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Hi,

We are doing a TPO roof that will have a green roof on top of it (by someone else). What can we expect after we're finished and out of there, what precautions should be taken with regards to warranty ect, ect. Thanks.
 

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ANytime a "Garden" is specified over a roof, the contractor should have someone present during the entire garden installation. Too crucial of an application to forget about. Then he can patch holes when they develop. Ive seen too many pissing matches after the fact when ultimately it comes back on the roofer.
 

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First off was the roof designed to be a garden roof? I mean is it a 45 mil tpo? Is it mechanically attached? Was the insulation mechanically attached? All of this would be a NO NO.

First flood the roof purposely with a hose, and block the drainage if possible. Try to make it leak. Find the leaks now before the roof gets covered up. Yeah yeah yeah your guys are great, but we all have our bad days. Make sure it is leak proof before they cover it.

Make sure there is a separation layer between your roof and the garden. I agree with Pie, I would want to be present while someone was working on my roof to make sure they wern't being abusive to my roof. It WILL come back to you first if it leaks, then you will be getting in a finger pointing contest and it's just better to not let them damage it in the first place. Charge them hourly for your worker's time to stand and supervise. (Plus he might learn something and the next garden you can install.)

Warranty? I would limit my warranty and consult your manufacturer of choice as they will undoubtedly have warranty limitations for a covered roofing system.
 

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I would reccommend a Dens Deck cover board. Is there a reason it is fully adhered? Usually the overburden is used as ballast. And remember, no fasteners below th membrane.
 

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Check the manufacture on whats required for a garden roof. Dens deck would be a great idea. There is a couple of separation layers between the membrane and the plants. Honestly I don't know much about them and look to be too much of a PITA.

On the warranty point, if its not backed by the manufacture I wouldn't put a in house/contractors warranty on it unless everything that is spec'd by the manufacture is done. If it is done why not let them take the warranty and possible problems?
 

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Hey Pie, when I spec a roof to be used as a garden, I always spec it FA. LOL most guys will throw down MA or actually most guys throw down a 10 year mod bit. I never know when the garden will be installed, when it will be removed, or what areas will exactly be used as a garden. All be it, I've also never done a roof of substantial size to be covered by garden or deck. Primarily I do this because I want a 20 year specification and to the best of my knowledge you can't get that with ballasted (I could be wrong on that) and anyone who installs a very expensive deck or garden on a very cheap roof is a very big idiot. Penny wise, dollar foolish.


The one I recently speced is a 20 square + walls, 16 story, the pedastol paver system will be installed by others and will only cover half the total area. I figured, Tear off, 1.5" ISO, 1/2" densdeck, FA 60 mil PVC. SOLD! We were supposed to start last week but got delayed by some masonry permits because a door is being moved. We'll probably demo the existing deck this week or next if we have a few slow days.

What's there now? 5 layers of BUR and modified.


Speced another one last week, similiar story but 5-10 year old building. The roof installed is 45 mil FA epdm over MA ISO. Bad slope, doors too low, and punctures from the fasteners beneath the membrane. The solution? Tear out doors and raise them up, properly flash thresholds and isntall new doors. Tapered ISO, and 1/2" densdeck set in dash adhesive, and FA 60 mil EPDM. New deck by others. 5 squares plus walls, 5 stories, $16,000. They said it's alot of money. I said I can save them $5,000 but they would be right back in the same situation they are in now. To be honest I even forgot to include the densdeck in the bid so I should be about $1,000 higher, but I always include a ltitle for negotiation, errors and omissions. No problem if I get the job, I just can't negotiate if they ask for a discount.


Property manager wanted me to slope it away from the doors. I showed that the doors are actually below the roof, which is why it puddles the original roofers crushed the insulation at the door so it would be basically level with and not above the door. The only solution is to not taper which would likely make the whole roof a pond, or to move up the doors. Not my fault they built it wrong in the first place. LOL he was expecting a $200 price tag.
 

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Check the manufacture on whats required for a garden roof. Dens deck would be a great idea. There is a couple of separation layers between the membrane and the plants. Honestly I don't know much about them and look to be too much of a PITA.

On the warranty point, if its not backed by the manufacture I wouldn't put a in house/contractors warranty on it unless everything that is spec'd by the manufacture is done. If it is done why not let them take the warranty and possible problems?
verisoc used to have their specification for the "live roof" system on their website. When I first read this thread I was going to post it, but now it is a dead link. Basically when I mentioned about how I spec my roofs much of it was taken from that live roof spec provided by Versico.
 

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Grump, I don’t think there is anything wrong with going FA, just more money that’s all. And really what’s the difference??? You ballast the roof off with some old tires and its just as good. I’m not exactly sure about the warranty for 20 years on TPO (20 year is available on EPDM under a garden) but honestly, besides the fact that roof warranties are almost useless, they are really useless on a garden roof because they specifically exclude removal of overburden. My old office had a garden roof, one roof leak in the 6 years I was there, right offer the roof guys desk. the bill to dig it up, patch the pin hole I would say was probably there the whole time, and put it back was 5k. The manufacturer did pay for the 5$ patch though... :) But that’s another issue…
 

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The difference is how long the roof will last and I have zero faith in ballasted systems lasting.

I didn't say 20 year warranty, I said 20 year specification. In my mind I agree the warranty is useless. However a roof to a 20 year specification SHOULD last 20 years if properly installed and maintained? Agreed? Point being basically is don't install an expensive garden or deck on a cheap roof.

I'm not so sure on EPDM warrantys as we only dabble in it really. We are mostly TPO, and would be mostly PVC if I could get more people to pay the upcharge.


As for roofer warranty/guarantee, I offer our standard guarantee I do with other roofs, which like manufacturers doesn't cover removal of overburden. If I install the overburden I will bundle the guarantee and eat the overburden removal. But I also factor this into the cost upfront.
 

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Membrane Movement would be my short answer and only guess.. However as previously stated, temporary ballast is an issue. Future deck remvoal is an issue, partial garden or partial deck installation leaving one area of the roof unbllasted is an issue.

But really, I can only go by the system ratings as set forth by the product manufacturers. Until today I didn't know ballasted EPDM was eligible for a 20 year rating. Which manufacturer rates ballasted as 20 year? In the data I have from Genflex and Versico both show ballasted as only being eligible for 10 year.
 

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Ive got the carlisle warranty sheet right in front of me. It lists Ballasted EPDM up to 20 year warranty coverage. the only requirement is that it be 60 mil.. it says effective April 1st 20XX.. I hole punched through the date:whistling:.. Id guess 2008 ish.

I guess it just depends on the project. When I am doing a project its usually the whole shibang.. I have spec'ed FA when the garden wasnt going on immediately...
 

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On the garden roof at my old office they had stripped in all the seams. When we did open it up to fix a leak, seams were holding up well after 5 years. But for me the Jurys still our on submerged seam taps. I did some leak finding once on a Building in Helena where the mansards drained into gutters lined with EPDM. the water coming off the mansard shot right into the seam. All the leaks were right there because the tape basically turned into nothing. I recommended a welded seam or a RUSS type detail.
 

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I recommended a welded seam or a RUSS type detail.
When discussing with people why I prefer thermoplastic over thermoset membrane, that's usually my explanation right there. Simply put I don't trust the seam adhesives or seam tapes to last long term. Properly welded seams are your best option. But not to go off topic :)
 

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Ive got the carlisle warranty sheet right in front of me. It lists Ballasted EPDM up to 20 year warranty coverage. the only requirement is that it be 60 mil.. it says effective April 1st 20XX.. I hole punched through the date:whistling:.. Id guess 2008 ish.

I guess it just depends on the project. When I am doing a project its usually the whole shibang.. I have spec'ed FA when the garden wasnt going on immediately...
Carlisle and Mulehide (which is made by Carlisle) both offer 20 year on ballasted EPDM as long as it is 60 mil.

I can not express that absolute frustration and anger that sets in when I pull up to a repair call and it is ballasted epdm. Why in the flying rat chit would possess anyone to want that garbage, especially on multimillion dollar properties!!!
 

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I can not express that absolute frustration and anger that sets in when I pull up to a repair call and it is ballasted epdm.
LOL I hear ya brotha! 4 hours shoveling rock to find a pin hole that takes 15 minutes to repair.

Why in the flying rat chit would possess anyone to want that garbage, especially on multimillion dollar properties!!!
Well because it's cheap to build, silly!
 

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Carlisle and Mulehide (which is made by Carlisle) both offer 20 year on ballasted EPDM as long as it is 60 mil.

I can not express that absolute frustration and anger that sets in when I pull up to a repair call and it is ballasted epdm. Why in the flying rat chit would possess anyone to want that garbage, especially on multimillion dollar properties!!!
concrete deck and tectum, learned never to forget the core test, expensive lesson
 
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