Roof Restoration Project Keeps Rehab Facility Operating


Applying the Coating

The Center Avenue project involved an existing EPDM roof that was surrounded by a standing seam metal roof, which was in excellent shape. The first step was to have a service crew go over the existing EPDM roof and repair any stress fractures and separating seams. The roof was then thoroughly cleaned with a pressure washer. For EPDM roofs such as this one, a cleaning solution is applied and the roof is power washed a second time to remove all residue.

Once the prep work was completed, crews applied the high-solids silicone coating at a rate of 2 gallons per 100 square feet of membrane area.

Because the flat roofs were so close to the standing seam roof sections, the coating was applied with rollers to minimize the chance of overspray. “As Northern Colorado is known for its wind, the decision was made very early in the proposal process that we would opt for a roller-applied method versus spraying,” says Steeves.

Steeves notes that the application was ideal for this location because it resulted in minimal disruption to the facility. The application has no fumes or toxic chemicals, so the site could remain open to serve patients during the project. “We didn’t disrupt the employees or the patients one bit, except for the day we blocked the parking lot with the crane,” Steeves says. “That’s one of the huge benefits of a restoration versus a replacement or re-cover—it’s so non-intrusive.”

The decision to apply a coating was made in part because it would cause minimal disruption to the facility and the site could remain open to serve patients during the application.

The decision to apply a coating was made in part because it would cause minimal disruption to the facility and the site could remain open to serve patients during the application.

Workers wore standard personal protective equipment and safety glasses. “The safety issues were pretty straightforward,” Steeves says. “The perimeter walls were short, so we had to have safety lines and warning flags set up, and we used a safety monitor.”

Logistics were the biggest challenge on the project, which covered 21,863 square feet of membrane on 10 separate roof levels. Cranes were used to bring materials to the roof and take away any trash or debris. Material was staged in three different spots so the roof was not overloaded, and the setup was designed to optimize efficiency. “Coordination of materials, equipment and personnel was critical,” says Steeves.

In addition, there were more than 300 concrete pavers that had to be moved out of the way temporarily for different phases of the project. “The 2-foot-by-2-foot pavers were 2 inches thick,” Steeves notes. “They were about 90 pounds apiece. We moved them by hand twice to complete each walkway area.”

The surface temperature of the black EPDM membrane was also an issue. “With the use of an infrared camera, we determined the surface temperatures were hitting in excess of 180 degrees, and we had to adjust our plan of action as to apply the coating either early in the day or late in the day to help retard the surface cure process.”

According to Steeves, Columbine Health Systems is pleased with the restored roof, which has the added benefit of lower surface temperature with the white coating, which reduces summer cooling costs. “The surface temperature showed a dramatic change from black to white,” he says. “The white roof surface temperature has never exceeded 105 degrees.”

This photo shows a completed section of one of the wings.

This photo shows a completed section of one of the wings.

Timing Is Everything

For Skyline Roof Restoration, the project was just another case of doing what was best for the client. “It demonstrates our ability to recognize the condition of a particular roof system and to propose productive, proactive, cost-effective measures to enable property owners to maximize their investment,” Steeves says. “The silicone restoration application is also environmentally friendly in that in its use eliminates bringing all the debris from a tear-off to a landfill and all the associated environmental impacts associated with a new roof system.”

Steeves points out that timing is a crucial consideration with a roof coating. “No roofing system out there works on everything, but in the right situation, a roof restoration can be an excellent option,” he concludes. “Whenever a membrane roof is about to come out of its warranty period, I’m always suggesting that a building owner look at this option. If you wait until you start developing leaks, you might miss the opportunity to use a coating.”

Roof Materials

Silicone Coating: GE Enduris 3502 High Solids Silicone Roof Coating, GE Momentive

Photos: Skyline Roof Restoration Inc.

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About Chris King

Chris King is the editor in chief of Roofing magazine. He has covered the construction industry for 18 years, previously serving as editor of Roofing Contractor, managing editor of the Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, and associate editor of Plumbing & Mechanical. He can be reached by email at chris@roofingmagazine.com.

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