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A Win-Win PVC Restoration

By Charile Von Plato, President, Metal Roof Specialty Coating & Maintenance Inc

The folks at Amtrak in Gorton, Connecticut where beside themselves about the proposals and prices they were receiving from various contractors to remove and replace their existing PVC roof. Management needed a dry facility, but the $400,000 needed to replace the 24-year-old, 60,000 square foot roof exceeded their budget.

Our company was called in to offer alternatives for this project. I traveled from Philadelphia to look. Sure enough, they were dealing with the failure of their single-ply roof system - seam failure, which was causing leaks throughout the building.

Budget is always a serious consideration with Amtrak. Further more, they needed to use their own people, if possible. I have learned that if you are creative and offer unique peel and stick product I discovered several years ago called Eternabond®. I will share more about this product at the end of the story.

For this system, we decided we would use Eternabond® WebSeal®, 4" wide, and coat it would a single coat of Weather Barrier Moisture Cure Urethane, followed by a topcoat of Weather Barrier Liquid EPDM white. Both of these coatings are sold as stand alone roofing membranes. Eternabond® WebSeal® is designed to hold coatings, although Eternabond® makes another product we could have used called RoofSeal, which requires no coating because it is UV stable. We decided to coat the entire roof to create a highly reflective surface.

The Eternabond® was installed on over 16,000 feet of seams and penetrations using only 160 hours of labor. The coatings were installed at a rate of 20,000 square feet per day using a four-man crew and a Graco 733 spray rig.

Amtrak now has a newly seamed, coated and watertight roof at this facility for less then half of what they would have spent on a conventional system.

Our company, Metal Roof Specialty Coatings and Maintenance, specialize in the reapair and restoration of single-ply and metal roofs. We have vast experience with, and are former users of, BBT (butyl backed tapes). Bats have in my opinion, several problems that Eternabond® does not. First, because Butyl is unsaturated (a double-blind between carbon atoms), they tend to break down over time. This is what causes them to harden, lose flexibility, crack, and lose adhesion. Low outdoor temperatures further aggravate this. Even brand new, we have found them to have adhesion problems if this weather is not perfect. Eternabond® is saturated (single bonded) peel and stick, there fore, over time it retains its pliability, even in extreme cold, and stays adhered to every surface we have used it on, including TOP, EPDM, and Hypalon, and we have actually installed it at temperatures below zero degrees F.

The company says it is UV and environmentally stable, and so far, we have seen no reason to doubt this claim. They also guarantee their products for 10 years.

When I first saw Eternabond®, I thought to myself "another wonder tape"! So I put 6-inch pieces of Eternabond® on samples of metal, TOP and EPDM, placed them in my freezer and left them there for a few weeks. I then took them out placed them in the sun, and left them again for a few weeks. I've repeated this torturous process numerous times over the last 2 years with these same sample pieces and have seen no deterioration, loss of pliability or loss of adhesions!

Since we have been using Eternabond®, we have had no failures on any of the metal of other roof systems we have used it on... not one. But the big news for me is that we finally have found a product that will adhere directly to EPDM rubber and other roofs with no primer of additional adhesives. The labor savings on this type of work are substantial. What use to take hours now only takes minutes. A simple cleaning, releasing the tape from its release liner then pressing it into place by roller or by hand has meant more repairs in less time and with greater profits and better results.

We are finding very receptive and satisfied customers using Eternabond® as the re-seaming product. The result is everyone wins!

As appearing in Florida Forum Magazine