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Improved Productivity Helps Meet Deadlines

When a metropolitan daily newspaper was looking for a new roof to replace the 20-year old ballasted EPDM roof on their printing and production facility in Columbus, Ohio, they had several requirements: the roof had to be watertight, have a white membrane to reduce energy consumption and the heat island effect, come with a 25-year warranty, be cost-effective, and have no roofing membrane penetrations.

 “This is a very important building and houses very expensive and sophisticated equipment,” said Bill Hope, vice president of sales at Alumni Roofing of Lexington, Ohio. “The customer needed a roof that would be watertight and yet would fit their budget.” In the past, several other sections of this building were roofed with a system consisting of several layers of felt mopped into hot asphalt, and then topped with a PVC Elvaloy membrane. “The customer preferred that system because he didn’t like fasteners going through metal decking or roofing membrane,” Hope stated.  Alumni Roofing had installed this type of system on two other roof sections for the daily newspaper, but decided to suggest something more economical for this roof. “We suggested they use a GAF 60 mil white TPO roofing membrane fastened with the RhinoBond® Induction Welding System,” said Hope, adding that Alumni Roofing is a GAF Master Select Commercial Roofing Contractor. RhinoBond, from OMG Roofing Products of Agawam, Mass., is based on electromagnetic induction welding. The system uses the same fastener and plate to secure both the insulation and the membrane to the roof deck without penetrating the roofing cover. The result is a roofing system with improved wind performance that requires 25 to 50% fewer fasteners and plates and fewer membrane seams to weld on the roof.

The RhinoBond system is Factory Mutual approved and can be used with PVC and TPO roofing systems. In addition, since the fastening points are spread out across the roof deck in a grid-pattern rather than concentrated in the seams of the membrane, the wind uplift load is distributed more evenly. The result is less point loading on each fastener, enabling the system to achieve higher wind ratings with fewer fasteners. “Another advantage of the RhinoBond system is that we can install the roof more efficiently than with traditional mechanically attached methods and pass those reduced labor costs on to the customer,” Hope explained. “It is also much cheaper than using asphalt.” Added Todd Lindeman, general manager at Alumni Roofing, “When the customer saw there would be no penetrations – that in effect, this would be a monolithic roofing system – he was very interested. Then when he saw the price he really fell in love with it.”

Another specification for the project required that the old roof had to be recycled to the extent possible. Alumni Roofing started the installation by suctioning off the gravel ballast, which was later used for landscaping on the property. After that the EPDM membrane, the insulation and a layer of gypsum were also removed and recycled. “In total, we recycled about 95 percent of the old roof,” Lindeman stated. Alumni Roofing then mechanically attached one layer of 3-in. polyisocyanurate insulation using the GAF RhinoBond insulation plates and 6-in. GAF Extra Heavy Duty #15 Roofing Fasteners. The fasteners were installed in a two-foot by three-foot grid pattern in the field of the roof and with extra fasteners around the perimeter. With RhinoBond technology, membrane width is no longer a factor. Instead of perimeter half-sheets, a tighter fastening pattern in these areas provides additional attachment points for full-width membrane, thus requiring less seam welding on the roof. After reattaching all existing saddles and tapering insulation around the skylights,

OMG Hercules® RetroFit Roof Drains were then installed, and the white TPO roof membrane was bonded to the insulation plates with the RhinoBond Induction Welding Tool. Lindeman also said the crew really enjoyed working with the stand-up RhinoTrac attachment tool for installing RhinoBond plates and fasteners. The RhinoTrac tool does the work of two by dropping a plate and driving the fastener in one motion. It’s easy to use and ergonomically designed so it’s a healthier option for the crew. “Some of the older crew members were leery about the system at first, but once they started using the stand-up RhinoTrac tool, they noticed a tremendous difference in their backs,” he explained. “Now the younger guys don’t have a chance of using it because the older guys won’t let the tools out of their hands.” Lindeman added that the system turns a two-guy operation into a one-guy operation. “I really love the RhinoBond system because you can work a lot faster than with other installation methods,” remarked Lindeman. “For instance, with a typical mechanically fastened roof our eight person crew would average about 40 squares a day, but with the RhinoBond system the same crew averaged between 60 and 70 squares.” “The productivity with RhinoBond is phenomenal,” Hope stated. “It is much greater than with other systems.”

Good Reports All Around

OMG’s NightShot® polyurethane foam was also a big time saver for Alumni Roofing. This product forms a temporary seal between new roof membranes and existing asphalt systems, and was used by Alumni Roofing to seal the new GAF TPO membrane to the old, now unballasted EPDM roofing membrane. “It was very important that we kept the building dry during reroofing to protect the expensive printing equipment inside, so the tie-in each night had to be watertight,” Hope said. “Before we started using NightShot it took eight guys about two hours to put down a termination bar and then a sealant for the tie-in. With NightShot it only took two guys about 20 or 30 minutes to get the same result.” Lindeman added that NightShot did a great job of keeping water out. “One section of NightShot was there for two weeks and there wasn’t a single drop of water.”

Speaking of water management, 12 new Hercules drains were also installed on the roof. “Every project we do includes Hercules drains because they are very well engineered, perform exceptionally well, last forever and look great,” explained Lindeman. “The mechanical seal prevents backflow and the aluminum never corrodes. In fact, they can be reused 15 or 20 years later when the roof is replaced.” Most important, added Hope, “we’ve never had a Hercules drain fail.”

Thanks to OMG Roofing Products and the quality of Alumni Roofing’s installation, the roof on the daily newspaper production facility should enjoy many years of trouble-free life. “Our customer wanted a roof that’s going to last, and so far so good,” said Hope. “It was raining cats and dogs here for about a day and a half and there were no leaks with the new roof. The customer knows the RhinoBond system is a good value and plans to use it again.” “We see OMG Roofing Products as our partners,” Lindeman remarked. “They are always looking for things that will make us better and more productive, and we get all our screws, plates, drains from them. We are firm believers in staying with what works.”

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