Thursday, January 18, 2018

Performing a Water Test

Lets face it, dealing with water leaks of any source can be stressful and hard to deal with, especially when it comes to roofing! Commercial roofs are obviously a sensitive topic of discussion for all building owners because if the roof is leaking, the problems are often noticed and felt! With many facilities, roof leaks cause unpleasant aesthetic issues, damage, and can deter business if not properly addressed. Some leaks are minor and rather easy to fix however every now and then the extremely difficult and "non-findable" mystery leaks show up and can be a real nuisance for both the building owner and the roofing contractor.

Most times, after a roofing contractor makes several attempts at solving a repeat leak with no success in stopping the roof leak, a "water test" may be the next step in the process for find a proper solution.
Water tests are used to literally test the roof with controlled water sources in order to find the location of the leak source. Water tests can reveal leaks in the roof itself, HVAC units, walls, penetrations, or any other areas. Peach State Roofing has found that a majority of the time in which a water test is completed, it typically reveals the leak source to be something other than the roof system itself.
The basic process of completing a water test starts with finding a good water source on the building and simply running hoses from the water source to the area of the roof being tested. The roofing contractor will then, if needed, plug any drains in the area to make sure that water does not drain off the roof during this test. Once that is complete the roofing contractor always should start off with test the field (flat) part of the roof area. The principle to follow in doing a water test is to always start from the bottom and work up. Typically a roofing contractor will have a technician on the roof performing the water test itself and also a technician on the inside of the building to radio in when the water starts showing up as a leak.

Some times it can take 30 minutes to an hour of keeping the water on the roof to ensure that it is or is not leaking. The main point in this first step is to ensure whether the roof system itself is or is not the source of the leak. If the roof has been water tested and never leaks, the contractor will then bring the water up to the flashings on the curbs or penetration. If these areas do not leak, they contractor will proceed up ward to perhaps a HVAC unit or a wall area.

Basically the process is strategically placing water on areas from "the bottom-up" until the leak reveals itself on the inside. When the water starts showing up as a leak, the technician inside the building will radio up to the roof thus allowing them to fully test the most recent 'water test' areas to ensure the findings are correct.

The process of completing a "water test" can be a long draw out scope of work all while forcing the contractor to test areas a good distance from the actual leak location inside the building. As Bo Holloway, PSR representative out of the Nashville, TN office says. "Water goes all the places it's not supposed to go!"

In the end, owners/contractors simply need to follow proper protocol when performing a water test and if done correctly, it can be a great measure to help solve leak issues for any commercial building.

Project Profile: Rock Hill Medical Park

Project Profile: Rock Hill Medical Park
Location: Rock Hill, South Carolina

Peach State Roofing’s Rock Hill, SC office recently completed a commercial re-roofing project on the Rock Hill Medical Park in South Carolina. This was a project that had been in the works for about 3 years with Peach State Roofing as the building owner whom is local to Rock Hill had been budgeting for this re-roofing project over this amount of time.
The buildings roof surface was approximately 30,000 square feet in size and was an existing black EPDM membrane roof which was mechanically fastened to the metal decking of the structure. One small section was held down by ballasted river rock.
Peach State Roofing first came in and vacuum removed the ballast river rock off of the one section and for the remainder of the roof, PSR elected with the owner to do a recovery system over the existing EPDM. The field sheets of membrane were sliced to meet the manufacturer’s requirements and then a 1/2″ cover board was installed over the existing EPDM. The new cover board selected was mechanically attached to the metal decking to meet the manufacturer’s requirements for installation.
After the surface of the existing roof was recovered over with the new cover board, Carlisle 60 mil white TPO membrane was the commercial roof membrane of choice installed. PSR used 8’x100′ membrane sheets fastened at 12″ o.c. to meet the specified requirements. The field sheets were mechanically fastened to the metal deck at this rate with 2 layers of half sheets installed around the entire perimeter. Fully adhered membrane was installed up and over all parapet walls to fully encapsulate the walls so that the building owner would not experience any wall issues for future leaks. Once the membrane was fully adhered up and over the parapet walls, new 24 gauge Kynar prefinished metal coping systems were installed on the entire perimeter of the building to give it a completed finish to meet the owners expectations and Carlisle’s roof system requirements.
Some specific details completed over the course of the project were removing some of the skylights on the building which had been major leak sources for the owner and also were not in use anymore. PSR also primed and painted all of the existing drain parts to give it a new restored finish and installed all new drain bolts and washers at all existing drain locations. New wood blocking supports were installed at all of the gas lines on the roof and new Carlisle TPO membrane walk pad was installed at all roof access points.
Perhaps the most challenging part of the re-roofing project was working with the building owner and the tenants to accommodate the fact that the building is an operating medical facility which completes minor medical surgeries, hearing tests, and other medical procedures. For this reason, sound was an issue which Peach State Roofing monitored closely and performed it’s work schedule around the tenants needs. Generators were also placed on extra padding to help eliminate and reduce noise and vibrations on the roof.
The project took approx. 3 weeks to plan, stage, load and complete with the new Carlisle TPO membrane roof system and overall the project was a great success for PSR and the building owner. The system received a 20 year “No Dollar Limit” labor and material warranty from Carlisle and will serve the Rock Hill Medical Park as a great roof system of choice.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Roof Project Highlight: Crossroads Church

In 2016, Peach State Roofing was contracted to complete a commercial roof coating system over an existing structural metal panel roof system. When looking at the building for a commercial roof application that would solve this buildings leak issues, many different solutions were presented to the owner.
The project was for Crossroads Church in Newnan, GA and Peach State Roofing was brought in as a bidder for their roofing work. Over the course of the bid process, Peach State was selected as the contractor of choice for this select building which was just one of many on this campus for the church.
After narrowing down the two main roofing options between a “flute fill” metal retrofit system with TPO membrane and a commercial roof coating, the church selected the commercial roof coating as their application of choice. This coating was selected to fit into their budget and was an option due to their current roof system being in a proper state that a coating could still be recommended and successful with solving their roof issues.
The manufacturer/coating system used was ER Systems and their Acrylic 1000 Plus coating system.
In this application as well as any commercial roof coating application – the preparation and sealing components are perhaps the most important. On this existing metal building structure – it had been coated with a slight silver aluminum coating which had to be removed prior to applying the new coating system so that proper adhesion would take place. The existing aluminum coating was removed using a heavy commercial pressure washing system which took several days to complete exposing the original clean surface of the roof itself. Crews also brought in wire brushes and grinders to remove any excess/existing roof repairs and coated/caulked areas.
Once the existing surface was completely prepared and brought back to its original install state, free of any past repair areas, Peach State Roofing took a thorough step in sealing up all penetrations and leak source areas over the course of the roof. Every vertical, horizontal and penetration seam in the roof system was sealed over with the ER Systems H.E.R. flashing grade roof sealant. Also, any existing or loose screws were removed and replaced with over sized grommet screws. Once all the screws were re-installed, Peach State Roofing installed the ER Systems H.E.R. flashing grade sealant over all screw heads. Site superintendents did several walks over the treated areas to make sure no seams, screws, or penetrations were missed.
After a day of letting the flashing grade sealant cure, Peach State Roofing brought in a base coat layer of the ER Systems 1000 Plus in a gray color to fully coat the roof area. After that layer cured off, a top coat layer of the same ER Systems coating was used again but this time with a white roof coating color so that management could make sure full coverage had occurred over the entire roof surface.
Daily progress reports were done using the Peach State Roofing RoofCloud database system so the owner was kept in good communication daily about the project status.
The roof project turned out to be a great success in how it operated from start to finish and gave the church a great finished roofing project which kept their building water tight and will do so for years to come. Through thorough planning, preparation, and execution – Peach State Roofing installed a long term roof coating system to meet all industry standards and deliver a warranted commercial roof application.