Many things have gone through technological advances over the year, that’s the great thing about technology; it changes things usually for the better. Technology can make life easier in many ways and it also affects the way we do things. Not all technological advances are based around gadgets or exciting things, often technology changes things we need or use in a mundane way, it’s these changes that often go unnoticed unless you’re in the know.
These types of techno advances often go unrecognised until you need the item or service that has changed; it’s often a case of things you didn’t know you didn’t know.
I came across one such technological advance that I never knew existed quite recently when I had a leaky flat roof on my garage and needed a repair. I noticed that I had a puddle of water on the floor and all my stuff was sapping wet, the obvious next step was to call out a roofing company that can do flat roof repairs but as with most tradesmen I was worried about the costs. I trawled the internet looking for a roofer who could repair the asphalt covering that was already on my flat roof, after having a couple of people round to quote for a patch putting on using a blow torch and bitumen (I was a bit concerned that using a blowtorch may set my garage alight as I had a petrol lawnmower etc. in there so wasn’t keen on that idea) I eventually came across a tradesman or roofing technician (even the name has advanced) who told me about a product he uses for flat roof leaks and repairs called EPDM made by the tyre company Firestone. Obviously at this stage I had no idea what EPDM was or what you did with it and to be honest all I was interested in was, a) will it repair my flat roof and stop it leaking and b) will it be expensive. To which he assured me that it would fix the problem at a reasonable cost and without the need for a blow torch, so without further ado I booked him in to do the job.
A week later the tradesman turned up and got cracking with the repair, he removed a large part of the asphalt coating that had been there years only to reveal that the boards underneath were actually rotted, my flat roof had been leaking for longer than I had realised. The “roofing technician” said it would be better in the long run if we replaced the boards with modern ply sheets which would be sealed with the roof rubber roofs coating as it had a 10 year guarantee (which at this stage I thought was a type of paint) so I agreed. In no time at all the sheets were replaced and the guy pulled out a roll of rubber from the back of the van, the rubber was the type you see in bicycle inner tubes, I mentioned this to him and he said yes rubber roofing is very similar to that compound, I decided to stick around and see how he installs it.
Installing the EPDM roofline rubber roofs coating was really quite straight forward, they simply cut the rubber sheet so it fits the entire flat roof in one piece, doing one half first they added a glue or solution to the newly fitted boards then fitted the rubber sheet, using a brush to smooth it down and push any air bubbles out, once this half was done they simply repeated it on the other half of the roof and then folded the edges over and trimmed them. At this point the roof was looking very neat and I must admit I was impressed, not just by how clean and new it looked but also how easy it was to put on. In less than 2 hours I had a brand new fully water proof not leaking flat roof. The roofer said that using the old style roof coating such as asphalt and bitumen would have been a day’s work removing the old tar based coating.
I now had a perfect flat roof repair or replacement so all that needed doing was to replace the soffits, facias, add some new gutters and the job was complete, and what a difference it made too.
So this one mundane, but for me at least, quite brilliant technological advance that has happened without me even knowing about it. I know it’s just a flat roof repair but things like this make me think about what other things are out there that I didn’t know that I didn’t know…..