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.

Emergency Roof Leak Call in Edmonton AB

Below you will find a series of field reports, quotations, and photo journals for a large industrial client in Edmonton, Alberta. Our roofing repair crew initially responded to a call for roof maintenance. Over the next two years, various sectors of the site would require complete roof replacement, gutter installations, fixture repairs, and ongoing leak maintenance.  Quotation, May 9 2012:
  • Engineered liquid rubber roof coating: 2-ply coat to complete roof, fastener replacement as required, sheet metal repair as required to achieve a water-tight state.
This product is the first product we have had as roofers that solves metal roof issues and has been extremely successful with considerable and complicated roof systems for a number of our Fortune 500 or multi-national clients.
June 13 2012: We stopped by the shop en route to pick up a trowel, caulking, and wet dry gum (plastic cement) in case the leak was able to be fixed immediately upon inspection. On-site, the client lead us to the leak site where tiles were becoming stained. Visible sagging was noted. After removing the stained ceiling tile, it appeared that the leak was coming in around the RTU unit directly above someone's desk in the southwest corner of the top floor. Upon roof inspection, it was clear to me that the problem area was the plumbing vent in-between the exhaust fan and the RTU unit. It had previously been patched with plastic cement as a temporary solution. There are also a few other areas which could potentially leak in the future; a few gas line penetrations, gum cups around guy wire penetrations for antennae on the roof, and a few flashing issues around exhaust fans. IMG_1827 IMG_1828 IMG_1829 IMG_1830 IMG_1831 IMG_1832 IMG_1833 IMG_1834 IMG_1835 IMG_1836 IMG_1837 IMG_1838 IMG_1839 IMG_1840 IMG_1841 IMG_1842 IMG_1843 IMG_1844 IMG_1845 IMG_1846 IMG_1847 IMG_1848 IMG_1849 IMG_1850 IMG_1851 IMG_1853 IMG_1854 IMG_1855 IMG_1856 IMG_1857 Quotation, June 27 2013:
  • Gutter replacement: supply and install industrial fabricated gutter system to the entire building
Quotation, August 2 2012:
  • Roof repair and maintenance overhaul: remove gravel, wash, repair, return gravel
  • Complete roof replacement options: Spray foam (SPF), EPDM, 2-ply SBS modified bitumen (torch-on), 4-ply engineered liquid rubber roof, TOUGH ROOF
  • Roof recovery options: Spray foam (SPF), 2-ply SBS modified bitumen (torch-on), 1-ply coat tar, 2-ply engineered liquid rubber
Field Observations On this tar and gravel roof, piles are exposed and deteriorating; there are soft spots throughout the roof. There are multiple buckles and blisters. Previous contractors have attempted to stop the leak by caulking and using tar, but this is not working. The roof also has several areas where there is no gravel and has severe damage. The vents and flashing need to be resealed. The exposed bitumen in one area has severe lap splitting. I recommend that the roof be replaced or a recovery system be installed. In the event of a recovery, some areas may require replacement of insulation. The roof is approximately 35 years old and mostly like past the point of repairs. -insert sat photos- Work commenced at this site on August 23 2013 due to rainstorms. Field Report, August 23 2012: Gravel was shoveled away to clear a 40 ft. square, where one leak was found in the roof membrane. The origin was traced to another 10 ft. segment, which was torn up. After removing the old membrane, 2-ply flam flam and cap was torched down. The edges of this fixture were gummed to ensure water tightness. All the metal was then removed from units which contained it and inspected for leaks. It was reinstalled after finding no leaks underneath. Afterwards, six gum boxes were filled and the gravel which had been swept away from the problem area was replaced. IMG_3875 IMG_7136 IMG_7167 IMG_7845 IMG_9253   Flat Roof Scope, September 12 2013: The client has approved a 2-ply torch-on roof recovery. We will cut out wet spots. Metal capping has to be saved, as the client does not want to pay for brand new capping. We will not be providing cranes for this site, use jack units if you have to. The metal roof will also need a liquid rubber application. Materials
  • 24x 205 L drums of MetalSafe B-300
  • 24x 18.9 L pails of MetalSafe S-300
  • 15x 18.9 L pails of TrowelGrade B-400
September 19 2013: After making a supply run, we arrived to the site at 2:00 pm. The existing gutter system was measured and called in to get a price quotation for new gutters. September 23 2013: We finished tearing off the existing system and kept torching cap sheet on. A propane refill will be required soon (2x 50 lb. tanks). A bin was also dropped off on-site for waste removal. September 26 2013: Cap metal was measured for the flat roof and we sent in an order for materials. Overhanging cap sheeting was also cut back to a proper size. Liquid rubber preparation work has also begun. Once metal fabrication is completed, we will begin gutter replacement. October 9 2013: New hires were tasked with adding polyurethane to the window sidings and complete roof sheeting. A large part of the morning was spent troubleshooting the liquid rubber machine, but we managed to finish application before the day was finished. We scheduled gutter installation with the client in December. Materials:
  • 4x rolls of SBS cap
  • 4x tubes of SOPRAMASTIC, caulking-style
  • 2x caulking guns
December 10 2013: Assessment before gutter installation - yimg-1108810272-101-1470536555 yimg-1109027976-101-113628373 yimg-1109027976-101--1753848245 yimg-1109059328-101-568203035 December 11 2013: We set a new hire on building gutter end caps. It was a bit slow going since this was his first time doing so with gutters. Two other crew members installed gutter hangers. In the afternoon, the newly built gutter caps and one downpipe were installed. 20131211_163333 20131211_163342 20131211_163355 20131211_163409 20131211_164503   December 13 2013: A large section was ice was removed to install a piece of industrial guttering with attached end caps. We then added hangers and fixed some deficiencies that arose with previously installed gutters and hangars. Two more crew members arrived a couple of hours later and installed gutter downspouts. While they were at it, problematic gutter attachments were dealt with. By the end of the day, all hangars and end caps were completed. Four downspouts remain as well as a small gutter section at the entrance which requires an assessment. 20131213_152531 20131213_152536 20131213_152540 20131213_155034 yimg-1109407680-101-685963814 yimg-1109407680-101--1584029527 December 18 2013: image (1) image (2) image (3) image (4) image (5) image (6) image (7) image (8) image (9) image (10) image (11) image (12) image (13) image December 19 2013: 20131219_092739 20131219_092756 20131219_092806 20131219_092835 20131219_092842 20131219_092847 20131219_092909 20131219_093002 20131219_093546 20131219_093553 20131219_093612 20131219_094323 20131219_094905 20131219_095148 20131219_095155 20131219_095830 20131219_095900 20131219_100031 20131219_100641 20131219_100647 January 2 2014: We were called back for another gutter inspection. Most of the seams are leaking in from the west side of the building and east of the client's main office. The gutter installation job was done in very cold weather, which could be the reason for the leaks. The caulking was probably not well applied. We should review all of the seams for further leaks. 20140102_161544 20140102_161620 20140102_161743 20140102_161750  20140102_161816  20140102_161851  20140102_162058 20140102_161544 20140102_161620  20140102_161750    20140102_161851 20140102_161914 20140102_162058 20140102_162525 20140102_162601 20140102_162616 20140102_162659 20140102_162715 20140102_162739 20140102_162809 20140102_162827 20140102_162849  20140102_162916 20140102_162935  20140102_174714 January 21 2014: Firstly, all ice was removed around the affected unit. Detail patches were torched onto the unit corner, and we re-gummed a gum box. There was a piece of cap that was torched a quarter of the way; the rest had peeled off the affected unit. We dried the peeling and torched it back into place. This was probably the main cause of the office leak. Afterwards, five more soft gum boxes were touched up. A skeleton crew was left behind for firewatch at the end of the day.   20140121_093936 20140121_105608 20140121_122326 20140121_125637 20140121_130513 20140121_135350 20140121_135358 20140121_135411 20140121_135810 20140121_135821 20140121_135834 20140121_155128   < End Report > Code: 130 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.