Saturday, April 28, 2012

on staying dry

The rain has been falling fairly steadily for a few hours in Miami, which made for a good day to check the interior of tin box for leaks. So far, it looks reassuringly dry inside. In fact, there's no sign of water inside the house, which means the roof, walls, windows, doors and vents are all working as intended. The strategies we've taken to ensure weather-tightness should help us avoid the considerable costs of repairs related to leaky roofs. These include:

> using a standing-seam roof assembly that limits the number of joints in the roofing material (compared, for example, to the thousands of joints in a shingle or tile roof), provides redundant seals made by both tube and tape sealants in the joints, and employs roof panels that should resist dislodging under the dynamic forces produced by hurricane-strength winds.

> locating all the transitions between roofs and walls under eaves that limit the rainwater that reaches these difficult-to-flash junctures that result in many roof failures.

> locating all but one of the plumbing and mechanical vent caps under eaves for the same reason.

> using flexible photovoltaic solar panels which (unlike the more common crystalline p/v panels) don't require the support of a metal armature which penetrates the roof membrane.

Of course, this is all just hopeful speculation until we weather a real cyclone. But let's hope that's far in the future.

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