According to RoofCARE’s Marketing Director Jonathan Small, “most roofs that are replaced in this country simply don’t need to be.” Regardless of the problem — leaking, material degradation, or lack of maintenance, for example — if a roof looks bad or leaks, many contractors’ default solution is to replace the roof, according to Small. But for RoofCARE, which recently completed a roof renovation at the Hope Christian School in Albuquerque, N.M., they use “a sustainable approach.” RoofCARE believes that this approach, which is established but rarely followed, helps the customer save money and significantly extends the life of the roof. Not to mention it may be better for the environment.
“The project started by thoroughly cleaning the roof and getting all the debris out,” Small explained. “The tricky part was getting all the old repairs off of certain areas where a previous contractor had done some patch work that was very subpar.” RoofCARE prefers not to go over old repairs; they want to have a clean substrate to apply the new coating system. That meant that they needed to remove all of the old materials from the 21,830-square-foot (2,028 m²) metal roof above the gym and administration building…even if it took them a bit more time and elbow grease than normal. “It started with the leaf blowers to get under all the units and all the large debris that could be corralled up easily that way,” Small said. They followed that with push brooms, pressure washers from DeWalt, and even chisels and hammers. It took them two days to get everything off of the 30+-year-old rooftop.
Once the area was clean, the crew started the coating system with a primer (excluding any of the small areas that were galvanized). Using a Graco Magnum ProX7 Airless sprayer, they applied a layer of Apoc 291 Rust Inhibitive Primer at 1 gallon (4 L) per 200 square feet (19 m²). Once the primer cured, the crew came back in to seal all transitions, penetrations, curbs, perimeters, seams, and 264 fasteners with different coating combinations. The vertical seams, for instance, received a three-step process: coat with APOC 264 Flash ‘N Seal, embed reinforcing polyester fabric with holes cut out for the fastener heads, and coat another layer of 264. The horizontal seams, on the other hand, received a two-step process: install Apoc Fleece-Top Incredible Repair Tape and Sealant and coat Apoc 264 Flash ‘N Seal. The crew used hand rollers to ensure that the tape conformed to the shape of the roof. As Small succinctly put it, it was “lots of detail work on the critical areas of the roof.”
The school chose to go ahead with the proposed Apoc Acrylic Elastomeric System because, according to RoofCARE, it’s sustainable, energy efficient, durable, simple to install, doesn’t require heavy equipment, is easy to maintain, has low volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and provides an excellent warranty. “We worked with APOC to customize the system for the application,” Small said.
The crew then came in to spray-apply two base coats of Apoc 252 SunGrey Premium Elastomeric Roof Coating at 3 gallons (11 L) per 100 square feet (9 m²). They followed that with two topcoats of the same coating at the same thickness but in SunWhite. They used two different colors to help track the application process. “It can be pretty tricky if you apply four coats of the same white coating to tell where you’ve sprayed already,” said Small. They used a Titan Speeflo spray rig, which was kept on the ground with a technician to clean the lines after each coat, and up to three 50-foot-long (15 m each, 45 m total) hoses, to apply the dual-colored coating. The grey color is “just different enough for the crew to see the exact one where they already sprayed.” It helped, too, that the crew used a crosshatch pattern for each pair. For instance, they may have sprayed east to west then north to south to get the proper coverage.
Up and at ‘Em
One of the crew’s strategies involved the coordination between the gym and admin areas. The five-person crew broke up into two teams once the gym had been cleaned and primed. One team stayed there to continue onto the coatings while the other team started prepping the area over administration departments.
Working in sections helped them to divide and conquer the project with regard to curing times, but it also helped them to coordinate the equipment. The gym area was 8–9 feet (2.4–2.7 m) higher than the administration area, which required more of that strategy to move the equipment up a ladder and pulley. It also meant spraying up the perimeter walls between the lower admin and the higher gym roof areas. On those walls, the crew continued the coating up about 12 inches (31 cm).
Additionally, the crew needed to deal with the sometimes volatile New Mexico weather. “We did have several storms that came through that we had to be very mindful of because we didn’t want to wash away the coatings,” Small explained. The monsoon season required that the crew calculate different application and cure times for the coatings depending on the oncoming weather. Luckily, not only did they have a project manager who arrived onsite regularly to complete inspections and do quality control, but they also had someone to watch the weather.
“Because we were able to forecast the storms coming through, we didn’t have any negative repercussions from the storms other than having to stop production on a couple days,” Small said. “Those days we just didn’t send the guys out for the whole day knowing that we likely had a storm later that day. We still got the system on with no damage to the products from the rain.” Small was confident that the crew could have completed the job in less than one month if the rain hadn’t delayed them.
“That was a lot of meticulous work, but that’s really going to pay off for the customer,” explained Small of the entire roof project. And at the end, with both the gym and admin areas completed, the crew completed a final checklist of minor touchups and repairs and then called in the APOC rep to inspect for the warranty. With APOC finding no listed issues to resolve, the manufacturer was able to give Hope Christian School a 15-year warranty. In addition to that, RoofCARE will be providing 15 years of preventative maintenance, which was included in the original contract.
“Our whole approach to the roofing industry is getting the most life out of the existing roof and making the existing roof last as long as possible through maintenance, repairs, and roof renovation rather than throw out the existing roof and replace it unnecessarily,” Small said. RoofCARE is showing one project at a time that this is one company trying to make a sustainable impact.
RoofCARE worked on another roofing project — this one for a special client in New Mexico — that will be featured in the upcoming January 2015 issue of CoatingsPro! Be sure to check the issue out (in print or online) next month!
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