For the four-person crew from Pro Set, Inc., recoating the leaky roof at the Grace Plaza shopping center in Bridge City, Texas, was anything but ordinary. Not only did they have to contend with inclement weather, overspray, and working at heights, but they also had to come up with a solution to stop the condensation from “raining” on the inside of the building.
The fix: approximately 80 mils (2,032.0 microns) of Pro Set's own Poly Pro polyurea; 1 inch (3 cm) of American WeatherStar 2.9 high density, closed-cell spray polyurethane foam; and an average of 40 wet mils (1,016.0 microns) of American WeatherStar Acrylic 211. An extraordinary solution!
But the project was completed in 2012: five years ago. Has it stood the test of time?
Overspray and Higher Savings
Since the completion of the 11,000-square-foot (1,021.9 m²) project, Pro Set has grown 30 percent in roofing sales, according to President Tom Leaverton. Although this project was the company’s most challenging one at the time, they’ve since completed other similar projects.
“Every project has issues when applying sprayed coatings, as you must deal with all weather conditions as well as overspray challenges,” Leaverton said. To mitigate overspray on this project, the crew marked off the parking lot and used a large tent to contain the materials.
“Overspray is a constant concern when applying sprayed-on coatings,” Leaverton continued. “At winds above 10 mph [16.1 km/hr.], even under a tent, it should not be attempted. We used a large tent — 12 feet by 20 feet [3.7 m x 6.1 m] with two people holding it down — to apply a large enough section at one time so that the coating all ties in.”
Leaverton, who makes it a practice to call each of his previous clients annually, noted that there has been no need for any repairs or updates to the Grace Place roof since the coating system was completed. The waterproofing system, which was given a 15-year warranty at that time, has been performing “perfectly,” according to him. Not only did the system solve the internal sweating problem, it also offered the client energy savings. “They have reduced energy expense,” he said. Although specific numbers for this particular project are not available, since the facility is rented, Leaverton’s other clients have experienced 20 to 30 percent savings with similar systems.
And if the Grace Plaza owner wants a “refresh” on their roof system, Pro Set is ready and willing. “Any roofing system will get dirty over the years, and if any owner wishes to refresh the appearance, we would be willing to pressure wash and add additional coating at a relatively small square footage price,” Leaverton explained.
For this project, Leaverton had to work with the client to get them to approve a system that wasn’t in the initial scope. One trick he used was to build samples of the system with and without the spray polyurethane foam, also called spray foam, and place them on his hot tub cover “to simulate heat rising in the building after a cold night,” according to the original write-up. The results were telling — enough so to get the client on board. “As a chemist by profession, I love challenging projects,” Leaverton said of this ingenuity.
And in the years since completing this waterproofing roof system, Pro Set has kept busy. “Since incorporation 20 years ago, we have done several interesting projects, such as waterproofing the Pentagon roof in D.C., a 50,000 square-foot [4,645.2 m²] roof for General Motors, nuclear power plant roofs, fountains and roofs at several zoos, and 3 million square feet [~279,000 m²] of roofs in Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.”
Other ideas now on their to-do list: collaborating with other roof coating contractors featured in CoatingsPro and working on a polyurea-coated cooler project (patent pending). One thing’s for sure: Pro Set doesn’t seem to have the words “slow season” in its vernacular!
The difference between Leaverton’s approach and some other companies out there is his ability to think unconventionally and also to be thorough. “There are many contractors that are asked to waterproof metal roofs with energy efficient cool roof systems; some have chosen the conventional way with acrylics, while not waterproofing the problem areas of the roof,” he said. “Also, if they neglect to check to see if the roof is insulated and it is not, they face complete failure.” Luckily for the Grace Plaza roof, Pro Set’s skill and care brought success to this waterproofed roof. And, after all these years, the proof is in the roof!
This feature is part of a special anniversary series in 2017 in which CoatingsPro reflects on and updates the magazine’s most-read digital stories. To see the original article, please click here.