, and we added slope to it. It was a beast. We tore the whole thing off and came in with all manufacturer approved products: high-temp synthetic underlayment, high-temp ice and water, and the metal panels and butyl sealant.”

The existing roof was damaged by lightning. The soldered, flat panel roof had to be removed and replaced.

Most of the deck was in good shape, but the fascia needed extensive repairs. Extreme care had to be taken to protect the custom carpentry just below the eaves. “It was a crazy custom fascia,” Pickel notes. “We’ve never seen anything like it before.”

After the internal gutter was rebuilt, it was lined with a 60-mil TPO membrane from GAF. “We did a metal fascia, and it was also lined with TPO. It ran about 18 inches up behind the field panels to give it some added security. It was also lined with ice and water shield.”

The metal panels were roll-formed on the site. “Due to all the different lengths, we took measurements, rolled them on site, and applied them one at a time,” Pickel explains. “All of the trim and accessories were manufactured in our metal shop and brought to the site.”

Panels were lifted into place with a rope-and-pulley system and installed over Viking Armor synthetic underlayment and GAF StormGuard leak barrier. The re-roofed area was approximately 2,500 square feet, but the project was a labor-intensive puzzle. “It was a small project, but it was really cut up,” Pickel says.

Crew members were tied off 100 percent of the time at the eave and while installing the metal panels. “The nice part was it wasn’t too steep, and the lip of the integral gutter added another layer of safety as well,” Pickel explains. “From a safety standpoint, it was pretty basic; the steepest section was 4:12, and a lot of the work was done on the flat area.”

In the flat area, crickets were used provide adequate slope beneath the metal panels. The transitions made for some tricky details. “When you hit the low slope on metal — and that’s really 2:12 or less — you start to be more concerned about making sure you’re doing everything you can to get that water off that roof,” Pickel says. “If the water moves slowly, you have to do all you can to make sure that roof is fully sealed and ensure it just won’t leak.”

Crews tackled the challenges one at a time. “Just like any project, once you start to move on it, it gets a little bit easier,” Pickel says. “We learned a lot as we progressed. Each section made the next section a little bit easier.”

Texas Traditions submitted the project to Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) for its Best Residential Metal Roofing Project competition, and MRA selected Texas Traditions Roofing and Sheffield Metals as the first-quarter winners in the category.

“When we got the news, we were just ecstatic,” Pickel says. “I think roofers are very proud of the work they do, and to get that recognition is fun and exciting. It also gets the team fired up.”

Pickel credits his company’s success to a simple formula: quality craftsmanship by talented and experienced crews. “One of our owners has been in construction for 40-plus years,” he says, referring to his father, Mike Pickel. “He handled multi-million-dollar commercial projects for a very large general contractor. His experience and ability to manage our jobs, educate our crews, and educate our superintendents helps out gain knowledge beyond the roof. There’s more to it than just the roof, and being mindful of the entire building is a huge advantage.”

For more information about how to enter MRA’s “Best Metal Roofing” competition for the trades, visit www.metalroofing.com.

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Texas Traditions Roofing, Georgetown, Texas, www.texastraditionsroofing.com

MATERIALS

Metal Roof: 2-inch mechanical lock panels in Cardinal Red, Sheffield Metals, www.sheffieldmetals.com

Underlayment: Viking Armor synthetic underlayment, VB Synthetics, www.vbsynthetics.com

Leak Barrier: GAF StormGuard, GAF, www.gaf.com

The Calcaire House Meets Strict Energy Codes — and Does it in Style

The residential compound is made up of five interconnected buildings and features both gabled standing seam metal roofs and low-slope TPO roofs. Photos: S-5!

The Calcaire House is a 15,000-square-foot modern Colorado single-family residential compound consisting of five interconnected buildings. Floor-to-ceiling glass connects the interior space to the exterior landscape, offering spectacular views of the Boulder Flatirons. A combination of exposed timber, stone and steel structural design elements, and exposed custom roof trusses complement the gabled standing seam metal roof.

Boulder Roofing Company and The Solar Revolution were charged with installing a metal roof and solar array with more than 60 kilowatts of solar dispersed over multiple rooftops. Boulder Roofing installed both standing seam metal and TPO roof systems on the project. Crews installed approximately 12,000 square feet of 14-inch, 24-gauge panels from Drexel Metals in traditional black over Titanium PSU30 high-temp peel and stick underlayment.

They also installed 3,000 square feet of 60-mil Versico TPO over low-slope areas. The TPO was adhered to quarter-inch DensDeck Prime over tapered EPS insulation. Boulder Roofing fabricated and installed custom flashings and coping, and also installed an S-5! snow-guard system incorporating the S-5! ColorGard bars, S-5-S Mini clamps, SnoClip IIs, and VersaClips.

The Energy Challenge

The city of Boulder has strict energy codes in place and requires all new construction to meet a certain level of efficiency. The requirements are based on the square footage of the home and are more stringent on larger homes — the larger the home, the more efficient it needs to be. The goal is to have a net-zero home, not taking energy from the grid, and the only way for a larger home to achieve this is with solar. A modest home or small addition might only require about 2 kilowatts. A large home might require 20-30 kilowatts.

The most optimal rooftops for solar were also the most visually prominent, and the homeowner was concerned about aesthetics. These concerns were alleviated after seeing a small-scale mock-up of the S-5! PVKIT 2.0 solution combined with an all-black solar module.

In addition, the area is considered a high-wind area and would require a study to account for windspeeds, as the solar installers could only rely on the roof itself and its attachment to the wood sheeting when attaching solar panels using S-5!’s zero-penetration system.

Another difficulty was finding a viable path to route the energy created by the solar panels back to the point of connection with the home’s distribution. The Solar Revolution worked with the builder and the architect, and analyzed photos and design plans to find ways to conceal the conduits. They ultimately found a viable path that was aesthetically pleasing, code compliant and cost-effective.

The Solution

The Solar Revolution installers utilized S-5!’s PVKIT 2.0 to build the solar array. The installation team started at ground level prepping S-5! PVKIT MidGrabs and EdgeGrabs. Another team member prepared the solar modules by installing the power optimizers and managing the various wires. By completing this work on the ground, the roof crew could focus on setting modules, and it minimized their time in harnesses on a steep metal roof. The solar installers prefer to install modules starting with the bottom row and working up. Extra care is taken when aligning the first row. This precision allows for subsequent rows to drop into place on the S-5! PVKIT MidGrabs.

The Solar Revolution installed a solar array that provides more than 60 kilowatts of power.

“The Solar Revolution has been utilizing the S-5! PVKIT 2.0 solution since it first hit the market,” says Doug Claxton, CEO of The Solar Revolution. “Hands down, it is the best solar mounting solution for metal roofing of any description. At first, we were a little worried about wire management and installing in landscape, but those worries were overcome with our first installation. It’s a piece of cake.”

Long-Term Outlook

With the S-5! PVKIT 2.0, the Calcaire House was able to meet the city code requirements for solar and establish itself as an energy-efficient, net-zero home. Because the PVKIT comes in black, it matched the roof nicely, pulling together all of the design elements in an aesthetically pleasing, cost-effective manner — saving the customer time and money on installation and materials.

TEAM

Architect: Surround Architecture, Boulder, Colorado, www.surroundarchitecture.com

General Contractor: Harrington Stanko Construction, Niwot, Colorado, www.harringtonstanko.com

Engineer: Anthem Structural Engineers, Boulder, Colorado, www.anthemstructural.com

Roofing Contractor: Boulder Roofing Company, Boulder, Colorado, www.boulderroof.com

Solar Installer: The Solar Revolution, Boulder, Colorado, www.thesolarrevolution.com

MATERIALS

Metal Roof: 175SS 14-inch, 24 gauge panels, Drexel Metals, www.drexmet.com

Underlayment: Titanium PSU30, Owens Corning, www.owenscorning.com

TPO Roof: 60-mil Grey TPO, Versico, www.versico.com

Cover Board: DensDeck Prime, Georgia-Pacific, www.buildgp.com

Solar Attachment: S-5! PVKIT 2.0 in black with S-5-S Mini Clamps, www.S-5.com

Snow Guards: S-5! ColorGard, S-5-S Mini Clamps, SnowClipIIs and VersaClips

Won Over by Metal Roofing

A finished Matterhorn Tile application on an Oklahoma City-area home.
Photos: CertainTeed

Scott McCollum, owner of McRoof Residential and Commercial Roofing, has been in the contracting business for half a century. Since 2007, his Edmond, Oklahoma-based roofing business has concentrated on wind and impact-resistant asphalt products — the kind needed for homes often in the path of tornados, hailstorms and other wind events common to Oklahoma and Northern Texas.

“We’re right in the middle of the hail belt and tornado alley, so people are extremely concerned about hail and wind,” says McCollum. “Those are really big drivers that make people willing to spend more on a roof that is going to give them better performance.”

In 2019, McCollum introduced CertainTeed’s Matterhorn Metal Roofing into his product offering. The lightweight, steel panel roofing system offers top-tier wind and impact resistance, with bold colors and designs that emulate popular styles like shake, slate, and clay tile.

McCollum said most of his customers are homeowners and business owners making insurance claims due to severe hail and storm-related roof damage. He often recommends higher-end and SBS-modified asphalt products, but began offering metal roofing due to a surge of consumer interest. After experimenting with a few metal systems, McCollum settled on Matterhorn from CertainTeed for its looks, solar-reflective color options and ease of installation.

“We really believe it’s the most beautiful metal roofing product on the market,” says McCollum. “We’ve always been a value-added contractor, so this is a good fit for us.”

Overcoming Contractor Concerns

According to McCollum, customers typically come to McRoof because they are frustrated with typical products after several roof repairs or replacements following storms. “Some have had to replace their asphalt roof every five to seven years, so we’ve always recommended higher-end products,” notes McCollum. “I’ve always understood the benefits of metal roofing when it is installed correctly, but I was concerned about introducing it into our product line with our available labor resources. What was the learning curve, and what does it take to get the job done … those were the questions I had.”

Since its inception, McRoof has relied exclusively on CertainTeed for its asphalt products. After a chance meeting with a CertainTeed Matterhorn metal roofing field representative, McCollum decided to give the product a try.

“Most of the concerns I had went away after the first one or two installations,” McCollum says. “Matterhorn is a well-thought-out product and the way it fastens and goes together is seamless. It takes a little more time to get drip edge and hips and ridges done, but once the deck is prepared, the installation of the field tile goes very quickly.”

McCollum said that on the first couple of Matterhorn roofing installations, CertainTeed sent field representatives to the project site who worked alongside McRoof installers to help them avoid any costly or time-consuming installation errors.

“Some contractors are worried about getting into metal roofing, but the monetary investment for the hand tools you need is next to nothing, and the learning curve is very low,” says McCollum. “With a metal nibbler, some snips, a crimper and a handbrake, you’re good to go. The additional revenue basically doubles the size of my company.”

Making the Sale

McCollum says that in storm-prone Oklahoma and Texas, most of his customers are open to the idea of metal roofing, which is known for its durability and longevity. Most metal roofs have a useful lifespan of more than 50 years, which is music to the ears of many homeowners living in the hail belt. He says it’s important to establish the benefits with customers and to explain the advantages of going with a longer-lasting product on their “forever home.”

“People know that metal roofing is a little more expensive than asphalt,” said McCollum. “However, customers are looking for impact, fire and wind resistance, as well as solar reflectivity. I’ve had people tell me they’ve wanted a metal roof for years, but they don’t want it to look like a barn. When you’re able to actually show customers the samples, their eyes light up.

“Clay tile is very popular in the Southwest and the Matterhorn is especially spot on,” McCollum continued. “I grew up in New Mexico surrounded by stucco homes with tile roofs and you could put a Matterhorn Tile roof in the middle of 10 clay tile roofs and you would not be able to tell the difference. It’s that good, so we think there’s a huge potential market for it with architects and specifiers.”

McCollum says contractors should consider metal roofing specialization a long-term investment. He suggested becoming a credentialed installer in order to demonstrate expertise and be able to offer better installation warranties.

“When I was looking at metal roofing, I wasn’t looking at it to make a lot of money right away,” says McCollum. “We were concerned about learning how to do it correctly as opposed to squeezing money out of the first couple of jobs. My best advice would be to find a mentor and do some training. It’s money well spent.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: McRoof Residential and Commercial Roofing, Edmond, Oklahoma, https://www.mcroofrx.com

MATERIALS

Metal Roof System: Matterhorn Tile, CertainTeed, www.certainteed.com/metal-roofing

Installing Tubular Skylights on Cement and Clay Tile Roofs

Elite Solar Systems installed six tubular skylights and solar-powered attic fans, incorporating them into the existing tile roof of this 3,900-square-foot Gilbert home. Photos: Elite Solar Systems

Installing tubular skylights, or solar tubes, can add a profit niche for any roofing company and provide a lifestyle enhancement for existing and new clients.

“Tubular skylights allow natural light in to brighten rooms and offices during the day without the need for an electrical light source,” explains Jovane Estrada, general manager for Elite Solar Lighting & Fans, based in Chandler, Arizona, southeast of Phoenix. “They can be retrofitted into any existing roof system and placed where windows or traditional skylights are not options.”

In the desert Southwest, cement or clay tiles on pitched rooftops are a popular choice by owners of upscale homes. Recently, Estrada’s team installed six tubular skylights and solar-powered attic fans on a 3,900-square-foot two-story home built in 2009 with cement tiles in Gilbert, Arizona.

In 2001, the company began offering high-quality residential and commercial tubular skylights, solar-powered attic fans and garage exhaust fans. The parent manufacturing company, Southwest Metal Spinning, was founded 26 years ago by Estrada’s father, Saul, and brother, Juan. The components for the Elite product are made in the same location.

Typical tubular skylight components include a high-impact acrylic dome, which locks into a ring on the 1100-O aluminum flashing; this seals to a flat or pitched rooftop, protecting against rain and cracking. Beneath this, an acrylic diffusing lens connects to highly reflective anodized tubing leading to the ceiling, where it fits into a three-glazed polycarbonate diffuser.

For the Gilbert home, Elite installed a 10-inch-diameter tubular skylight with a bathroom exhaust fan kit and light kit; a 10-inch-diameter tubular skylight through the garage into a downstairs bathroom where the skylight was installed on a wall; four 13-inch-diamter tubular skylights with synchronized dimmers, which open and close the solar lights at the same time and position; two solar-powered attic fans; and a solar-powered garage exhaust fan.

“Experienced professionals can install a tubular skylight with any roof penetration,” Estrada says. “If they can cut and seal roof flashing on the tile roof, they should know or learn how to install the tubular skylight fairly easily, and your clients can enjoy new light and the peace of mind knowing the job has been done right.”

Cement Tile Challenges

The tools required for a cement or clay tile installation are minimal: safety googles; gloves; stud finder; measuring tape; pencil; drill gun; ladder; reciprocating saw to cut wood deck; grinder to cut roof tiles; caulk gun for sealant; drywall saw; tin snips; utility knife; and plumb bob/laser.

Of course, installing tubular skylights through cement tiles requires following the basic steps for any roof breach.

To avoid damage to clay tiles, unless a roofer has a great deal of experience walking on them, Estrada recommends that the tiles be removed from walk areas on the roof up to where the tubular skylight will be installed.

“Make sure the install is possible — and sometimes it isn’t, at least exactly where the client wants it — and have the appropriate tools and materials available,” Estrada says.

Next, mark where the tubular skylight is to be placed and check in the attic or crawl space for plumbing pipes and vents, wires, trusses, HVAC heat pumps and ductwork, water pipes and roof valleys that might be obstructive. “If there is an obstacle, the challenge is determining if using tubular skylight adjustable elbows will allow the install to be completed,” he says.

With the attic inspection and cuts done, an aluminum tile skirt and pitched flashing must be installed properly to the deck. “Most roofers do not use a tile skirt for tile roofs, and later a leak can damage the paper underneath the tiles,” Estrada says. He recommends applying a premium flexible sealant (supplied) to the flashing.

In this home, the central challenge was installing the tubular skylight on the roof through and into the first-floor bathroom, without disturbing the second floor just above it. “We knew we had to go through the side wall of the bathroom, but we had to make sure we had the room in the attic and inside the adjacent garage to install the tube on the sidewall,” he explains.

To do this, the 90-degree adjustable elbows were needed to be able to make the turn from having the tube travel straight down into the inside of the garage and then shift direction into the bathroom, Estrada says.

“This kind of installation requires more effort and time,” Estrada says, “but the result is that a lower level, even a basement, can be enhanced with more natural light.”

All Ups, No Downs, for Roofers, Clients

For the roofer and the homeowner, the best time to install a tubular skylight (other than at construction) is during a roof replacement or repair. The attic space and roof are open and accessible and can be sealed along with the new roof or repair. But as this case study shows, most retrofits can be easily completed, too.

“It’s an extra income stream and an incentive for customers to choose your company,” Estrada says. For example, one of Elite’s roofer clients offers a free 10-inch tubular skylight with each signed re-roofing contract.

With these, home- and business-owners light up their homes, garages, offices, hallways, bathrooms and warehouses. And, tubular skylights also offer lifestyle benefits for pets, plants and people, Estrada says. “They’ve been reported to improve a person’s mood, and the owner of this home in Gilbert told us they’ve simply changed his life.”

About the author: David M. Brown has been writing books and articles for newspapers, magazines, ezines, websites and businesses for many years. A graduate of LaSalle University and Temple University in native Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he is the father of two grown children, Shaun and Sheena, who live near him in the Phoenix area.

TEAM

Tubular Skylight Installer: Elite Solar Systems, Chandler, Arizona, www.elitesolarsystems.com

MATERIALS

Tubular Skylights: 10-inch Elite Tubular Skylight, 13-inch Elite Tubular Skylight, Elite Solar Systems

Attic Fans: 20-Watt Elite Solar Attic Fan

Tips for Tubular Skylights

Once the vertical pitched flashing is sealed and fastened properly on the roof deck, place the aluminum tile flashing over the pitched flashing, with the EPDM rubber facing down toward flashing. Fold the sides of the aluminum tile flashing and make sure flashing goes over the bottom tiles.

1. Follow the step-by-step instruction manual, supplied with the tubular skylight. Call the manufacturer and ask questions, if necessary.

2. Use all of the parts included with the tubular skylight kit. “Typically, when a part is left out, it is because the installer or roofer does not know its function,” Estrada says. “Leaving out a part can cause condensation issues, dust or bugs to enter the unit, a rainbow (distracting prism) effect on the interior of the home or other issues down the line.”

3. Quality and safety are paramount: Tested and certified products ensure your clients that the units will last through the harshest weather. Check products for certification by the International Code Council (ICC). Secondly, quality products offer UV-protection plastic, which inhibits fading of interiors. And, for installers, find out if the tubular skylights adhere to OSHA fall-protection standards.

The roof install is complete, with the tiles back in place. Notice that you can see the aluminum tile flashing toward the bottom of the tiles. Both the flashing and the aluminum tile flashing can be painted to blend in with roof.

4. For condensation control, the skylight must breathe, so don’t place sealant between the dome assembly and the roof flashing. This will cause condensation buildup.

5. For condensation, dust and bug issues, seal any gaps between the ceiling kit and the light tube as well as the light tube and the flashing with tape or spray-foam insulation, following the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

6. Offer no-leak guarantees to fully back your work for your customers. As a respected roofing company, you offer warrantied materials and installation. Look for that, too, in the tubular skylights you install.