Ultra-Steep Slope Roof Poses Challenges in Historic Church Re-Roofing Project

Century Christian Church is a landmark building in Owensboro, Kentucky. Completed in 1963, the church is included on the Kentucky Historic Register and recognized for its unique architectural style.
Photos: Owens Corning

At Century Christian Church in Owensboro, Kentucky, it is not the steeple that points toward the heavens above, but rather the entire roof. The church’s 50/12 pitch roof has become one of the most distinguishing features in the local landscape.

Completed in 1963, Century Christian Church is included on the Kentucky Historic Register and recognized for its unique architectural style. In fact, the roof is so eye-catching that it has been incorporated into the church’s website message which reads, “Our roof reaches up; our hearts reach out.” The roof ascends 40 feet and is divided into four quarters or “bows,” with each symbolizing one of the four Gospels in the Bible.

In 2016, the church’s building committee realized it was time for a new roof. Located in an open field apart from other structures, the roof had been struck by lightning on several occasions. The protective cable that ran down the sides of the church as a conduit for lightning strikes had been eroded and just one section of cable was intact. The building’s location also presented airflow challenges. Storms and strong winds crossing the field had caused shingles to loosen and fly off the building.

According to Harold King, a member of the Century Christian Church building committee, the church considered several criteria when selecting All American Home Improvement, LLC in Evansville, Indiana, to complete the re-roofing project. “We wanted a reputable company who was experienced in doing steep slope work, had an excellent safety record, and had a workforce equipped to meet the needs of this labor-intensive job,” he says, adding that the

The roof ascends 40 feet and is divided into four quarters or “bows,” with each bow symbolizing one of the four Gospels in The Holy Bible. Photos: Owens Corning

company’s Owens Corning Roofing Platinum Contractor certification provided additional confidence. “Our Owens Corning area sales manager, John Sabbak, explained the warranty for the re-roofing project and that was very important for us in selecting the materials for the project,” King says, noting that Sabbak also stopped by at different times during the installation to check in on the progress.

A Daunting Task

What were the challenges the roofing contractor faced in tackling the project? “What wasn’t a challenge?” asked Josh Long, Western Kentucky Sales Manager at All American Home Improvement. The metal capping required to protect the building from lightening, and the scorching summer heat during the installation were just a few of the challenges. By far, however, the two most daunting challenges were the safety concerns associated with the pitch and the wind issues that challenged shingle adhesion.

To help foster safety on the steep slopes, teams were assigned to cover each of the four “bows” comprising the roof. The teams used a precisely calculated system of ladders and walkboards to safely navigate and scale the roof. “Roofers getting home to their families safely every night will always be a top priority at Owens Corning,” says Sabbak, noting that All American Home Improvement teams were outfitted with personal protection equipment and participated in advance walk-through processes to safely tackle the project.

Installation teams from All American Home Improvement participated in advance walk-throughs to ensure everyone was well versed in the safety plan. Photos: Owens Corning

The building committee at Century Christian Church also wanted to avoid the safety and aesthetic concerns associated with shingle fly-off. That’s where Owens Corning SureNail Technology and Duration Shingles came into play. Developed to provide exceptional wind resistance, the system can qualify for a 130-mph wind warranty. “The Duration shingle delivered both the performance and the warranty we needed for a job with this kind of pitch and exposure to airflow,” says Long. According to Long, the shingles were also hand sealed as required by Owens Corning for the building’s pitch. “The SureNail Technology made it easy for the teams to install the shingle correctly because the white strip in the middle of the shingle leaves no doubt as to where the nail should go and facilitated a smooth installation,” he says.

As the roofing project progressed, so did public interest. The local newspaper stopped by to capture photos of residents watching the re-roofing spectacle from lawn chairs on the church lawn. The combination of re-roofing a challenging structure, improving the aesthetics of a historic building and scaling a very steep roof made it a memorable project according to Long. “It was a very unusual project from our daily jobs, and the challenges were part of what made the project so fun,” he notes.

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: All American Home Improvement, LLC, Evansville, Indiana, 1shingleatatime.com

MATERIALS

Steep-Slope Roof System: Duration Shingles with SureNail Technology, Owens Corning
Underlayment: ProArmor, Owens Corning

North Carolina Legislative Building Restoration Poses Unique Challenges

The North Carolina State Legislative Building was the site of a renovation project that included asbestos abatement in the interior and a complete restoration of the building’s roof systems.

The North Carolina State Legislative Building was the site of a renovation project that included asbestos abatement in the interior and a complete restoration of the building’s roof systems. Photos: SkySite Images

Some of the variables that can make a project difficult include a variety of complex, interconnected systems, unique design elements, and a tight schedule. These challenges are heightened on a highly visible, historic building, where the goal of keeping the design historically accurate must be balanced with making improvements to the structure and functionality of the systems. All of these elements and more were in play during the restoration of the one-of-a-kind roof on the North Carolina State Legislative Building in Raleigh, North Carolina. It took a talented team of design, engineering, and roofing professionals to bring the project to a successful conclusion.

Originally designed by architect Edward Durell Stone, the building has been the home of the state legislature since 1963, but water intrusion under its copper pyramids and at windows and doors on the promenade level precipitated a complete restoration project. Renovation work conducted in 2016 and 2017 included asbestos abatement in the interior and a complete restoration of the building’s roof systems.

The roofing phase of the project included removing and replacing the metal roof systems on the five copper-clad pyramids, as well as re-roofing the low-slope sections adjacent to the pyramids with a two-ply modified bitumen system. A liquid-applied waterproofing system was installed in the planter areas and under the pavers in the promenade section. The project also involved the removal and replacement of windows, doors, and skylights, as well as repairing and coating the concrete surfaces at the perimeter of the roof.

The design of the quilted flat lock copper panel system involved 17 different panel profiles. A false batten was added after the panels were in place.

The design of the quilted flat lock copper panel system involved 17 different panel profiles. A false batten was added after the panels were in place. Photos: SkySite Images

Companies involved in the project included Raymond Engineering, headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, which provided engineering and architectural services; Owens Roofing Inc., also located in Raleigh, which served as the general contractor on the roofing phase of the project and installed the low-slope systems; and The Century Slate Company, headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, which removed and replaced the copper roofs on the five pyramids.

Some of the key players in the project shared their insights with Roofing, including John Willers, a senior engineer with Raymond Engineering; Bert Owens, president of Owens Roofing; and Mike Tenoever, president of Century Slate.

“This is an iconic state building with a unique roof system which the owner and designer required to be aesthetically replicated,” Tenoever notes. “At the same time, some functionality and technical improvements were incorporated. This is a very high-profile project with a lot of complexity, particularly given the schedule. There were a lot of details compressed into a very short period of time.”

Design and Pre-Construction

Raymond Engineering conducted testing on the existing roofs and specified systems designed to match the originals and provide some necessary improvements, including added insulation and ventilation under the pyramids. Willers worked closely with Jason Mobraten, the senior architect on the project. “We provided the engineering and architectural services, beginning with design and then assisting with bidding and managing the construction phase of this project,” says Willers. “We engineered the copper roof, all of the detailing for the modified asphalt roof, and the detailing for the drainage, the pavers, and the sealants for the promenade.”

Crews from Owens Roofing removed the existing plants, media and drainage system from four 42-foot-by-42-foot fixed planters with skylights. After the substrate was cleaned and primed, a liquid-applied waterproofing system was installed.

Crews from Owens Roofing removed the existing plants, media and drainage system from four 42-foot-by-42-foot fixed planters with skylights. After the substrate was cleaned and primed, a liquid-applied waterproofing system was installed. Photos: SkySite Images

The schedule was an obvious challenge, as the majority of the work had to be completed while the legislature was in recess, and there were substantial financial penalties that would come into play if the work was not completed on time. “The client also required that the asbestos abatement be completed before re-roofing the copper-clad pyramids to avoid the risk of dislodging the asbestos-containing textured ceiling finish. However, doing the work in two phases allowed the asbestos contractor to get started while the rest of the job was designed and bid,” Willers states.

The building houses legislators’ offices, and it was open and occupied during construction, with the exception of the areas undergoing asbestos abatement. The schedule had to be carefully adjusted as the job progressed. “In addition to our role in monitoring the technical aspects of the construction, we closely monitored the construction phasing and sequencing, as it was directly driven by the schedule of the state legislature,” Willers notes. “We had to take a lot of care in developing the schedule and monitoring it.”

Willers and Mobraten knew that the details on this project would be crucial. “There were previously some issues where the copper and the low-slope membrane roofs met,” Willers says. “We detailed that very carefully so that we had redundancy in keeping that watertight.”

Extensive mock-ups of the copper pyramids were constructed and tested to ensure the quilted pattern could be exactly replicated while avoiding the leaks that plagued the existing structure.

Photos: SkySite Images

Photos: SkySite Images

As designers looked for ways to improve construction, they explored the design and construction of the quilted panels. “From a design standpoint, we wondered why we had this odd diamond-shaped pattern,” Willers recalls. “After we played with the dimensions a bit, we realized that if you fly over the building, from above all of those diamond sections look like squares.”

The key was to replicate the design with its false battens while avoiding leaks. “We were concerned about how to detail out the joining of the copper sheets that formed the diamond-shaped panels,” Willers says. “What had been done was susceptible to windblown rain getting in. We did two things differently: the little clips that supported these battens were secured by forming the clips with hooks that would be integral with the single-locked seams and soldering the clips to the top surface of the copper panels. Previously they were held in place by pop rivets, which went through the copper.”

The Secrets of the Pyramids

Century Slate was well prepared to tackle the copper roofing on the project. The company has been in business more than 20 years, and it specializes in historic restoration projects including slate, tile, wood, copper and other historical metals.

Crews from Century Slate removed the existing copper panels. The copper was salvaged and recycled.

Crews from Century Slate removed the existing copper panels. The copper was salvaged and recycled. Photos: SkySite Images

Tenoever knew the design of the original quilted flat lock copper panel system needed to be replicated exactly. “There were 17 different panel profiles, each within a very particular location within the roof’s quilted pattern,” Tenoever notes. “Proper placement of each different profile was essential to the whole system working correctly and looking like the original.”

The first step was to remove the existing copper roofs. “We tore off the entire system down to the deck,” Tenoever explains. “We then installed a semi permeable a vapor barrier, insulation, and a vapor retarder.”

Along with added insulation and Carlisle WIP 300HT self-adhering underlayment, crews also installed a vented nail base from Hunter Panels. “The Hunter Cool-Vent is a vented nail base that gets screwed down,” Tenoever says. “The goal was to have a breathable air cavity. All of the hip caps are actually vented to allow the air to get out.”

With the addition of the insulation and nail base, the roof was built up approximately 6 inches from the previous configuration. This added height necessitated changes in the custom flashing at the base of the pyramids but did not change the configuration of the copper panels.

In all, 22,500 square feet of copper panels fabricated by K&M Sheet Metal in Durham were installed. Each of the 17 different panels was labeled with a letter code. “When they were out at the site, we could just grab an A panel or a B panel, as needed, and bring them to that layout,” Tenoever explains. “Four of the pyramids were the same, and the center one was different, as that was the one that had skylights built into it.”

The areas between the pyramids were covered with a two-ply modified bitumen roofing system. Photos: SkySite Images

The panels feature flat-lock clips that were screwed down to the nail base. “It’s a typical flat seam panel system, and the panels interlock together,” says Tenoever. “You can see the batten panel above it, which is an aesthetic feature. The battens and the clips that held them were amazingly intricate, for what they were. They were cut out with a CNC machine and soldered onto the copper panels prior to installation. Later we came back and installed the batten system over the top.”

Century Slate built new curbs in the center pyramid for the new skylights, which were manufactured by Wasco. “The skylights were one of the last things to go on,” says Tenoever. “They were custom made because even though they look square, there isn’t a square angle on them.”

Custom copper flashings were installed at the bases. “One of the trickier parts for us probably would have been the tie-in of the modified roof, because Owens Roofing had to do their bit, and we were also replacing all of the wood blocking and everything all along the bottom edge before we could put our flashing on,” Tenoever recalls. “It took a lot of coordination between the two trades, but it all worked out.”

The Low-Slope Roof Systems

Owens Roofing served as the general contractor on the project and installed the low-slope roof systems. The company was established in 1986 in Raleigh, and focuses on commercial and institutional buildings, almost exclusively re-roofing. Much of its work is on historic buildings, so Owens was confident he could execute the project and complete it on schedule.

A scaffolding system offered secure roof access, but material had to be loaded and removed from one access point, so logistics had to be carefully mapped out.

A scaffolding system offered secure roof access, but material had to be loaded and removed from one access point, so logistics had to be carefully mapped out. Photos: SkySite Images

Crews from Owens Roofing installed 18,900 square feet of modified bitumen roofing from Soprema over concrete decks, including the areas between the pyramids. Tapered polyiso and half-inch DEXcell cover board from National Gypsum were installed using Duotack adhesive, followed by the two plies of modified bitumen membrane.

A liquid waterproofing system from Sika was specified for the large planter areas. Crews from Owens Roofing removed the existing plants, media and drainage system from four 42-foot-by-42-foot fixed planters with skylights. After the substrate had been cleaned and primed, the Sika RoofPro system was installed.

“Once it’s cleaned and primed, it’s pretty simple,” says Owens. “The product is one part, and you don’t even have to mix it. We applied it with rollers on this project. You embed fabric sheets in the system and then topcoat it. It was a cold-weather job, but fortunately we caught a break last winter in that it wasn’t as cold as usual, and we didn’t miss as much time as we might have.”

The 30,000-square-foot promenade section was originally covered by white granite pavers native to North Carolina. The old pavers were removed and replaced over a new roof system, which was comprised of modified bitumen sheets beneath the liquid-applied waterproofing system. “The concrete deck was primed and a modified bitumen base ply heat welded to the deck,” Owens explains. “This surface was primed in preparation for the Roof Pro system, which was then installed.”

Innovative Roof Services of Raleigh was called in to conduct a high-voltage electrical testing to ensure there were no voids in the system before the pavers were re-installed. The pavers had originally been set in a bed of mortar, and they had to be removed and cleaned, which revealed a problem. “When we took the pavers up, we found out that they ranged between 1-1/8 and 1-3/4 inches thick,” Owens notes. “That wasn’t a problem when they were set in a bed of mortar, but over extruded polystyrene, they would have been all up and down. We put in a change order and had the pavers set in a bed of sand on top of one layer polystyrene.” The sand was adjusted by hand to ensure the pavers were level. New pavers were added to replace those broken over the years.

On the roof’s concrete eyebrows, damaged areas of concrete were repaired, joints were sealed, and a cold-applied waterproofing system from Sika Sarnafil was used to cover 8,800 square feet of concrete.

Numerous Challenges

Important considerations on the project included safety and logistics, as well as the tight schedule. Safety was paramount, and a third-party safety monitor was on the site to ensure the safety plan was designed and executed properly. During the time between when the original skylights were removed and when their replacements installed, the voids in the roof deck needed to be cordoned off and covered according to OSHA regulations. Personal fall arrest systems were used on the pyramids and outside of the safety perimeter, which was marked with flags. “With the promenade, you had a wide concrete eyebrow, so it made it easier to set up the safety lines and keep everyone safely away from the edge,” Owens notes.

This aerial photo taken before the restoration project shows the copper roofs with their green patina. Photos: SkySite Images

“Safety is a key concern as on all jobs, but this one in particular was highly visible out the windows of the nearby Department of Labor,” Owens continues. “We were paid a courtesy visit and agreed with them that an on-site safety meeting conducted by their personnel might be useful. The owner allowed us use of one of their auditoriums and we had a very productive half-day meeting for all trades. Every week we had a meeting with a state construction monitor.”

A scaffolding system was set up that offered secure roof access, but there was only one point for loading and unloading material, so logistics at the site were a concern. “We had to use wheelbarrows and roof carts to transport materials back and forth to the scaffolding tower,” Tenoever notes. “Between the removal of the original roof and the installation of the multiple layers of the new roof system, over 150,000 square feet of roofing materials were moved by hand over an average distance of approximately 200 feet.”

Loading and unloading added another wrinkle to the complicated schedule. “The schedule was based on when the legislature was scheduled to come back to town—not how long the job was supposed to take,” Owens says. “We were all concerned with the ambitious time frame and $1,000 a day liquidated damages included with this job.”

Willers cited excellent communication as one of the keys to completing the project on time. “Fortunately, the project managers for the general contractor and other trades were highly organized individuals,” Willers says. “Regular site meetings were detailed and thorough. Although setbacks did occur, communication kept the ball rolling.”

The roof system on the building’s iconic copper clad pyramids was removed and carefully recreated, matching the original design while adding a vented cavity and increasing the thermal insulation. Photos: SkySite Images

A Unique Experience

Copper removed from the existing roof was salvaged and recycled, notes Willers, with the exception of a few pieces that

were cut into the shape of the state of North Carolina to serve as mementos of the unique project. “We’re very proud of the design and the outcome—and the assistance we got from all of the contractors involved,” Willers says. “We had some pretty heavy rains after the project was completed, including some high winds, and there were no leaks.”

Tenoever also looks back on the project with pride. “A one-of-a-kind roof system was custom built and delivered on schedule and with the owner and designer’s praises,” he says. “Taking something so amazing and restoring it to the beauty it originally had—we all get a kick out of that.”

TEAM

Design and Engineering Services: Raymond Engineering, Raleigh, North Carolina, RaymondLLC.com
General Contractor: Owens Roofing Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina
Metal Roofing Contractor: The Century Slate Company, Durham, North Carolina, CenturySlate.com
Leak Testing: Innovative Roof Services, LLC, Raleigh, North Carolina, IRS-LLC.net

MATERIALS

Metal Roof System
Copper: 20-ounce copper sheet metal
Vented Nail Base: Hunter Cool-Vent, Hunter Panels, HunterPanels.com
Underlayment: Carlisle WIP 300HT, Carlisle, Carlislewipproducts.com
Skylights: Wasco Skylights, Wascoskylights.com

Modified Bitumen Membrane Roof System

Membrane: Sopralene Flam 180 and Sopralene Flam 180 FR GR, Soprema, Soprema.us
Adhesive: Duotack, Soprema
Insulation: Sopra-Iso, Soprema
Cover Board: DEXcell, National Gypsum, NationalGypsum.com

Waterproofing System

Liquid Applied Membrane: RoofPro 641, Sika Corp., USA.Sika.com
Reinforcing Fabric: Reemat, Sika Corp.
Primer: Sikalastic EP Primer/Sealer
Extruded Polystyrene Insulation: Foamular 604, Owens Corning, OwensCorning.com

Summer Means a Crash Course in School Re-Roofing Projects

Strober-Wright Roofing executed a completed a tear-off and re-roof of the entire complex of Montgomery Lower Middle School. Approximately 130,000 square feet of roofing was removed and replaced with a two-ply modified bitumen system.

Strober-Wright Roofing executed a completed a tear-off and re-roof of the entire complex of Montgomery Lower Middle School. Approximately 130,000 square feet of roofing was removed and replaced with a two-ply modified bitumen system.

Summertime is the busy season for school construction projects, and as students prepare for vacation, restoration work heats up. At Strober-Wright Roofing Inc., a full-service roofing contractor headquartered in Lambertville, N.J., going to school in the summer is a big part of the company’s business plan.

The company is owned by Mike Strober, Mark Wright and John Foy, who share more than 100 years of experience in new construction, additions and re-roofing projects. “We specialize in schools,” says Robert Shoemaker, an estimator with Strober-Wright, who points to attention to detail as the key to succeeding in the competitive bidding market. “You have to sharpen your pencil. You have to understand what your crews can do and how fast they can do it. You have to know what their skills are.”

Mark Wright has been with the company 26 years, and he points to a recently completed project at Montgomery Lower Middle School in Skillman, N.J., as an example of just what Strober-Wright can do when faced with large-scale projects and tight deadlines. “We have the men and equipment to get these types of jobs done on time with high-quality workmanship,” he says. “That’s our strength.”

Wright and Shoemaker believe building relationships is essential in this segment of the market. “We’ve done a lot of schools,” Shoemaker says. “When our bid is successful, people breathe a sigh of relief and tell us they are happy to have us on their projects.”

The Roof System

The Montgomery Lower Middle School project was a complete tear-off and re-roof of a school complex encompassing several connected roof sections totaling approximately 130,000 square feet. There were two types of existing roof systems: a fully-adhered EPDM system and a ballasted EPDM system. These were torn off and replaced with a two-ply, hot-mopped modified bitumen system.

Tapered polyiso was installed to ensure proper slope to the drains, which were surrounded by an 8-foot tapered sump.

Tapered polyiso was installed to ensure proper slope to the drains, which were surrounded by an 8-foot tapered sump.


The Strober-Wright team looked for ways to make the installation as efficient as possible in order to meet the deadline. The original specification called for removing and replacing more than 100 existing roof drains, but the company suggested using SpeedTite drains from OMG Roofing Products instead.

“My partner, Mike Strober, came up with the idea to use the OMG drains, and we submitted it to the architect,” Wright notes. “The architect approved them. The key with these drains is you don’t need another trade to install them. They install quickly and minimize disturbance in the building because the drains drop into the pipe, bypassing the bowl. You don’t have to take the old bowl out and put a new bowl in. You don’t have to take ceiling tiles out and create a mess inside the building.”

Show Your Work

On the ballasted roof sections, the stones were removed by Adler Vacuum. Then the existing EPDM roof was removed in sections. “We’d take a section out and replace it the same day so the building was watertight every night,” Wright explains.

At the end of each day, the old system was tied off to the new section. “With the existing rubber roof, we would leave a little extra material and flop it back,” Wright notes. “We’d adhere the flap using hot tar to the new system, and just peel it back the next day and go again.”

On sections of the roof with metal decking, the 4-inch base layer of flat polyiso insulation was mechanically attached with fasteners and plates. On the sections with concrete deck, the concrete was primed with a quick-drying asphalt primer and the base insulation was then adhered in hot asphalt. The tapered insulation was then adhered in hot asphalt to ensure proper drainage.

After the cover board was secured, the modified bitumen system was installed. The base ply and cap sheet were set in hot asphalt. Once the roof system had properly cured, it received two coats of an aluminum reflective coating.

Safety is always top of mind, but there were no unusual safety issues on the project, notes Wright. “We followed our standard safety protocols,” he says. “You have to make sure you’re wearing proper clothing and safety equipment with hot asphalt. We set up a safety perimeter warning with flags. If you were outside the perimeter, you had to wear a harness and be tied off at all times.”

Going With the Flow

More than 100 new drains were installed. The existing strainer domes, clamping rings and hardware were removed, but the drain bowls were left in place. The SpeedTite Drains were inserted, and the mechanical seal was tightened to provide a secure connection to the existing drain leader.

According to the manufacturer, the drains have a built-in vortex breaker to help improve water flow and a mechanical seal that meets the ANSI/SPRI/RD-1 standard (holding a 10-foot column of water for 24 hours without leaking).

More than 100 drains had to be replaced on the school. Strober-Wright suggested using OMG SpeedTite drains, as they could be installed more efficiently than conventional drain replacement and caused less disruption in the building.

More than 100 drains had to be replaced on the school. Strober-Wright suggested using OMG SpeedTite drains, as they could be installed more efficiently than conventional drain replacement and caused less disruption in the building.


After the drains were flashed in, the clamping ring and strainer dome were installed. “The drains are flashed with the base ply and then a piece of the cap sheet over that, so it’s a two-ply flashing system,” notes Wright. “The architect here specified an 8-foot tapered sump, and that’s a nice thing because you have an 8-foot area around the drain that’s really going to flow. It works really well.”

A Tough Schedule

Work on the project began in late June and was completed in late August, just in time for the school year to begin. Crews averaged 12 people and completed approximately 50 squares of roof per day.

According to Wright, the toughest part of the project was the tight schedule, which was made even more difficult due to inclement weather. “It was a wet summer,” he says. “It seemed like we were constantly battling rain, and we had to make sure we didn’t get behind the eight-ball on the schedule. You can’t work when it’s raining. You have to just batten down the hatches and prepare to get started the next day.”

After the drains were flashed in, the clamping ring and strainer dome were installed. The drains feature an internal vortex breaker.

After the drains were flashed in, the clamping ring and strainer dome were installed. The drains feature an internal vortex breaker.

The company followed the weather report closely to plan each day’s production. “We have a weather company out of Hackettstown we use called Weatherworks,” Wright says. “When it comes to the weather—up to the minute, 24 hours a day—they are on top of it. They deal with nothing but New Jersey weather. We pay for the service, but it’s well worth it. Saving one day’s worth of work can pay for the whole year’s subscription.”

Despite the weather, work was completed on time and on budget. The project achieved the priorities the school system wanted: a durable, energy-efficient roof system with a 25-year warranty. “It’s a great system,” Wright states. “We make our bread and butter on these jobs. We hit our deadline, and now it’s on to the next one.”

TEAM

Architect: Parette Somjen Architect LLC, Rockaway, N.J., Planetpsa.com
Roofing Contractor: Strober-Wright Roofing Inc., Lambertville, N.J., Stroberwright.com

Photos: OMG Roofing Products Inc.

New Roof and Building Upgrades Provide Security for Florida Day Care Center

The Joseph Caleb Center

The Joseph Caleb Center received a building envelope upgrade that included a new modified bitumen roof for the low-slope sections and a new standing seam metal roof on steep-slope sections at the perimeter. Photos: Polyglass USA Inc.

The Joseph Caleb Center in Miami caters to a very young clientele, but the building housing the early childhood education center was definitely showing its age. The existing roof was failing, the concrete walls were cracked, and the window seals were broken. The restoration project was a complicated one, with several roof and wall systems that had to be tied in together. Luckily, that’s just the type of project Errol Portuondo likes. Portuondo is the owner of Florida Building & Supply in Miami, which focuses primarily on commercial restoration and re-roofing projects. The company restored the building, topping it with a new self-adhered, modified bitumen roof system and crowning it with a standing seam metal roof around the perimeter.

“We handle the whole envelope,” Portuondo notes. “That’s what sets us apart. That’s our niche. We like to go into these projects that have four, five, six items—the kind of projects other companies avoid. Most people like to handle the easy stuff—get in and get out. We like to tackle the harder type projects that require a lot of thinking.”

Complicated Scope of Work

The project required a roof system that was Energy Star rated and would comply with South Florida’s requirements for high velocity hurricane zones. Furthermore, the building would remain open during the roofing installation process, so the roof system could not give off any fumes or volatile organic compounds (VOCs). A self-adhered modified bitumen roof system from Polyglass USA Inc. was chosen for the flat roof sections because of its high reflectivity, durability, and ease of installation, as well as the lack of any odor.

The existing roof consisted of a mechanically attached modified system surrounded by a standing seam metal roof. Florida Building & Supply first removed the metal roof system, as it partially covered the flat roof. After the steep-slope sections were dried in with 30-pound felt and Englert MetalMan HT self-adhered underlayment, crews began to tear off the old modified system. Everything was removed down to the lightweight insulating concrete (LWIC) that had been installed over the metal deck.

The day care center

The day care center was open during the restoration project, so the safety plan included moving the children’s playground during the roof installation. Photos: Polyglass USA Inc.

The specification called for adhering polyiso insulation directly to the lightweight with OlyBond 500 adhesive from OMG Roofing Products, so making sure the LWIC was in good shape was crucial. Core samples were taken of the roof and subjected to a series of adhesion and compression tests required by the county. “We passed all of the tests and got all of the approvals regarding the lightweight, and we installed the insulation and the Polyglass system on top of that,” Portuondo says. “We like using that system because it is easy to install and allows us to salvage the lightweight. It also gives you really great uplift resistance.”

Crews installed tapered polyiso insulation manufactured by Hunter Panels to a custom-designed layout provided by ABC Supply Co. Insulation ranged in thickness from more than 5 inches to a minimum of 1 ½ inches. After the existing roof system was removed, Portuondo realized that the deck could not be penetrated without potentially damaging the structure, affecting the placement of emergency overflows. “Some of the existing buildings weren’t designed like they are today, so you have to work with the existing drains and make sure you can take care of the water through emergency overflows if any drains should get clogged,” he says.

After the insulation was installed, the 20,000-square-foot low-slope section was ready for the Polyglass three-ply, self-adhered modified bitumen roof system. Elastoflex SA V, a self-adhered SBS modified bitumen membrane, was used for the base and interply sheets. The surface layer consisted of Polyfresko G SA, a white, self-adhered APP modified bitumen cap sheet manufactured with CURE Technology, a thin-film technology designed to improve the membrane’s durability, UV and stain resistance, and granule adhesion.

“What we like about the self-adhered system is that you can move on the roof quick and clean,” Portuondo says. “Sometimes the intake of the mechanical units is up on the roof, and with a hot asphalt application, you have to be careful with any fumes. That’s not a consideration with the self-adhered system. It’s very clean and very fast, especially if you are about to get a rainstorm. You can get a barrier installed very quickly on the roof as opposed to hot asphalt or a torch system.”

Details, Details

Once the new low-slope roof was installed, work began on the new standing seam metal roof manufactured by Englert. Tying in the metal roof with the modified roof was relatively easy, according to Portuondo, but other details were more problematic.

The last steps included perimeter metal trim and gutters. “We work closely with the manufacturers based on their inspection process and when there are certain details,” notes Portuondo. “In this specific project, there were a lot of details.”

Waterproofing the skylights

Waterproofing the skylights was tricky, as the glass extended under the metal roof and ended just a few inches from the new modified bitumen roof system. In these sections, Polyflash 2C, an odor free, fluid-applied flashing system from Polyglass, was used. Photos: Polyglass USA Inc.

Florida Building & Supply also handled repairing and painting the perimeter of the building. Hairline fractures in the concrete block walls were repaired with epoxy injections prior to painting. Crews also re-caulked and waterproofed all of the windows and skylights, including glass walls that extended under the metal roof at the top and ended at the bottom just a few inches from the modified roof system.

“That tie-in was very difficult because by the time you ended your base flashings for the modified, you were right at the glazing,” Portuondo says. “For those areas, the only solution was the Polyglass Polyflash 2C kit.” Polyflash 2C is an odor free, fluid-applied flashing system that is UV-stable.

Setting up the plan of attack in advance was crucial, notes Portuondo, but with any older building, you have to be ready to adapt as the job progresses. “You don’t really know structurally what you’re going to run into until you start to tear off,” he says. “Sometimes what you find under the roof turns out to be different than you expected, and you have to make changes in the field.”

Safety is always the top concern for both employees and members of the public, notes Portuondo. “We moved the playground area and set up a safety perimeter fence,” he explains. “We made sure the children would not be harmed while we were installing the roof, so that was a logistical problem.”

The company is used to overcoming logistical problems. “Our forte is re-roofing existing buildings, and so they are always active,” he says. “We strive to do quality work and stay on top of everything. We’ve just been doing this for so long that we know what we’re doing.”

Re-Roofing of Shopping Center Poses Logistical Challenges

Southgate Shopping Center: Sebring, Florida

The re-roofing project of the shopping center totaled 79,556 square feet.

The re-roofing project of the shopping center totaled 79,556 square feet.

Roofing contractors often find themselves tackling re-roofs at shopping centers in piece-meal fashion, doing sections over the years as the budget allows. When property manager Southern Management and Development decided to remodel the entire Southgate Shopping Center in Sebring, Fla., in conjunction with Publix Markets’ replacement of their existing store at the location, they looked to Advanced Roofing to get the job done.

The scope of work included re-roofing three large sections of the retail plaza and a drugstore on the property. The roofing portions totaled 79,556 square feet.

Roof System

The roof specified was a two-ply modified bitumen system from Johns Manville. In the three large sections of the plaza, the existing built-up roof was completely torn off, while the drugstore was a re-cover project, notes Andrew Vik, estimator and project manager with Advanced Roofing’s Tampa branch, which operates under branch manager Michael Landolfi.

Roofing work started in November 2016 and was completed in February 2017. After the existing roof was removed, crews installed 2-inch polyiso to the steel deck. “We mechanically fastened that with a half-inch USG SecuRock cover board through the steel deck,” notes Vik. “The two plies of modified bitumen were then torch applied, a smooth base sheet and a white granulated cap sheet.”

On the drugstore, the roof was vacuumed, and the cover board and two plies were installed over the top of the old roof system.

In addition to the roofing scope, Advanced Roofing’s HVAC division installed and removed heating and air conditioning units and replaced some obstructive ductwork. “We had our own HVAC people working with our roofing crews, so it was easy to coordinate everything,” notes Vik. “We had HVAC installations on three of the buildings, and we remounted existing units on two of the buildings. There was also a lot of demolition on the south building, as there were several derelict units that
had been sitting there for quite some time. Those had to be hoisted off there and taken out.”

A Challenging Project

In addition to the roofing scope, Advanced Roofing’s HVAC division installed and removed heating and air conditioning units and replaced some obstructive ductwork.

In addition to the roofing scope, Advanced Roofing’s HVAC division installed and removed heating and air conditioning units and replaced some obstructive ductwork.


Logistics are often a challenge with a shopping center that remains open to the public, notes Vik. “You have to load and unload multiple levels of the roof at different times,” he says. “Customer relations is also a challenge; you have to keep everyone happy and ask a lot of questions. The construction manager has to do a lot of P.R. when he’s there.”

Demolition portions of the project were done at night and application during the day, so business at the mall was never disrupted. Traffic in the parking area was also a key concern.

“Setup areas had to be barricaded and marked off while we were loading and unloading,” Vik says. “There was even a drive under bridge connecting two buildings that had to be re-roofed, so we always had to be mindful of people below.”

Parapet walls did not surround all portions of the roof, so safety precautions included a safety perimeter; employees outside the perimeter had to be harnessed and tied off to a portable fall protection anchor system by Raptor.

The project went off without a hitch, according to Vik. “The mall was 100 percent open during the entire project,” he says. “Things went very smoothly— especially for everything that was involved. One of our mottoes is, ‘The harder the job, the better.’ We like a challenge. We take on a lot of projects other companies shy away from.”

The keys to his company’s success are coordination and versatility, states Vik. “We do it all,” he says. “We didn’t have to get anybody from outside the company to work on the project. We did all the roofing, all of the HVAC, and all of the hoisting was done in-house. We’ve also got lightning protection inhouse, and we have a solar division. We have a great team. Everyone does their part to get the bids out and get the jobs done. It’s the best team I’ve ever worked with.”

Team

Roofing Contractor: Advanced Roofing Inc., Tampa, Fla.
Consultant: CBA Roof Consulting LLC, Lake Worth, Fla.
Roof System Manufacturer and Technical Support: Johns Manville, Denver

Standing Seam Metal Roofing Panel Minimizes Heat Retention

The standing seam metal roofing panels do not require the use of clips.

The standing seam metal roofing panels do not require the use of clips.

Accel Roofing Products, a division of ATAS International Inc., has introduced Colonial Seam, a standing seam metal roofing panel.
 
Colonial Seam is a clipless panel that offers a standing seam aesthetic with factory formed advantages.  It is installed by locking the one-piece panel into the previous panel and fastening through pre-punched slots, allowing for expansion and contraction.  All fasteners are concealed by the adjacent panel. The positive locking action makes it virtually impossible for the panels to slide apart.
 
Panels are available in widths of 12-3/8-inches and 16-3/8-inches, with a 1-inch seam height, in .032 aluminum and 24 gauge metallic coated steel.  Both substrates have the same PVDF paint finish in a variety of colors.  Colonial Seam can be installed on any solid surface with a minimum slope of 3:12.  
 
Colonial Seam is a solution to metal roofing for both new construction and re-roofing.  The standing seam panel offers an alternative to other roofing materials.  It provides the benefits of metal roofing with ease of installation, since this is a one-piece panel that does not require the use of clips.
 
Lower energy consumption and reduction in energy bills can be achieved by the use of Colonial Seam.  Depending upon several factors, including the panel color chosen, the slope of the roof, and the location of the building, up to 70 percent of the sun’s energy may be reflected away from the home, minimizing heat retention and keeping the home cooler.

Summer Safety Tips for Roofing Workers

Summer, the prime season for inspections and reroofing projects, is here. Before dropping the phone to drag out the ladders and survey the scene for broken flashing and missing shingles, here are five important summer safety rules every roofing contractor needs to respect before venturing out into the summer sun.

Before dropping the phone to drag out the ladders and survey the scene for broken flashing and missing shingles, here are five important summer safety rules every Florida roofing contractor needs to respect before venturing out into the summer sun.

Before dropping the phone to drag out the ladders and survey the scene for broken flashing and missing shingles, there are important summer safety rules every roofing contractor needs to respect.

Summer Safety Tips

1. Early To Rise
No one can control the weather, know how hot the day is going to get or predict with 100 percent accuracy when it will start to rain in the afternoon. However, contractors can control their day by getting an early morning start to avoid as much of the sun’s summer rays and afternoon rain as possible. Getting the bulk of the work done before the hottest point of the day is Roofing 101—and the key to surviving in summer heat.

2. Hydration Is Key
As reported by The New York Times, “Last year (2014) was the hottest on earth since record-keeping began.” The trend is continuing, with the warmest winter since 1880, according to the National Climatic Data Center. What does this mean for the summer of 2015? It probably means that a meteorology degree won’t be needed to predict the long heat wave that is undoubtedly in the forecast for this summer.

The best tip for surviving the extreme summer heat is staying hydrated. The human body is made up of 60 percent water, which is why the body is dependent on water to function. Water intake helps digest food, take nutrients and oxygen to all the cells of the body, and lubricate joints while cushioning organs.

Standing on the roof, directly in the path of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, causes the body to sweat. And while sweating regulates body temperature, excessive sweating without replenishment can lead to dehydration, fainting and many other serious ailments. Drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after every roofing project should be the plan of action for all contractors working in the heat.

3. Keep It Cool
Standing on top of a roof, there is usually no shade to protect a roofer from the sun’s rays. Taking an ample amount of breaks in the shade, or air conditioning if available, while working through the hot sun is an important part in staying hydrated throughout the day.

4. Dress Appropriately
Appropriate clothes are the body’s first line of defense against the sun. Shirts designed to keep you cool, such Dri-Fit or ClimaCool, are a great way to beat the heat in the summer. These fabrics are breathable and wick moisture from the body.

Don’t forget about the importance of a good pair of shoes. Finding shoes that have a great resistance to wear-and-tear and have a slip-resistant sole are two important features for roofing footwear attire.

Finally, sunscreen is a roofer’s best short-term defense against burns and long-term safeguard when it comes to preventing skin cancer. To aid in a roofer’s fight against dehydration and other ailments caused by the sun, a layer of sunscreen should cover all body parts not shielded by clothing—it is the final piece to every roofer’s summer uniform.

5. Rain, Rain, Go Away
Rain is a huge hindrance for roofers. Slipping and falling is just one reason why sites like BankRate.com and BusinessInsider.com rank roofing as one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. So although the heat is dangerous, working in the rain is also very risky.

Wet shingles are heavier to carry onto a roof, felt is more likely to bubble up or rip, and the dangers of tripping and falling are real. And while it may be tempting to try and save an hour or two, the risk is not worth the reward. Avoid all of these potential hazards and do not roof in the rain.

Safety in the Sunshine

Make the most of the summer weather, but don’t throw caution to the wind. Get an early start, stay hydrated, take plenty of breaks, dress appropriately and be careful in the rain. It’s every contractor’s guide to conquering summer.

PHOTO: HitchClip