Search Results for: commercial roof damage

Cool Roofs in Northern Climates Provide More Bang for the Buck Than We Thought

Electricity demand in Washington, D.C., plotted against daily high temperature. Source: Weather Underground, PJM Interconnection (PJME).

(Figure 1) Electricity demand in Washington, D.C., plotted against daily high temperature. Source: Weather Underground, PJM Interconnection (PJME).

The energy savings from cool, reflective, roofs have long made them the go-to roof choice in warmer and temperate climates here in the United States. Both ASHRAE and the International Energy Conservation Code have included roof surface reflectivity requirements for a number of years. About half of all new flat roofs installed in the country are highly reflective and in some product categories white options outsell dark ones by a substantial margin. It is hard to argue with the notion that, where it is warm, the roofs should be white. While the building-level impacts of cool roofs in cool climates has been covered in the past, very little has been written about the broader economic benefits of cooler buildings and cities. When we include the economic impacts of factors like improved health, air quality, and energy savings, the case for cool roofs in cool climates looks even better.

The Benefits of Cool Roofs Go Way Beyond the Building

The building-level impacts of cool roofs are a central part of the discussion about whether they should be used in cold climates. However, it is also important to recognize the substantial co-benefits that come from installing cool roofs in terms of healthier and more comfortable people, improved productivity, better air quality, and increased economic prosperity. While the economic benefits of cool roofs are substantial, they may not always be fully included in a building owner’s roof buying decision.

How much cooler could our cities become if we added more reflective roofs? In a comprehensive review on this topic, Santamouris 2012 found that when a global increase of the city’s albedo is considered, the expected mean decrease of the average ambient temperature is close to 0.5°F (0.3°C) per 0.1 increase in reflectivity, while the corresponding average decrease of the peak ambient temperature is close to 1.6°F (0.9°C). The cooling impact of reflective roofs in certain neighborhoods could be significantly better, though. A study of Chicago by Notre Dame University found that installing reflective roofs cooled city surfaces by around 3.5 to 5.5°F (2-3°C), but surfaces in the downtown core cooled by 12.5 to 14.5°F (7-8°C).

Cool Cities Are Energy Savers

We have started to better understand and quantify the impact in cities that are able to get a degree or two of cooling. The most obvious benefit is that cooler cities demand less energy on hot days. The graph in Figure 1 plots electricity demand in

Lowering the temperature of cities can bring a multitude of benefits. Source: Global Cool Cities Alliance.

(Figure 2) Lowering the temperature of cities can bring a multitude of benefits. Source: Global Cool Cities Alliance.

Washington, D.C., against the maximum temperature every day for 5 years (2010–2015). The graph’s shape looks very similar to plots from other cities with high penetrations of air conditioning units. Demand for electricity climbs rapidly above about 80°F. When the maximum temperature is 90°F, the city requires 21 percent more electricity, on average, than on 80°F days. At 95°F, demand has spiked by nearly 40 percent over the 80°F baseline. Charges for peak electricity demand are a major expense for commercial and industrial building operators and, in seventeen states, for homeowners as well. Further, peaking demand is often met by less efficient, more expensive, and dirtier power plants that worsen air quality. At worst, peak demand can cause productivity-killing service interruptions or brownouts.

Cooler Cities Are Healthier Places

Heat is a potent but silent killer. On average, heat kills more people than any other natural disaster, and heat-related deaths tend to be underreported. In 2015, Scientific American reported that 9 out of the 10 deadliest heat events in history have occurred since 2000 and have led to nearly 130,000 deaths. Cities on dangerously hot days experience 7 percent to 14 percent spikes in mortality from all causes.

Heat stress and stroke are only the tip of the pyramid of heat health impacts. Heat puts significant additional stress on people already suffering from diseases of the heart, lungs, kidneys, and/or diabetes. A recent study finds that every 1.5°F increase in temperatures will kill 5.4 more people per 100,000 people every year.

Installing cool roofs or vegetation can lead to a meaningful reduction in heat deaths by making the daytime weather conditions more tolerable. There are a number of studies estimating the impact of increasing urban reflectivity and vegetative cover on weather conditions. Kalkstein 2012 and Vanos 2013 looked at past heat waves in 4 U.S. cities and modeled the impact of increasing reflectivity by 0.1 (the estimated equivalent of switching about 25 percent of roofs from dark to light colors) and vegetative cover by 10 percent. Though the sample sizes are too small to draw sweeping conclusions, the studies found that cities making these modest changes could shift weather into less dangerous conditions and reduce mortality by 6 percent to 7 percent.

Cooler Cities Are Engines of Economic Growth

The health, air quality, and energy benefits of modest increases in urban roof reflectivity could generate billions of dollars of

An infrared scan of Sacramento, Calif., shows the range of surface temperatures in the area. Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories.

(Figure 3) An infrared scan of Sacramento, Calif., shows the range of surface temperatures in the area. Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories.

economic prosperity for our cities. A study of 1,700 cities published in the Journal Nature Climate Change found that changing only 20 percent of a city’s roofs and half of its pavement to cool options could save up to 12 times what they cost to install and maintain, and reduce air temperatures by about 1.5°F (0.8°C). For the average city, such an outcome would generate over a $1 billion in net economic benefits. Best of all, adding cool roofs to between 20 and 30 percent of urban buildings is a very realistic target if existing urban heat island mitigation policy best practices are adopted.

Cool Roof Performance in Cold Climates: In Brief

As positive as cool roofs are for cities in cool climates, they first have to be a high-performing choice for the building itself. What do we know about net energy savings in cool climates with higher heating load? This question was the subject of “There is Evidence Cool Roofs Provide Benefits to Buildings in Climate Zones 4-8” in the November/December 2016 issue of Roofing that summarized the newest science and field studies that show that reflective roofs provide net energy benefits and favorable heat flux impacts on roofs in cold climates. In short, the newest research from Columbia, Princeton and others demonstrates that the size of the “winter heating penalty” is significantly less than many had thought and shows net reductions in annual energy use when cool roofs are used, even with roof insulation levels as high as R48.

Real Cool Roofs in Cold Climates: The Target Survey

It is not just the science that supports the use of reflective roofs in cold climates. The strong and steady growth of cool roofing in northern markets over the last decade or two is also a good indication that reflective roofs are a high-performance option in those areas. For almost 20 years, Target Corporation has installed reflective PVC membranes on nearly all of its stores in the

Studies estimate that modest increases in urban roof reflectivity could generate billions of dollars of economic prosperity for cities. Pictured here is the roof on the Cricket Club in Toronto. Photo: Steve Pataki

Studies estimate that modest increases in urban roof reflectivity could generate billions of dollars of economic prosperity for cities. Pictured here is the roof on the Cricket Club in Toronto. Photo: Steve Pataki

United States and Canada. The membranes are usually installed over a steel deck with no vapor retarder. Target and manufacturer Sika Corporation undertook a field study of 26 roofs on randomly chosen stores located in ASHRAE Climate Zones 4-6 including Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Washington, and Wisconsin. The roofs were 10-14 years old at the time of the survey. None of the 51 total roof sample cuts were made across these roofs showed signs of condensation damage. A more detailed accounting of the study by representatives of Target Corporation and Sika Sarnafil published in Building Enclosure includes this important paragraph from authors Michael Fenner, Michael DiPietro and Stanley Graveline:

“Specific operational and other costs are confidential information and cannot be disclosed. However, it can be stated unequivocally that although the magnitude varies, Target has experienced net energy savings from the use of cool roofs in all but the most extreme climates. Although the savings in northern states are clearly less than those achieved in southern locations, experience over approximately two decades has validated the ongoing use of cool roofs across the entire real estate portfolio. Even in climates with lengthy heating seasons, overall cooling costs exceed heating costs in Target’s facilities.”

It is increasingly clear that installing cool roofs is the definition of “doing well by doing good.” Even in cold areas, a properly built roof system with a reflective surface is a high-performance option that delivers value for building owners while making hugely positive contributions to the neighborhoods and cities they occupy.

Metal Roof Provides Durability, Energy Efficiency for Florida Preschool

The Goddard School in Ponte Vedra Beach was constructed from an existing building

The Goddard School in Ponte Vedra Beach was constructed from an existing building that was entirely gutted and remodeled. It features a standing seam metal roof manufactured by Metal Sales and installed by Ford Roofing Systems. Photos: Jacob Maust, Ford Roofing Systems Inc.

“Almost everything we do is kind of odd, weird and unique,” says Jay Maust, president and owner of Ford Roofing Systems Inc. in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. The company excels in high-end commercial and residential projects featuring metal, tile, slate and asphalt shingle roofing.

A recent metal roof installation in Ponte Vedra Beach was more straightforward than many of the company’s projects, notes Maust, but it has the aesthetics and architectural flair the company is known for. The project came to the company like all of the rest of the company’s jobs do: as a referral from an existing customer.

When the relative of a previous residential roof customer decided to completely gut, renovate and expand a building to put up a teaching preschool known as the Goddard School, Maust was called in to consult on the project, come up with a roof design and install it. The result was a standing seam metal roof that provides the durability and energy efficiency the school requires.

The existing shingle roof was torn down to the trusses, and any damaged trusses were replaced. After new wings were added, the building envelope was insulated with spray foam. New plywood decking was installed, and after the deck passed the county inspection, Maust dried the building in with Boral Tile Seal self-adhering underlayment. “It has great thermal properties to it,” he says. “In my opinion, it is the best peel and stick on the market.”

The next step was to install painted metal perimeter wall flashings for the metal roof system that would also serve as stops for the HardiePlank and stucco siding. “It not only provides waterproofing protection but creates a tie-in for our system,” says Maust. “We call it a receiver flashing. It provides a nice, straight line where the siding or stucco ends. There is typically blue plastic that covers the metal, and after the siding is installed, you just peel the plastic sheeting off, and any paint or residue that might have gotten on the metal is peeled off with the plastic. And the end you have a beautiful piece of metal that enhances the look of the building—and it’s a water barrier.”

The standing seam roof was manufactured by Metal Sales Inc. On jobs such as this one, the project superintendent typically measures the roof by hand and prepares a cut list for the manufacturer. Metal Sales shipped the finished panels to the site, including 24-gauge galvalume panels painted in Kynar Silver Metallic, drip edge, hip and ridge panels, and headwall flashing.

Precise Execution

Since the front entryway was still under construction, roofing crews began at the back of the building and worked their way forward. One hurdle was formed by the addition of a back wing, which had a primary support beam that intruded on a designed valley. Since the support could not be moved, Maust decided to change the slope of valley to avoid the potential eyesore.

Photos: Jacob Maust, Ford Roofing Systems Inc.

Photos: Jacob Maust, Ford Roofing Systems Inc.

Architectural details included shed dormers over the doorways and windows, as well as gable dormers with false louvers.

Proper placement of penetrations on metal roofs is critical, notes Maust, and the company takes pains to ensure that penetrations are kept to a minimum and are properly designed and executed. Crews make sure plumbing stacks are in the center of a panel and don’t interfere with the ribs. When plumbers rough in the stacks, roofing crews make sure the last section of pipe can be rotated to ensure it is in the center of a panel before the final cuts are made. “We make them go through this extra step,” Maust says. “If they won’t do it or can’t do it, we’ll do it for them.”

Coordinating work with representatives of other trades on the project was difficult, but it is necessary part of the process, according to Maust. Ford Roofing workers made sure to be on hand to assist framers, as well as contractors installing siding, stucco, fascia and HVAC equipment. “That is our roof, and we don’t want anyone else walking on it, period,” Maust says. “We’ll install weather vanes, cupolas—whatever’s going up there.”

The standing seam metal roof was installed after the building envelope

The standing seam metal roof was installed after the building envelope was insulated with spray foam. The result is a durable roof system that helps ensure energy efficiency for the building. Photos: Jacob Maust, Ford Roofing Systems Inc.

The company built a curb for one of the HVAC fan units, and flashed in another that had a factory-installed curb to ensure they looked identical. “We went up there and sealed it in and flashed it,” Maust notes. “We made it look like it was part of the roof.”

For those forced to walk on the panels, rituals include knocking boots on the ladder and wiping the soles with a towel to ensure no sand or grit could possibly mar the finish. “We use foam tubes on our ladders so we don’t scratch the paint,” Maust explains. “It’s a learned process, and we’ve learned a lot of things over the years.”

Safety is always the top priority on every project. “On steep–slope jobs like this one, everyone wears harnesses and is tied off to their own bracket, which is properly attached to a truss,” Maust notes. “We are always checking on each other. Sometimes it’s hard to see if someone is tied off when they are on the top of the roof, so we developed this little motion where someone on the ground will make a hand gesture, and the person on the roof will pull up his safety line to demonstrate they are tied off.”

The installation on this project went like clockwork, according to Maust. “I’ve been doing this since I was 14,” he says. “The key is logistics. Is there stress sometimes? Absolutely. You just have to pace yourself.”

Photos: Jacob Maust, Ford Roofing Systems Inc.

Photos: Jacob Maust, Ford Roofing Systems Inc.

Maust is detail-driven, but he realizes it’s people who must execute the error-free, eye-catching projects that generate referrals. “Success comes from having guys in the field that care,” he says. “They understand very clearly that if they do a good job, this job is going to lead to another job. They get that. I also get that.”

The key is to not only build strong roofs but strong relationships. “I’m a very social person when it comes to my homeowners and my contractors,” Maust says. “If I’m working for a contractor, I want to meet the homeowner and help them select their tile. I want my reps, my builders, my homeowners to embrace a project together. I want everybody to know everybody. You develop these friendships and relationships, and that’s where great projects and great referrals come from.”

“That’s how I get my work,” Maust concluded. “All of my projects come to us through word of mouth. I’ve never placed an ad.”

TEAM

Architect: Dig Architecture, Jacksonville, Fla., Dig-architecture.com
General Contractor: Benchmark Commercial Group, Jacksonville Beach, Fla., Benchmarkcommercialgroup.com
Roofing Contractor: Ford Roofing Systems Inc., Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Fordroofingsystems.com
Metal Roof System Manufacturer: Metal Sales Inc., Metalsales.us.com
Underlayment Manufacturer: Boral Roofing, Boralamerica.com/roofing

Temporary Roof Membrane Offers Solution for Storm-Damaged Roofs

FiberTite Blue Roof FiberTite Roofing Systems introduces its new temporary roofing membrane, FiberTite Blue Roof. The FiberTite Blue Roof is a fabric-reinforced thermoplastic roof membrane designed for use on flat commercial and industrial roofs to offer a temporary solution for damaged roofs until permanent repairs can be made. The coating on the temporary roof membrane provides UV resistant performance for up to one year, as well as abrasion resistance. The fabric reinforcement provides both tear and puncture resistance. It is available in rolls that are 100 inches wide by 100 feet long. According to the manufacturer, it is ideal for temporary repair of damage caused by disastrous weather events, and it can also be used for tear-off areas or new construction until the final roof assembly can be installed.

The temporary membrane can be made watertight by conventional commercial hot-air weld seaming equipment. Alternate temporary seaming and sealing methods may include the use of FiberTite FTR-101 General Purpose Sealant, waterproofing caulk sealants, or adhesive tapes including duct tape. FiberTite accessories, such as molded pipe seals and corners, flashing membrane and FiberTite FTR-101 Sealant, can be used to temporarily seal roof penetrations.

RCMA to Recognize the Roofing Industry During National Roofing Week

To increase recognition of the significance of roofs to every home and business, stress the value of professional roofing contractors, and promote the good deeds of the industry, the Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA) will recognize National Roofing Week taking place June 4-10.
 
The roof is one of the most important components of a building structure, yet it is often taken for granted until it falls into disrepair. Organized by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), National Roofing Week enables the roofing industry to engage stakeholders and inform the public about the essential role roofs and professional roofing contractors play in every community.
 
“RCMA’s members are committed to providing advanced solutions to the commercial buildings market,” said Matt Coffindaffer, RCMA Executive Director. “National Roofing Week is an excellent time for manufacturers, contractors, building owners, and other shareholders to recognize the numerous advantages that roof coatings possess including their proven performance lives, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use.”
 
Roof coatings serve to protect roofs against water, chemicals, and physical damage, extending the life of the roof system. This can reduce building-owner maintenance costs and avert landfill waste from re-roofing tear-offs. Roof coatings also have numerous benefits to energy use and the environment. Certain roof coatings are capable of reflecting visible light and infrared and ultraviolet radiation, leading to lower roof and interior temperatures. Lower roof temperatures in turn help reduce electrical cooling costs, decreasing the carbon footprint from buildings. Lower roofing surface temperatures also help diminish the Urban Heat Island Effect.
 
The roofing community can use the hashtag #NationalRoofingWeek on social media to celebrate the good deeds of the industry; raise awareness about roofing maintenance and application best practices; and highlight the importance of workplace safety and the value of roofing professionals. 

Roof Rot: Ignorance Is an Easy Way to Damage Low-slope Residential Roofs

Change often brings with it unintended consequences, and the issue of reflective roof surfaces in North America is no exception. In the late 1990s, U.S. cities in northern climates started to mandate the use of reflective roof—more for politics, feel-good, pseudo-environmental reasons than sustainable, resilient and durable reasons. In my estimation, cool roofs often did more to lower the quality of buildings than enhance them. Furthermore, code and standard changes were made with no understanding of the result and no education to the architects of America.

Figure 1: Reduced attic space resulted in a roof section comprised of the following components from the interior to the roof cover.

Figure 1: Reduced attic space resulted in a roof section comprised of the following components from the interior to the roof cover.

Although the resulting unintended consequences affected commercial and residential buildings, it was the often-catastrophic results on low-slope residential buildings that went untold and left homeowners with tens of thousands of dollars of corrective work on basically new residences.

Following is a summary of how these concerns evolved in wood-framed residential construction. I’ve included case studies of failures, potential solutions and lessons learned.

HISTORY

During the industrialization of America’s large cities throughout the 1800s, the need for labor caused populations to explode. To house the labor migration, row houses (3- to 4-story structures, often with a garden level and four or more narrow units) were constructed approximately 3-feet apart, block after block, creating medium-sized apartment blocks. Most of these row houses were wood-framed, masonry veneer with low-slope roof structures. The interior walls and ceilings were finished in cementitious plaster, which provided a durable, fire-resistive finish. The plaster also performed as an effective air and vapor barrier, preventing interior conditioned air from penetrating into the non-insulated walls and ceilings where it could condense within the walls and roof on cold days.

Photo 1: A contractor was called out to fix the “soft roof” and found this catastrophic situation.

Photo 1: A contractor was called out to fix the “soft roof” and found this catastrophic situation.

Heating costs were low, so little—if any—insulation was installed in the walls and roof. Roofs were composed of built-up asphalt and coal tar, both smooth and aggregate surfaced. Attic spaces often 4 to 6 feet in height were vented via static vents. Any conditioned air that passed to the attic was able to dissipate through these static vents. This method of construction performed without significant attic condensation, and the roof systems and roof structure served these buildings for decades.

In the mid 1990s, researchers (theoretical researchers with no architectural, engineering, roofing, construction or practical building technology experience or knowledge) at research institutes conducted studies into the effects of minimizing solar gain through the roof via a reflective surface. Based on the researchers’ algorithmic findings and recommendations (regardless of their validity), environmental groups used the concept to promote change. Large cities started introducing new energy codes with reflective roofing requirements and prescribed reflectance values. These new codes contained greater insulation requirements, which was a benefit. However, in this one code adoption, roof systems, such as coal-tar pitch, that had performed for centuries were no longer permitted. Consequently, roofing contractors went out of business and so did some roofing material manufacturers because of unproven and suspect research.

Photos and Details: Hutchinson Design Group Ltd.

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Dallas Roofing Contractor Partners with Habitat for Humanity to Repair and Replace Roofs for Deserving Homeowners

Chris Zazo, CEO of Aspenmark Roofing & Solar, Dallas, established the non-profit Roof Angels, which repairs and/or replaces up to 30 roofs per year through Habitat for Humanity’s A Brush with Kindness program.

Chris Zazo, CEO of Aspenmark Roofing & Solar, Dallas, established the non-profit Roof Angels, which repairs and/or replaces up to 30 roofs per year through Habitat for Humanity’s A Brush with Kindness program.

Chris Zazo is a CEO who sees opportunity everywhere. When he needed a corporate gift idea to give to hail-restoration customers of his commercial roofing business, Dallas-based Aspenmark Roofing & Solar, he established Hailstone Vineyards in Napa Valley, Calif., and now makes his own cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay.

While considering how to differentiate Aspenmark Roofing & Solar from its competitors in a market that has no licensing, Zazo embraced community service. “I wanted to find a way to better our industry and really take the sting off the title of ‘roofing contractor,’” he says. “We were getting asked every year by this charity and that organization to support their causes‚ which we were happy to do. Then we got involved doing the new-build roofs for Dallas Habitat for Humanity and really rallied around that organization.”

To differentiate his firm’s charitable work from its for-profit work, Zazo officially established the non-profit Roof Angels in 2013, but he couldn’t quiet his entrepreneurial spirit. He wondered how he could involve the entire roofing industry in community service. “I really wanted to put together a program for the industry,” he explains. “I wanted to get the manufacturers and distributors involved, get our employees involved and create a model in which if we took it to a national organization it could be replicated anywhere in the United States. I dug a little further and found out Habitat has a program called A Brush with Kindness, which is perfect for this idea.”

Although the homes chosen for restoration are usually small, Zazo says they often have extensive damage and four or five layers of shingles.

Although the homes chosen for restoration are usually small, Zazo says they often have extensive damage and four or five layers of shingles.

A Brush with Kindness is Habitat for Humanity’s home-repair program for owners who are struggling to maintain their homes. The program seeks $10,000 donations to support one family’s home repairs. “When we found out about this program, we jumped in and asked, ‘What if we [Aspenmark Roofing & Solar] took the roof off of your hands?’” Zazo recalls. “The roof is usually about 50 to 70 percent of the budget for the home repairs, so, without it in the budget, A Brush with Kindness could do much more to a deserving family’s home. I reached out to GAF to see if they’d donate the shingles. I called SRS Distribution to see if they’d donate the accessory items and delivery. Then all we had to do was raise money for the labor. We proposed this model to Habitat and they said, ‘We love it. When can you start?’”

FUNDRAISING

A Brush with Kindness’ representatives asked Roof Angels and its partners, Parsippany, N.J.-based GAF and McKinney, Texas-based SRS Distribution, to repair and/or replace up to 30 roofs per year. In the beginning, Zazo hadn’t thought through the fundraising part of Roof Angels, so he was often paying his crews for these roof installations out of his own pocket. He started holding Happy Hours and other small events in which he could quickly raise a few thousand dollars.

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Roof Sections of Cosmetics Manufacturing Facility Get Expert Makeover With Cold-applied System, SPF and Smoke-vent Skylights

American International Industries manufactures cosmetics at the facility, and great care had to be taken to ensure no dust or fragments would fall from above and contaminate the products. Photo courtesy of Highland Commercial Roofing.

American International Industries manufactures cosmetics at the facility, and great care had to be taken to ensure no dust or fragments would fall from above and contaminate the products. Photo courtesy of Highland Commercial Roofing.

American International Industries was faced with a conundrum. The roof diaphragm on its 1968, 210,000-square-foot, wood-frame manufacturing facility in Los Angeles had deflection caused by structural settlement, but a full roof replacement was not an option.

“The roof was built without a substantial amount of pitch to it and the plywood deck in between the main purlins had settled over time,” recalls Rick Cunningham, president of Highland Commercial Roofing in Baldwin Park, Calif. “Removing the existing roof and deck and restructuring a roof of this size to return it to its original slope was financially unfeasible.”

American International Industries contracted Ernest Orchard, owner of Irvine, Calif.-based Orchard Roofing and Waterproofing Consultants as a project consultant and owner’s representative who closely monitored the job. Orchard selected a reinforced fluid-applied roof restoration system and brought Highland Commercial Roofing into the project because of the company’s specialization with the process and its expertise in commercial flat roofing in the Southwest. (Highland Commercial Roofing has offices in the Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Oakland, Calif.; and Phoenix areas.)

American International Industries restored sections of its roof with a cold-applied system, spray polyurethane expanding foam and smoke-vent skylights. Photo courtesy of SKYCO Skylights.

American International Industries restored sections of its roof with a cold-applied system, spray polyurethane expanding foam and smoke-vent skylights. Photo courtesy of SKYCO Skylights.

According to Ernest Orchard, another critical consideration in selecting a roofing solution had to do with the activities inside the building. “American International Industries manufactures cosmetics here and we couldn’t have any dust or fragments falling from above into the product,” he says. “In addition, the installation was to take place over the winter while the facility remained operational, and we couldn’t have the building open to weather.”

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Concrete Tile Roofing Protects Canadian Hotel from the Elements

The Moose Hotel & Suites is located in Banff, Alberta, Canada. The resort sits at an elevation of 4,600 to 5,300 feet in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, about 80 miles west of Calgary.

The Moose Hotel & Suites is located in Banff, Alberta, Canada. The resort sits at an elevation of 4,600 to 5,300 feet in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, about 80 miles west of Calgary.

Banff, Alberta, Canada, sits at an elevation of 4,600 to 5,300 feet in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, about 80 miles west of Calgary. The small community (around 8,000 permanent residents) was established as a resort town almost immediately after its hot springs were discovered by Canadian Pacific Railway workers in 1883. The town, which is built in a valley surrounded by mountains, has been a popular tourist destination for more than a century and is known for skiing and, of course, the Banff Upper Hot Springs.

Because of its history of tourism, Banff offers comfortable lodging at every price point. Among the town’s options for accommodations are nine hotels owned and operated by Banff Lodging Co.; the company also has seven restaurants, two spas, and a ski school and rental shop. The Moose Hotel & Suites is the lodging company’s newest four-star property, having opened in July 2016.

Because Banff is a national park, the Moose Hotel & Suites project is significant because it is one of the largest hotel developments (174 rooms) since the Canadian federal government’s 1998 commercial growth cap, which has prevented many hospitality developments from being built. Despite being approved, the Moose Hotel & Suites still was required to adhere to Banff’s design guidelines. The guidelines state they were enacted “to prevent any monstrosities being put there to destroy the general beauty of the park.”

In fact, the guidelines require that all developments, particularly hotels, enhance views to the mountains surrounding Banff. “They want visitors to realize they’re really in the mountains and not just anywhere in a hotel room,” explains Ted Darch, owner of Calgary-based E.J. Darch Architect Ltd., the architect on the Moose Hotel & Suites project. “We wanted to take advantage of the views, so designing the hotel to resemble a village with a courtyard in the middle allowed us to capture the drama of the mountains. You’ll see the reviews on TripAdvisor mention this.”

Darch has been working on Banff Lodging’s projects since the mid-1980s. The concept for the Moose Hotel & Suites evolved over a number of years as Banff Lodging acquired the property for the hotel and Darch worked on other projects for the company. Similarly, Banff Lodging chose the Moose Hotel & Suites’ roofing contractor because of a long-standing relationship.

“We’ve done work with Banff Lodging for about 10 years on most all its other facilities,” explains Brock Hanson, president and CEO of Banff-based Rocky Mountain Sundeck & Roof. “This was a pinnacle Banff job that doesn’t occur often due to the building guidelines. Having this project in our backyard was just fantastic to be a part of.”

Constructed to Withstand the Elements

The new hotel had to meet Banff’s strict design guidelines. It also had to withstand the subarctic climate (winters as cold as -40 F and short and cool summers, as well as 15 to 40 inches of precipitation, typically snow, per year). The Moose Hotel & Suites features spray foam at R-20 in the walls and R-40 in the roof. The spray-foam insulation not only keeps guests and staff warm during Banff ’s long winters, but also protects the building against air and moisture infiltration.

The Moose Hotel & Suites was required to adhere to Banff’s design guidelines, which were developed “to prevent any monstrosities being put there to destroy the general beauty of the park.”

The Moose Hotel & Suites was required to adhere to Banff’s design guidelines, which were developed “to prevent any monstrosities being put there to destroy the general beauty of the park.”


Darch had specified concrete tile roofing on a Banff Lodging hotel previously, but Hanson recommended a new supplier with whom he had previously worked. Darch met with a salesperson from the roofing manufacturer to discuss its concrete tile product. After he checked some samples, Darch was convinced this was the right product for the project.

The distinctive concrete tile was chosen for its energy efficiency and durability. It resembles natural slate to complement the design of the rustic mountain lodge. Because it is concrete, the tile is able to withstand the subarctic region’s extreme weather and withstands flying embers in case of forest fires. “We learned a big lesson about fire recently in Fort McMurray, north of Edmonton, Alberta,” Darch notes. “They had a terrible fire last summer that destroyed something like 2,000 houses. They’re in the forest and Banff is in the forest, so fire resistance was important.”

Concrete Tile Roofing

The tiles’ aesthetic also appealed to Darch; he especially liked that he was able to choose a bright red (Mission Red) for the roof. “From the architectural perspective, what is really nice is the color possibilities and to make the roof color part of the overall scheme of things is great,” he says. “Other roofing options were nice but they didn’t have the snap that the red tile does.”

Photos courtesy of Boral Roofing.

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A Historic Mountain Home Gets a Modern Roof to Resist the Elements

The owners of a historic home in Evergreen, Colorado, made a stone-coated metal shake roof system a key part of their renovation project.

The owners of a historic home in Evergreen, Colorado, made a stone-coated metal shake roof system a key part of their renovation project.

In the Colorado Rocky Mountains just west of Denver lies a town called Evergreen. At an elevation of more than 7,000 feet, the community of about 10,000 people is awash in the beauty and serenity of the mountains while still being close to booming metro Denver and all its urban attractions.

It’s easy to see why many would consider Evergreen a perfect place to call home. For Jay Jackson, a local resident who grew up in Evergreen, there were plenty of reasons to stay. The views and the fresh mountain air are hard to walk away from. Even sweeter for Jackson was the fact that the historic house he had long considered his favorite in Evergreen went up for sale, and he was able to buy it and make it his own.

The house was a classic and a cornerstone to the history of the town. Its design hearkened back to Evergreen’s roots as a popular resort town in the 1920s and 1930s. The house was built next to the luxury Troutsdale Hotel, which was a magnet for high-end guests in the old days.

Although beautifully designed and filled with history, the house definitely needed some work. Still, Jackson and his wife, Corinne, really wanted to be respectful to its original intent while bringing it up to modern living standards.

Expert Help

The roof was a major part of the renovation that needed to take place on the house. The original wood shake roof had begun to warp and was showing some leaks. The Jacksons knew it needed to be replaced, but they wanted to do it in a way that is respectful to the home’s legacy and history.

To tackle a project of this magnitude, the Jacksons turned to Denver-based Horn Brothers Roofing, a full-service roofing company that specializes in roofing systems for homes of all sizes, as well as commercial buildings, restaurants, churches and HOAs. The firm does a lot of work in the mountain communities near Denver and was given a convincing referral by someone close to the owners.

“We were contacted by the homeowners because we had a great reputation in the Evergreen area and had installed a stone-coated steel roof on the owner’s parents’ house several years prior,” recalls Matthew Williams, territory sales with Horn Brothers Roofing. “The parents were extremely pleased with their roof, so we got the call.”

Fire and Ice

Living in the mountains means dealing with all manner of elements, from wildly changing temperatures; high winds; and the harsh, UV-filled sunlight found at high elevations. For example, having a steep-slope roof at this elevation means controlling snow and ice buildup is vital. An ice and water shield was used over the entire roof. But the element that was perhaps most prominent on the mind of the Jacksons was fire.

The stone-coated metal roofing system is designed to give the appearance of wood shake but has a Class A fire rating, a 2 1/2-inch hailstone warranty and a 120-mph wind warranty.

The stone-coated metal roofing system is designed to give the appearance of wood shake but has a Class A fire rating, a 2 1/2-inch hailstone warranty and a 120-mph wind warranty.

Wildfires are a scary reality in the mountains, and the fact that the home’s remote location makes it difficult for firefighters to access was definitely on the minds of the Jacksons and the renovation team. This is multiplied by the fact that Jackson had actually worked as a wild land and structural firefighter. “The homeowner is a fire captain and the home has a very narrow bridge for access, so a Class A fire rating was vitally important,” Williams says. “Access for emergency vehicles is limited and the location in the mountains makes the home susceptible to wildfires.”

Through firsthand experience, Jackson knew the damage that wildfires can wreak on wood shake shingles. A Canyon Shake stone-coated metal roofing system was chosen to stand up to the elements and protect against fire. This type of roof gives the rustic appearance of wood shake but has a Class A fire rating, a 2 1/2-inch hailstone warranty and a 120-mph wind warranty.

Photos: Heather Lyons Coffman

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Roofing Problem Areas

Flat roofs are prone to ponding water.

Flat roofs are prone to ponding water.

Facilities maintenance issues can have a major impact on productivity in industrial and commercial environments with something as small as a leaking roof causing significant disruption and downtime. Years of experience suggest that 90 percent of the problems we are presented with today will arise from a mere 10 percent of the roof’s total area. But are some roof types and roof areas more susceptible to damage than others? Moreover, how do these roofing problems arise and how can they be categorized?

Flat Roofs

Flat roofs are commonly chosen for industrial and commercial buildings, covering the vast majority of offices, factories and warehouses around the globe. However, despite their popularity, my firm’s experience indicates that the bulk of roofing applications owe to the failings of flat roofs. This begs the question; do the benefits of flat roofs outweigh the disadvantages?

Currently, the flat roofing market is in a particularly healthy state. It is easy to see why because flat roofs do in fact offer a great deal of advantages. Notably, they are a low-cost option for many projects, being easier and more economical to install, inspect and maintain. Therefore, they prove highly popular with many commercial facilities and industrial buildings.

However, flat roofs are historically problematic, suffering from an array of issues commonly arising from standing water and traditional roofing materials. Pooling of water on roofs can be attributed to inadequate roofing materials or, strangely, a roof being “too flat”. Flat roofs should actually feature a small gradient to allow sufficient rainwater run-off; otherwise, the weight of water pooling can lead to deflection and numerous subsequent issues.

Roof flashings can prove problematic due to dissimilar materials.

Roof flashings can prove problematic due to dissimilar materials.

Of course, other roof variations, such as pitched or slanted roofs, will offer their own range of complications; however, complications with pooling water are not among these. This distinct disadvantage is one of several that can lead to serious problems within that troublesome 10 percent. The most common problems can be split into three separate categories.

Dissimilar Materials
Most roofs form a veritable patchwork of materials, including anything from glass and plastics to masonry and metals. Industrial roofs can be particularly troublesome as they boast a multitude of pipes, heating units and other protrusions that make the roof geometry complex to cover effectively. Whatever the combination of roofing materials is, ensuring long-term adhesion and sealing between all these dissimilar materials is crucial—and can prove problematic.

Flashings fall into this category and are a common fixture of flat and pitched roofs, where metal, brick and felt or bitumen can often all meet. Exposed to varying temperatures and weather conditions, these materials can act differently, altering shape and size dependent upon that material’s characteristics. This can result in roofing weakness due to different expansion and contraction rates of the materials, allowing for water ingress through developing gaps. Moreover, this category includes areas where two metals may meet. Dissimilar metals exposed to continuous weathering can potentially lead to galvanic corrosion, which deteriorates the roof’s protection, loosening the materials and once again leading to issues like leaking.

Joints and Seams
Joints and seams spell considerable trouble for many roofs, predominantly due to the effects of movement. All buildings will feature a degree of movement as a result of thermal expansion, contraction and wind, making joints and seams one of the most vulnerable areas. Resulting gaps or lips can be created, increased further by wind uplift, which may allow water ingress or exposure of unprotected materials to corrosion and weathering.

Seams around skylights and roof protrusions can cause roof vulnerabilities.

Seams around skylights and roof protrusions can cause roof vulnerabilities.

Found whenever two materials meet, joints and seams are a common sight on industrial roofs and one that occurs frequently on roofs covered using traditional materials. For instance, felt or bitumen surfaces are layered in strips and require heat to fuse them together and create one barrier of protection. However, continuous exposure to the elements can lead to delamination of the roofing material, creating areas of vulnerability, such as lips.

Similarly, parapet walls can also become vulnerable at the joints, normally caused by movement between the brickwork. This can develop through movement in the building or perhaps vegetation forcing through the joint, widening any gaps further and causing moisture ingress. Furthermore, this problem is shared by the seams around skylights and glazing bars, which degrade over time due to the dissimilar materials present and associated movement.

Unlike other problem areas in this category, cut-edge corrosion does not stem from two materials meeting. In fact, it falls into this category as it is an uncoated seam of metal that, left exposed, will corrode and result in the damage spreading as the metal is slowly eaten away. Corrugated metal roofs are susceptible as they are cut and the edges never receive protection, meaning when cut-edge corrosion begins, it is important to treat it as soon as possible. In certain instances, roof sheets need to be removed and replaced, which is extremely expensive.

Metals seams are often neglected and can develop cut-edge corrosion

Metals seams are often neglected and can develop cut-edge corrosion.

Other Forms of Damage
Lastly, roofs are susceptible to various forms of damage in the immediate and long term. Long-term damage will generally arise if roofing is left unmaintained, to suffer from aging and neglect. A key example of this type of damage involves single-ply roof coverings. Over time, rubber roofing materials are subjected to the environment and constant UV exposure. Once again, over this period the material expands and contracts, becoming brittle and losing its former flexibility, making it prone to cracking.

In addition to weathering, wildlife can have a detrimental effect on roofing materials, as bird litter can chemically attack the plastic coating on some roofing systems. High levels can cause damage and subsequent deterioration of the lining, which can potentially lead to leaks or exposure of metal to corrosion.

With regard to immediate damage, working on roofs is also a common way in which damage can occur. As highlighted before, one of the key selling points of flat roofs is the ability to carry out maintenance and inspection easily. Whether it derives from maintenance or rooftop developments, such as HVAC installation, extensions or rooftop fire escapes, the foot traffic over flat roofs can lead to immediate damage of the roofing substrate, through piercing and general wear.

Over time, rubber roofing materials can become brittle and crack

Over time, rubber roofing materials can become brittle and crack.

Eliminating the Troublesome 10 Percent

For the majority of these problems, it is possible to find a repair solution. However, when left without treatment, the roof can become too damaged to refurbish, leaving costly replacement as the only option. Repair methods have evolved significantly over the years and eliminating the troublesome 10 percent is becoming far easier to do since the advent of liquid and cold-applied technologies. Not only does this signify a breaking of tradition, but crucially highlights the evolution of roofing maintenance materials.

PHOTOS: Belzona