Food City Reroof

New Roof for Hometown Grocer in Tucson, Arizona

by Ali Turner, editorial & multimedia manager


Driving through the State of Arizona, you’ll come across a charming neighborhood grocery store called Bashas’®. Family-owned and operated, brothers Ike and Eddie, opened the first Bashas’ grocery store in 1932. Over the last century, the hometown grocer has expanded and now encompasses more than 100 stores across the state. While their expansion has included the acquisition and development of other grocery formats, the mission remains the same, which is to strive to grow and improve with a continued focus on the needs of its customers.

Recently, however, one of the Bashas’ stores, Food City in Tucson, Arizona, needed to focus on its own roof so it could continue to serve its community. Andy Clarke, assistant general manager, Tecta America Arizona, and incoming president of the Western States Roofing Contractors Association, has a long history with Bashas’.

“I originally was introduced to the Bashas’ team approximately 20 years ago when I was at Classic Roofing,” said Clarke.   “We were contracted by a local general contractor to roof their new freezer storage and distribution facility. Soon after that, I began working with their property management team providing service and reroofs throughout the state, and I continue to do that to this day.”

The existing 45,000-sq.ft. roof was a four-ply hot-applied system, with an aluminum-fibered coating, over a wood deck that had performed for over 30 years. Because of the age of the existing roof and leak history, the Tecta America Arizona team figured it would be best to completely remove the roof and make sure the structure and decking were still solid.

After discussion with the ownership team, Tecta America Arizona elected to go with a GAF United Coatings™ 20-year spray polyurethane foam aggregate system with the foam at 1.5” thick. The foam system was a bit more expensive than a TPO option, but the foam and coating products had a much shorter lead time, which allowed the roof to be completed before the Arizona monsoon season hit.

It was also agreed that maintaining a watertight facility during the tear-off is a lot easier with the foam, as was the opportunity to spray right onto the existing roof every night with the foam and base coat. “With the ability to foam and base coat the entire roof, as well as completing all of the demolition, the new roof actually looks new,” said Clarke. “Anyone who has done a new white single-ply while tearing off old asphalt knows it is extremely difficult to keep it white through the duration of the job.”

Another advantage with the added foam and the white surface is the increase in energy efficiency of the store. Also, the aggregate surface offers protection of the entire roof from foot traffic from the mechanical maintenance technicians, etc.

“Our biggest challenge was avoiding overspray with some high winds and low parapets right next to the parking lot,” explained Clarke. “We ended up running split shifts, doing the demo in the day and the foam and coating crew coming in during the off hours when the parking lot was empty.”

For Clarke, one of the most unique things about this job is they never had to dispose of any empty barrels. After ensuring they were empty, some of the locals in the community were willing to handle recycling them and making a few dollars in the process.

“I have been fortunate to maintain a strong partnership with the Bashas’ family of stores even after leaving Classic and eventually landing here at Tecta America,” expressed Clarke. “I am proud to say that this Food City reroof project was my first notable job for Tecta.”