Copper Is the Solution for Challenging Residential Roof Restoration

This home in Alexandria, Va., was retrofitted with a copper double-lock standing seam roof system

This home in Alexandria, Va., was retrofitted with a copper double-lock standing seam roof system installed by Wagner Roofing. The 16-ounce copper roof panels were 17 inches wide. Photos: Landmarks Photography—Jay Stearns

“We like the tough jobs,” says Dean Jagusch, president and owner of Wagner Roofing Company. “We like the intricate jobs.”

Headquartered in Hyattsville, Md., Wagner Roofing has served the Washington area market for more than a century. “We specialize in historic restoration and innovative architectural roofing and sheet metal,” Jagusch notes. “We’re full service. We do slate, copper, tile, and have a low-slope commercial division as well. But our trophy stuff tends to be of the steep-slope variety.”

A recent residential restoration project in Alexandria, Va., certainly qualifies as “trophy stuff,” taking home a North American Copper in Architecture Award from the Copper Development Association (CDA) in the “Restoration: Roof and Wall” category.

It’s easy to see why. The origami-inspired design features multiple roof angles, but the daring design was problematic. Even though the home was relatively new, the owners were plagued by leaks. Along with Restoration Engineering Inc. of Fairfax, Va., Wagner Roofing was called in to consult on the project, determine the source of the leaks, and come up with a solution.

The original galvalume standing seam roof channeled the water into a large, stainless steel internal gutter with roof drains. Jagusch found that the leaks were occurring at two types of critical points. First, there were leaks where the internal roof drains met the central gutter. The other problem spots were along the pitch transitions.

Jagusch felt that installing a conventional-style painted galvalume roofing system in those spots was almost impossible. “We felt that was since it was an area that was failing, we wanted a metal we could work with when we met a transition and turn the panels vertical where we needed to without having to break them and rely on rivets and caulk,” he says.

Custom five-sided downspouts were fabricated

Custom five-sided downspouts were fabricated, but large windows at the back of the home offered few options for support. The downspouts were attached up under the framing system. Photos: Landmarks Photography—Jay Stearns

Copper was the answer. “The detailing was pretty tough to do, so we recommended changing it to copper so we could work with it, be able to solder and have a more seamless roofing assembly,” Jagusch recalls.

Another key to the project was redesigning how the roof drained. “We decided to push all the water to the exterior,” he says. “We collaborated with Restoration Engineering and we fleshed out the original redesign.”

The team decided that installing a copper roof system with a new drainage plan would be the best way to eliminate the leaks and keep the inspiring look the homeowners desired.

“We wanted to eliminate the drains and push all the water to the exterior, so that’s why we went for the re-slope of the big central gutter,” Jagusch says. “Also, at the transitions, we wanted to make sure we were 100 percent watertight, so we used a combination of turning up panels and soldered cleats to get everything into place.”

Solving the Puzzle

With its intersecting planes, the roof made laying out the panels an intricate puzzle. “You also had large expanses of roofing that changed pitch throughout,” Jagusch explains. “Panels had to be laid correctly because not only does the roof slope up, but it also slopes sideways. The layout of the panels was critical from the get-go. We all looked at it and agreed that we would follow parallel to the actual trusses, which we felt was the best solution.”

The old roof system was removed and stripped down to the 3/4–inch plywood deck. “We covered the entire roof deck with Grace Ultra,” said Jagusch. “We then used a slip sheet and installed 1-inch-high, double lock, 17-inch-wide, 16-ounce copper standing seam panels.”

Photos: Landmarks Photography—Jay Stearns

Photos: Landmarks Photography—Jay Stearns

Panels were roll formed at the Wagner metal shop out of 20-inch-wide coils using an ESE roll former and trailered to the jobsite. Approximately 5,400 square feet of copper panels were installed on the project. The double-lock seams were mechanically seamed. Twenty-ounce copper flat-seamed panels were used in the large valleys.

The safety plan included full scaffolding during every phase of the project. “We have our own safety scaffolding system,” Jagusch says. “Our guys demand it on our jobs, and we demand it of them to come home safely every day. We are very proud of our safety record. It’s front of mind for us.”

In addition to the roof, all of the metal cladding was replaced on the southeast feature wall. The top of the wall was reconfigured to accommodate the new sloped valley. Where the wall met the roof, a band was fabricated to match the top part of the fascia. Other details included copper cladding for the chimney.

Drainage was redirected to the perimeter, where custom-fabricated gutters were installed. “On the west side, the roof was originally designed to dump off straight onto a rock feature on the ground, but we fashioned a custom copper box gutter about 35 or 40 feet long,” Jagusch states.

At the either end of the large internal gutter and at the end of a large valley, shop-fabricated copper conductor heads were installed. Custom five-sided downspouts were fabricated, but installing them posed another challenge, as large window areas offered few options for support. The downspouts had to be snugged up under the framing system.

“Everything had to work with the other building components,” Jagusch explains. “One of the tougher things on this project was being able to have the function and the form both top of mind, in that order. The key was to make the functional stuff look good.”

Showpiece Project

The project was completed about a year ago, and the copper has begun to change in color. “The copper now has a gorgeous bronze, kind of purplish hue to it,” notes Jagusch. “I think it will eventually develop a green patina, but with the way the environment is these days, I think it will take 15 years or so before it gets to that point. That’s the cool thing about copper—it’s a natural, breathing material that is constantly changing, constantly evolving.”

Copper cladding was installed on a feature wall

Copper cladding was installed on a feature wall, which also featured changes in slope. The top of the wall was reconfigured and a band was added to match the top part of the fascia. Photos: Landmarks Photography—Jay Stearns

Wagner Roofing has a maintenance agreement in place on the home, so Jagusch has stayed in touch with the owners and kept tabs on the project, which is performing well. “I’ve got just one hell of a team here,” he says. “It wasn’t just one estimator that went out and brought this thing in. In our business, estimating and roofing is a team sport. We kicked this thing around a lot with all divisions of the company, from estimating to operations to the actual installers before we finally settled on a number for this thing.”

“We work on some pretty spectacular places, and of course this is one of them,” he concludes. “We like a challenge, and this is the stuff that my team really loves to get their teeth into.”

Steep-Slope Roofing Manual Is Updated

To provide the roofing industry with the most comprehensive information about the design, materials and installation techniques applicable to all materials used in steep-slope roof system applications, NRCA has released “The NRCA Roofing Manual: Steep-slope Roof Systems—2017”. The new volume updates the 2013 volume under the same title and serves as a reference for contractors, architects and roof consultants.

The manual consists of five sections addressing materials used in steep-slope roof system applications:

  • Asphalt Shingle
  • Clay and Concrete
  • Metal Shingle
  • Wood Shingle
  • Slate and Wood Shake

The 2017 volume and boxed set can be purchased in hardbound versions or downloaded for free by NRCA members at Shop.NRCA.net.

NRCA Releases Market Survey on Sales Volume Trends

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has released its 2014-15 market survey providing information about overall sales volume trends in the roofing industry, roofing experiences, material usage and regional breakdowns. It is an important tool to measure the scope of the U.S. roofing industry, and the data provides a glimpse into which roof systems are trending in the low- and steep-slope roofing markets.

This year’s survey reports sales volumes for 2014 and 2015 projections averaged between $7 million and just more than $8 million, respectively, and revealed a near-steady ratio of low- to steep-slope sales of 72 percent to 28 percent.

For low-slope roofs, TPO remains the market leader with a 31 percent share of the new construction market and 26 percent of the reroofing market for 2014. Asphalt shingles continue to dominate the steep-slope roofing market with a 44 percent market share for new construction and a 58 percent share for reroofing.

Polyisocyanurate insulation continues to lead its sector of the market with 75 percent of new construction and 70 percent of reroofing work.

In addition, roof cover board installation for 2014 was reported as 24 percent in new construction, 46 percent in reroofing tear-offs and 30 percent in re-cover projects.

NRCA’s market survey enables roofing contractors to compare their material usage with contractors in other regions, and provides manufacturers and distributors with data to analyze, which can affect future business decisions.

ABC Supply Opens Additional Branches on Opposite Sides of the Country

Building products distributor ABC Supply Co. Inc. has opened additional branches on opposite sides of the country—one in Cumberland, Md. and the other in Sacramento, Calif.

The Cumberland location serves contractors in the western Maryland and south central Pennsylvania markets where ABC Supply has not previously had a presence. The branch in Sacramento is the second in the area and provides contractors working on the south side of the city a convenient alternative to the company’s store in Roseville, north of the city. Both stores carry steep- and low-slope roofing materials, accessories and related roofing supplies, along with other exterior building products appropriate to each market.

ABC Supply Moves Three Branches into New Facilities

Three branches of building products distributor ABC Supply Co. Inc. have moved into facilities that will enable them to better serve local contractors and builders.

The Bloomington, Ind. store moved to 1600 N. Curry Pike. The East Peoria, Ill. branch relocated to 399 Truck Haven Road. The Oklahoma City facility is now at 1500 W. Reno Avenue. All three locations carry steep-slope and low-slope roofing products and systems, siding, windows and doors, and related supplies. Other product offerings are determined by local market conditions.

ABC Supply is a wholesale distributor of roofing, siding, windows and other exterior building products. Since its founding by Ken and Diane Hendricks in 1982, ABC Supply’s focus has been serving professional contractors and offering the products, services and support they need to build their businesses.

Projects: Office

DPR Construction, Phoenix

Eighty-two Daylighting Systems were installed in the renovated 16,533-square-foot building.

Eighty-two Daylighting Systems were installed in the renovated 16,533-square-foot building.

Team

Roofing contractor: Arithane Foam, Corona, Calif.
Architect/engineer: SmithGroupJJR, Phoenix
Daylighting systems distributor: Norcon Industries, Guadalupe, Ariz.

Roof Materials

Eighty-two Daylighting Systems were installed in the renovated 16,533-square-foot building, formerly an abandoned retail boutique at the corner of 44th Street and Van Buren in Phoenix.

“The use of the Daylighting Systems was an integral part of our sustainability and lighting energy savings plans for the renovated space,” says Dave Elrod, regional manager of DPR Construction, Phoenix. “The products are a cost-efficient solution to provide lighting since they nearly eliminate the need for artificial daytime lighting.”

In addition, the roof is composed of foam with an R-25 insulation value (approximately 4-inches thick) over plywood sheathing.

Daylighting systems manufacturer: Solatube International Inc.
Foam roofing manufacturer: Quik-Shield from SWD Urethane

Roof Report

DPR Construction is a national technical builder specializing in highly complex and sustainable projects. In less than 10 months, the design-build team researched, designed, permit-ted, and built a highly efficient and modern workplace with numerous innovative sustainability features.

In addition to natural daylighting, the office features an 87-foot zinc-clad solar chimney, which releases hot air from the building while drawing cooler air in; shower towers that act as evaporative coolers to regulate building temperatures; 87 operable windows designed to open and close automatically (based on indoor/outdoor temperatures); and two “vampire” shut-off switches to keep electrical devices (radios, cell-phone chargers, microwaves) from using plug energy when no one is in the office.

Access to the building was limited during construction. Spray foam roofing, which took about seven days to complete, had to be done in small quadrants because of the tight schedule as work was progressing in the other sections. The roofing workers were challenged by the barrel-shaped roof, which created footing difficulties, and the many penetrations that had to be flashed, including all PV support legs, Solatubes, skylights and HVAC penetrations. Work was completed in the middle of winter, so additional protections and efficiencies were required.

The circa-1972 building has been officially certified as a Net-Zero Energy Building by the Seattle-based International Living Future Institute through its Living Building Challenge program. It also has received LEED-NC Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, Washington, D.C.

PHOTOS: Ted Van Der Linden, DPR Construction

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Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association Celebrates 100 Years of Commitment to the Roofing Industry

Since its early days in 1915—a year when women couldn’t vote, President Woodrow Wilson was in office and Babe Ruth hit his first career home run—the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) has had a momentous impact on the roofing industry.

The trade association has brought the majority of North American manufacturers together under the common goal of championing asphalt roofing and promoting the industry. This year, the association celebrates its 100th anniversary with a new logo and looks back on a century of commitment to asphalt roofing excellence.

ARMA celebrates its 100th anniversary with a new logo and looks back on a century of commitment to asphalt roofing excellence.

ARMA celebrates its 100th anniversary with a new logo and looks back on a century of commitment to asphalt roofing excellence.

Asphalt has been used as a roofing product since roll roofing hit the market in 1893—three years before Henry Ford built his first automobile engine. Since then, it has become the standard in roofing, with four out of five homes in the U.S. choosing asphalt for its beauty, affordability and reliability. Through continuous innovation, asphalt roofing manufacturers have developed high-quality, high-value products.

Since its humble beginnings in New York City as the Asphalt Roofing Industry Bureau 100 years ago, ARMA has served as an industry leader for asphalt roofing and has dedicated its services to the long-term vibrancy and sustainability of the roofing community. Over the years, ARMA’s location has changed from New York City, to Garland, Texas, to its current headquarters in the nation’s capital, but its purpose has remained the same. ARMA represents the majority of North America’s asphalt roofing manufacturing companies and their raw material suppliers and includes almost 95 percent of U.S. manufacturers of bituminous-based roofing products.

When first introduced, all asphalt shingles were organic, with mica, dolomite and even oyster shell granules added to the shingle surface to make it more durable. Now there are many different asphalt roofing systems available, from traditional residential roofing shingles to Built-Up Roofing (BUR), Atactic Polyproylene (APP) and Styrene Butadiene Styrene (SBS) modified systems. Asphalt roofing comes in a variety of colors, styles and textures and continues to be the preferred roofing material based on its durability, long-life expectancy and low maintenance.

ARMA is kicking off its 100th year by unveiling a new association logo with a sleek, modern design that represents steep- and low-slope roofing systems. Throughout 2015, ARMA will promote its centennial celebration with an anniversary banner that reads “ARMA: Celebrating a Century of Roofing Excellence.”

The new ARMA logo reflects the association’s commitment to innovation and advancements in the roofing industry. In recent years, ARMA has redesigned its website to improve the user experience and enhance the mobile application of its industry news, technical information and educational resources. The association is also streamlining its bookstore by offering technical manuals and other important publications as eBooks this year.

As ARMA positions itself as a technologically savvy and contemporary organization, it will look back at its century-long history throughout 2015. Check ARMA’s website for historical asphalt roofing information, vintage collateral and fun facts.