Roofing Los Angeles Historic Structure

Historic roof
Roofing Problem: Parking structure (four story) leaks were unresolved for many years. Roofing Contractors were giving the Building Engineer a different answer for each roofer inspecting the site with no clear course to resolve with certainty.
Roofing Answer: We were retained as a Consultant to develop Specifications and obtain bids.
The concrete roof deck limited pinpointing leak origin, yet we observed that the roof leaks were primarily at the perimeter, isolating the issue to scupper drains at the parapet walls, and deteriorated felt underlayment beneath the tile mansard.
The original organic felt tested negative for asbestos content, and was removed. The mission style tile was salvaged for reuse apart from minor handling breakage and the replacement tiles were dispersed to create a uniform appearance. A new polymer modified, self adhesive underlayment was selected for its ability to self seal around fastener penetrations and the tile was reinstalled with a tie wire system to create an economical and extremely durable solution. The project came in so far under budget, Management elected to seal the central main roof area as well, followed by the twelve story main roof areas.

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Commercial Roofing Management–Cool Roof–Restoration vs Replacement

When roof leaks, repair and maintenance costs, or the threat of increasing roof leaks in sensitive environments increase, building Owners and Managers often conclude “I need a new roof.”

If the building is air conditioned and located in California, the installation will have to comply with theTitle 24 and CRRC “Cool Roof” certification, which also meets LEED standards.

Cool roofs reduce cooling costs in air conditioned buildings, prolong the life of the roofing system, and keep non air conditioned building interiors cooler and more comfortable for workers.

Many replacement choices require removal of the existing system with higher cost, landfill use, risk of weather damage, and debris.

Some restoration systems can be installed with no need to tear off your old roofing, resulting in little or no disturbance to building occupants.

Application of a smooth, seamless roof system is quieter with no heavy equipment, is sustainable and easily maintained–there is no gravel or granules to hide the roof surface.

The system can be upgraded through the years, extending the manufacturer’s warranty and the life of the roof.

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Commercial Roof Restoration

Building Management needed a cost effective cure for the old aggregate (slag) surfaced coal tar pitch roof on this building.
Roof removal always adds cost – with a high rise, bagging the rock, old roofing material and insulation for removal through freight elevators is even more labor intensive.
We’ve done this before, and with proper equipment it is just a matter of paying for the extra time, yet if this step can be avoided the cost savings are significant.
Here we were able to specify and provide quality control for the installation of a multi layer cold process asphalt system reinforced with both chopped fiberglass and polyester mesh fabric.
The preparation involved removing all the loose aggregate, thoroughly power washing the roof surface, and cutting out and replacing small areas of damaged insulation.
Preparation took longer than anticipated cleaning decades of airborne contaminants embedded in the irregular surface, but this step is essential and must be done correctly to ensure correct adhesion of the fully adhered new roofing materials.
A leveling base ply of chopped fiberglass and asphalt emulsion was followed by two layers of polyester fabric embedded in additional cold process asphalt.
The benefits of bentonite clay stabilized cold process asphalt emulsions are three fold: 1) It is resistant to ponding water in areas of less than ideal drainage, 2) moisture vapor permeability eliminates blistering in the finished system, and 3) because the asphalt is never heated or oxidized, the weathering life is enhanced.
This system was finished with reflective surfacing.
Ten years later, with maintenance servicing on the coating, the system continues to perform well.


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Commercial Roofing Management-Secrets To Finding Roof Leaks

Roof repair is indicated when the roof is in generally good condition yet isolated leak areas appear.

We have learned to isolate roof leaks that have confounded roofing Contractors for years without resolution by following a careful systematic approach.

Step one is accuracy. Most contractors are under pressure to maximize earnings by moving quickly through projects and on to the next. Identifying roof leaks can be learned, but takes time in implementation. Don’t rush. It is true that you may sometimes find something obvious, but there are many cases where the leak is hidden and not obvious.

The best way to track a leak that is difficult to locate is to identify the point of water entry from inside the building. If ceiling tiles block the view of the deck underside, remove them. Look for any identifying characteristics nearby such as pipe penetrations, air handling equipment or ductwork penetrations that will help locate the precise area on the roof above.

It is easy to think you are looking at the correct roof area and actually be off by several feet or even much more. While still inside the building, find a reference point that you can identify from the roof top and measure from there. You might use the front wall, a side wall, a corner, a tree sighted through a window to mark a wall location or any clear landmark, then use a walking stick type measuring wheel to lay out a grid and make a small diagram to carry with you up on to the roof. This way you can precisely pinpoint the area to check and you are ahead of most individuals that often guess, sometimes right, sometimes wrong.

Often you will have already seen something from the underside of the roof deck that tells you what kind of roof leak problem you have. The water could be entering at a drain sump, at the base of a parapet wall, at an HVAC unit, or pipe, or heated pipe flashing. By carefully inspecting those areas you will often find the source easily.

Remember sheet metal enclosures like ductwork form an open path to the interior so tiny voids at corners, or missing sheet metal screws on filter covers, or dislodged gasketing materials may be all that is needed to allow rain water to enter.

The roof system type will influence the type of defect. For single ply thermoplastic membranes look for tiny punctures around equipment serviced by personnel. Also check termination bar sealant and seams for signs of incipient peeling. For built up roofs note carefully any blisters underfoot. These are areas where moisture has penetrated and become trapped, so they serve as guides to leak areas. Also watch for areas of cracked roofer’s mastic especially at any spot where sheet metal flashing touches the roof because the metal moves with temperature changes and the mastic becomes brittle with age. Check scupper drains inside and also at the drain outlet on the other side of the parapet.

For tricky leaks use a moisture meter to read dampness beneath the surface and guide you to the spot that may not be visible.

Finally, check non roof related areas such as EIFS sheet metal foam covers on shopping centers, drainage problems at the base of exterior walls, and other miscellaneous decorative features in construction that may be above the roof yet still allow water to enter through the interior spaces in a wall.

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Commercial Roofing Management – Long Distance Services

Long Distance Services

Objective third party Roofing Contractor Bid Evaluation
Roof Cost Analysis
• Specification Review – in addition to cost, one must understand the exact type (quality and description of) roofing materials to be installed
• Customized Specifications include on site inspection and travel expenses. Travel expenses are additional where required.
• Standard Specifications include Manufacturer approved Specifications and Drawings for roof system and materials that have been selected.

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We’re a commercial roofing Consultant. Lower your cost and improve quality by developing Specifications bid simultaneously. Spend less, get more. We’ve been delivering improved roofing results since 1989. E-mail us to schedule an initial survey.

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Saving your money and time since 1989.

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Commercial Roofing Management – How to Find Hidden Leaks in a Gravel Surfaced Roof

Leaks in an aging built up roof surfaced with aggregate such as slag or gravel can be tough to locate unless there are visible clues such as blistering, ridging, splitting, cracks in sealant around pipe penetrations or equipment or at pitch pockets.

When leaks seem to occur in a wide expanse of open roof area with no clues, try this:

Spread out a sheet of clear plastic sheeting and secure the perimeter with weights to prevent wind uplift, then observe that area under the heat of the sun. The damp areas should form more condensation on the underside of the clear polyethylene helping to isolate the leak area for repair.

Larger areas of dampness are generally located with infrared photography or mapping the areas with an inductance type moisture meter.

The aggregate surface can be swept back to search for isolated defects, but if the water is simply seeping through the roof, this can be an indication that the asphalt has deteriorated within the plies. Sealing the surface in that area may provide a temporary cure, but these symptoms may indicate a more thorough solution is needed.

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