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A good low-slope roof (3-in-12 pitch or lower according to the National Roofing Contractor’s Association, or NRCA)—rarely gets any attention. A bad one brings the kind of attention nobody wants. I see a lot of bad low-slope roofs and don’t know which is more astonishing: how little additional effort would have been required to build it right, or the extraordinary cost of correcting the roof and repairing the associated damage. Karen L. Warseck, AIA, president of Building Diagnostics Associates, a Florida-based firm that specializes in identifying and fixing building-envelope problems, identifies the causes of roof failures in an Architect magazine article titled, “When It Leaks, It Pours”: “Normally we find that it’s about 60% to 70% construction, 20% to 25% design, and 10% materials.” In short, the roof is the wrong place to try to save money. Though Warseck’s experience proves that the skill of the workers and the quality of the roof design are more important than the choice of materials, the first question I usually hear is, “What’s the best material?” Well, the answer is, “It depends.” If there were one best roof for every application, we would have figured it out by now. Even standard asphalt roofing…
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Ditto. This article promises to decode the "alphabet soup" but doesn't. It frames the essential question, "What is the best material" but doesn't answer it. "It all depends" isn't at all helpful. HOW does it depend on "location, weather, type of construction, intended use..." etc. I'm trying to re-roof an old porch with a 1/12 pitch. How is telling me to have meetings with my roofer prior to construction remotely relevant?
I just signed up for Fine Homebuilding so I could get some ideas for a a long term solution for a 2/12 pitch roof that I have on our pool deck. I am quite disappointed at the lack of information in the article --- other than go buy the $195 Membrane Roofing Systems book!