Parapet flashing

It took us a day to install the torch down membrane and seal the two vent stacks. We now had a day left to take care of the flashing along the parapet, which is a much more tedious task than laying down a roofing membrane. Why only a day? Because our luck with rain-free days was about to run out.

Whereas we installed two membranes on the roof (base sheet followed by the torch down membrane), the parapet flashing only received the torch down membrane.

Our roofer Pablo had extended the torch down membrane by around four inches above the cant strip and up the parapet. He now measured and precut torch down membrane pieces to extend from the parapet edge down to about four inches past the cant strip onto the roof. And as usual, installation started from the bottom of the roof to the top to have the overlap in the direction of the water flow, in the same manner as regular shingles.

Pablo lined up each piece, folded back the top half, heated the back of the membrane with the torch, folded it back up, and pressed until it adhered firmly to the parapet. Next he lifted the bottom half of the membrane and repeated the process. This way no direct heat was applied to the dimple mat vent strip. The exception was the downstream edge of each piece, which Pablo very diligently warmed up and then sealed.

I can’t adequately express how much I appreciated Pablo’s diligence. Safety meant everything to him. At no time was he rushing anything but made sure he didn’t melt the dimple mat and that each seam was impeccable.

Also, his timing was perfect! It literally started drizzling while he was finishing up the last two pieces on the front parapet. What a ride!

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About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

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