Anybody here have enough knowledge regarding the two roofing materials
to be able to know how to tell apart on an installation?
Bkgd: I was certain in my mind that previous replacement used EPDM on
both the main church building and the annex when were replaced at the
same time by the same firm after a major hail storm back around 2001/2002?
We just had another lesser event in duration and amount, but enough 3"
and larger to cause severe damage. The insurance adjustor sent out an
engineer whose report I've just finished and he's claiming the west
(sanctuary) roof is TPO whilst the other is EPDM and I'm thinking that's
just plain wrong. It's several miles into to town and I've not got a
copy of the original contract here at the house and not sure I can lay
hands on (the office closes on Friday afternoon) so iff'en and when I
drive to town and climb up there I'd like to know more about what the
TPO product actually would look like compared to the EPDM.
The identification may not make any difference in the conclusion on need
to replace; the conclusion is both were heavily damaged but it might
have significant impact on the settlement value I'm thinking???
Anyway, anybody here have experience with commercial-style flat roofing
On Friday, October 2, 2015 at 2:50:10 PM UTC-4, dpb wrote:
Can you tell by the color and or the seams?
This brochure, which touts the advantages of their TPO over EPDM, discusses
color differences, but more importantly (in this case) seems to show that
TPO seams are welded while EPDM are taped.
Perhaps you could ook at the seams and tell the difference between a "weld"
Actually, my plan was to go to the edge roll-up under the wall capping
and look at the material itself; I'm virtually certain it's all the same
on both roofs but thought would be good to have an idea what a piece of
TPO actually looked like, thickness, etc., ...
The engineer who did the "inspection" was, while holding a PE, _very_
young and obviously didn't know much at all about roofing; he's listed
as a "Forensic Engineer" but it appears his experience/knowledge/comfort
base is structural. We had to show him the actual damage spots where
the hail had crushed the underlying foam and caused splits; while easily
visible it wasn't apparent to him until shown those were actual failure
We had covered the original with a two-part rubber epoxy white "paint"
coating a few years ago to extend the original life and I'm pretty sure
that color is what fooled him--he saw white instead of black and just
assumed it had to be TPO.
As for the seams, this application was done with the welded (actually an
adhesive) system, not the tape so the seam style would be the same.
My understanding is it is possible that TPO while normally lighter can
also be black/dark gray as is the base EPDM material so was "just
askin'" if were any tell-tales looking at the material anybody knew...
I'll go up this afternoon probably, it rained a little overnight and
this AM so it'll be wet (and ergo, slick) now and I'm not as steady on
my feet as once was so I just as soon stay off a 30-ft flat roof that's
slippery any more... :)
Well, forehead slap!!! Just called the previous installer and had the
gal in the office look up the previous bid for me. It was, in fact, as
I was virtually certain, all EPDM.
So we'll apprise the ins co their report from their subcontractor
engineer is in error on that point but figure it's moot as long as they
go ahead with a settlement on replacing...it's a big building so is in
the 6-figure range, minimum.
Oh, sure...not all that uncommon out here on the High Plains...they hurt
(and certainly can and do occasionally kill or seriously injure livestock).
With any wind (fortunately, there was very little with this particular
storm; not the case with the one in 2001 that blew 60-80 mph with the
hail) ordinary glass windows on the windward side have essentially no
chance; one doesn't see much in the way of skylights, etc., out here for
this reason. If there are any, they are definitely the high-impact
I've seen such stones completely penetrate roof sheathing and automobile
tops; one particularly severe storm back in the '80s literally beat tops
of some smaller sedans nearly down to the seat back level according to
Dad (that one was while we were in TN before returning so didn't see it
The one in 2001 probably left not 1 in 20 windows on north and east
sides of any building in the northern 2/3rds of town; the wind was so
strong it shredded the vinyl siding on the east side of the Sonic
drive-in from ground level to nearly 3-ft up under the 10-ft drive-in
Mom was in an assisted living facility in town; fortunately her
apartment faced the leeward direction and was shielded by the eastern
north-south wing so sustained no direct damage. An east-facing
apartment which was empty awaiting a new resident had been totally
stripped including removing the drapes from the windows for cleaning.
It broke those windows out and came at so near a horizontal angle from
the wind there were hailstones which penetrated the 1/2" inner sheetrock
wall on the interior wall of the apartment across the 10-ft room.
Fortunately for us, the hail track of that cell passed just to the north
and west of us--the farmstead is several miles east of the east side of
town. We were in town for an event at the college but heard the cell
was coming from the northeast back towards town (and they're _always_
bad if do come from that direction; it's very unusual for a cell to
retrogress in that manner) so I parked Mom's car against the block 1-1/2
story grandstand/pressbox of the baseball diamond on the SW side and
hence it was pretty well shielded as well. Broke a wiper arm and dented
it pretty well but didn't break out any glass. Most there that night
though had at least one if not both front and rear out...
The aftermath of one of these is a roofer's and the dentless repair
folks best friend (altho that one caused a lot of vehicles to be
totalled as beyond repair).
Wow! Are they dense like a ball of *ice*? Or, more like a "snowball"?
Here, hail is like little ice cubes -- very hard (but very small -- grape
sized, at most). On an unprotected scalp, it hurts but is really just
"hard rain" on your clothing.
Ah! That suggests they are *hard*, not "snowballs".
Here, hail damage (typically at car dealers) leaves a pebbly look.
A friend purchased a vehicle two days ago and the damage was so
trivial that he didn't notice it until the light ran across the skin
of the car at just the right angle.
Cool! (of course, probably NOT cool for the property owners!)
But, does the size of the stone affect the angle that it can travel?
One would think a really large (3") stone would tend to want to fall
nearly vertically -- in anything less than gale force winds!
Hide in the "hail shadow"? (I'd previously only used that term as "rain
shadow"! :> )
So, do your auto/home insurance policies *disclaim* this sort of damage?
Or, are your premiums higher to reflect the inevitable *claims*? Do
you reap extra discounts by claiming a "garaged" vehicle?
Can be many different forms...most rare is the solid sphere of ice of
that large a diameter which requires a single nucleation point and then
reciruclating in the updraft while it builds until it finally is so
large that it falls.
More common is the aggregation of multiple smaller hailstones into one
by collisions and freezing together during the same process. These can
have many gradations of overall hardness from relatively poorly stuck
together to nearly as solid as a single stone.
See above...it varies. They are also--
That happens here, too, of course, not every hail event is of such
severity by any stretch; it's just that the High Plains is one of the
areas prone to intense super-cell generation owing to the combination of
terrain and weather patterns it's somewhat unique in the world.
No, it isn't cool by any stretch--there's steel siding on the old
farmhouse and it's pretty well dented up over the 30 yr since folks put
it on, but it is heavy and solid enough it doesn't get totally ruined as
do many of the common siding products prevalent in other areas not so
prone to severe weather.
Sure; it's all simply physics of how much uplift it takes to keep it
suspended until it does fall; then the trajectory is determined by the
net force vector of gravity and the side forces applied by the wind and
the air resistance forces. The stronger the wind, the more it
influences the direction from vertical. The point of the above stories
was to illustrate just how hard the wind actually was blowing in that
particular event--in the 70-80 mph sustained range.
That particular storm was exceptional in that it lasted almost 45
minutes at nearly that intensity; most cells will pass a given area in
far less time than that.
Hail insurance is pretty pricey here in comparison to other areas, yes,
but policies do cover it. Arguments abound over the secondary water
damage and all often like those that happen in hurricane areas but we
don't tend to have flood damage so much like coastal areas (altho some
of these can dump torrential amounts of 12-16" in a very short time in a
very localized area and since it's pretty much flat, local flooding is a
possibility; some of that occurred in a neighboring community during
this particular storm plus they got hit twice inside two weeks).
So, it's a separate coverage/rider? Not a general part of your
Our rain events tend to be short and intense. No storm sewers so water freely
runs down the streets (frequently enough to float cars and carry them
away almost immediately). Our soil has a high clay content so is relatively
poor at drainage. In a modest storm, we will have a couple of inches of
standing water covering the back yard -- this despite the fact that I've
made the soil far more permeable through significant digging, amendment, etc.
We are located at the base of the mountains so frequently encounter strong
downdrafts -- microbursts that topple 24" dia trees with relative ease
(depends on how dense the canopy). It's not uncommon to see "sideways rain"
or find the *top* of a "sheltered/shaded/protected" wall wet from rain that
blew *under* the 15 ft deep overhang.
But, rain doesn't shatter glass or dent walls! :>
General homeowners/auto, yes, it's part of the policy; what I was
referring to is that pricing locally reflects that risk in comparison,
say, to where we were in E TN where it's much less frequent an event.
Crop insurance is a specific rider, however, for farmers.
Indeed...soils here are quite sandy and in comparison soak up great
amounts although when it rains hard in intense t-storms it's not
possible to absorb that much that quickly. T-storms here run the entire
gamut of of dry lightning to the massive super-cell; ya' "just never
know" for certain although there are certainly key indicators for truly
severe outbreaks that include very high dewpoints and temperatures ahead
of cold fronts that occur at times when there are shearing currents in
the lower-level jet streams that can instigate the rotation that breeds
tornadic rotation. Those same shearing winds are what can also lead to
large hail events by causing the necessary updraft currents strong
enough to maintain the large ice mass in circulation to become that large.
Downbursts are a localized phenomenon that most often are associated
with the dying phase of a t-storm as it begins to collapse; E TN had
some areas near us that were frequent recipients of those but overall
they tend to be small areas (relatively) affected. On the high plains
with frontal passage often a continuous line of t-storms can form rather
than the more prevalent pattern of scattered or isolated storms in the
mountains. These systems contain individual areas of stronger storms
within them but generally the tornado threat diminishes but hail may be
On Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 9:52:35 AM UTC-4, dpb wrote:
My house is also built on sandy soil. In addition I live on top of a hill.
Drainage is not an issue.
A few months ago I received a letter from the company that holds my mortgage
informing me that my property is located in a FEMA designated Special Flood
Hazard Area. If I didn't provide proof of flood insurance by a specific date,
they were going to buy the insurance for me and add the premiums to my monthly
My property is located on top of a steep hill, with an elevation that is 155'
higher than a large bay and one of the Great Lakes which is about a mile away.
It would take a flood of biblical proportions for the water to reach my house.
Houses within just a block or two would be completely submerged before my house
even got damp.
When I called them about the letter they said "Sorry, that letter was sent to
the owner of every single property we hold the mortgage on. Feel free to
It took them over 3 months to formally acknowledge the error in writing. I
wonder how many people actually bought flood insurance based on the initial
letter. I wonder if they can get reimbursed for the premiums and any
cancellation charges. "Your honor, the big, bad insurance company threatened
me. I'm not a flood expert, so I believed them."
On Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 11:06:38 AM UTC-4, dpb wrote:
Insurance company IT departments all over the US are making mistakes because of FEMA and EPA overreach?
Sending a letter to every one of your customers instead of the proper subset is an IT error,
nothing more. Sure, you could argue that if new flood zones hadn't been created, the IT
department would never have had to send the letter in the first place, but the sending of it to
every single customer can't be blamed on the bureaucrats. It's really not much more than a
They don't see it as a mistake; it's the cost-effective way to do what
Who's going to do the work to develop that site-specific database for
'em? Surely they're not going to spend those monies when they can meet
the mandate simply by a mass mailing.
Besides, if they sell some additional coverage that wasn't needed, it
doesn't hurt them, in fact, it's all to the good as far as their bottom
On Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 2:42:34 PM UTC-4, dpb wrote:
They admitted it was a mistake, both when I (and other customers I know) called them as soon as we got the letters and then a few months later when they sent "apology" letters out to all customers that shouldn't have received the
Any DBA worth a nickle could take the database from FEMA that lays out the flood zones and the database of the mortgage company customer addresses and
extract only those addresses that are impacted. I have no doubt that it was
just a mistake when they did the mass mailing.
Do you really think that it's even legal for them to tell me that I live in
FEMA designated flood zone area and force me to buy insurance (from them or
anyone else) when I don't actually live in a FEMA flood zone? What court in
what universe would back the mortgage company if they force-placed flood
insurance based on a lie?
Maybe, just maybe, they could be of the opinion that I need flood insurance
but I seriously doubt they would send out letters stating (lying) that FEMA
has designated my house as being in a flood zone in the hope that I let them
buy the insurance for me and don't do it on my own. Heck, it took me all of
about 30 seconds to disprove the flood zone claim with a simple web search.
Within limits, mortgage services can deem current insurance policies as being
"insufficient" and force-place additional insurance (which in many cases the
courts have later made them cancel and reimburse the mortgagee) but I doubt
they'd try it by using such a bold faced, and so easily disproved, lie. Besides
even if they did try it, they then have to hope that enough customers let them
buy the insurance and not just go off and buy it on their own. A "lie, a hope
and prayer" isn't is very good business plan.
It hurts them if they force-place insurance where it isn't needed based on a
tactic that is most likely illegal. At a minimum it is going to cost them
something to reimburse those homeowners that they lied to and then charged for
force-placed (unnecessary) insurance. At worst they are opening themselves up
to a class action lawsuit or penalties from a regulatory agency for lying to
every customer that doesn't live a FEMA flood zone. Some companies may use
ugly tactics to squeeze money out of their customers, but I don't believe
that any company would be so stupid as to think they can convince every one
of their customers that FEMA says they live in flood zone - a fact that can so
easily be disproved by any one with internet access or even a phone.
Have you ever heard of someone sending a email to an entire distribution list
by mistake? There is not a lot of difference between that and an accidental
mass mailing. All it takes is one person entering one wrong instruction or
saving a database under the wrong name or making any of a number of other
simple errors. That's all this was - a mistake.
Of course I've heard of it--and _maybe_ this is all it was.
I'm cynical; I suspect the "apology" was/is a cover for the attempt to
simply get by w/ a mass mailing figuring on letting the affected
homeowners complaining...it's still be cheaper first ploy than spending
the effort to build the database from FEMA; who knows how consistent
their database is, even, internally, what more with that from FEMA?
"The rub is in the details..."
Ours just simply don't drain (clay).
When I planted our first few citrus trees, I asked "How large a hole do
I need to dig?". The paperwork that comes with each tree gives some
nominal suggestion -- ASSUMING you have decent soil!
I then received a lecture on the quality of our soil which boiled down to:
Imagine how large a terra cotta pot you would need to support this tree
ON YOUR PATIO and have it be prolific in bearing fruit, etc. (a function
of how extensive the root system would become). Given the amount of
clay in our soil, you are essentially *digging* that pot out of a block
of solid clay (i.e., the ground)!
As a result, I dug *huge* holes (neighbors would joke that I was
digging "mass graves"!). And, "discarded" the soil that was removed
from those holes (as refilling the holes with it would essentially
put all that clay back in place!)
This is evident in the quality and quantity of fruit that we harvest
vs. that of our neighbors (who opted to follow the directions that
came with each tree -- from some nursery 1000 miles distant!).
While the neighbors might have "a few" store-sized lemons, we'll
have hundreds of *orange* sized lemons; a few store-sized Navels
are hundreds of *grapefruit* sized Navels; etc.
Yet, despite these large "porous" areas in the yard, they can only sop
up so much water in a storm leaving the rest of the water standing
on the less permeable clay.
Our neighborhood tends to experience more microbursts than other parts
of town. Apparently related to our location close to the foot of
one of the mountain ranges, here. And, the large washes that help
funnel these blasts into specific areas.
In one such event, 7 mature (~10" and larger trunks) trees were
toppled in a single block. Nothing in the NEXT block, etc.
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