Roof Coatings Articles

Rocky Mountain High: 50-Year-Old Metal Roof Gets New Life

Photos courtesy of Black Roofing Inc.
Vendor Team

838 Coatings
Coatings manufacturer
300 Railroad Ave., Ste. 200
Delano, MN 55328
(763) 972-9441

American Honda Power Equipment Division
Equipment manufacturer
4900 Marconi Dr.
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 497-6400

Black Roofing Inc.
Coatings contractor
6115 Ben Pl.
Boulder, CO 80301
(303) 449-5176

DEWALT Industrial Tool Co.
Equipment manufacturer
701 E Joppa Rd.
Baltimore, MD 21286
(800) 433-9258

Safety equipment manufacturer
1306 S Alameda St.
Compton, CA 90221
(800) 719-4619

Equipment manufacturer
711 E Main St.
Belle Plaine, MN 56011
(800) 249-1349

Royal Adhesives & Sealants, LLC
Material manufacturer
4401 Page Ave.
Michigan Center, MI 49254
(800) 248-4010

Repairing and recoating an older roof can be a daunting task, so when the Black Roofing Inc. crew arrived on the scene of a job in Broomfield, Colorado, they weren’t certain what they would find.

“Law Holdings Inc. was our client on this project, and the building had a 50-year-old Butler metal roof. Fortunately, the roof was maintained over the years and was in average condition,” explained Nevres Rustemovic, project manager on the job.

In other words, throughout the roof’s service life, some seams were sealed and screws and penetration flashings repaired as leaks began occurring. Rustemovic pointed out, though, that even though the roof was still in serviceable condition, it needed major repairs to the field seams, fasteners, and penetration flashings to keep it watertight.

“Even with maintenance throughout the years, a full coating restoration was recommended. Otherwise, the existing roof would need to be replaced in the near future,” said Rustemovic.

Repair and Restore

With the client thrilled to hear that the 80,000-square-foot (7,432.2 m²) roof could be fully restored with repairs to the existing substrate and the installation of an 838 Coatings system, the Black Roofing crew got to work. According to Rustemovic, a crew of 9 to 12 men worked on this job, and the entire project was completed within three weeks.

The first step was to remove organic debris from the roof and gutters to ready the surface for power washing. “We used four power washers and cleaned the roof using 2,700 to 3,000 psi [18.6 to 20.7 MPa],” said Rustemovic. “The roof is really large, so it took us three days to power wash the entire area.”

Once the roof was power washed, the team concentrated on repairing all seams, fasteners, and penetration flashings. Because of the age of the Butler metal roof, there were many repairs to be made. “Every field seam was sealed with 838 MS multi-purpose sealant, as was each fastener on the entire roof,” said Rustemovic. “Every pipe and curb penetration flashing was sealed with 838 MS, and in many areas, penetrations were striped in with Royal Adhesives and Sealants’ Eternabond fabric tape.”

The Eternabond fabric tape is a quick-sealing tape that is designed for metal roof repair. 838 MS is a hybrid, moisture-cure elastomer sealant designed to seal the seams and fasteners of metal roofs. According to 838 Coatings, this hybrid technology is 100-percent solids, isocyanate free, and has less moisture sensitivity than standard polyurethanes.

“We made sure that the existing metal panels were completely dry before we applied the tape and rolled it with neoprene rollers,” said Rustemovic. “We applied the 838 MS on top of the fabric tape, extending the sealant a couple inches at each side to tie into the metal roof.” The crew rolled and brushed on the 838 MS to a dry mil thickness of approximately 50 mils (1,270.0 microns).

The Main Event

After the repair work was complete, the roof was ready to receive the 838 Top coating system. 838 Top is a water-borne, spray-applied elastomeric roof coating. This white, highly reflective acrylic coating exceeds ENERGY STAR requirements and is a “cool coating” that reduces interior building temperatures by lowering the surface temperature of the roof.

After application and curing, the coating forms a membrane that protects the roofing substrate from moisture and ultraviolet (UV) exposure. Using a 4520 Hennes-Johnson cold process sprayer, the crew applied the 838 Top in two passes. “After the application process, the resulting dry film thickness was 30 mils [762.0 microns],” said Rustemovic of the average thicknesses.

Fully Occupied

Throughout the duration of the job, the building was fully occupied, creating a bit of a challenge for the Black Roofing crew. It was imperative that the team use extreme caution during the project to keep all tenants, their cars, and equipment safe and protected, as well as minimize noise and other disturbances.

“We used warning tape on the ground so that tenants would not park their cars close to the building, and we also had a safety person on the ground making sure that pedestrians and cars were kept safe and sound. There was not a single complaint from the tenants. Our crew did a great job of protecting and cleaning the job site daily,” stated Rustemovic.

In addition to keeping all tenants and passersby safe, the Black Roofing team was focused on keeping each and every crew member safe during all aspects of the job, from cleaning and power washing to repairs and coating application. Warning flags were installed 6 feet (1.8 m) from the roof’s edge, and hard hats and FallTech harnesses and lanyards were used when the crew was working close to the roof’s edge and during the loading and unloading of materials and empty buckets. The crew wore safety glasses at all times, and gloves were used when applying the 838 MS and 838 Top materials.

“We had a safety manger and project manager onsite daily during the project to make sure that all OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] required safety rules were followed. We are known for our high standards of quality and safety, and this job was not an exception,” stated Rustemovic.

Rain and Wind Go Away

Another challenge the Black Roofing team faced during the Law Holdings Inc. job was keeping ahead of the weather conditions. According to Rustemovic, high winds and afternoon downpours shut the job down a couple of times during the three-week period. “If the chance of rain was more than 30 percent or the forecast predicted high winds, we didn’t spray,” said Rustemovic. “We take the safety of our workers, the tenants of the building, and their property very seriously, so it just wasn’t worth spraying if the weather conditions weren’t great.” Fortunately, the weather had minimal impact on the schedule, and the crew finished the job well within the specified timeframe.

Top Notch Work

Rustemovic is quick to credit the foreman and the entire crew with the success of the job. “We put a larger crew on this job than we originally had intended, and it worked out really well,” he said. “The crew was well organized and efficient, so even though the job was a lot of square feet, we finished it in three weeks instead of the four to five weeks we originally quoted.”

All components of this project helped ensure the successful outcome. “To successfully restore an older roof like this is a huge accomplishment for Black Roofing Inc. We proved that if the work is done right, and the products are excellent quality, even a 50-year-old metal roof can be fully restored,” said Rustemovic proudly.

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