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SBS Modified Bitumen questions


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Home is in west central Florida. Low slop hip style roof (no gables) with flat roof over back room(only). Roof was installed in 2002: Single layer base ply + granulated SBS mod-bit cap sheet hot mopped. Decking is 12" wide planks nailed every 3 to 4 inches to 16" rafters on center.

My insurance company recently sent a gentleman to evaluate for wind mitigation and "other " documentation. He measured the home's perimeter, checked decking in attic with a stud finder to find nail distance, and took pictures for documentation. He did not go on the roof. He explained that he does not work directly for the insurance company. My concern is how the insurance company may view the mod-bit's life expectancy. From what I have researched (googled) life expectancy can range from 10 to 20 years based on layers (BUR).

Also, can granulated mod-bit be re-roofed or will it need to be torn off and replaced?

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I complete wind mitigation surveys myself in Louisiana. While Louisiana might not be as demanding as Florida on the resiliency of housing to the effects of natural disasters, I have a good idea of what position your evaluator is in when completing these surveys.

Determining the age of the roof covering in existing housing in most cases is little more than a SWAG. I wouldn't attach too much gravity to the kind of error that might result, besides it's only a 10 to 20 year lifetime. More significant on the outcome of the survey is the building method used for the house, which is usually a function of which codes were in effect at the time of construction. After that, certain construction features known to resist damage well are noted as well as exposure conditions.

As to re-roofing mod-bit, my guess is that the entire cover is removed except for insulation panels if they remain undamaged.

Marc

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Thanks for replying Marc. Home is concrete block single story. My concern is that the insurance company may say that they will require a new roof to continue insuring me. I just renewed last month so maybe I am just being paranoid. I had my own mitigation done in early April and was approved for two credits. Being that my home was built in the 50's it's most likely the insurer's intent is just to get a second opinion "proof" of those credits.

He took a picture of the county record printout I showed him that shows the roof's permit request and completion record in 2002. If the insurer starts to get picky should my first course of action be a professional roofing company evaluation of my roof to submit to the insurer?

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slight drift....I realize LA and FL sun isn't Chicago "sun" but.....

Does mod bit fail in only 20 years down there? I see buildings I looked at 25 years ago with the same mod bit roof, and it's fine. Coat it with silver UV inhibitor, or use the granulated stuff, and lifespan is easily >25 years.

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...If the insurer starts to get picky should my first course of action be a professional roofing company evaluation of my roof to submit to the insurer?

Here in LA, the WMS inspector triumphs the contractor.

One other option, if the insurer gets picky, is to shop for another insurer.

Marc

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Do insurance companies consider the manufacturer's material warranty as the mark for service life?

Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't mod-bit warranties based in part as to how many sub-plys are put down before the cap sheet?

I tore off a small corner piece a few months ago for a repair and struggled to get it off of top of the drip edge. Based on that experience I would opine that it has years of service life left. It is granulated and seems to be in good shape. Insurers in Florida for older homes such as mine are becoming scarce and the ones that do insure are getting pickier.

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It's hard to know what insurance companies think nowadays. Allstate is sending out inspectors on new policies in Chicago and if there's any roof issue, like a couple curled shingles or maybe a missing tab, they don't write a policy until you install a new roof. That's this week; next week may be different.

I imagine they would take the lowest estimate of serviceable life, and knock 10 years off it to come up with what they think is right.

So, maybe they do use the mfg's. warranty as their benchmark.

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I agree with Kurt. I don't think insurance companies are smart when it comes to these things. They work in risk assessment, not building science. So there's many possibilities. Don't expect any of them to be rational.

Marc

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My insurance agent is labeled as an Allstate office, but I am not directly insured through Allstate. I have a feeling the insurance company may view mod-bit the same as shingles as there's not many residential homes with mod-bit in this area. I should know by the end of the week concerning the wind mitigation/inspection. Thank you Marc and Kurt for your replies.

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