Roof Coatings Articles

Finally! No More Leaks for 8-Year-Old Roof

Photos courtesy of KARNAK
Vendor Team

Equipment manufacturer
Wilsonville, OR
(503) 498-3547

Graco Inc.
Equipment manufacturer
Minneapolis, MN
(800) 275-5574

Safety equipment manufacturer
Kent, WA
(800) 466-6385

The KARNAK Corporation
Coatings manufacturer
Clark, NJ
(800) 526-4236

Munyan Painting & Restoration
Coatings manufacturer
Clearwater, FL
(877) 442-5062

S & W Pressure Wash, Inc.
Equipment manufacturer
Rochester, WA
(360) 852-8875

Sage Condominiums
Coatings client
St. Petersburg, FL
(727) 280-6656
FB: /TheSageCondominiums/

Munyan Restoration Waterproofing and Painting Service of Tampa Bay has been giving quality service to the U.S. Gulf Coast region since 1951. A recent project in their home state of Florida, which was completed in November 2018, was no different.

Part of Munyan’s marketing strategy is to give continuing education courses to local property managers. They give seminars on various types of roofing solutions, including coatings. “It was after one of these seminars that the property manger at the Sage Condominium came up to us and told us they had a TPO [thermoplastic polyolefin] roof that was leaking,” Estimator Frank Scelzi explained. The roof was only eight years old, but it had been leaking for years — three roofs, actually! The main roof was 12 stories high, but there were two smaller roofs on top of the fifth floors of this split building. Could coatings be the right solution?

Testing, Testing…

Munyan has been involved with coatings company KARNAK for about 10 years now. The contracting firm is not only certified with them, but also a qualified applicator. This “very good relationship” includes on-site help. “If we’ve had any kind of a problem, they’ve been right there to help with it,” Scelzi said.

On this project, Scelzi and Munyan’s local KARNAK rep, Joe Prussel, went up top to survey the roof. They completed adhesion tests, met with the property manager and building’s board, and then came back with a proposal. About 10 days later, they moved to the next stage and returned to complete pull tests on the TPO. “Everything was great on that,” Scelzi said. “You’re supposed to get between 2 and 3 pounds [0.9 and 1.4 kg]; we were getting 15 to 16 [6.8 to 7.3 kg].” They also did core cuts and completed an infrared scan using a FLIR 17 to check for moisture to make sure it’s “coating capable,” Scelzi explained. With a plan in place, Muyan’s eight- to 10-person crew was ready to raise the roof!

Roofing Technology

Not all condos allow the crew to go through the building to access elevators, but Sage Condominium’s property managers gave the go ahead for the roofing crew. That meant that Munyan was able to bring all equipment and materials up top easily — no cranes needed on this project.

The job started with power washing the tallest roof first. The crew worked in teams, focusing in on a single task at a time. Using KARNAK’s 799 Wash-N-Prep, the two-person team used 5,00 psi (34.5 MPa) S & W power washers with hover covers. “You just walk like you’re mowing your grass,” Scelzi explained. “You’re walking back and forth in patterns like that, so it gets a lot closer, and it cleans a lot better.”

In addition to coating roofs, Munyan also does painting, waterproofing, and general contracting. The hover cover is one of the tricks they took from the other lines of work. “We’ve just taken that technology to the roofs,” Scelzi said.

The prep took about one week out of this four-week-long project. The washing team ensured that the TPO was clean by following the power washing with a rolled-on layer of denatured alcohol, working it with soft brushes. “It evaporates just about as quick as you’re putting it down, especially here in Florida,” Scelzi explained.

They moved from the 12-story roof to the lower five-story roofs, allowing the guys working on the seam detailing to follow behind. All tie-in areas received a layer of the two-part water-borne primer, 180 Karna-Sil Epoxy Primer. “In other words, we’re not just going in there and putting on a bucket of material on the roof,” Scelzi said. “All the seams, all the penetrations, all the flashings, they all get this product put on them, which just helps to seal it all in and give it more protection before you put a coating down on top of it.”

Donning Guardian harnesses, the crew applied the primer to the details with rollers to avoid overspray. That same primer went across the entire surface area of the roofs, which the crew spray applied to an average thickness of 300 square feet per gallon (27.9 m2/L) using a Graco 5900, low-volume spray equipment. Luckily, though overspray is always a concern, the lofty total of other waterproofing jobs that Munyan does meant that the crew already had significant spraying experience. “So our guys are really trained in how to work the spray equipment properly,” Scelzi explained.

But overspray wasn’t the only concern. Windy days also posed potential for the primer to “cure over too quickly, and it’s not going to bite into the roof properly,” he said. They would roll it out, though, if needed.

Bring on the Rain!

The crew’s final step was to apply the Karna-Sil 670 high-solids silicone coating. That was rolled on to an average of 3 gallons per 100 square feet (11.4 L/9.3 m2). Although there were a few typical Florida rain storms during this 30,000-square-foot (2,787.1 m2) project, it certainly didn’t affect this step. In fact, moisture helps the silicone cure. As Scelzi explained, “If you’re putting the product down and it starts to rain, you can stop right at that point. You’re not gonna lose any of your product, because actually the rain is gonna help with it skin over pretty quick.”

The specialized coating crew did have to wait to let the dew dry off of the white TPO each morning, typically around 10 a.m. And they also applied granules into another layer on top of the silicone for safe walking up top, but those weren’t in the traditional safety yellow. According to Scelzi, if there’s a cool white roof surrounding yellow, that color can attract heat to it. “There’ve been some applications where we see the heat differentials and we’ve seen some blisters, especially in Florida here,” he explained. “You’re trying to put a cool roof down and then you have this one area where it’s hot — and the yellow gets hot! We’ve had the temperature guns on them, and you can see the difference in temperature.” And even though this extra layer was also white, Scelzi confirmed that people up top could still see where the paths were.

Successful Partnership

Scelzi returned to the roof this past November to complete the annual checkup, and everything looks great. It’s been leak-free for the first time in eight years! “They’re extremely happy with it,” he said of Sage Condominiums. Despite work on the roof for a new elevator air system, they’ve had no leaks. “It’s been holding up for them really, really well,” he continued.

And the snowbird owners? They should have been happy with the work, too. “What’s nice about the coatings is once we’re up on the roofs, it doesn’t affect the condo unit owners at all. They really don’t even know we’re there,” Scelzi said.

In the end, they’ve started a great relationship. Sage Condominiums has a 20-year warranty for this property, and, according to Scelzi, they also have plans to bring Munyan Restoration Waterproofing and Painting Service of Tampa Bay back for more roofing work at different locations. That’s certainly one good sign of success!

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