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Roof Styles

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A truly fascinating aspect of roofing work is how integral and critical the roofing system is to the overall structure's functionality and appearance. Just as important is how the specific structure and design is affected by the unique and widely varied local conditions that the Colorado environment can provide. We are constantly amused by, for example, when approaching homes in the high Colorado mountains for the first time, one just expects to come across rustic and earthy home designs. Imagine rounding the last corner of a steep, rocky driveway and coming upon a CAPE COD COTTAGE, complete with dormers and valleys, at 10,000 ft! Human nature, tastes and whims are interesting... never a dull moment in this industry.

But it really doesn't; matter, because:

  • A Client is a Client, and the customer is always right, right?

  • We have tackled virtually every conceivable style and type of structure and roofing system over 25 years, many in extremely diverse Colorado environments.

  • If we come across a design challenge that may not quite correspond to the product application, we can usually come up with a solution, based upon the collective Wisdom of over 50 years of combined experience in the industry.

Roof design can have a dramatic influence on the type of materials and installation techniques required. For example, flat or low slope roofs are prevalent on commercial structures mostly because the truss system and building design provides the most floor space for the least amount of investment (a pitched roof with scissor trusses cost more, generally looks more attractive and allows for more deviation in the types of roofing materials to be used). Pitched roofs are much more common on residential structures, where appearance is generally most important.

Unlike a flat commercial roof, most pitched roofs on commercial structures are placed for design and aesthetic purposes, thus the availability of variety and colors of tile, shingles, standing seam, stone coated steel and shingle shake steel roofing materials to architects vastly exceeds the choices available in flat roof stock. However, as flat and low slope commercial roofs become more popular in modern residential construction, the industry has responded by offering exciting new products such as colored TPO roofing and Custom Colored GACO FLEX coatings that can rejuvenate a old flat roof, often without tear off and without adding much weight. Siliconized coatings such as GACO FLEX 2000 can help reduce the heat island effect if the solar option is used.

Underlayments

The importance of the underlayment of the roofing system cannot be overstated - it is everything when it comes to maintaining the functional longevity of whatever roof type is used.

Tar and felt paper comes in varying thicknesses and has long been used as the traditional underlayment material for most roofing systems, but like most older technology has been rendered obsolete by the advancement of products such as synthetic underlayments (think heavy duty Tyvek type moisture barrier).

The biggest problem we've encountered with felt is that while the steel or tile roof may last for decades, the tar paper underlayment lasts generally but a couple decades, often drying out or "gassing off" under the roofing, This allows for expensive leaking to occur, with the solution often completely detaching and resetting whole sections of a expensive roof, only because the felt wore out.

Synthetic underlayments are extensively tested and rated to be much more durable and heat resistant, but since the technology is relatively new it has not had the chance to be tested long term in real life scenarios. Thus, we are still a little wary that the products will perform as needed under a 75 year rated roofing material.

We will still use felt and conventional Ice and Water Shield membrane under asphalt shingles, but for any "permanent" roofing system such as Steel or Tile, we always default to HIGH TEMPERATURE ICE and WATER SHIELD on the entire surface. While expensive, the use of this technology virtually eliminates leaks and warranty/customer service issues down the road. This quality component often adds hundreds of dollars to the bid, but the proven quality of the item makes it non negotiable for everyone's sake.

Drip edge is a metal flashing that is installed to the edges of a roof deck, before the final roofing material is installed. The metal may be galvanized steel or aluminum, painted (or not), and for custom or historic jobs edging may be fabricated out of copper or matching material. We will always use drip edge or termination bar on every roof, another component that is non negotiable for quality's sake.