Roofing Tales Of Madness

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Wally J. Corpse
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Roofing Tales Of Madness

Post by Wally J. Corpse »

Greetings, Legion Of Fan-

Please find, to follow, another excerpt from the roofing hysterical archives, this one is entitled- "Hold It Down!".
There I Was, circa 1986, on a rainy and very windy day, happily enroute to pick up a large progress payment for a new roofing project. This was new construction hotel at the end of a lane in Rockaway Beach, Pacifica, right on the beach. At the time, AS a fledgling CA roofing contractor, I employed an estimator/salesman who lived nearby, and was going to meet me and the GC.
Now then, this building was three stories, shaped like a 'U', with the main flat roof surrounded by a 4ft. parapet wall, and a sloped shingle roof outboards on two sides.
We had installed a 4ply built up roof on the main flat section, consisting of a #2b fiberglass base sheet, secured with ring shanked squarehead cap nails, 1 per square foot, to comply with manufacturer's specifications, and the perimeter turn up was back mopped with hot asphalt to the cant strips, and nailed to the plywood walls, then we installed three layers of #11 fiberglass ply sheet set in Type III hot asphalt, broomed in place to ensure full adhesion. After cure time, the surface was covered with a liquid emulsion and a fibered aluminum coating.
Upon entry to the site, we were met by the GC, who was all a flustered, blurting that he was scared by some mysterious disturbing ripping sound from the main roof.
Upon laddering up through the access hatch, imagine my surprise to see the new roof assembly a billowing in the wind at the interior adjoining the walls, like some breathing behemoth monster, rising and falling some 3 ft. offa the roof deck!
My colleague, in a fit of desperation, ran over and threw himself prostrate upon the biggest bubble, granted, a futile gesture, but amusing to me at the time, so I encouraged him by shouting "Atta boy, Jonny, Hold It Down!".
The ripping sound was later determined to be from the cap nails being yanked outta the plywood decking.
AS a noteworthy contributor to this dismaying phenomena was this- the top floor of the hotel had wide walkways outside the room doors, and the GC had yet to install the walkway's ceiling covers/soffit system, to wit: the underside of the roof decking was exposed, and the sheathing plywood sheets had the typical edge gap spacing, allowing the wind to influence from below, that, coupled with the sciency "Bernouli Effect", explain the physical dynamics of negative air pressure at the interior of the main roof wall bases, was determined to be the culprit.
AS was required, I called the manufacturer's technical rep. to meet me on site to review the catastrophy.
Just AS fate would have it, the rep. was also the same guy I mocked in mine "If Ya Wanna Be A Bird" Roofing Tale Of Madness.
One can only imagine his smugness whence he met me, AS he luxuriated in his sense of powerful control.
Anyways, his site examination exonerated me from any non-compliance or wrongdoing re: manufacturer's warrantee spec. , he did, however, mandate a complete removal of all affected roof system, and a tie in of two full sheets, (6ft), and start over with replacement system, however, the tie in required the coating's removal, which could only be accomplished by torch heating, and vigorous spade scraping, which was grumpily accomplished by the cadre of disposable ASssistents.
Later, I evened the score with the rep. over free dinner and cocktails. He later rose through his company's ranks to become the Sr. VP, and was instrumental in aiding me to sell my largest roofing projects of $700,00.00 and $500.00. in the same year.
It just shows to go ya, one should never underestimate the reigning powers on this planet, the invisible adversary of 'Air', and it's mighty cohort, 'Water'.

AS ever,
Your ol' pal,
Wally J. Corpse
Seeing AS how there was naught to be done for remedy at the time, we departed, sans check.
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Re: Roofing Tales Of Madness

Post by Billyfish »

Think like a rain drop.
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Re: Roofing Tales Of Madness

Post by Bonzo »

Mr. Corpse,

The winds, were you at the 4-Winds Bar that blustery day while your roof took the roller coaster ride? Just to the north of Mt. Zoomies rock strewn slopes, lies the sleepy hamlet of Weed, a lumber town founded by Abner Weed for it's close proximity to the vast forests of conifers, but also for its high winds, which help dry lumber for faster turnaround. I have witnessed 100+ knot winds several times resulting in highly profitable job security. The one big storm that will live in infamy, early 90's, was the frantic call from the owner of a pharmacy who said he had major leakage in his store and the apartments upstairs. I sent my foreman to investigate, and he calls back with a "you gotta see this!" The lower floor was completely flooded, with ceiling tiles falling with a splat, the stairs looked like Niagara Falls, and there was a guy sitting in his apartment with and umbrella over his head. Up through the hatch we went, an lo & behold, there was only decking boards left! The whole roof system was laying in the yard next door. Yes, the wind factor is a science. The insurance adjuster who handled the claim was an old salt who knew high wind turbulence. He said the high recorded wind gust hit 103 knots. When the wind hits the structure, it rises up and over the roof, creating a spin. That spin, added with the already 103 knots at the roof level, has now multiplied the force of nature at the roof surface creating a suction. Pretty amazing. Also that day, the local Safeway grocery storefront windows blew inwards, with glass blowing through the store. The manager should have been given a medal for closing the store prior, and sending his employees home, as he was concerned about the deflection in the windows, and the totem pole in the parking lot blew down as well. Mother nature, can be a beast...

Best regards,

"A little rebellion now & then is a good thing"
Thomas Jefferson
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