Protecting Your Foundation

Posted on: November 17th, 2017 by Lori Smith

Got Foundation Issues?

A foundation carries the weight of the whole house. There are various types of foundations, but no matter what they are all the “Atlas” of your home.

Because it is such a critical component, choosing the proper class of foundation based on the region’s construction methods and climate will help minimize any issues with your home.

This post discusses five options for foundation types:

ReliableMidget / Pixabay

1. Typical footing and stem wall construction
2. Drilled shaft concrete piers and grade beam
3. Slab on grade with a turned-down edge
4. Permanent wood foundations
5. Basement foundation

5 Types of Home Foundation Systems

Regular Inspections of Your Home

The best defense for protecting your foundation is to check for potential signs on a regular basis. Issues are caused by a variety of things, but the type of soil your home is built on is one of the biggest fundamentals for a solid, long-term infrastructure.

The signs are there if you know what to look for. Issues like cracks in your drywall, stair-step cracks on brick siding, and doors and windows that stick are just some of the warning signs.

This video gives a variety of tell-tale evidence that is apparent when certain elements apply. Most are easily recognized by an experienced home inspector:

As outlined, foundation problems lead to major structural damage within your home. If you own your home or are looking for a new location, problems with the groundwork of a home cause alarm for all concerned.

Cost of Foundation Repair

If your concrete foundation is distressed, the cost to repair it can be daunting and can make selling your home a big problem. The following image gives the average cost as well as the highs and lows:



There are specialists with techniques that can safely and effectively repair a foundation, but it comes at a price. Not only does it require a lot of digging, building forms, and pouring concrete, but you have to haul out broken up concrete and replace areas that are defective along with protecting the existing structure.

If you find yourself in an infrastructure issue, call a Denver area contractor to pick their brain on the best strategy for moving forward. They should be able to refer a good foundation specialist in order to get an estimate for your foundation problems.

Benefits of a Prefabricated Home

Posted on: November 10th, 2017 by Lori Smith

When you are ready to make the leap and become a homeowner, choosing the type of home construction you want to have is the first step. For example, you can have the house be traditional custom built home, a manufactured home, or a modular or prefabricated home.

Benefits of a Prefabricated Home

3dman_eu / Pixabay

As with any choices, you are smart to weigh all of the advantages and disadvantages. It’s important that you make a list to prioritize the must-have items are when deciding.

For example, with a custom stick-built home, if you want unique elements it requires that you find the best contractor at the right price for your budget. This type of home is very durable, but also rather expensive.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, a manufactured or mobile home is much less expensive but its value depreciates quickly, partially due to their classification as personal property as opposed to real property. The quality of the building materials with mobile home construction is another factor.

A modular home is somewhat of a happy medium compared to the other two options mentioned. They are built to a higher standard but are still a turn-key alternative:

Fast construction is one of the big advantages of prefab homes. Because the parts of a prefab home come pre-made, all you have to do is assemble them and hook up the home to the needed utilities. Hence the name “modular.” The prefab goes up much faster because it arrives partially constructed. That means fewer days with laborers on site and less vulnerability to weather delays and illnesses that can extend the construction process by days and weeks. Still, there’s more to consider than just the construction time. Site preparation, including obtaining permits, can be a lengthy process.

The Pros and Cons of Prefab Homes

A huge advantage of modular homes is that they are 100% built off-site. This makes them more energy efficient and sustainable, with all the extra materials recycled in-house.

With a stick-built home, the various contractors are in and out of the location on a regular basis. Since prefabricated homes are built in one location, all of the work is done in-house, so it saves time and leaves less of a carbon footprint.

This video shows the benefits of prefabricated a home:

One thing the business owner mentions is that his homes are built to a higher standard compared to traditional custom homes, but I don’t feel that is necessarily true. The main difference would be that prefab homes are inspected at regular intervals throughout the manufacturing process, so quality control is guaranteed.

Along with the financial savings, the regulated process via the manufacturer is a big part of why there’s an advantage with modular homes:

Since prefabricated construction occurs in a controlled manufacturing environment and follows specified standards, the sub-assemblies of the structure will be built to a uniform quality. Construction site-built structures are dependent upon varying skill levels and the schedules

Advantages of modular homes

Giovanni_cg / Pixabay

of independent contractors. These all contribute to the craftsmanship and overall quality of given structure. With prefabrication, each sub-assembly is built by an experienced crew in a weather-resistant factory, with multiple quality checks throughout the entire process. Some components of the building are constructed using precise machine equipment to ensure conformity to building code.

7 Benefits of Prefabricated Construction

The cost of a custom built home vs a prefab home varies depending on how much work you’re willing to do yourself compared to how much you outsource to contractors. Without a certain level of knowledge in home building, you are best to contact a Denver home contractor to get their advice.

Shortage in Construction Labor for Denver

Posted on: November 3rd, 2017 by Lori Smith

Continued Growth In Denver CO

Although it’s a good problem to have, especially for real estate sales and construction contractors, Denver, Colorado’s economy is growing far faster than the housing supply.

The city’s population has been growing at an average rate of around 2.5% for quite some time now, which calculates to around 1,000 people moving in per month. That’s a lot of new families needing a place to live!

Because of this, there is a big lack of construction specialists in the area. This post says it all:

Denver's Shortage in Construction Labor

skeeze / Pixabay

“There is a 100 percent shortage of skilled construction workers here in Colorado and nationally,” said Michael Smith, Colorado Home Building Academy director.

It’s so bad the Association of General Contractors in Colorado estimates the need for skilled construction workers at more than 30,000 in the next five years.

That number does not include workers retiring, quitting and getting promoted to higher positions.

“They are already taking anywhere from 10 to 20 percent longer to build a house, and it’s due to the fact that we don’t have enough skilled labor in the field,” Smith said.

Colorado in dire need of skilled construction workers

There has been a lot of talk of the housing shortage all along the Front Range of Colorado, with prices higher than ever. As of May 2017, the median price of a single-family home was well over $450,000, up more than 10% from the year before.

Cost of Living in Denver

The cost of renting a place in the Denver Metro area also continues climb. Even though it’s only 22nd in the United States for cost of a two-bedroom apartment, the fact that it’s up 4% from last year is what makes it difficult.

Most people don’t get a 4% raise every year, so it keeps eating away at the bottom line. In a previous blog, we discussed that a minimum wage worker in Denver would have to put in 95 hours a week to pay their rent.

This video provides some interesting facts about renting in Denver:

The American dream of owning your own home is an uphill battle for people along the Front Range of Colorado. As mentioned, part of the issue is that there aren’t enough skilled laborers to  keep up with the demand. According to the Denver Post, “The amount of money being pumped into construction projects in Denver is on a record-smashing pace in 2017.”

It was reported that through October 2017, an estimated value of permitted work by the city was $3.27 billion. Obviously the real estate market is red hot, but the construction contractors can’t keep up with the demand.

The problem started with the market crash in 2008, when a lot of people were forced to find a different career. Many didn’t return to the trade, ironically because of the lack of affordable housing in the area for lower wage workers.

Free Schooling For Construction Labor

An area home builder, Oakwood Homes, decided to take matters into their own hands by creating Colorado Homebuilding Academy, a nonprofit organization that opened this year to alleviate the shortage in construction labor for Denver:

Training in Construction Labor

skeeze / Pixabay

Inside an unassuming warehouse on the outskirts of Denver, 18 students are learning to saw, tile, drill, plaster and paint.

They are mastering how to build a house. While that number might not sound like a lot, today’s homebuilders are desperate for all of them.

The students are some of the first to enroll in an eight-week “boot camp” at the Colorado Homebuilding Academy, a nonprofit organization that opened this year. The course is free, founded and funded by Oakwood Homes, a Denver-based homebuilder.

Desperate for workers, a Colorado homebuilder starts a free school

If you are interested in starting a new career, this would be a great opportunity. For Denver contractors, it’s the only way to meet the needs of their industry.


Top Benefits of Using a Nail Gun

Posted on: October 28th, 2017 by Lori Smith

Pros and Cons of a Framing Nailer

Have you ever considered buying a nail gun? They aren’t cheap but they are a huge time saver in many circumstances.

Pneumatic nail guns are powerful tools capable of shooting hundreds of nails into a wide range of materials. They not only get the job done faster, but they improve your accuracy and the quality of your workmanship. However, you can’t use them for every project.

As with any tool, there are some disadvantages. This article gives an idea of the situations where a air nail gun isn’t as optimal:

A drawback may be the fact that the air-powered tool requires a dedicated source such as a compressor to work. This may make the tool less portable or even useless in some situations where the work area is confined or requires a smaller, more adaptable tool. For some the noise level produced from the compressor and the action of the tool can be annoying. As a rule, when using an air-powered tool you should wear earplugs and protective eyewear as a precaution.

Read more here:  Air-Powered Tools: Benefits and Drawbacks

Another problem can be that once you put in fasteners with a pneumatic nailer, they are really hard to pull out. These nails have a unique build that makes them easily penetrate most materials, and their head isn’t as big or strong as a regular nail, so dismantling something is a real pain and you usually end up jacking up the wood.

Pointers For Using A Nail Gun

Deciding what length of nail to use in an air gun is a common question. A good gauge is that your construction fastener should be at least twice as long as the depth of the materials you are nailing into.

Another consideration when using a nail gun is the direction of the grain of the wood. You have to be careful to not let the hardness of the wood drive the nail out of the side of the wood.

The narrator of this video discusses best practices for using a nail gun:

The benefits of using a nail gun by far outweigh the disadvantages. Most people have used a hammer at some point in their lives, and you know from that experience that it is slow and can be hazardous to your thumbs and fingers.

A framing nail gun can make a job easier in multiple ways. Of course, it speeds up a job and also makes it possible for one person to manage a project by themselves.

There are some specific factors to consider when buying a framing nailer, as seen in this post:

Key Features of the Best Framing Nailer You Want to Look ForTips for Using a Nail Gun

  • Weight and Balance
  • Metal Strike Plates
  • Rafter Hooks
  • Depth of Drive Adjustment
  • Nail Loading
  • Jam Clearance
  • Dry-fire Lock Out
  • Contact Trip and Sequential Trigger

See more here:  The Best Framing Nailer Review and Shootout

The cost of pneumatic air nailers varies, costing anywhere from around $100 all the way to over $500. If you are a casual builder, a less expensive one would suffice, but if you are a full time Denver roofer you might want to consider a brand that’s known to be more durable.

How Asphalt Shingles Are Made

Posted on: October 20th, 2017 by Lori Smith

Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are by far and away the most popular type of roofing material. Because they are budget-friendly, lightweight, durable, and come in a variety of styles, four out of five homes in the United States have asphalt shingles.

With any roofing material, there are always some disadvantages in comparison to other options. They can be somewhat fragile, especially in areas where there is a lot of extreme to make asphalt shingles

Depending on how long you plan to stay at the same home, the longevity of an asphalt shingle roof makes them a less appealing investment. This post provides the specifics on their endurance:

As the most common roofing material in the country, most of us are familiar with asphalt roofing and many of its benefits and drawbacks. Since it is often far less expensive than other roofing materials, it is almost expected that it will have a shorter lifespan. Depending on the quality of the shingle, you can expect an asphalt roof to remain in good shape for 15 or 20 years. It is considered a relatively low-maintenance material, but that doesn’t mean that once it is up you can completely forget about it!

See more here:  Ask the Pros: How To Make A Roof Last Longer

How They’re Made

Part of the reason asphalt shingles don’t last as long is because of their composition. They are also known as composite shingles, meaning they are made of a variety of materials that tend to be easily damaged by hail or heat.

However, the thicker the shingles are manufactured, the more durable they become. This video shows the process of how asphalt shingles are made:

Besides the narrator’s mispronunciation of the word “asphalt”, it is a good demonstration of how the process works. As mentioned, the thicker the outer coating, the more durable the shingles. However, I don’t think a lifetime warranty that was mentioned in the video is normal with composite shingles.

Advances In Asphalt Shingles

The history of asphalt shingles goes back to Ancient Babylonia where it was used as a waterproofing liner in canals. As far as roofing, it has been used in the U.S. since 1893, but it came in rolls of long strips of asphalt-coated felt with a finishing layer of finely crushed stone.

Manufacturers are using inorganic materials as a way to create a safer product, as discussed below:

Since the late 1950s, manufacturers have sought to develop inorganic base materials as alternatives to the traditional organic felt. Asphalt ShinglesInorganic bases are desirable because they are more fire resistant than an organic base; furthermore, they absorb less asphalt during the manufacturing process, so the resulting shingles weigh less. Asbestos was used in shingle mats until its related health risks became well known. Improvements in fiber-glass matting have made them the most popular asphalt shingle base material in the industry since the late 1970s.

See the original post here:  How shingle is made

Most building codes today require that asphalt shingles be used on a roof pitch of 4:12 or greater. This is because they are more susceptible to moisture issues such as mold and mildew growth, so the slope allows the water to run off.

No special tools, skills, or prep work is required during the installation, so a typical composition shingles roof can be installed in a matter of days. Since most people aren’t all that comfortable up on a roof, the best bet is to call a contractor for residential and commercial roofing Denver for a free estimate.


Fixing a Stuck or Rotted Window

Posted on: October 13th, 2017 by Lori Smith

Along with letting in fresh air and light, windows are a big part of the visual character of a home. Once they start sticking or rotting develops, they become a detriment to your property.Fixing a stuck or rotted window

When a window sticks, it is usually due to the fact that it wasn’t installed correctly or someone painted the window frame without taking their time. In the case of a window with a wooden frame, the wood can swell due to excess humidity and moisture.

Loosening A Stuck Window

If you’ve already tried using a block of wood wrapped in a cloth followed by gently tapping on it with a hammer around the window frame, here is another method:

1. Slide the putty knife into the cracks and tap the handle gently with a hammer.
2. Work your way around the window sash, tapping gently as you go.
3. Place a block of wood on the window sill. (On either the inside or outside sill.)
4. Put a pry bar under one end of the sash and rock the bar backward, over the block of wood.
5. Go back and put the bar under the sash on the first side.
6. Repeat these steps, working the pry bar toward the center, until you’ve lifted the entire bottom sash.

How to Fix Common Window Problems

Vinyl windows that are made from PVC have minimal weather-related issues. However, when a wood window sill or sash has taken significant abuse from weather, you can first try repainting or using epoxy wood filler to repair the rotted area.

If the wood is severely rotted, though, you will have to remove the area and replace it. Here is a video that shows how to manage this process:

Fixing a stuck or rotted window is a common aspect of owning an older home, but if you decide to replace your windows, there are a lot of decisions to make. There are a number of common styles of windows:

  • Double-hung windows
  • Casement Windows
  • Awning Windows
  • Picture Windows
  • Slider Windows
  • Bay Windows

Choosing a window that is functional, decorative, and efficient is essential, but if the window isn’t installed correctly, even the most expensive window won’t perform effectively. Using shortcuts to get the window to fit well can lead to problems down the road.

Installing a Window CorrectlyTypes of windows

Start the installation process by removing the old trim using a pry bar and hammer. Take out the old window by unscrewing it from the window jamb.

Make sure there is no damage and then measure the rough opening to be sure it works for your new window. It should be at least a quarter inch larger than the exterior dimensions of the window.

Next, set the window into the opening to make sure it will fit:

Before applying the silicone to the the window stop, dry fit the window to make sure there are no fitment issues. If you do have fitment issues, address them now and then dry fit the window again. When done properly the window should fit snugly into the opening. Do not move forward with the install until you are satisfied with the way the window fits in the opening.

Find out more here:  How to Install a New Window

Once you are ready, run a bead of silicone and set the window in the opening. Screw it into place, add some insulation into the gaps, and replace the trim.

If you aren’t sure you want to take on the project, call a Denver building contractor to get an estimate.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Metal Roofing

Posted on: October 6th, 2017 by Lori Smith

Installing a Metal Roof

Have you considered using metal roofing on your next roof replacement? As with all types of roof coverings, there are advantages and disadvantages of metal roofing.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Metal Roofing

sandid / Pixabay

Weighing the pros and cons of both to see what makes more sense for your location and budget will help you come to a reasonable conclusion. Let’s start with the positive aspects of using metal roofing.

According to State Farm Insurance Company:

Longevity. Metal roofs can last 40-70 years, depending on the material. Traditional asphalt roofing materials have an estimated life expectancy of roughly 12-20 years.
Durability. Some metal roofs can sustain wind gusts up to 140 miles per hour, will not corrode or crack, and may be impact-resistant (depending on which metal you choose). In addition, metal roofs don’t need the periodic costly maintenance that other roofing materials often require. However, they should be inspected periodically to make sure no repairs are required.
Safety. Metal roofs will not spark and ignite into flames during a wildfire or lightning strike.
Energy efficiency. Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs by 10-25%.
Environmentally friendly. Metal roofs not only have 25-95% recycled content, depending on the material used, but are also 100% recyclable at the end of their life as a roof. In contrast, most shingle tear-off waste ends up as part of the building-related waste stream — up to 20 billion pounds per year.

Read the full post here:  Wondering About Metal Roofs? Here Are the Pros and Cons

Tips for Proper Installation

Installing a metal roof is quite different than other types of roofing materials. It takes specialized training and experience to manage the installation without having costly errors.

The way each panel overlaps to interconnect is critical in order to allow water to flow from one panel to the next without being able to penetrate the area under the corrugated panel.

Setting the self tapping screws at the right depth is also an important aspect of securing the roofing properly. Using a magnetic driver bit sized correctly for the heads of the metal roofing screws and a power drill, you need to sink them in until the neoprene washer makes solid contact with the roof.

Here are more tips for installing a metal roof correctly:

Metal roofing is great for Front Range commercial and residential property because it is lightweight, fire resistant, and it easily sheds the unavoidable snow of Colorado winters. With 300+ days of sunshine, the metal warms up fast and assists in this process.

Drawbacks to Choosing Metal Roofing

Even with all of the pros, there are some cons. Some people worry that a metal roof will be louder than other roofing materials, and in the case of a hail storm, it is. If it is installed over solid sheeting, though, it isn’t much different than other types of roofing shingles.

Speaking of hail, it can get dents from severe storms but withstands a lot of abuse, even high winds. The extremes of weather in Colorado can also cause expansion and contraction of the metal panels, causing the fasteners to loosen.

The biggest complaint, though, is the upfront cost, as outlined here:

Denver Commercial and Residential Roofing

3dman_eu / Pixabay

The biggest drawback is initial cost. Metal roofing is equivalent in cost to other premium materials—from about $150 to $600 per square (100 square feet). Because of the material’s long-term durability, the trick is that you ultimately save the difference (and more) if you stay in the house for a long time and, of course, you save on seasonal maintenance. Of course, if you plan to move in a couple of years, you probably won’t get the return on your investment.

See more here:  Pros & Cons of Metal Roofing

When it comes to overall value, metal roofing affords lower maintenance costs and is an environmentally conscious option for property owners. Contact a Denver area roofer to find out if it would be a good choice for your Front Range home or business.

Best Wood for Framing a Pitched Roof

Posted on: September 29th, 2017 by Lori Smith

Types Of Pitched Roof Framing

Understanding how a roof is built in order to create a waterproof layer is essential to the design. Realizing that the roof is supported by outside walls, interior weight bearing walls, and the ceiling joists as part of the overall water-shedding capability will help in planning a roof overhaul.

Best Wood for Framing A Pitched Roof

bobwood / Pixabay

Before construction of a pitched roof or any type of repair work, you have to factor in the age of the roof, the type of covering, and the climate of the location. In Colorado, the climate is generally considered semiarid in the lower elevations, with lower humidity and moderate precipitation, but the higher elevations will include lower temperatures along with more moisture.

Roofs are under a lot of pressure, so in order to stay intact and in place, a roof must be able to resist loads that are pushing both downward and upward on it. There are four main types of pitched roof designs with many variations and combinations:

Gabled – The roof slopes around a triangular extension of the end wall. This piece of wall is the gable.

Hipped – A hip is the joint between two adjacent slopes of a roof. Some complex roofs have several hips.

Shed – This simple roof has only one slope. It is commonly used on lean-to structures, such as additions.

Mansard – A modified version of the pitched roof that creates a spacious living area in the roof space.

See more here:  All About Roofs: Pitches, Trusses and Framing

Best Wood For Construction of a Pitched Roof

The pitch of the roof helps to determine the type of roofing materials, but in general the wood that is used is dimensional lumber which is less expensive. Pine is a very common type of wood in framing, because it is soft, not so heavy, and easier to work with.

The following video provides an overview of the best wood for framing a pitched roof as opposed to wood used to build fine furniture:

The wood that is used as the horizontal member to span long distances in the framing process is many times engineered wood. Dimensional lumber can be utilized depending on the load and span, but there are times when the architectural design requires engineered lumber.

It is also known as composite or man-made wood and it includes a range of products which are manufactured by binding strands or particles of wood together with adhesives under intense heat and pressure. The consistency of the material quality is one of the key benefits, as the wood doesn’t generally shrink, warp, cup, crown, or twist.

Cost of Dimensional Lumber vs Engineered Lumber

It does cost more per lineal foot, but the advantages are mentioned here:

Engineered Oriented Strand Board

Wikimedia Commons

The manufacturing processes required for wood products add costs, making engineered wood more expensive per lineal foot than traditional sawn lumber. “The benefit is realized in total installed cost of the product,” according to Mike O’Day, manager of engineered lumber for Georgia Pacific. “The installed costs consist of material usage, and labor requirements for installation. Engineered lumber can speed installation time and reduce labor since they are lighter and can be spaced further apart than dimensional lumber. The result is typically a lower total installed cost per square foot with engineered lumber,” adds O’Day. Engineered lumber also reduces the number of call backs for builders. Squeaky, or bouncy floors are usually expensive to correct. Installations using engineered I-beams can significantly reduce callbacks related to this problem.

Read more here:  Wood vs. Engineered Lumber

The use of engineered lumber has significantly increased, mostly due to the strength and consistency of the product, but it is also better for the environment. The fact that leftover pieces of wood can be used to make the product, there is little waste.

Adding On An Upstairs Bathroom

Posted on: September 23rd, 2017 by Lori Smith

Aspects To Consider With a Remodel

As the number of people in a household grows, the need for more space becomes an issue. One room in particular that tends to cause arguments over equal usage is the bathroom.

Remodeling an area to add a bathroom is a substantial project depending on the current structural design of the home, especially the plumbing.  You have to get water to the room and the wastewater must drain to the existing city sewer or to an on-site septic system.Adding on an Upstairs Bathroom

For an upstairs bathroom, if you can locate the new bath directly above the current one, it will simplify the plumbing. The plumber in the next article reiterates this fact:

This is most important for PVC drain lines, which have to sit lower than the bathroom fixtures so water will drain. If your home sits on a concrete slab, the plumber will have to cut into the concrete to run the new drain lines, then pour more concrete overtop. Cutting into a slab increases the cost.

This is especially important to consider if you have to run piping through the walls. “It’s best to install the bathroom where there is already plumbing,” Torrez says. “Lots of times there is already plumbing in the back of the house, and if you put a new bathroom in that area of the home, you can just run lines off the existing plumbing.”

Is Plumbing a New Bathroom Difficult?

Upstairs Plumbing

There are some factors to look at when running plumbing to an upstairs room such as ensuring access to the traps in case there’s a leak or you need to unclog the drain.

Insulating around the pipes will help keep the noise to a minimum for the downstairs rooms. Making sure you are extra careful to secure the joints will prevent them from vibrating loose and leaking.

The next video highlights these important aspects:

If you have intentions of selling your Denver home, adding on an upstairs bathroom can make the difference between being under contract or having it remain on the market. Buyers tend to prefer that the number of bathrooms is equal to the number of bedrooms, so a second bath in a two-bedroom home can be a great selling point.

Cost of a Bathroom Addition

So what does it cost for a bathroom addition? Home Advisor answers that below:

Adding a bathroom can cost from $3,000.00 for a simple conversion of existing space to $25,000.00 for a new addition to your house. The national average for a 100-square-foot, spa-like bathroom is over $75,000.00, so watch your budget carefully.

geralt / Pixabay

A new bathroom adds value to any home, especially when there is only one to begin with. But how much you’ll recoup depends on the part of the country in which you live. In the west, you can expect an ROI of roughly 67 percent; in the east you might get around 47 percent.

2017 Cost To Add a Bathroom | Bathroom Addition & Building Costs

The bonus to adding a bathroom to your home is that it doesn’t typically require a lot of space, especially a half bath. At bare minimum, you’ll need about a three-foot by six-foot and if you are handy, you can do a lot of the work yourself to save some money.

Solutions For Flat Roofs With Parapet Walls

Posted on: September 19th, 2017 by Lori Smith

What Are Your Maintenance Options

Flat roofs are typical with commercial buildings and require a special type of roofing background. Even though it may be simpler to construct, it can demand more maintenance and inspection than a standard pitched roof.

When you hire a Denver commercial roofer to perform the work, you have to start by checking references. Knowing that they have the proper experience, skills and insurance to carry out the job will provide a level of confidence in the outcome.How To Maintain a Parapet Wall

An architect or engineer should also be employed to specify, detail and inspect the final work. The need for suitable design and construction in the joint between the flat roof and the parapet wall is essential because this is the location where a lot of issues tend to develop.

Not familiar with what a parapet wall is?

A parapet is a barrier which is an extension of the wall at the edge of a roof, terrace, balcony, walkway or other structure. Where extending above a roof, a parapet may simply be the portion of an exterior wall that continues above the line of the roof surface, or may be a continuation of a vertical feature beneath the roof such as a fire wall or party wall.

See the full definition here:  Parapet – Wikipedia

Issues With Parapet Walls

This structure was originally used as fortification to defend the building from being attacked. At this point in time, it has become more of a safety rail to prevent someone from falling off the roof and protects the structure from wind uplift forces.

It’s also the point where leaks and lingering moisture can raise havoc if the roof isn’t sealed and drained correctly. Copings and parapet walls are the reason for a high percentage of the waterproofing issues in flat roof construction.

This roofer explains how problems with parapet walls and the coping stones are causing water to pool under the felt and leak into the ceiling below:

The coping cap protects the top of the external walls and can be made of anything from brick to concrete to metal. Its job is to prevent water from penetrating into the parapet wall.

What are the protective solutions for flat roofs? First of all, you obviously have to keep an eye on the drainage system because debris that builds up can be a disaster.

Fall Upkeep Of A Flat Roof

Fall season is a good time to sweep off leaves, twigs, and dirt to stop the drains from getting clogged. Also, remove any tree branches that are hanging over the top of the roof to keep them from breaking off and falling or scraping against your roof on windy days. Flashing on a Flat Roof

As far as parapet walls are concerned, because they are subjected to all types of weather and structural stress, assuring the proper slope of the coping, overhang, and the correct flashing detail is in place will go a long way to keeping water from finding its way to the inside of the structure.

The importance of correctly installed flashing on a flat roof is discussed here:

Typically, a base flashing and counter flashing are used. If the membrane is asphalt (built-up or modified bitumen), a cant strip is recommended. This wood or fiberboard triangular piece (typically 3 inches horizontal by 3 inches tall) is used to allow the membrane to make two 45° turns rather than one 90° turn to reduce the risk of the lap joints separating or opening at the upturn. The roof membrane typically extends onto the cant strip, but not up onto the vertical wall surface.

A base flashing may be one of several materials, but it is often the roof membrane material itself. Typically, it is provided with protection against sunlight. The base flashing extends onto the flat portion of the membrane and is sealed to it. The flashing extends over the cant strip and up the wall surface, approximately 8 to 14 inches above the roof.

See more here: Flat Roof-to-Wall Flashings


Consulting with a flat roof specialist in the Front Range area will offer peace of mind that you are going to get the best service to protect your asset.