Sometimes when I’m sitting around a table with a bunch of friends I start a conversation off by asking, “have you ever heard of designed obsolescence?” and so begins a tirade about how refrigerators and dishwashers are programmed to stop working after 6 years!
But most people don’t really think about it much. They simply, unscrew that light bulb and replace it with another one. But oddly enough, the term’s very roots come from that very light bulb. The first time people learn that light bulbs were designed to fail after 1000 hours (clearly marked on their packaging), they kind of stop and just ponder the statement in disbelief. HUNH?! NO WAY?! SERIOUSLY?!
You mean to say, that the hundreds of light bulbs I replaced in my life time that went straight to the dump could have easily lasted …well…a life time in comparison?! The simple answer is yes…yes they “could” have.
Instead, the manufacturers created a failure mechanism so that they would no longer work after a prescribed period…so they could sell you more light bulbs. Pretty nefarious hunh…
Worse yet, google what toxic chemicals are in some light bulbs, hence, what’s been filling our landfill sites for well over a century…chemicals that have been leaching into our soil and ground water!
How does this apply to the roofing industry? How long will your low slope roofing assets last? How long were they “designed” to last? Would you like to know…more…? Leave a comment below or message me and I’d be happy to give you the RMS answer to these questions and more.
When companies self-assess their roofing systems, they often look at the surface and draw some fairly dramatic conclusions. The roofing industry has created scary terms such as; Blistering, ridges, alligatoring, mud curling and crazing, to describe typical membrane defects.
All these terms describe conditions occurring on the surface of a membrane. Although they may be a result of subsurface moisture, many of the issues are associated with environmental wear and the typical aging process of the roof membrane.
Now here’s the thing about your roof system vs your roof membrane…
The roof membrane may only represent as little as 1% of the total volume of your entire roof system. Think about that for a second …would you throw away an entire wall assembly because the paint was flaking? Although that analogy borders on the absurd, there are some parallels.
One of the most common roof systems being installed on low-slope roofs over the last 15/20 years has been 2ply Modified Bitumen. The system has a granulated cap sheet with long seams, identifiable by a streak of bitumen that “bleeds out” from the laps.
The surface membrane, or cap sheet, is approximately 4mm thick (.16”) and represents approximately 4% of the total volume of a typical roof system with an average thermal resistance of R20. As such, 96% of the roof system may very well be in good condition. Extending the service life of a low-slope roofing system is paramount in aiding in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as well as relieving the burden on our landfill sites. Most of the materials used to insulate low-slope roofs are non biodegradable…and will remain, in “our” landfill sites for centuries.
Would you like more information on how to help save the planet while boosting your bottom line? Feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email.
There is this insane trend called Parkour, where crazy people gain access to someone’s roof top and then jump off of it! If you haven’t heard of it, don’t search Parkour Fails on youtube, it’s disturbing.
That got me to thinking…what are landlords doing to secure their rooftops from unwanted intruders? Many of you have a pad lock securing a panel that blocks access to the first 10 rungs of a fixed access ladder. Others have sign-in sheets at the unlocked door exiting their mechanical penthouse…how effective could either solution really be?
Beyond Parkour enthusiast, there are a whole lot of other reasons to protect your roof tops from unwanted guests; Theft (Relatively recently in the National Capital Region, many copper roofs were being removed by “contractors” who were there to perform repairs. The copper was actually going to a recycling plant, where the plant paid the thieves in cash for the copious quantities of the expensive metal.) B&E (Some criminals use the vail of night and the roof top as the perfect entry point into a commercial building. Using simple cutting tools, they remove a section of the roof deck and climb down into the building. While on the roof, they are completely undetected.) Nefarious Intent (Roof tops are a perfect vantage point for pedestrians, or a sure fire way to ensure a fatal end to a sudden leap. These situations happen more than most would realize…)
Protecting the access point to your building’s roof is paramount and maintaining a log of all persons accessing it vital. For more information on how to secure your roof top from unwanted guests or a sample sign-in protocol, feel free to drop me a line or leave a comment below.
According to the David Suzuki Foundation, companies have been selling baby hygiene products for decades that are allegedly toxic to babies and infants. The Thalidomide tragedy in 1959 was a horrific example of how some companies put profits ahead of ethics.
In my 20+ years in the roofing business I’ve witnessed a lot of crazy reasons for holes on a roof; Birds, kitchen utensils (thrown from higher roof sections), needles, bullets (YYZ), icicles falling from support wires, heck…even ground hogs burrowing into a roof! But one of the most intriguing theories I’ve heard in recent years are meteor strikes.
If you have ever been to Mexico, you know that the Mayans had a major influence on many parts of the Mexican culture.
On a recent trip, I took my daughter to Ek’Balam, one of the best kept secrets in the Yucatán. The pyramid and peripheral buildings were in immaculate condition. We toured with the locals throughout the entire site. My daughter was in awe of its grandeur, she couldn’t comprehend how something could have been built so long ago, yet be in such pristine condition.