Challenge Met

Manufacturing Facility Gets Reroofed in Los Angeles, California

by Rick Cunningham, president, Highland Commercial Roofing

From Western Roofing May/Jun ’17


Highland Commercial Roofing, Baldwin Park, California, is an experienced commercial roofing company and knows that every project has its challenges. The most difficult jobs have more demands than others, requiring engineering and creative minds to work together to achieve the best result for the customer. American International Industries, a commercial cosmetics manufacturing company located in Los Angeles, California, needed a new commercial roof. The facility, built in 1968, is a multipurpose 210,000 sq.ft. building, broken down into three segments with offices in the front, manufacturing in the center, and a warehouse in the back.

“We faced several specific challenges on this project with this being a multipurpose commercial building,” said Ernest Orchard, owner of Orchard Roofing and Waterproofing Consultants, Irvine, California, who was contracted by American International Industries to help evaluate and engineer the best course of action for reroofing the facility. “One major concern was that we could not have a speck of dust or water fall into the manufacturing segment of the building during the reroofing process. This meant we couldn’t be caught with the roof open, especially during inclement weather. So a complete removal of the existing roof before installation of the new roof wasn’t really a viable option for the whole building.” Orchard worked with the team from Highland Commercial Roofing to create a plan to reroof the facility without affecting the manufacturing segment or the operations in the office or warehouse. Reroofing offered greater potential for convenience, overall cost, and long-term viability. It saved the inconvenience of needing to remove the old roofing system, and offered a new projected roof life of over 20 years, improving the asset for the building owner.

Even when an old roof is compromised, it still has value. In the right situation, the old roof can be used as the base component of a new roofing system. This is important when a business doesn’t want to leave the roof exposed during the reroofing process, as with American International Industries. This particular property is one of the anchor properties in their portfolio, and reroofing allowed them to maximize the building’s service life with a minimal expense, all in a quiet, clean, and efficient way so they could continue manufacturing without any downtime.

To mitigate any potential dust or water entry into the building, a flame-retardant, suspended cover was installed on the underside of the roof deck. This cover prevented any water, dust, or dirt from entering the building during construction, so the building could be kept in operation safely and within operational requirements. The next step was to correct the obvious deficiencies in the existing roof, including cutting and patching the blisters in the existing roofing system and building up low areas in the roof to minimize standing water. A Western Colloid roofing system was selected for this building, consisting of two layers of polyester reinforcement embedded in two applications of asphalt emulsion, installed without odor at ambient temperature, and protected with a bright white UV reflective elastomeric surfacing. This provided a seamless cool roof system that offers outstanding heat deflecting properties and results in considerable energy savings on cooling for the building interior. “The roofing industry is changing,” Orchard observed. “Old, hot asphalt roofs are going to the wayside, and they’re being replaced by cold process applications. Workers don’t get exposed to 500º heat or the carcinogens that come off the asphalt as it cools. Cold process systems are much safer to work with, which is good for the workers, insurance companies, and transportation departments who don’t want hot asphalt trucks being moved around the freeway.”

In addition to reroofing the 210,000 sq.ft. roof, it was equally important to replace the old, low efficiency acrylic skylights during this project to allow American International Industries to maximize their roofing investment. The old, low efficiency acrylic skylights were replaced with a total of 295 UL listed polycarbonate domed, smoke vent SKYPRO Skylights with a VORTEX louvered base from SKYCO Skylights. These are a redesigned version of the existing, older louver systems, which were prone to leaking. These skylights not only allow smoke to vent and reduce heat buildup in case of a fire, but also help reduce heating and lighting costs. Besides providing ample daylighting, these smoke vent skylights reduce safety liability as well. They are lifesaving devices, as each smoke vent is designed with two thermal triggered fuses that automatically open up in the event of a fire. Fire marshals and insurance companies often require UL listed smoke vent skylights. All domed smoke vents feature a patented, arc dome design with polycarbonate glazing, which has been tested to an 800 lb. impact load for superior safety and security.

In less than six months, the job was completed by Highland, and it was done in a way that saved the owners the cost and inconvenience of removing the old roofing system. In addition, this newly installed roof offers a projected service life of more than 20 years, and the customer did not experience any downtime in manufacturing during Highland Commercial Roofing’s installation. “Overall, the entire project was completed in a clean, quiet, and efficient manner that allowed American International Industries to continue their work without skipping a beat,” said Orchard. “The client now has a fantastic new roof that is designed to last more than 20 years, with additional safety features and overall enhanced performance.”

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