South Florida is known for its abundant sunshine as well as its intense afternoon rainstorms during the summer months. Put these two weather conditions together with close proximity to the equator, and rooftops can definitely take a beating from Mother Nature. That was the case for the roof of the town of Hypoluxo’s Town Hall building.
Hypoluxo is a town in Palm Beach County, Fla., that lies on the shore of the Intracoastal Waterway just minutes from West Palm Beach. The Town Hall administration building is built in the old Key West style with steep roof areas and lush greenery bordering the facility. According to Pitor Zawadzki, owner of Trusted Construction, over the years the standing seam metal panel roof had deteriorated to the point where repair and the application of a new coating system was an immediate necessity.
“The roof had a great deal of rust and corrosion damage. The primary concern was that there were holes in some of the panels that could allow for water intrusion and the potential for future structural damage,” said Zawadzki. Completing the roof as quickly as possible was imperative, especially since the work was scheduled during the rainy summer months. It was decided that they would recoat the 7,500-square-foot (696.8 m²) roof with KYMAX, a coating solution manufactured by GAF. KYMAX is a low-build elastomeric coating that provides high reflectivity and can withstand intense ultraviolet exposure.
A Green Clean
The first order of business for the Trusted Construction team was to repair the existing roof substrate. The crew used screws to mechanically adhere new galvanized metal panels to the existing panels that were in need of repair. Once the repairs were completed, they cleaned the entire roof area with a Honda 3,500 psi (24.1 MPa) power washer and HydroClean. “HydroClean is 100 percent biodegradable, meaning that it can be washed off the roof surface without any harm to the environment or the ground vegetation surrounding the project site,” said Zawadzki. This was extremely important for this particular job, as not only is the building surrounded by greenery, but the Hypoluxo Hammock, a natural enclave of 100 percent indigenous plant species, is also located on the property. “In addition, the property has a drainage system that is designed to retain nearly all of the rain and water runoff,” said Zawadzki. This made using a “green” cleaning agent even more critical.
Protecting the Roof From the Elements
Once the entire roof area was power washed, the crew was ready to apply Hydro-Stop Premium Coat to all of the areas that were repaired with the new metal panels. According to Zawadzki, Hydro-Stop Premium Coat is a fluid-applied roofing system that must be installed at a minimum dry film thickness of 40 mils (1,016 microns).
The team then primed the entire roof area with approximately 4 mils (101.6 microns) dry film thickness (DFT) of the Stable Rust Primer, a water-borne acrylic primer used to stabilize and protect metal surfaces. At that point, it was time for the application of two coats of Hydro-Stop Acrylic Finish Coat at an average dry film thickness of 6 mils (152.4 microns) per layer. With the exception of the final coat of KYMAX, which was applied using Graco airless spray equipment, all layers of the coating system were applied using brushes and rollers.
For the finishing touch, the Trusted Construction team applied two coats of KYMAX at an average total dry film thickness of 3 mils (76.2 microns). “KYMAX is an air-dry finish that cures at ambient temperatures. It provides excellent color stability, reflectivity, algae resistance, and weather-ability,” stated Zawadzki. According to information from the manufacturer, the white topcoat reflects the sun’s heat over long-term exposure, unlike dark-colored roofing materials that retain heat and are subject to ultraviolet degradation. Roof temperatures are therefore decreased, significantly reducing air conditioning loads and lowering electricity usage and costs.
From start to finish, the job took just under eight weeks. However, all work occurred during the months of June, July, and August when daily rainstorms are a primary concern for coatings contractors. To outsmart Mother Nature and ensure that the job remained on schedule, the crew constantly monitored the weather and evaluated and managed each day’s tasks accordingly. “Most days, the rain would start by 3 p.m. We got to the jobsite very early in the morning, and would start working right away. We typically worked until 2 p.m., giving the coating we had just applied at least an hour to dry before the afternoon rains began,” said Zawadzki.
Hot Sun, Steep Slope
Keeping the crew safe from the blistering sun and from falling off the severely pitched roof was priority number one. Every team member wore polarized sunglasses and long-sleeved shirts by Coolshirt Systems that feature a quick drying, wicking fabric specially designed to keep workers cool, comfortable, and protected from the sun’s rays. In addition, crewmembers were outfitted with fall protection harnesses and were tied off during each stage of the job.
Town Hall Success
According to Zawadzki, the key to completing this challenging and high profile job effectively and efficiently was having a good game plan, along with materials that can perform under extreme weather conditions. “For this job, it was all about the correct planning and picking the right products for the South Florida climate,” stated Zawadzki.
Editor’s note: To mark the first days of summer, we’re rerunning this article online for June. The article originally ran online in 2015. The coating manufacturer has been updated to reflect changes since then.