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.

Vortex Breaker Strainer Dome Improves Drain Performance

OMG Roofing Products introduces the Vortex Breaker Strainer Dome

OMG Roofing Products introduces the Vortex Breaker Strainer Dome for retrofitting OMG Hercules Drains. The new strainer dome with built-in vortex breaker technology is designed to improve water flow from the roof. According to the manufacturer, independent studies demonstrate that when upgraded with the Vortex Breaker Strainer Dome, Hercules Drains offer up to 2.5 times greater flow capacity than Hercules Drains without vortex breaker technology. Faster water flow off the roof also means that the drains get excessive weight off the roof faster. In addition, the integrated vortex breaker technology greatly reduces the chugging effect that occurs when a vortex collapses, which can overload the plumbing system.

Vortex Breaker Strainer Domes are made of heavy-duty cast aluminum for long life on the roof. The safety yellow powder coat makes them easily visible on the roof, so they do not pose a trip hazard. The new domes are compatible with all 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-inch OMG Hercules and OMG Aluminum Classic drains, including thermoplastic coated versions, and are installed using only a screwdriver with a #2 square drive.

For additional information, please call the Customer Service team at OMG Roofing Products at (800) 633-3800.

TPO System Delivers Energy Efficiency for Company Headquarters

TurnKey Corrections constructed a new 115,000-square-foot in facility in River Falls, Wis.

TurnKey Corrections constructed a new 115,000-square-foot in facility in River Falls, Wis.

If you want it done right, do it yourself. Company owners Todd Westby and Tim Westby take a hands-on approach to running TurnKey Corrections, the River Falls, Wisconsin-based company that provides commissary and jail management services to county corrections facilities nationwide. The Westby brothers also take pride in the fact that TurnKey manufactures the kiosks it provides to its clients and develops and owns the proprietary software used to run them.

So, it’s perhaps not surprising that, when building the company’s new headquarters, Todd Westby, the company’s CEO, founder and general manager, served as the general contractor. Or that he had definite ideas regarding the roofing system that would be installed. Or that he was more than willing to get his hands dirty during the installation process.

Founded in 1998, TurnKey Corrections helps corrections facilities streamline and lower the cost of delivering a variety services to inmates, including commissary, email and email-to-text communication, video visitation, law library access, and paperless intra-facility communication and documentation. Following several years of robust growth, the company had outgrown its three existing buildings. So, it constructed a new 115,000-square-foot facility to bring all operations, including 50,000 square feet of office space and a 65,000 square-foot warehouse where commissary items are stored prior to shipment to corrections facilities, under a single roof and accommodate future success.

“We wanted to be involved in the project from beginning to end so we knew what we were getting and how it was built,” Todd Westby says of the decision to keep construction management in-house. “We wanted to know about anything and everything that was being built for the company in this building.”

In planning the project, Westby initially set two key criteria for the roofing system: that the building would be made watertight as quickly as possible so concrete slab pours and other interior work could be completed, and that the roof would be covered by a warranty of at least 20 years. The design-build firm’s initial plans called for a ballasted EPDM roofing system, but Rex Greenwald, president of roofing contractor TEREX Roofing & Sheet Metal LLC of Minneapolis, suggested a white TPO system, noting that it would meet the quick installation and warranty goals while also enhancing the building’s energy efficiency. Westby was intrigued and, after some research, agreed to the recommendation. In addition to helping reduce cooling costs during summer months, the reflective surface would allow a blanket of snow to remain on the roof during winter months to provide additional insulation.

The TPO roofing system was constructed over a 22-gauge metal fabricated roof deck.

The TPO roofing system was constructed over a 22-gauge metal fabricated roof deck.

The Roof System

The TPO roofing system included a 22-gauge metal fabricated roof deck; two 2.5-inch-thick layers of Poly ISO insulation from Mule-Hide Products Co., with tapered insulation saddles and crickets to aid drainage; and 811 squares of 60-mil white TPO membrane from Mule-Hide Products Co. The insulation and membrane were mechanically attached using the RhinoBond System from OMG Roofing Products. Cast iron roof drains, designed and installed by a plumber, were used rather than scuppers and downspouts—a practice that the TEREX team strongly recommends to prevent freezing during the cold Upper Midwest winters. Walkways lead to the mechanical units, protecting the membrane from damage when maintenance personnel need to access the equipment.

The TEREX team finds the RhinoBond System to be the most efficient and economical attachment method for TPO systems. Specially coated metal plates are used to fasten the insulation to the roof deck and then an electromagnetic welder is used to attach the membrane to the plates. The membrane is not penetrated, eliminating a potential entry point for moisture. And while other mechanical attachment methods require the crew to seam as they go, the RhinoBond System allows them to lay the entire membrane (a task which must be completed in good weather conditions) at once and go back later to induction weld the seams and plates, which can be done when Mother Nature is slightly less cooperative.

Greenwald estimates that the switch from the originally specified ballasted EPDM system to the TPO roofing system and RhinoBond System shaved at least 10 percent off the installation time and reduced the roof weight by 10 pounds per square foot.

Having Westby on-site as the general contractor also sped up the project considerably, Greenwald notes. “He was a huge asset to all of the subcontractors,” he explains. “We could get construction questions answered quickly and could talk through issues and procedures on a timely basis.”

And the most memorable moment in the project for Greenwald was seeing Westby working side-by-side with his crew. “One day we had a delivery truck show up, and Todd jumped on the forklift and helped us unload the truck.”

As sought from the project’s outset, the roofing system is backed by a 20-year, no-dollar-limit labor and material warranty.

With one winter of use in the rearview mirror, the roofing system has exceeded Westby’s expectations. Warehouse space was doubled, but heating costs have been cut in half. The 10-unit heating system also is able to keep the warehouse a uniform temperature, without the cold spots that were common in the old building.

“It really is a beautiful, very efficient and organized-looking roof,” Greenwald says.

Marathon Roofing Products Celebrates 50 Years

Marathon Roofing Products and owner Tod Cislo are celebrating a milestone of 50 years in business. Marathon Roofing Products is a manufacturer and distributor of commercial roof drains, vents, equipment, and accessories. They are committed to providing architects, specifiers, and contractors with products, competitive prices, and quality customer service.

Marathon was started in 1967 as a manufacturing facility of copper drains in Buffalo, N.Y., with an emphasis on growing their customer base and line of products. Since those beginnings, Marathon has expanded to its new facility in Orchard Park, N.Y., and now includes a second company called MRP Supports, which sells pedestal support products throughout the U.S., Canada, and countries abroad.

Marathon’s long-time employees work hard to ensure that they will continue to give the service that customers have been used to for all of these years. Marathon’s innovation, relationships with their customers, and their reputation for service will foster continued growth for the future.

OMG Roofing Will Showcase Upcoming Products at IRE

OMG Roofing Products is offering contractors a sneak peek at some upcoming products at this year’s International Roofing Expo, March 1 – 3, booth 1431 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

The sneak peeks will be held at OMG’s Exhibitor Product Clinics scheduled for 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the first two days of the show, March 1st and 2nd. During these demonstrations, OMG Roofing Products will showcase developments to the RhinoBond Induction Welding System, new drain products as well as updated edge metal products. The demonstrations, which will highlight roof-top productivity and performance benefits, are open to all IRE participants. Stadium seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

In addition to the sneak peeks, OMG Roofing Products will also hold a silent auction for a custom painted OMG PaceCart 3, a 15 Gallon Drum Conversion Kit, and two sets (a total of 60 gallons) of OlyBond500 in 15 Gallon Drums. The OlyBond package has an estimated value of over $11,000, and proceeds from the silent auction will benefit OMG’s named scholarship, which is part of the Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program offered through the National Roofing Contractors Association.

Headquartered in Agawam, Massachusetts, U.S.A., OMG Roofing Products is a global supplier of commercial roofing products including specialty fasteners, insulation adhesives, engineered edge metal systems, roof drains, pipe supports, repair tape as well as productivity tools such as RhinoBond. The company’s focus is delivering products and services that improve contractor productivity and enhance roof system performance.

OMG Roofing Products Promotes Two Executives to Manage Sales and Marketing

Kingbill Zhao, Asia market manager, is based in China and will support the greater Asian market.

Kingbill Zhao, Asia market manager, is based in China and will support the greater Asian market.

With the goal of accelerating growth in international markets, OMG Roofing Products creates market manager positions for both Asia and Europe. Two executives receive promotions into these roles. Kingbill Zhao, Asia market manager, is based in China and will support the greater Asian market. Lennard Spirig, Europe market manager, is based in Switzerland servicing the European market. Both are responsible for all OMG sales and marketing activities in their regions including developing products and services tailored to local market needs.

Kingbill Zhao joined OMG in 2009 as a roofing specialist and was promoted to China sales manager in 2011, where he was responsible for launching the OMG Roofing Products line in China. Since then, Kingbill has built a sales and customer service organization in China to support the company’s rapidly growing business. Prior to joining OMG, Kingbill was the international department manager for the China Waterproofing Association (CWA) where he worked with other international counterparts like National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), Germany Roofing Contractors Association (GRCA) to market China Roofing & Waterproofing Show internationally. In addition he organized Chinese company visits in US and Europe, and worked with organizations like FM Global and FLL to introduce approvals and standards to China.

Lennard Spirig, Europe market manager, is based in Switzerland servicing the European market.

Lennard Spirig, Europe market manager, is based in Switzerland servicing the European market.

“Lennard Spirig joined OMG in 2014 as Europe product marketing manager, responsible for marketing OMG products throughout Europe. Since then, Lennard has been a resource for helping to expand OMG’s footprint in Europe by assisting system manufacturer partners and by developing distribution in various European countries. Prior to joining OMG Roofing Products, Lennard spent 10 years as product manager for mechanical attachment with SFS Intec. Earlier he had been an international key account manager based in Mexico.

“OMG’s products are designed to enhance rooftop productivity and improve roof system performance,” said Web Shaffer, vice president of marketing. “Lennard and Kingbill will be focused on developing value-added products and services that meet local market needs in order to accelerate our growth in Europe and Asia respectively. I look forward to continuing to work with these two outstanding individuals.”

Headquartered in Agawam, Massachusetts, U.S.A., OMG Roofing Products is a supplier of commercial roofing products including specialty fasteners, insulation adhesives, roof drains, pipe supports, emergency repair tape as well as productivity tools such as the RhinoBond induction welding system. The company’s focus is delivering products and services that improve contractor productivity and enhance roof system performance.

Drain Is Drop-in Ready

SpeedTite is installed from the rooftop so it will not disrupt building occupants. The drop in ready drain has a one-piece seamless body for strength and durability as well as a cast aluminum strainer dome and clamping ring.

SpeedTite is installed from the rooftop so it will not disrupt building occupants. The drop-in ready drain has a one-piece seamless body for strength and durability as well as a cast aluminum strainer dome and clamping ring.

OMG Roofing Products introduces the SpeedTite Roof Drain, a drop-in ready drain that can be installed in seconds in new or retrofit applications.

Contractors insert the drain stem into the existing drain leader and hand-tighten the mechanical seal to create a symmetrical watertight seal. Since no special tools are required, the SpeedTite Drain installs in half the time of other insert drains for enhanced contractor productivity. It is also faster than re-working a drain which can take up to two hours of time.

SpeedTite is installed from the rooftop so it will not disrupt building occupants. The drop in ready drain has a one-piece seamless body for strength and durability as well as a cast aluminum strainer dome and clamping ring. The 10-inch long drain stem accommodates most existing conditions and can be field if needed or obtained in longer lengths. An extra large flange allows positive attachment of roof flashing membrane, and flanges are also available with TPO or PVC coatings for direct hot-air welding.

Headquartered in Agawam, Mass., OMG Roofing Products features specialty fasteners, insulation adhesives, drains, pipe supports, emergency repair tape, edge metal systems and productivity tools. The company’s focus is delivering products and services that improve contractor productivity and enhance roof system performance.

Roof Drains Designed for New Construction and Retrofits

Mule-Hide Products Co. has added a selection of roof drains to its offerings.

Mule-Hide Products Co. has added a selection of roof drains to its offerings.

Mule-Hide Products Co. has added a selection of roof drains to its offerings. For new construction, kits feature drains with heavy-duty bodies made of injection-molded PVC or epoxy-coated cast iron. For retrofit applications, options suit the requirements of any project and all are designed for quick, easy installation. Aluminum and copper outlets are available. Flange material choices include aluminum, asphalt, copper and—for contractors who prefer to heat-weld the flange to the outlet—TPO and PVC. All drains are available in multiple sizes with elevated strainer ring risers to increase water flow through the drain and clamping rings with undersides that ensure the drain ring is tightly secured to the roof membrane.

Trust in a Partner

By day, my husband Bart is an ag lender, loaning money to farmers for land, equipment and livestock. By night, he co-owns a sports bar in the lake town in which we live. When we got engaged, he joked about the roles I would soon be playing in his business. I laughed then, but once we moved in together and were married, I more consistently heard about the stressors he was experiencing in the bar business. Obviously, I wanted to take some of this stress off of him and, consequently, have been helping publicize the bar’s events for the past 10 weeks.

I’m no marketer, but I’ve been sharing knowledge from my career in magazines. I’ve started weekly meetings with the owners and managers, which has helped everyone’s communication. I’ve expanded the bar’s social media presence. And I’ve brought in one of my own trusted partners, a graphic designer who now is creating fliers, promos and coupons for the bar. At this point, I’m not sure whether my efforts truly are making a difference—though the bar has been packed the past few weekends—but I do know my husband is grateful to have me more involved.

Relying on trusted partners also can have a positive effect on your roofing business. For example, Pete Mazzuca III, co-founder, executive vice president and sales manager for Cal-Vintage Roofing of Northern California, Sacramento, explains his partnership with Santa Rosa, Calif.-based Ygrene Energy Fund in “Business Sense”. Through the partnership, Mazzuca’s roofing company now can offer customers YgreneWorks PACE financing for energy-efficiency and resiliency upgrades, including roofing, on their homes or businesses. Ygrene considers the equity in the property, not the personal credit of the owner, unlocking finance doors for entire groups of customers. Consequently, the partnership with Ygrene Energy Fund has increased Mazzuca’s business by 20 percent.

Trusting a partner’s expertise can ensure roofing projects meet a building owner’s needs while being cost-effective. In our “Cover Story”, Atlanta-based Diamond Roofing Co., which has its own sheet-metal shop, opted to partner with a supplier to source prefabricated edge metal for the roofing project at Gordon Hospital, Calhoun, Ga. The prefabricated edge metal had been formally tested to meet or exceed the FM 1-105 criterion required by hospital officials. In addition, by ordering the large volume of edge metal the hospital project needed, Diamond Roofing saved time and labor costs.

Last but not least, Thomas W. Hutchinson, AIA, FRCI, RRC, CSI, RRP, principal of Hutchinson Design Group Ltd., Barrington, Ill., and a member of Roofing’s editorial advisory board, often regales us with stories from his in-the-field experiences. In “From the Hutchinson Files”, Hutch explains how to be a better partner when communicating and coordinating between trades—in this case, plumbing, steel and roof design during implementation of roof drains according to new energy code requirements. Because—as Hutch will tell you—it’s not enough to just be a partner and provide generic details; you should be the best partner you can be and really think through roof system design.

SPRI Revises Wind Design Standard Practice for Roofing Assemblies for Inclusion in the International Building Code

SPRI has revised ANSI/SPRI WD-1, Wind Design Standard Practice for Roofing Assemblies, to prepare the document for submission to and inclusion into the International Building Code (IBC). SPRI represents sheet membrane and component suppliers to the commercial roofing industry.

This Wind Design Standard Practice provides general building design considerations, as well as a methodology for selecting an appropriate roofing system assembly to meet the rooftop design wind uplift pressures calculated in accordance with ASCE 7, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures.

“Revisions to ANSI/SPRI WD-1 include additional insulation fastening patterns, along with more detailed practical examples,” says Task Force Chairman Joe Malpezzi. “This Standard Practice is appropriate for non-ballasted Built-Up, Modified Bitumen, and Single-Ply roofing system assemblies installed over any type of roof deck.”

In addition, SPRI has revised and reaffirmed ANSI/SPRI RD-1, Performance Standard for Retrofit Drains, in compliance with ANSI’s five-year cycle requirements. This standard is a reference for those that design, specify or install retrofit roof drains designed for installation in existing drain plumbing on existing roofs.

“It is important to note that the RD-1 Standard addresses the design of retrofit primary drains,” says SPRI President Stan Choiniere. “Local codes may also require secondary or overflow drains. SPRI will also be revisiting this standard after upcoming code changes are released.”

For more information about these standards and to download a copy, visit SPRI’s Web site or contact the association.