It Doesn’t Have to be All About Roofing!

You made it through the winter snow and the spring downpours. You’ve scheduled your semi-annual roof maintenance checkup and maybe even your infra-red scanning. You’re happy to know that your roof is ready for summer! How about you?

Summertime, when the living is easy! Pull out the flip flops, shorts, tank tops and suntan lotion. Ready the barbeque grill, open the pool and string up some outdoor lights. Buy some fresh produce at the farmer’s market and savor that first bite into a cold crisp slice of watermelon. Take a nap in a hammock after reading your favorite book while sipping on a glass of homemade lemonade. Roll up your pant legs and go for a morning stroll along the ocean’s edge. Get caught in a summer storm (no lightning please).

Summertime fun can mean travel to far off places or visits to museums, hot air balloon rides, days at the shore or family visits; a night at the ballpark with The Phillies, The Riversharks or The Trenton Thunder; or just relaxing in the backyard.

No matter what your brand of summertime fun, Jottan wishes you a safe and happy summer.

If you haven’t scheduled your semi-annual roof maintenance checkup, now would be a great time. Just give us a call – 800-364-4234.


Worst Winter Ever? Not Even Close!

New Jersey didn’t make’s 10 Major Cities with the Worst Winter of 2013-2014 and according to the Office of the state Climatologist the winter of 2013-2014 is outranked by four previous winters. Worse or not, this was a hard winter for people, cars, roads and roofs.

jottan_worstWinterWater in general is a trouble-maker for roofs, but temperatures that dip below freezing can cause added damage. Significant ice buildup in one area of the roof could cause load issues or could damage or stress local components, like roof flashings and tie-ins to roof accessories. The repetitive cycle of freezing and thawing of water is another damage offender. The cycle goes like this…water can get into the tiniest spaces, expanding as it freezes. It warms up and you get more water and then the crack gets even larger.

Another culprit is ice damming. The effects of ice damming can be extensive including interior damage and structural damage to the building. In addition, ice damming can cause damages that may go undetected including rotted roof sheathing and deterioration of the gutter system which can lead to other roof issues.

Spring has sprung, so now is the time to schedule your semi-annual roof maintenance checkup to survey the effects of this winter on your roof. Don’t have a roof maintenance program? Don’t see the benefits of having one? The benefits to you and your roof are both immediate and long-term. A good roof maintenance program, such as the one offered by Jottan, will extend the life of your roof and save on larger costly repairs minimizing life cycle costs. Their customized maintenance programs and surveys of existing conditions can help you plan annual maintenance budgets or semi-annual roofing inspections to meet insurance requirements.

Additionally, Jottan offers infrared scanning which allows them to determine the extent of wet and damaged insulation within the existing roofing system. This eliminates costly overall repairs allowing for targeted and less costly corrective actions.

For more information on these and other services offered by Jottan, visit or call 800-364-4234.

Have a leak?

If the answer to that question is yes, then you have a problem.  The first key to ensuring a long life-cycle for your roofing system investment is proper installation. Below are a few examples of improper installations which can lead to damaging leaks.

Built-up roofs (BUR) experience 95 percent of leaks at flashing details – the area where the membrane is terminated or interrupted. Installation of an improper moisture barrier underneath a coping cap on a parapet wall may cause leaks in a hot bituminous and torch-applied modified bituminous roofs. Additional problems that allow moisture infiltration on mod bit roofs include improper installation of flashing, inadequate head laps and backwater laps. The importance of properly glued or heat-welded seams cannot be overstated for single-ply membranes roofs.

Whether a new roof or an existing roof, you can rest assure that the experts at Jottan will be “Doing it Right the First Time.” Call the team with over 35 years of experience at 800-364-4234 or visit to learn more.

Simple Tasks with Long-Term Benefits

While scheduled maintenance by a professional roofing company can add years to the life-cycle of your roof, there are simple tasks that you, as the owner or property manager, can do.

1. Monitor changes in the roof by taking routine photos.

2. Who is the first line of defense if something goes wrong? Be sure that everyone knows who to call the moment something happens? Time is money when it comes to your roof.

3. Foot traffic on a roof can be problematic. Know who’s on your roof and allow only authorized personnel to attend to roof maintenance or repairs.

4. Encourage your tenants or employees to inform you of any problems or leaks they encounter immediately, even if on the outside of the building.

Regular scheduled maintenance by a professional and diligence on the part of owners and property managers can help identify and fix problems before they become major and costly.

A Comparison of Two Roofing Systems

Now that we’ve defined the two types of roofing systems – low-slope and steep-slope – let’s review the advantages and disadvantages of each.

What are the major differences between a low-slope roof and a steep-slope roof?

A low-slope roof is one whose slope is less than 3:12 or 25% while a steep-slope roof is a roof with a pitch of 25% or greater.

What are the advantages of a steep-slope roof?

  • It drains itself quickly of water, giving wind and gravity little opportunity to push or pull water through the roofing material.
  • Steep-slope roofs can be covered with roofing materials that can be fabricated and applied in small, overlapping units.
  • 50 percent longer lifespan than other roofing installation methods.
  • Lower chance of debris buildup, mold and mildew proliferation.

 What are the advantages of a low-slope roof?

  • A low-slope roof can cover a building of any horizontal dimension, whereas a steep roof becomes uneconomically tall when used on a very broad building.
  • A building with a low-slope roof has a much simpler geometry that is often much less expensive to construct.
  • Low-slope roofs, when appropriately detailed, can serve as balconies, decks, patios, and even landscaped parks.
  • Requires less material to build.
  • Less time to roll out and seal than installing individual shingles.
  • Allows for easy maintenance since it’s a flat surface.
  • Limits extra air and makes structure easier to keep comfortable.

What are the disadvantages of a steep-slope roof?

Cannot cover a building of any horizontal dimension because it becomes too tall on a broad building.

What are the disadvantages of a low-slope roof?

  • Water drains relatively slowly from the surfaces.
  • Small errors in design or construction can cause them to trap puddles of standing water.
  • Slight structural movements can tear the membrane that keeps the water out of the building.
  •  Water vapor pressure from within the building can blister and rupture the membrane.

Whether you’re in need of roofing repair, service, maintenance or installation, Jottan has been doing it right for over 35 years. Visit us at or call 800-364-4234.

Roofing Systems Defined – Part 2

Part 2 of Roofing Systems Defined will focus on the six classifications of steep-slope roofing. (Source: National Roofing Contractors Association). Steep-slope roofing includes watershedding types of roof coverings installed on slopes exceeding 3:12 (14 degrees).

Asphalt shingles are composed of a base material that provides support for the weather-resistant components and gives a shingle its strength; asphalt and fillers; and surfacing material that provides protection from impact and UV degradation and improves fire resistance.

The most common form of asphalt shingles are strip shingles also known as 3-tab strip shingles so called because they frequently have three tabs that are exposed along the length of the shingle for visual effect.

Laminated strip shingles, or architectural shingles, are produced in two or more layers providing a three dimensional appearance.

Both types of asphalt shingles contain a strip of factory applied adhesive that is activated by the sun’s heat after installation and seals each shingle to the next course. The seal strip also provides much of a shingle’s resistance to wind uplift.

Clay tiles are produced by baking molded clay into tile. Tiles may be glazed and also may have surface texture treatments applied. Installation methods depend on the nature of the tile being installed, that is, whether it is two pieces, one piece, interlocking or flat.

Concrete tiles are made of portland cement, sand and water in varying proportions. They generally have lugs on their undersides for anchoring to batten strips. There are additional waterlocks or interlocking ribs on the longitudinal edges that impede movement and prevent water infiltration.

Metal roof systems consist of three general categories used for steep-slope roofing applications: architectural metal panel, structural metal panel and metal shingle/shingle panels.

Generally, architectural metal panel roof systems are water shedding and are designed to be used on steep slopes that will shed water rapidly over the metal panel’s surface. The seams typically are not watertight. Solid roof sheathing, or decking, is required for architectural metal panel roof systems, and underlayment is recommended.

Most structural metal panel roof systems are designed to resist the passage of water at laps and other joints, as sealant or anti-capillary designs can be used in the seams. Structural metal panel roof systems possess strength characteristics that allow them to span supporting members.

Metal shingles and metal shingle panels should be installed over continuous or closely spaced wood decking, furring strips, or metal or wood purlins using a batten or counter-batten system. These roof coverings typically are considered to be watershedding roof systems, so the roof slope should be 3:12 (14 degrees) or greater.

Roofing slate is a dense, durable, naturally occurring material that is essentially nonabsorbent. Roofing slate commonly is split so the length of the slate runs in the direction of the grain. Some slate splits to a smooth, practically even surface, while others yield a surface that is rough and uneven. 

Wood shakes and wood shingles are manufactured from western red cedar, cypress, pine and redwood trees. Shakes are split from logs and reshaped by manufacturers for commercial use. Cedar shakes and cedar shingles are available pressure treated with fire retardants and chemical preservatives for increased fire resistance and to prevent premature rot and decay in some climates.

Pine shakes are made from southern yellow pine and are taper sawn. They also are available pressure treated with preservatives to protect against decay and insects. Interlayment felts are required for pine shakes.

“Synthetic” as it pertains to steep-slope roofing materials refers to manufactured products that replicate asphalt shingles, concrete tile, clay tile, metal panels, slate, wood shakes and wood shingles. Synthetic roof coverings contain recycled plastic and/or rubber as a key ingredient.

There are both benefits and drawbacks to synthetic roof coverings. For example, while the reduction in weight of synthetic slate allows it to be installed over conventional roof decks not enough is known about how synthetic roof coverings weather or if they becomes brittle over time. Caution also needs to be taken when considering synthetic roof coverings to ensure that they are recognized within building codes.

The above is provided as a brief synopsis of the six classifications of steep-slope roofing. For more detailed information or to discuss which roofing system best fits your needs, contact Jottan at 800-364-4234.

Roofing Systems Defined

Roofing systems are generally divided into two generic classifications: low slope and steep slope. This month The Roofline will focus on the five classifications of low-slope roofing. (Source: National Roofing Contractors Association)

Low-slope roofing includes water impermeable, or weatherproof, type of roof membranes installed on slopes less than or equal to 3:12 (14 degrees). Most low-slope roof membranes have three principal components: the most important component is the weatherproofing layer or layers; reinforcement to add strength, puncture resistance and dimensional stability; and surfacing to protect the first two components from sunlight and weather.

The five classifications of low-slope roofing are:

Built-up roof (BUR) membranes are composed of alternating layers of bitumen, typically asphalt, coal tar or cold-applied adhesive, and reinforcing fabrics also called roofing felts or ply sheets.

Surfacings for BUR systems include aggregate, glass-fiber or mineral surfaced cap sheets, hot asphalt mopped over the entire surface, aluminum coatings or elastomeric coatings.

Structural metal panel roof systems are used on low-slope roofs because of their hydrostatic or water barrier characteristics. Most are designed to resist the passage of water at laps and other joints as sealants or anti-capillary designs can be used in the seams and they possess strength characteristics that allow them to span supporting members

Structural metal panel roof systems are installed over either a continuous or closely spaced decking providing solid support or one that is composed of spaced structural supports where the metal panels must span between supports.

Polymer-modified bitumen (MB) sheet membranes are composed of reinforcing fabrics that serve as carriers for the hot polymer-modified bitumen as it is manufactured into a roll material. MB roof system membranes are composed of multiple layers, much like BUR membranes, and are typically installed as a two-ply system and almost always are fully adhered.

Single-ply membranes are factory-manufactured sheet membranes. They generally are categorized as either thermoplastic (TPO or PVC) or thermoset (EPDM). Thermoplastic materials can be repeatedly softened when heated and hardened when cooled where as thermoset materials solidify, or “set,” irreversibly after heating.

The membranes may contain reinforcement layers. Common reinforcements for single-ply membranes include polyester fabrics or scrims, glass fiber, or a felt or fleece backing.

Single-ply membranes can be installed fully adhered, mechanically attached or held down with ballast. Most single-ply roof systems do not receive surfacings. 

Spray polyurethane foam-based (SPF) roof systems are constructed by mixing and spraying a two-component liquid that forms the base of an adhered roof system. The first component is a rigid, closed cell, spray polyurethane foam insulation composed of isocyanate and polyol.

The second component, the protective surfacing, is typically a spray applied elastomeric coating or a membrane, such as a fleece backed thermoset single-ply membrane. The surfacing is applied to provide weatherproofing, protect the foam from UV exposure, provide protection from mechanical damage and assist with the fire-resistance characteristics of the roof system.

Whether you’re in need of roofing repairs, maintenance or replacement, Jottan has the experts that you want on your roof. Contact us at (800) 364-4234