Northwest Reroof

Bayfront Condos Get a New Lease on Life in Port Townsend, Washington

by Rufus Aylwin, Aylwin Roofing, Beaverton, Oregon

From Western Roofing May/Jun ’14

The old, wood shake shingles on the Bayfront condos in Port Townsend, Washington, had weathered to the point that a reroof was necessary. The three-story building overlooks Port Townsend Bay, at the northeast end of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. At high tide the water comes up to the building and at low tide the receding water leaves exposed rocks. Port Townsend has a moderate climate with the potential for cool breezes and fogs from the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The building had wood shake shingles at a 12/12 pitch with virtually no access. This project involved the tear-off of the wood shakes, new roof sheathing, new paper, and new shingles. Numerous challenges faced the contractors. The first trial was to make sure that none of the roofing contractors fell into the bay. Next, the occupants of the building needed to stay dry. At the same time, a very careful tear-off was crucial so that none of the roofing debris was allowed to fall into the bay.

CentiMark Corporation, a nationwide commercial roofing contractor, was hired to perform the difficult job on this high-end waterfront condominium project. They were asked to find a solution that would offer peace of mind to the building owner while giving consideration to budget, performance, and the environment. This particular roofing project presented several challenges, including many roof penetrations, unpredictable weather conditions, high-pitched slope, and hard to reach access areas.

Raul Bonilla, foreman on the project, works out of the Auburn, Washington branch of CentiMark. He addressed the safety concerns for the crew, environmental concerns, and the best materials to be used in this harsh environment. His first choice was Safeguard 30® Hybrid Underlayment with CertainTeed Presidential Shake. He wanted products that were both easy to install and reliable. Safeguard 30 was chosen particularly because of the ease of installation, the efficiency of four squares of coverage per roll, and it can be stapled with hammer-tacker. The Safeguard 30 grips as well as 30lb felt but does not tear out with stress from being walked on and will not blow off with high winds.

Over 70 squares of wood shake had to be removed and new plywood roof sheathing installed before the roofing application could begin. All material had to be craned to the top of the building for storage and manhandled down to the individual crews working on each section.


“In addition to Safeguard 30 customer service, the crews really liked the product better than others they have used in the past. Safeguard 30 was really easy to install and the coverage was great,” commented Bonilla.

Safeguard 30 Hybrid Underlayment is a roofing underlayment that combines the proven technology behind asphalt-based underlayments, with a new high-performance nonwoven polyester reinforcement. The durability enables Safeguard 30 to hold fasteners better and provide better tear strength and puncture resistance. Safeguard 30 unrolls evenly and flat in warm and cold weather, weighs less than felt, and provides greater coverage per roll.

As a company, CentiMark specializes in steep-slope roof replacements on multi-family and commercial buildings. One of CentiMark’s primary considerations whenever planning a very difficult project is the safety of the occupants and the crew. They consider Safeguard 30 an excellent option for their clients. “With Safeguard 30, we knew we could trust that the underlayment would not tear under the feet of the installers, especially with the steep slope of the roof. In consideration of the unpredictable weather conditions we also needed a product that would not blow off at night prior to the installation of the shingles. Right after the plywood deck was down we could see the classic northwest wind and rain picking up. Luckily, we were able to dry-in our exposed area with only three rolls of Safeguard 30 at over four squares per roll. The next morning, all was well with no water damage to the condominiums,” Bonilla stated.

When the underlayment will be covered immediately, Safeguard 30 can be installed quickly with just A-11 hammer-tacker staples. The use of cap nails is recommended if covering of the underlayment is delayed. In an effort to continually improve the product, testing was completed in accordance with the Thermal Stability section from ASTM D1970-09 and the results show that Safeguard 30 passed all necessary requirements. In addition, testing was performed to evaluate the liquid water transmission property of Safeguard 30 in accordance with ASTM D4869; and it passed this test, also.

Bonilla concluded, “We really appreciated the fact that Safeguard 30 will not tear at all and has to be cut. Our roofing installers now demand we use Safeguard 30 on all of our roofs because of its performance on the Port Townsend project and the feeling of safety and reliability.”

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