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.