Title: “How Pitch Pans Play A Role In Commercial Roof Maintenance”

 

Source: The Skyline Roofing Alabama Blog
Word Count: 581

"pitch pan"Contrary to popular belief, there are more roofing services available than simply a re-roof or new roof. Often times, roofing concerns and issues bring forth some sort of pain whether its financial, time-sensitive or otherwise. To be clear, there are plenty of options when it comes to roofing maintenance as opposed to a major overhaul. One popular option we haven’t discussed is called a pitch pan. In this blog, we’ll cover what pitch pans are, how they work and how easy they are to install. Just be sure you know what you’ve got all the right tools if you decide to tackle it yourself.

Pitch Pan Basics

Pitch pans, also called pitch pockets, are mostly used in situations where there are obstructions sticking out of the floor of the roof. On one hand, metal pitch pans can be used to protect any rooftop protrusions from the harmful elements (weather, brush, animals, and so on). On the other hand, the pan can protect against leaks forming where there are vulnerabilities at the base.

How To Install Pitch Pans

Before installing, you should have at least a 1/2″ clearance between protruding objects and the edge of the pan. The protrusion should be “centered” within the pan’s confines.

Once you have enough breathing room, place the pan over the obstruction and fasten together. Usually, a pan will come with fastening screws—enough for each side. With the pan fastened together, you’ll need to anchor it to the roof deck with more fastening screws. Now the pitch pan is fastened around the protrusion, but not as solid as it could be.

The open pan’s tabs need to be heat welded to the roof deck as well. A well-designed pitch pan should have overlapping tabs for added protection. These should be heat-welded to the existing tabs. Don’t forget the corner skirts will need spot welding (at least 1.5″) as well to the roof deck. With the base fully completed, focus on the open tabs on the side and top of the pitch pan following the same procedure. Check for defects on all sides with a tack claw. If any imperfections show, re-apply the heat or spot welds where necessary.

The pan itself should be firmly secured on all sides and the floor. The second-to-last step is to fill the inside with mortar concrete or insulation. Make sure to not fill up to the edge of the pan’s walls. To be safe, we suggest leaving 3/4″ worth of room to fill with the approved sealant. The sealant should be configured to divert water away from the protrusion (think of creating a pyramid of sealant around it).

The Wrap Up

Ideally, a pitch pan would be used as a preventative measure to save money in the event of leaks or damage. If these are not present, be sure to install them sooner than later around your major conduits, holes or pipes. They are cost-effective, simple, and can prevent damage.

Some pitch pans can call for sealants or a pourable sealer. As with anything, both types of sealants have lifespans. Therefore, make sure your contractor or roofing professionals are inspecting any pitch pans on a regular basis. Let’s face it when it comes to roofing—either commercial or residential—preventative measures are always better than maintenance measures. It’s always easier to repair or replace a pitch pan than to repair or replace an entire roof due to ignored damages.

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