Metal roof renewal system keeps things cool and improves energy efficiency

Feb. 8, 2008
In this installment of What Works, a new metal roof renewal system stops leaks and reflects rays.

Elliott Co. ( is a single-source supplier for turbomachinery repairs, handling large steam and gas turbines, as well as compressors and turbines manufactured by other suppliers. This division of Ebara Group, headquartered in Jeanette, Pa., operates around the globe in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Canada, Latin America, the Far East and Australia, and has seven reconditioning facilities in the United States. Its commitment to customer operations with service personnel on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, makes maintenance even more critical.

The 20-year-old roof on the building housing Elliott’s central offices covers 34,000 sq. ft. with galvanized, corrugated 24-gauge panels, underlain by insulation. Leaks were reported primarily at the seams, a familiar occurrence on metal roofs more than 15 years old. It’s commonly caused by a combination of adhesive dried “pucky” between seams, resulting in seams losing their seal, and years of thermally induced movement.

Leaking seams can be addressed without the high costs of tear-off and replacement. After a thorough review of the options available, Elliott chose a highly solar reflective liquid system supplied by Topps Products, Inc. ( Backed by a 10-year warranty, the Topps system had the highest elongation and tensile strength and lowest water vapor permeability of any of the products considered, and has independent certification for meeting Energy Star requirements.

Elliott Facilities Manager George Yatsko selected Tuscano Maher Roofing, Inc. ( to carry out the application, Mike Maher prepared the job plan and Joe Slapinski supervised the application.

The roof had been inspected thoroughly for hidden as well as obvious problems before the proposal. The seams and fasteners were reviewed and marked as needed for mechanical repairs, a necessary procedure recommended by Topps along with any needed repairs of vent penetrations.

When the Tuscano Maher crew arrived at the facility, the first step was to tighten loose fasteners and make the mechanical repairs. The roof was then thoroughly power-washed to remove dirt and other loose materials. Seams were sealed using the 100% rubber compound RivetGuard, with a sandwich of liquid rubber repair material and PolyCore, a strong polyester rip-stop-like cloth, at critical areas. Each fastener on the roof was sealed with RivetGuard. The vent penetrations (pictured) were carefully sealed with a combination of Polyprene, a highly viscous, all-rubber flashing repair material, and PolyCore.

At this point the roof was watertight and prepared for the two final protective layers of fully adhered liquid rubber Topps Seal Excel protective coating. The highly reflective roof coating system will require less maintenance in the future because the temperature range of the roof surface through heat and cooling cycles is greatly reduced, lowering stress on seams and fasteners.

At Elliott, the fact that the Topps Seal system products meet Energy Star requirements and are backed by CRRC and Title 24 Certification translated into a reduction in kilowatt usage: While the average temperature in August 2007 was 1.1% higher than for the same period in 2006, the building’s cooling system used almost 12% fewer kilowatt hours.

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