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I have a home that is fairly old. I guess it was built early 70's. The roof is a gravel / asphalt nightmare and I am being asked to repair a leak. I figure I probably need to replace the entire roof with maybe a torch-down. any ideas?
 

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70's isn't old. However homes of your age were normally built to last abotu 50 years then be torn down, unless it was a custom home.

Contact the National Roofing Contractor's Association or any local roofing orginization and ask for a professionally licensed (if applicable) and properly insured roofing contractor.

As far as tar and gravel goes, always tear it off IMO. I know alot of guys do not, but that's alot of excess weight for no reason other than a cheap cost. Your options are many and making a recomendation without knowing more about the roof would be darned near impossible. Torch down modified bitumen is a good roof when installed properly. The problem is it's what most guys do, especially the hoem depot contractors, so it has a bad rap.

More important than the type of roof is its' system rating since each roof type is available in 10,15,20 and some even 30 year specifications. A single ply of modified bitumen with a single ply of base is a 10 year roof. People often wonder why their roofs don't last longer and I explain because they paid for a 10 year roof and it lasted as long as it should have. I then explain about the differences between a 15 and a 20 year roof and obviously the cost differences, and they realize why they prefer to replace the roof every 10 years, it's cheap. "But hey, I don't think I'll be here in 10 years."

One more thing about the torch down roofing, is it involves a torch and that's the main reason why i am trying to get away from it. Take fire out of the equation, and not only does my insurance go down, but also I can sleep a little easier at night when we are doing torch jobs. I beleive it is just a numbers game and no matter how safe you are, you will eventually have an accident. The more roofs you do, the higher your exposure, and eventually <fire truck sirens>

I never ever ever never would ever never recommend a DIY'er, or someone not very well trained and highly skilled with a torch, ever consider torch down an option.
 

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ive seen pro's catch a roof on fire. I agree.
This JUST happaned at a university no less. Most likely a union company too, although the name wasn't listed.

http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/10/fire-breaks-out-at-u-of-c-research-building.html

Chicago firefighters responded to a fire in building on the University of Chicago campus this afternoon, a fire department spokesman said.

No one was injured in the fire, which broke out at about 1 p.m. at 5824 S. Ellis Ave., the Franklin McLean Memorial Research Institute, said the spokesman Quention Curtis.

Workers were doing work on the roof of the seven-story building when some hot roofing material fell down into a storage room and caused items there to catch fire, he said. Firefighters had the fire under control by 1:35 p.m.
 

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I'm just south of you. I could check it out or recommend someone a bit closer if you would prefer.

Is it a flat T&G or the low pitched (1/12) that are use on a lot of houses of that time frame?

I don't mind running up there, even if it is only to give advice. But if that is the case just let me know up front and cover lunch...
 

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How about an overlay? Power brush the gravel. Install a 1/2" High Density fiberboard, then a.Three-ply fiberglass felts or b. Single Ply 45 mil EPDM, or c. Single Ply 45 mil TPO
 

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I do have to use torch on now and again about 10/15% of my work and i agree with Grumpy with the numbers game the more you do the more likely you will start a fire!
The last one i did was a garage roof, we stripped off the old felt and boards, new boards down and started to lay the torch on, next minite there was smoke comming out of the soffits, i had to rip up the felt and boards to get the fire extinguisher in it, the first extinguisher didnt work and lucky that i had a small hand one to save the day.
It turned out there was an old wasp nest in the brick caverty and the flame must of caught it!!!
It was that easy to do, if i can persude the h/o to have epdm i do.
Cheers
Dave

P.S. I always wanted to be a fireman when i was a kid, now i not so sure!!!
 

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I do have to use torch on now and again about 10/15% of my work and i agree with Grumpy with the numbers game the more you do the more likely you will start a fire!
The last one i did was a garage roof, we stripped off the old felt and boards, new boards down and started to lay the torch on, next minite there was smoke comming out of the soffits, i had to rip up the felt and boards to get the fire extinguisher in it, the first extinguisher didnt work and lucky that i had a small hand one to save the day.
It turned out there was an old wasp nest in the brick caverty and the flame must of caught it!!!
It was that easy to do, if i can persude the h/o to have epdm i do.
Cheers
Dave

P.S. I always wanted to be a fireman when i was a kid, now i not so sure!!!
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30606755&l=ae29f787fa&id=1565707105
 
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