Trouble in Paradise

Intense Weather Puts Roofing Systems to the Test in Ewa Beach, Hawaii

by Tim McQuillen, director of technical services, Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association


Just a few miles west of Pearl Harbor on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, The West Loch Elderly Village is located in Ewa Beach. A colony of 16 buildings, the village is nestled comfortably next to Asing Community Park, which consists of a kitchen, conference rooms, tennis courts, a baseball diamond, and an 18-hole golf course. However, despite its island comfort, the senior housing community faced a serious dilemma: an aging roofing system with considerable leaks. To restore the cozy ambiance, local roofing professionals from M&R Roofing, Honolulu, Hawaii, answered the call with an overdue roof replacement.

Originally built as a housing development for sugar cane workers in the early 1900’s, West Loch is now managed as affordable housing for seniors by the Ecumenical Association for Housing (EAH), a nonprofit housing corporation. After enduring more than 25 years of torrential rain, intense sunlight, island storms, and blanketing moisture, the village’s roofs were nearing the end of their life cycle. As a result, leaking was a common and serious issue affecting the residents.

“The roofs had really been put to the test,” said Roger Borce, owner of M&R Roofing. “The back-and-forth cycle from extreme sunlight to torrential downpours over the course of 25 years resulted in a great deal of wear and tear on the roofing systems.”

This wasn’t Borce’s first inspection of the property. In 2012, he recommended the buildings on the property be reroofed before the roofing systems resulted in further damage. Five years later, M&R Roofing was tasked with providing an affordable, durable, and reliable solution that could help protect residents from the elements, while also maintaining the village’s historical early 1900’s design. In order to accomplish all of this, they chose asphalt shingles.

West Loch’s most pressing issue was its constant battle against leakage, with its management having gone as far as hiring contractors to fill holes with caulk. “I found they frequently used caulk to plug leaks. While this effort did manage to slightly curtail the situation, it was never a solution or viable longterm option. Eventually the leaking was too widespread and severe. So, we coordinated with the EAH to install a durable and affordable roofing system,” said Borce.

M&R Roofing recommended PABCO® Premier Laminated Fiberglass Shingles with algae resistance protection to provide a long-lasting roofing system that would be durable against wind and rain, as well as to mitigate unsightly algae growth created by the island’s high moisture and rainfall.

“You always have to consider the island’s high wind. I’ve seen it blow the rain sideways, forcing water into the eaves. When designed and installed properly, asphalt shingles can provide exceptional performance against Mother Nature,” said Borce.

Over two months, M&R Roofing removed and replaced all 16 roofs in the community, using over 960 squares of shingles in the color pewter gray to preserve the historical look and feel of the buildings. Thanks to the timely replacement, M&R Roofing rectified the leaking issue before it could cause structural damage. Borce and his team fortunately didn’t find any serious instances of wood rot in the roof deck.

When completed, 16 new asphalt shingle roofing systems were installed. The project received a Quality Asphalt Roofing Case-Study (QARC) Honorable Mention this year from the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA). M&R Roofing was recognized for its craftsmanship, the aesthetic attractiveness of the asphalt roofing system, and overcoming multiple weather-related challenges. Each year, ARMA seeks the most beautiful, affordable, and reliable asphalt roofing systems in North America. The West Loch Elderly Village is the embodiment of how asphalt roofing provides durability and reliability in the face of extreme weather, while also providing visually stunning designs.

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