Tag Archives: roofing

Roof tear off

When we bought our building in 2009, our roof got a clean bill of health by the inspector. It had a fairly new membrane that was estimated to be good for another five to 10 years. And it was.

But the most recent membrane was not the only one that had been installed on the roof. In fact, there were seemingly endless layers of membranes and other roofing systems that had been installed on our roof over the last century, probably going all the way back to the very first roofing system in 1902.

It amounted to a roofing system sandwich of about two and a half to three inches. The weight of all this roofing material was considerable. Rather than adding another layer to it, it was time to tear off all those layers, take off the weight, and have a fresh start with a new roofing system.

Removing the two and a half to three inches of roofing amounts to about 12 to 14 cubic yards of waste. In preparation, our roofer, Pablo, organized two 10 yard dumpsters and a trash chute.

The trash chute was important to me, because it prevents the waste from flying all over the place on its way down from the roof.

The tear off had to happen rather fast. You don’t want to be in the middle of a roofing project and have rain storms moving through. Ideally you get the tear off started and the new system finished while the dry weather lasts.

Pablo arrived at 7 am with his crew and a selection of brute force tools. By noon, all the layers of the old system were gone and in the dumpsters. We were down to the original roof deck, which was old 7/8 inch pine boards.

To my great relief, the boards were in excellent condition, except for one spot that had water infiltration at one point. I noticed the damaged boards when I installed the insulation under the roof deck. So we were prepared, and removed and replaced the damaged boards.

Related posts:

  • Roofing materials – delivery
  • Parapet extension
  • Front parapet re-building – 2nd step
  • Cornice repair
  • Front parapet re-built – 1st step
  • Front parapet demo
  • Bracing for the cornice issue
  • The roof project

Roofing materials – delivery

During our roof project I had lugged a lot of material up the back porch stairs onto the roof. Countless pieces of brick, and rather heavy but beautiful pieces of limestone, among other things. In the process, my thighs grew big and my arms long.

Our roofer, Pablo, told me that they did the same in the old days: Shouldering the roofing materials and lugging it up stairs and ladders.

But not any more. Today, access permitting, many roofing material suppliers use a truck with a crane.

This was a rather relaxing and refreshing experience after what felt like weeks on a stair climbing machine. Not only did we have all the roofing material hoisted onto the roof in minutes, but Pablo got his tools and equipment lifted too.

What made me a little nervous was the sheer weight of the palettes that were now sitting on the roof. I had to remind myself that it should be OK, given that they are sitting there temporarily, and that we had the roof structure reinforced.

Related posts: