EPDM Roof Restoration with Liquid Rubber Coatings, September 2015, Edmonton

GRS first carried out an inspection and some light repairs on this commercial building's EPDM roof in April of 2012. There are two roofs in this system, one EPDM and one metal. We began working on the roof in September of 2015, proceeding with an engineered liquid rubber coating, on top of repairing any new fault areas that have developed since then. Check out this page for the original inspection information, though it may be referenced in some sections below.
Table of Contents:
Inspection
Scope of Work
Roof Reports [all 2015]
  Inspection: April 17, 2012 The original inspection is very thorough and worth reviewing. In summary, the EPDM and metal roof was suffering from some puncture holes, leaks, and membrane degradation. The structure itself is sound, but could use some maintenance to address then-current and future problems. Spot repairs could be carried out, or the roof could be recovered with a new watertight system (ie: liquid rubber).   Scope of Work: September 7, 2015 The crew made a list of things to present to the client, covering all of the pertinent safety information and everything needed to demonstrate that the scope of the project has been thoroughly considered. Below is a copy of everything they were prepared to cover.
Required on site to show HSE Manager:
  • GRS tool box documents
  • MSDS (attached)
  • WHIMIS tickets.
  • First aider with ticket
  • Fall arrest tickets
  • First aid kit
  • Pylons and caution tape for 6' control zone
  • Harnesses and ropes
  • Proper safety glasses
  • Steel toe boats (with green triangle symbol)
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Gloves
 
Other:
  • Liquid rubber - 15 - 17 pails
  • Rollers, sleeves, brushes
  • Seam tape
  • Flashing mesh
  • Pressure washer, hose, electrical - be sure to advise office staff that roof may leak while washing.
  • Rags (materials to dry roof)
  • EPDM repair materials and tools
 
Notes:
  • Access to roof is with roof door - walk out on roof. Do not use ladders to access roof.
  Scope of Work:   Roof 1. EPDM ballast roof restoration. Approximately 36' x 50'
  • Remove rock ballast from half of EPDM roof
  • Wash EPDM roof membrane to white-glove clean
  • Repair EPDM as required
  • Coat half roof with liquid rubber (about 900 sq feet or 3 - 5 pails)
  • Return ballast to EPDM roof
  • Remove rock ballast from other half of EPDM roof
  • Wash EPDM roof membrane to white-glove clean
  • Repair EPDM as required
  • Coat half roof with liquid rubber (about 900 sq feet or 3 - 5 pails)
  • Return ballast to EPDM roof
  Roof 2. Metal Roof Coating. Approximately 56' x 50' Details first. Wash roof and/or internal gutters as required. Dry. Reinforce all your details with liquid rubber and/or seam tape or mesh as required before rolling out or spraying liquid rubber. Check all fasteners and replace as required or coat with liquid rubber. Check all rooftop penetrations, flashing, roof-to-wall connections, roof eave to gutter area, internal gutters and sheet metal connections, internal gutter to wall connections, and seams (especially horizontal) that may be separating. Clear old caulking etc. Add seam tape or mesh with liquid rubber. Coat complete metal roof, in gutters, and up parapet walls 30" in liquid rubber. Be sure to tape off a clean line at wall at a height of 30" or so - the line needs to be clean and straight. Pay close attention to internal gutters especially where sheet metal connects and where the internal gutter is at a vertical meeting the metal roof edge (that's where most leaks on these systems occur).  
Metal roof coating repair video and explanation of scope of work at this link:
  Roof Report: September 8, 2015 The team met in the morning for a brief safety meeting with the entire crew present. They then went up to the roof to begin moving the ballast from the west side onto the east side, preparing the area for cleaning. Using pressure washers to clean off the surface, the team found some difficulty with the amount of clay mixed in with the dirt. They sent one of the technicians out to pick up more scrub pads that could handle the tougher soil. Heavy rain began rolling in, so the team had to depart a little bit early. Half of the roof is cleaned off and prepared for the following day's application of liquid rubber. Plan for September 9: Arrive for 7:00am, and put down the first layer of liquid rubber on the now-complete half of the roof. While it cures, the second half of the roof will be prepared for the same.  
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Puncture hole around the detailing of a ventilation unit.
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Pressure washers were used to clean the surface, which was covered in a mixture of clay and dirt.
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Scrub pads were used to remove the remaining soil. After the roof was dirt-free, we gave it a final wash.
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We had to shut the site down when heavy rain began to roll in. Half of the roof was cleared and now prepared for liquid rubber applications.
    Roof Report: September 9, 2015 The GRS crew arrived on site for 6:45am, and had their toolbox meeting for fifteen minutes until the client arrived to grant access to the roof. They began by clearing off the residual moisture and prepared to apply the liquid rubber to half of the EPDM roof. In the meanwhile, the other part of the team was at the shop picking up another six buckets of the liquid rubber solution. By the time they'd returned, the first team kept cleaning the metal roof. Half of the metal roof had liquid rubber applied to it, and the technicians kept preparing the gutter and sidewalls for recovery. Once the west side of the EPDM roof had cured, the crew moved the ballast back from the east side. They kept preparing and cleaning the east side for tomorrow's application of liquid rubber, as some rainfall prevented them from more liquid rubber application. Both the EPDM and metal roofs have been half-completed with liquid rubber, with the other half prepared for the following day's work. The customer also reported a heavy leak, which was traced and temporarily patched until it can be addressed at-length.
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Completed liquid rubber coatings on one of the metal roofs.
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Clearing away residual moisture and ballast rocks from the other half of the EPDM roof.
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Detailing around the rooftop units also required new coatings, with cracks forming around the corners.
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After cleaning the remaining portion of the metal roof, a second team of technicians completed the coatings after preparing the gutter and sidewalls for recovery.
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Various rooftop appliances also required coatings around their bases.
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Once the EPDM had cured, we applied liquid rubber to half of the roof which had previously been covered in residual moisture.
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The parapet walls were inspected for various deficiencies, such as punctures and pockets formed at the wall connections.
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Initial patch applied to the detailing around a rooftop unit on the metal roof.
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Remaining half of the metal roof to be recovered.
  Roof Report: September 10, 2015 Work began on the roof around 6:45am, where the team got to cleaning the EPDM roof in preparation for more liquid rubber. Everything was cleaned and prepared for 10:00am, and after a brief coffee break one technician got to applying the rubber solution to the ribs of the metal roof while another applied it to the EPDM. The two remaining crew mates finished up the mesh and detail work on the metal roof, working through 12:30pm until lunch. Resuming at 1:00, they all continued with their assigned tasks until the metal roof was done around 3:00pm. The EPDM roof has a 5' x 36' section still requiring ballast removal, cleaning, and liquid rubber application. It's expected that the work will be finished tomorrow.
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After clearing the ballast rocks from the other half of the EPDM roof, we again had to wash off the clay/dirt mixtures from the surface.
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After washing the detritus, the surface was nearly ready for liquid rubber coatings. Scrub pads were used to remove any remaining buildups. One 5' x 36' section of ballast was still remaining, as well.
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Concurrently, another technician applied coatings to the remaining metal roof's ribs.
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Completed liquid rubber recovery to an EPDM roof.
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Completed metal roof.
    Roof Report: September 11, 2015 The crew arrived on site for 7:30am, and got to cleaning the remaining section of the EPDM roof. By the time they took a break around 10:10am the roof was clean and ready for the liquid rubber. They performed a leak test on the second roof, and made sure that there was no water ingress to the offices below. Once confirmed, they prepared the breather holes on the metal roof's ribbing with mesh and rubber. Lunch break went from 11:30 - 12:00pm, and the EPDM roof was finished shortly after. The rubber has to cure before the ballast can be replaced, so the team moved on to the metal roof to continue adhering the mesh and rubber to the ribbing. Come 2:40pm, they had the site cleaned up and marked the job complete. < End Report >   CODE: 6621 Contact Us Call our 24 hour emergency roof repair at 1.780.424.7663. Mail to: 3428 99 Street NW Edmonton, Alberta T6E-5X5. We service all of Alberta including Edmonton, Stony Plain, Spruce Grove, Fort Saskatchewan, St Albert, Sherwood Park, Leduc, Nisku, Beaumont, Lac La Biche, Grande Prairie, High Level, Westlock, Slave Lake, Edson, Drayton Valley, Devon, Camrose, Wetaskiwin, Tofield, Lamont, Morinville, Vegreville, Tofield, Millet, Calmar, Evansburg, Redwater, Onaway, Viking, Athabasca, High Prairie, Valleyview, Fairview, Peace River, Whitecourt, Mayerthorpe and many more rural areas and towns.  

Commercial Roofing Maintenance in Edmonton AB, January 2011 and May 2014

Below you will find field reports and project management notes from our Edmonton roofing repair crew responding to maintenance calls for an ongoing commercial real estate client.  Maintenance Call, January 20 2011:
Further to the situation at our other property, we have received confirmation that the owner has completed all he can do for snow removal at this site. As per our conversation, we would like a site assessment and quotation. This information will then be forwarded to the owner for a final decision.
Post-Repair Report, January 17 2011: There was water in the roof drain, but we noticed the down-pipe was frozen solid. Water was forced out of the pipe near the top of the wall and caused lots of ice to form against it. Ice melt was spread out around the pipe and drain. The drain pipe should be removed and thawed, or otherwise replaced completely. A tenant on the ground floor unit told us there might be as many as four units in this block (northeast corner) that have roof leaks. We should schedule a meeting with the building superintendent so he can let us in to see where they are. January 18 2011: We were shown three other units that reported leaks. Only one on the southwest corner was an actual leak caused by a frozen drain pipe. The leak on the northeast corner that we worked on yesterday has stopped. The owner also inquired about pricing for snow removal. January 19 2011: The owner has advised us that he will be cleaning the snow off the roof himself. Post-inspection indicates that there are many potential issues that will come about during the spring thaw. The roof will like experience failures during this time. The drain pipe should also be replaced. The client called us back a couple of years later inquiring about a roof replacement. We have attached notes from the project manager as well, detailing his recommendations, pros, and cons of each system. Quotation, May 15 2014:
  • Complete roof replacement options:
    • Spray foam only (+ top coating - polyurea, liquid rubber, or EPDM)
    • EPDM
    • TPO or PVC
    • 2-ply SBS modified bitumen (torch-on)
    • 4-ply engineered liquid rubber roof
    • TOUGH ROOF
  • Sustainable Roofing - Roof Recovery
    • Spray foam only (+ top coating - polyurea, liquid rubber, or EPDM)
    • EPDM
    • TPO or PVC
    • 2-ply SBS modified bitumen (torch-on)
    • 1-ply coat tar
    • 2-ply engineered liquid rubber
Project Manager Recommendations This roof appears to be a candidate for any of the systems above. Although we can perform repairs or a complete re-conditioning (maintenance), we cannot guarantee any probability of material performance or success (beyond our Lifetime Workmanship Guarantee, automatically included with any work we do). I will preface my personal recommendations with a list of important things to remember when reviewing roof system choices:
  1. All low slope roof membranes on the market are "good products" - performance depends on who installs the system, the quality of roof assembly components, and geographical area.
  2. All roof membranes have similar life-cycle expectancy and associated costs.
  3. All roof membranes will provide excellent protection over many years if maintained properly.
  4. GRS installs all different system types. Not every roofing contractor can or does install them, so personal bias can play a role in recommendations.
  5. All low slope roof systems have pros and cons.
Two of my personal recommendations for colder Canadian climates are the 2-ply SBS torch-on and the single-ply EPDM. We are discovering that EPDM achieves one of our highest probabilities of success. It has consistent performance, price point, and ease of maintenance (provided it is fully adhered and not ballasted). SBS is also widely used and has performed consistently in Western Canada. In addition to the roof membrane, if you require added R value I would consider adding roof insulation boards or a spray-foam with a liquid rubber. Polyurea or EPDM as a covering. As noted above, one of our recommendations is the single ply roofs. Of the single plys, I recommend EPDM over TPO and PVC as TPO and PVC are heat welded and technician error can play into the integrity of seaming. GRS has many hundreds of thousands of square feet on hundreds of buildings with fully adhered EPDM performing exceptionally well across Western Canada. FYI: ballasted EPDM can be a nuisance to maintain as the rock ballast becomes a significant landscaping endeavour, so we choose to fully-adhere EPDM when possible. And finally are the Tough Roof, 4-ply tar and gravel, and the 4-ply liquid rubber options. Tar and gravel (and torch-n) have been used successfully in Western Canada for a number of decades now. They do, however, use an open flame or kettle and the SBS modified torch-on also has seams that can be problematic if the torch applicator is not highly skilled. The Tough Roof system is a great system that in some instances could be considered over-kill and the 4-ply liquid rubber system can be problematic if installing outside of perfect summer conditions. A note specifically to the spray foam SPF roofing - we have experienced a number of roof failures in colder climates due to the top coat cracking and peeling when not applied properly and to the recommended thickness. Many roofing companies are pricing SPF roofing in such a way that it is difficult for them to be profitable applying the top-coat at a proper thickness. If not applied correctly, the spray foam elastomeric or polyurea coatings are prone to cracking and peeling. Water then penetrates the foam and gets in-between the existing roof system and foam, then runs, and then we have to replace the roof as there is no way to get the water out between the systems. A properly applied polyurea spray coat, liquid rubber spray coat, or EPDM membrane solves that problem. With spray foam (specifically in Canada) we prefer to cover it with EPDM primarily, and if not with EPDM then liquid rubber. We prefer to not use the standard polyurea or reflective elastomerics. Additional notes for consideration:
  1. Skylights are not included in pricing unless otherwise noted.
  2. If structure is experiencing condensation prior to renovation or does in future - a repair, recovery, replacement, or any work done by GRS under this contract is not guaranteed to alleviate condensation issues.
  3. GRS is not responsible for the structure currently or in future experiencing any deflecting, warping, or settling. GRS is not responsible to assess or advise toward engineering issues. If you have any concern about the engineering of the building, please check with an engineer in advance of any roofing work commencing.
  4. Due to the nature of low slope roofing and although all care and attention is expected by the crews at work, GRS is not responsible for water ingress that may result during construction or retro-fitting of a low-slope or “flat roof” system.
< End Report > Code: 153 Contact Us Call our 24 hour emergency roof repair at 1.780.424.7663. Mail to: 3428 99 Street NW Edmonton, Alberta T6E-5X5. We service all of Alberta including Edmonton, Stony Plain, Spruce Grove, Fort Saskatchewan, St Albert, Sherwood Park, Leduc, Nisku, Beaumont, Lac La Biche, Grande Prairie, High Level, Westlock, Slave Lake, Edson, Drayton Valley, Devon, Camrose, Wetaskiwin, Tofield, Lamont, Morinville, Vegreville, Tofield, Millet, Calmar, Evansburg, Redwater, Onaway, Viking, Athabasca, High Prairie, Valleyview, Fairview, Peace River, Whitecourt, Mayerthorpe and many more rural areas and towns.