Three Polyiso Roof Insulation Options to Simplify Your Next Job

Pre-fabricated roof sumps direct water to a center drain point, helping to ensure proper drainage and minimizing installation time. Photos: Hunter Panels

As a roofing professional, you undoubtedly are familiar with polyiso insulation, as it is used in 70 percent or more of the commercial roofs in North America. Polyiso is popular with roofing professionals because it offers a high R-value per inch, is affordable, readily available, compatible with many roofing systems and meets both FM 4450 and UL 1256.

While you likely have specified or installed flat stock polyiso products, you might be less familiar with specialized product make-ups, which can help you simplify roof insulation jobs. Three options to be aware of are:

  1. Tapered systems
  2. Pre-cut hips and valleys
  3. Pre-fabricated sumps

Tapered Systems

As roofing professionals know, water is the enemy of the roof assembly. To prevent ponding and provide a positive slope to drain, polyiso insulation manufacturers offer sloped panels. Tapered polyiso typically comes in 4-foot-by-4-foot or 4-foot-by- 8-foot panel sizes, and in various compressive strengths. Commonly available slopes (per foot) include 1⁄16 inch, 1⁄8 inch, 3⁄16 inch, 1⁄4 inch, 3⁄8 inch and 1⁄2 inch. Tapered systems range from two-panel to eight-panel repeats, with such systems including varying thicknesses of flat polyiso insulation to complete the taper profile.

Photos: Hunter Panels

Tapered polyiso insulation installs similar to flat stock polyiso insulation, using adhesives or fasteners. As with multi-layer flat stock installations, when installing tapered products, crews should stagger the joints between layers to reduce potential pathways for airflow and condensation within the insulation layers.

Full-service polyiso manufacturers can design a tapered insulation layout based on the roof plan and specified R-value. They then will provide shop drawings showing where to place each tapered and flat stock panel to ensure positive slope and effective drainage across the entire roof.

Pre-Cut Hips and Valleys

In addition to the one-way sloped tapered panels discussed above, roofing professionals have access to pre-cut hips and valleys made of polyiso insulation. The hips and valleys help direct water on more complex roof designs. Well-equipped manufacturers will custom design and fabricate pre-cut, one-piece polyiso hips and valleys to meet your jobsite requirements including slope, and minimum and maximum thicknesses.

While crews can form hips and valleys by field-cutting tapered panels, ordering the pre-cut, one-piece panels reduces labor time and costs, as well as dumpster fees. It also prevents material waste caused by cutting errors.

Pre-Fabricated Sumps

Going a step farther in slope complexity, and further reducing ponding water, some polyiso insulation manufacturers offer pre-fabricated roof sumps. Commonly available as 4-foot-by-4 foot panels that ship flat, pre-fabricated sumps direct water from four directions to a center drain point. Some manufacturers also offer 8-foot-by-8-foot hinged sumps for greater design flexibility. All of these sumps offer a variety of starting thicknesses at the drain from 1/2 inch to 2 inches.

Choosing a Polyiso Supplier

Roofing professionals can obtain polyiso roof insulation from several suppliers. Which one is right for you? Following are a few factors to consider to help simplify your next roofing job.

  • Access to technical support: Some polyiso manufacturers provide customers with a variety of technical services. Having access to designers and estimators who work every day with specialized polyiso products takes the guesswork out of the process for you, saving time and money while helping ensure a high-quality roof.
  • Ready availability: Choosing a supplier with facilities throughout the country helps ensure timely access to specialty polyiso insulations when you need them.
  • Training support: To help your crews get up to speed faster on working with specialized polyiso roof insulation systems, look for a manufacturer that offers training support — whether via online videos, in person or on the jobsite.

Proper Storage and Handling of Polyiso Insulation

Photo: SOPREMA

Punxsutawney Phil certainly got it right this year; we have had six more weeks of winter — and then some — particularly in the Northeast. As winter turns to spring, building and repair projects which frequently involve the roof get underway. As you commence these new and re-roofing initiatives, here are a few key considerations about the storage and handling of polyiso roof insulation on a jobsite.

Storage

Polyiso insulation is typically shipped protected by a plastic wrap, plastic bag or both. This factory packaging is intended for handling the polyiso in the manufacturing plant and during transit; it should not be relied upon as protection at jobsites or other outdoor storage locations unless specified otherwise by the manufacturer.

Material delivery should be carefully coordinated with the roof application schedule to minimize outdoor storage. When short-term outdoor storage is necessary, whether at grade or on the roof deck, the following precautions should be observed:

  • Bundles should be stored flat above the ground utilizing included feet or on raised pallets. If possible, the bundles should be placed on a finished surface such as gravel, pavement, or concrete rather than on dirt or grass.
  • Unless specified otherwise by the manufacturer, cover the package and pallet with a waterproof cover, and secure to prevent wind displacement.

Note: Polyiso insulation is fully cured and fit for installation upon delivery. No additional storage time is required.

Handling

Photo: Johns Manville

Exercise care during handling of polyiso insulation to prevent breaking or crushing of the square edges and surfaces. Remove the polyiso bundles from trucks with proper equipment. Other means of mishandling, such as pushing pallets off the edge of the truck or “rolling” the pallet across the roof deck, must be avoided.

Product Application

Polyiso should always be installed on dry, clean roof decks in dry conditions. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding product application to ensure performance to the intended design life of the roofing system. Apply only as much polyiso roof insulation as can be covered by completed roofing the same day.

Construction Traffic

Avoid excessive traffic during roof construction of or on a completed roof surface. Although polyiso has been designed to withstand limited foot traffic, protection from damage by construction traffic and/or abuse is extremely important. Roof surface protection such as plywood should be used in areas where storage and staging are planned and heavy or repeated traffic is anticipated during or after installation.

Photo: Johns Manville

Some designers and membrane manufacturers specify the use of cover boards as a means of protecting the insulation. If specified, installers should ensure the cover board used is compatible with all components of the roofing system, is acceptable to the membrane manufacturer, and meets specified fire, wind, and code requirements.

Polyiso roof insulation, like other roofing materials, requires a proper understanding of storage, handling, and application to result in a properly constructed roof system. To find additional information about the proper storage and handling of polyiso insulation and for more technical information on polyiso roof and wall insulation, please visit www.polyiso.org.

Expert Crew Is Called in for Copper Roof Restoration Project

The dome on the Bradford County Courthouse was restored with copper panels during the first phase of a $3 million renovation project. Photos: Charles F. Evans Roofing Company Inc.

The octagonal dome atop the Bradford County Courthouse has been a fixture on the Towanda, Pennsylvania, skyline for more than 120 years. It now shines brightly after being restored with copper panels as part of a $3 million renovation project.

Built in the Classical and Renaissance revival styles in 1898, the four-story courthouse was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1987. The dome’s original roof tiles were recently replaced as part of the project, which also included the complete restoration of the structure’s main roof.

The Charles F. Evans Company Inc., the union division of Evans Roofing Company Inc., headquartered in Elmira, New York, has a long history of successfully tackling projects with historical significance. C&D Waterproofing Corp., the general contractor on the project, reached out to the firm for support assessing the roofing portion of the project. The two companies teamed up on the project, with C&D Waterproofing handling the masonry restoration work and Charles F. Evans Company installing the roof systems.

The roofing work consisted of two phases. Phase One, which began in April of 2016, involved replacing the deteriorated terracotta tiles on the dome with soldered flat seam copper panels. Phase Two, which began in April of 2017, involved installing batten seam copper roofing on main structure and new copper flashings, gutters and downspouts.

Safety First

Construction Manager Bill Burge of Charles F. Evans Company was thrilled to be part of this historic project. Before

Originally completed in 1898, the courthouse was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1987. The building’s main roof was removed and replaced with a copper batten seam roof after work on the dome was completed. Photos: Charles F. Evans Roofing Company Inc.

concentrating on the installation details, he knew the company would focus on the top priority. “Safety is number one,” says Burge. “Safety comes before profits. Safety comes before everything. We always want to make sure we have the right safety plan going into the job, and throughout the job, we are maintaining that plan and working that plan. We want our guys to go home to their families at the end of the day, so that’s key for us.”

Burge worked as a union carpenter for 10 years before joining the company more than seven years ago. He found he had an affinity for sheet metal work. “The craftsmanship and quality goes hand in hand with carpentry,” Burge says. “Everything starts with the carpentry. You have to have your base perfect; otherwise, everything from there on out doesn’t work. Sheet metal is a finished product, typically, especially in our business, so things have to be done right. Things have to be done to the highest standard of quality, because that’s what people see.”

The dome was designed to be a showpiece, and Field Superintendent Brian Babcock and his crew of qualified union sheet metal mechanics knew they would be held to an exacting standard. “The key to this project and every project is our talented mechanics in the field,” Burge says. “Charles F. Evans Company is nothing without this talent—they deserve all of the credit.”

Around the Dome

Phase One began with the removal of the tiles on the dome. “The ceramic tile was laid over open steel purlins,” Burge notes.

Charles F. Evans Roofing Company handled the roofing portion of the project, while C&D Waterproofing Corp. served as the general contractor and performed masonry restoration work. Photos: Charles F. Evans Roofing Company Inc.

“There was open framing with quarter-inch steel angle for the purlins, and each piece if tile was wired on. The removal process was fairly simple. You could actually lift up the bottom of the tile and snap it off.”

The removal work had to be done in sections and dried in every night. “One of the hardest things about this process was we had to install two layers of half-inch plywood over the steel purlins and anchor those down,” says Burge.

The plywood was attached to vertical two-by-fours, which were screwed into the purlins. The plywood was covered with one layer of Warrior 30-pound felt paper, Meadows Red Rosin Paper, and Grace Ultra High Temp underlayment in gutter areas.

The built-in gutter at the base of the dome was torn out and re-framed. The new gutter was wider and deeper according to the recommendation of Levine & Company Inc., the architect on the project. “We did everything to specification as Levine & Company drew it,” says Burge.

Once the cladding was completed on the gutter, the copper panels of the dome were installed. The 20-inch panels were made of 20-ounce, cold rolled copper, supplied by Revere Copper Products. Both the panels and cladding were fabricated in Charles F. Evans Company’s fabrication shop. The copper panels clip to each other and have a hem on four sides that clips

Custom flashing pieces were fabricated and installed where the copper roof panels met the base of the dome. Photos: Charles F. Evans Roofing Company Inc.

to the adjacent panel fastened to the deck. At the top of each panel, a hook clips off to the plywood, and the hook is covered by the panel directly above it.

Burge points out that the octagonal structure of the dome helped speed up the installation of the copper panels. “There are eight hips on the dome,” he notes. “Every section of the dome is like a piece of pie, basically, so we were able to start the panels in various locations. We didn’t have to start at one end and go around the dome. We could move around.”

Repairing the statue on the top of the dome was also part of the scope of work. “We soldered copper patches on any damage the statue had,” Burge says. “C&D Waterproofing completely cleaned and buffed the statue and applied a copper coating.”

Across the Roof

After the work on the dome was completed, work began on the main roof. The existing roof was removed down to the existing steel deck. The lower roof also had a built-in, copper-clad gutter that had to be removed and reconstructed. After

Scaffolding systems were constructed for both phases of the project. Shown here is part of the system installed around the lower roof, which featured planks and guardrails at the eave and rake edges. Photos: Charles F. Evans Roofing Company Inc.

the gutter was completed, work on the main roof began. “After we completely cleaned the metal decking, we had to install a layer of Grace Ultra High Temp underlayment,” Burge recalls. “We then installed two-by-four wood sleepers, 2 feet on center.”

Crews installed 1.5 inches of polyiso insulation between the two-by-fours, followed by another 1.5-inch layer of polyiso. Pieces of 5/8-inch plywood were then screwed down to the sleepers. The plywood received 30-pound felt, and the battens were installed 20 inches on center. The seams were completed using a custom-designed mechanical seamer manufactured by Roll Former Corp.

Installation of the 12,000 square feet of copper panels went smoothly, but where panels met the dome, details were tricky. “Everything is pitched, and the dome has eight different sections sitting right in the center of the structure,” Burge explains. “A lot of time and energy went into fabricating and installing custom flashing pieces at the base of the dome.”

The Safety Plan

A scaffolding system was the key to the safety plan for both phases of the project. “For Phase One, we had to remove a portion of the roofing system and put down some plywood on top of the existing roofing in order to build a scaffold to access the dome,” Burge says.

This photo shows the main roof before restoration work began. Photos: Charles F. Evans Roofing Company Inc.

Scaffolding was constructed to the eave edge of the copper dome, allowing the gutter to be removed. Ladders were used to access the dome and personal fall arrest systems were attached into HitchClips from Safety Anchor Fall Equipment, LLC, which served as individual anchor points. “We continued that process as we went up, using ladder jacks,” says Burge. “We continued with that plan, and never deviated.”

After Phase One was completed, the scaffolding was removed, and another scaffolding system was installed around the entire lower roof. Phase Two required planks and pre-engineered guardrails at the eave and rake edges. “Part of process of installing this roof included installing new safety anchors at various locations, and as we finished up, we were able to use those anchors as tie-off points,” Burge points out.

Phase Two is scheduled for completion in early November, and Burge has high praise for everyone involved with the project. “Levine & Co. Inc. is the architecture firm on the project,” he says. “We didn’t deter from any details developed. They drove this thing. We have worked with them on a great many projects in the past, and we have a great comfort level with them.”

Copper panels, cladding and details were fabricated in Charles F. Evans Company’s metal shop. Photos: Charles F. Evans Roofing Company Inc.

The masonry and roofing work had to be well coordinated. “C&D Masonry & Waterproofing progressed ahead of us with items that we needed to be done, and then came back behind us to mortar all of the counter flashings back into the dome,” Burge says. “They were right there with us every step of the way.”

Finding the right combination of workers for this project was crucial, according to Burge. “We had one of our best crews on this project for a reason,” he says. “This project was led by Brian Babcock of Sheet Metal Local 112, and he was essential in putting this whole thing together. He’s been with Charles F. Evans Company for 20 years, and his leadership and focus is the reason this project is going to be successful.”

Ornate sheet metal work is rare these days, but the art is not lost at Charles F. Evans Company. “We’ve been doing this work for 60-plus years,” Burge says. “This knowledge and this workmanship has been handed down generation after generation. We wouldn’t have taken on this project if we didn’t have the confidence in our employees that we do.”

Historic restoration projects are becoming an increasingly bigger chunk of the company’s portfolio, notes Burge. “We do a lot of work with older universities and businesses that have these types of buildings,” he says. “A lot of buildings need this type of work, and it’s a trade not everyone else has. This is a craft that takes years to master. We harness that, we build from within, and we bring in young guys and teach them how to do it the right way. We have a great mix of people ages 23 up to 60, and it’s learned, it’s taught, and it’s preached.”

Burge is hopeful the new roof will last at least as long as its predecessor. “This is the one thing that makes Charles F. Evans Company special to me: the fact that what we do from an architectural sheet metal standpoint, from a slate, copper, tile roof standpoint—these roofs will last 100, 150 years, and it is artwork,” he says. “The fact that you’re a part of something that’s been around since the turn of the last century—to me it doesn’t get any better than that.”

TEAM

Architect: Levine & Company Inc., Ardmore, Pennsylvania, Levineco.net
Construction Manager: C&D Waterproofing Corp., Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, CDwaterproofingcorp.com
Roofing Contractor: Charles F. Evans Roofing Co. Inc., Elmira, New York, Evans-roofing.com

MATERIALS

Copper Supplier: Revere Copper Products, Reverecopper.com
Synthetic Underlayment: Grace Ultra High Temp, GCP Applied Technologies, GCPat.com
Mechanical Seamer: Roll Former Corp., Rollformercorp.com
Anchor Points: HitchClip, Safety Anchor Fall Equipment, LLC, Hitchclip.com

Polyiso Insulation Contains No Halogenated Flame Retardants

VersicoVersico Roofing Systems introduces its VersiCore MP-H NH and SecurShield NH polyiso insulations. According to the manufacturer, these products provide the same performance characteristics as standard polyiso products but contain no halogenated flame retardants. VersiCore MP-H NH and SecurShield NH are Living Building Challenge “Red List Free” with Declare label and product database listing. They are also California Department of Public Health (CDPH) VOC emissions compliant and can contribute toward LEED v4 credit requirements, according to the company.

“VersiCore MP-H NH and SecurShield NH meet all the same performance characteristics of our standard polyiso products, including stringent UL and FM fire testing requirements, without the use of halogenated flame retardants,” said Chad Buhrman, Versico’s Insulation Product Manager. “These new products are Living Building Challenge ‘Red List Free’ and now provide a choice for building owners and specifiers seeking insulation products with no added halogenated flame retardants.”

VersiCore MP-H NH and SecurShield NH are manufactured in Montgomery, N.Y., on a made-to-order basis. As demand requires, additional manufacturing locations will be brought online and more products will be made available.

For more information, www.versico.com.

Firestone Showcases New Polyiso Insulation at AIA

Firestone Building Products Company LLC is featuring its newest formulation of polyiso insulation at the American Institute of Architects Conference on Architecture (AIA) April 27-29, 2017 in Orlando, Fla.

According to the company, the new formulation is equipped with the highest R-value per-inch in cold temperatures. The Firestone polyiso offering includes ISO 95+ GL Insulation, RESISTA Insulation and ISOGARD HD Cover Board.
 
“As a company, we’ve always been committed to manufacturing products that help ensure a healthy environment for current and future generations, and our newest polyiso formulation contributes to that vision,” says Ed Klonowski, ISO product manager at Firestone Building Products. “Architects can depend on our polyiso to provide their clients with a high-performing product that works to minimize energy use and reduce waste.”

Show attendees can learn about the new insulation at Firestone Building Products booth 1613, and can also see the company’s self-adhered offering, Secure Bond Technology. 

Secure Bond Technology is a factory-applied, pressure-sensitive adhesive that ensures coverage across the membrane and establishes one of the strongest bonds possible. According to the company, it significantly outperforms liquid LVOC adhesives and has no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), making it safer for building occupants and the environment. The Secure Bond Technology liner is also non-hazardous and 100 percent recyclable. Firestone Building Products currently offers UltraPly TPO SA and RubberGard EPDM SA with Secure Bond Technology.

AIA attendees will also have a chance to take home a Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II at the Firestone Building Products booth. 

Laminated Cover Board Features Foam Insulation

ShieldBase 180 Laminated Cover Board provides a 2-in-1 composite layer cover board solution for commercial roofing applications.

ShieldBase 180 Laminated Cover Board provides a 2-in-1 composite layer cover board solution for commercial roofing applications.

IKO ShieldBase 180 Laminated Cover Board provides a 2-in-1 composite layer cover board solution offering versatility for commercial roofing applications.

ShieldBase 180 is a composite of 1/2-inch high compressive IKOTherm CoverShield polyiso insulation that is factory laminated to a 180-gram polyester reinforced SBS modified bitumen base sheet.

The CoverShield layer of the product features a foam insulation with thermal properties, which offers insulation protection and an R-value of 2.5.

The dual selvage, self-adhering edges of the product allow for easy joining of the base to the adjacent ShieldBase 180 boards.

It can be applied as a mechanically fastened system, offering a fastening pattern of 18-inch on-center to reduce material and labor. Additionally, ShieldBase 180 Cover Board may be adhered with IKO Millennium Adhesive or fully adhered with hot asphalt.

IKO provides a full suite of asphalt low slope roofing systems and accessories, including built-up roofing (BUR), cold applied, heat welded, self adhered and more. In addition, IKO offers building envelope and bridge deck and waterproofing membrane systems and accessories, along with wall insulation and air/vapor barrier systems.

For more information on ShieldBase 180 and details on IKO’s commercial roofing system solutions, visit the website.

Polyiso Insulation Is Environmentally Friendly

Polyiso insulation is environmentally-friendly and requires 85 percent less embodied energy to manufacture.

Polyiso insulation is environmentally-friendly and requires 85 percent less embodied energy to manufacture.

Firestone Building Products Company LLC has introduced its new formulation of polyiso insulation.
 
The formulation is equipped with a high R-value per-inch in cold temperatures. Firestone polyiso outperforms mineral wool and competing polyiso boards when it comes to both R-value and cost savings. Benefits include:

  • Outperforms the industry standard by up to 18 percent
  • Competing polyiso boards require an additional .25 inches to meet an R25 value at 40F
  • Fewer inches of polyiso translates to cost savings for building owners. A 500,000 square-foot roof can equate up to $40,000 in savings.
  • Polyiso is environmentally-friendly and requires 85 percent less embodied energy to manufacture. Polyiso can also be recycled and reused, while mineral wool cannot.

 
 
The Firestone polyiso offering includes ISO 95+ GL Insulation, RESISTA Insulation and ISOGARD HD Cover Board.
 
Secure Bond Technology is a pressure-sensitive adhesive that ensures coverage across the membrane and establishes a strong bond.
 
This technology installs up to five times faster than traditional fully adhered applications and allows installation in temperatures as low as 20 and as high as 120F. Secure Bond Technology’s self-bonding membrane eliminates the need to apply adhesives and wait for flash off.
 
Additionally, Secure Bond Technology has no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), making it safe for the contractor, building occupants and the environment. The Secure Bond Technology liner is also non-hazardous and recyclable. Firestone Building Products currently offers UltraPly TPO SA and RubberGard EPDM SA with Secure Bond Technology.
 

 

NRCA Aims to Increase Awareness During National Roofing Week

Roofs are one of the most important parts of our homes, schools and businesses. But they’re often ignored until in need of repair or replacement. During National Roofing Week, July 5-11, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) aims to increase awareness about the importance of hiring professional roofing contractors and making informed decisions about maintaining or replacing any roof system.

“National Roofing Week is about raising the public’s awareness about not only how vital a roof is, but also the importance of professional roof installation and maintenance to ensure safe, long lasting roof systems,” says Bill Good, CEO of NRCA. “Professional roofing contractors raise the bar for quality roof system work, and National Roofing Week helps homeowners and business owners make educated decisions when choosing a roofing professional.”

In honor of National Roofing Week, NRCA and King of Texas Roofing (Dallas) hosted a community service project, replacing the roof of Momentous Institute, owned and operated by the Salesmanship Club of Dallas. Momentous Institute is a nationally acclaimed lab school that provides therapeutic services to children and families in need in the Dallas area.

NRCA manufacturer members RMax (Dallas) OMG Roofing Supplies (Agawam, Mass.), Johns Manville (Denver), H&E Equipment Services (Dallas), Roofing Supply Group (Dallas) and Jim Whitten Roof Consultants (Austin, Texas) donated materials and labor for the project.

King of Texas Roofing re-covered 26,000 square feet of the nearly 20-year-old roof with 1-inch polyiso insulation and a 60-mil, white thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roof system. To celebrate National Roofing Week, NRCA is encouraging professional roofing contractors to participate in roofing or non-roofing related community service projects.

“In honor of National Roofing Week, we want to promote the good deeds of the roofing industry and emphasize the value of professional roofing contractors to the communities where they live and work,” says Good. “The best way to do that is through community service projects. We encourage all professional roofing contractors to engage with their communities and help in any way they can.”

During National Roofing Week, NRCA will recognize the winners of its annual Children’s Art Contest that was open to children in grades one through eight who are relatives of NRCA members and their employees. Contest winners will have their artwork featured on all 2015 National Roofing Week materials and displayed at industry events throughout the year.