D. C. Taylor Co. Installs Two New Roofs for Metal Components Manufacturer
BERMO Inc. provides rapid prototyping, metal fabrication, metal stamping, robotic welding, machining, assembly, and tooling at its 286,000 square foot headquarters facility in Circle Pines, MN. When the company experienced frustrating leaks that they couldn’t pinpoint on their main manufacturing roof in 2014, D. C. Taylor Co. provided insight that local roofers hadn’t. The leaks were sneaky, with water dripping in places not directly below where the source of the problem was. BERMO was frustrated.
“We had the correct solution and understood the existing building architecture. The original roof was an Armco SLX with liner panel. We took into account the tremendous amount of rooftop equipment they need to service,” says Jack Kenney, Vice President National Account Manager, D. C. Taylor Co., Cedar Rapids, IA.
While the age and condition of the roof demanded attention, the substrate was solid. “The roof structure was still good,” explains John Ottosen, Vice President, Operations, BERMO Inc., Circle Pines, MN. “The solution that D. C. Taylor [Co.] presented was to fill in the standing seam.”
2014 BERMO Inc. Roofing Project
The project began with the arrival of materials in August 2014. “Everything that Jack put together was very professional. That spoke volumes for me. When the crew showed up on-site, it was nothing but a professional and respectful time on our property,” says Ottosen. “It didn’t take long to see that the crew knew what they were doing, and we didn’t need to babysit them.”
Once the safety plan was put into action with fall protection equipment erected, the first order of business was to remove the rusted walkway grating from the roof. Once completed, the crew got busy installing insulation. Two (2) inch thick by 15.5 inch wide expanded polystyrene insulation was loose laid between the ribs of the existing standing seam roof system. Over the top of this EPS fill insulation, a layer of 1.5 inch isocyanurate insulation was mechanically attached.
It was important to ensure proper drainage around roof projections. Upslope from each roof curb, hatch, penthouse, or roof projection, a tapered cricket was installed to divert water around the unit and not pond behind it. Finally, a 60-mil white TPO membrane system was mechanically attached to the purlins.
The most unique aspect of the project was the flashing that happened next. “They had huge curbs; they were 20-feet long sleepers. The reason they put those on is so they can carry the load of rooftop equipment over five purlins. Everything is top-mounted,” explains Kenney. Each of the long-span sleepers, whether steel covered or wood, was fully flashed with new adhered TPO membrane and welded to the field sheet. “The long sleepers were old, bent, and the wood was rotten. BERMO personnel helped us replace the wood sleepers. New wood curbs were put in,” adds Timm Haefner, Vice President, Construction, D. C. Taylor Co., Cedar Rapids, IA. “We encapsulated them, so they wouldn’t rot. Some of the equipment was lifted so our guys could flash underneath.”
“They have gas lines all along the roof. They understood the snow and ice was going to move fast over this membrane,” notes Kenney. There was a very real concern about avalanching snow and ice. “They didn’t want a big drift of snow to slide down the roof and take the gas line with it,” adds Haefner. On the north/south side of the roof, D. C. Taylor Co. screwed the wood blocks being used as pipe supports into the deck with 10-inch fasteners. “We took the membrane over the wood blocking and welded it down to the existing field,” he adds. All the flashing (curbs, pitch pans, projections, etc.) was executed according to manufacturer’s specifications and warranty requirements.
“There is a lot of equipment on the roof; it’s a work platform,” says Kenney. To protect the new roof from damage by service technicians, walk pads were installed. “We have 55 rooftop air-conditioners, so we constantly have service people on the roof. I wanted it easier for them to maneuver up there,” says Ottosen about the decision to install a smooth single-ply membrane and walk pads.
The project was completed in November. “What was challenging about this project was getting it done before the weather hit,” notes Haefner. At the completion of the project, a technical inspector from the manufacturer inspected the installation and a 20-year labor and material warranty was provided to BERMO. “[The project supervisor] made sure the roofing material was installed according to spec and in a professional manner. The crew also worked well with the other vendors and my crew as needed. The whole team has done a great job in my opinion. It has been a pleasure working with the D. C. Taylor Co. crew,” adds Chad Weber, Maintenance & Automation Manager, BERMO Inc., Circle Pines, MN.
The New 2020 Roofing Project
Fast forward four years. “In 2018, there was some damage from a storm. It caused the staff to replace some air-conditioners and there was a question about whether the roof integrity on another section of the building had been damaged. We made the decision at that time to go ahead and replace that roof since it was 28 years old,” says Ottosen.
BERMO called D. C. Taylor Co. explains Kenney: “The projects are six years apart. This is a story about trust and a good relationship. They liked what we did in 2014 so they wanted us to come back.” The contract was signed in March 2020 and by the time D. C. Taylor Co. arrived at the site, the COVID-19 pandemic was underway. “We relied heavily on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop our COVID-19 guidance to roofing and service crews,” says Kirk Dighton, Safety Manager, D. C. Taylor Co., Cedar Rapids, IA. Strict handwashing and sanitizing were in full effect, as well as face masks when social distancing wasn’t possible.
BERMO was asked by an engineering firm to manufacture parts for ventilators and was running three shifts to meet the demand. “When our project supervisor showed up on the project, John asked, ‘How many roofers are going to be here?’ They were bringing in catered lunch for their workers, so they also fed our roofers,” says Kenney. “These are good people.”
Once fall protection was erected, the project commenced. Unlike the last project on the main manufacturing facility which was recovering standing seam metal, this project was a reroof of a ballasted system. Approximately 340 tons of stone ballast was power vacuumed off the roof and disposed of off-site by a subcontractor.
The existing EPDM membrane and flashings were removed and disposed of. Like before, the five-man D. C. Taylor Co. crew set up safety systems to meet BERMO, D. C. Taylor Co., and OSHA requirements. They used flagging six feet in to warn of dangers at the roof’s edge and worked tied-off with lanyards to mobile anchor carts whenever necessary. “It seemed like each one of them was looking out for each other. They had a cadence to what they did. They’ve done it enough. They know the hazards,” remarks Ottosen.
Once the expanded polystyrene insulation was exposed, it was inspected for deterioration or trapped moisture and replaced if necessary. One layer of 1 inch isocyanurate cover board insulation was installed and mechanically attached. Membrane was then installed. “We went with TPO again,” says Ottosen. A 60-mil white TPO membrane system was mechanically attached with all seams hot-air welded and probed for quality control. “We checked in daily before the project start dates and end dates. They pointed us to the roof and left us be. They didn’t get in our business and pretty much left us alone,” says Kenney about BERMO’s trust in D. C. Taylor Co.’s crew.
Like on the previous project, walk pads were welded down to prevent damage near service doors. “It was a large warehouse with about a dozen air-handling units,” says Kenney. The roof was inspected at the close of the project in June and a 20-year labor and material warranty issued.
“The biggest standout for me was that from the first visit to the end of the projects, I never felt like I was wanting for information. It was always, ‘Here’s what we’re doing, here’s how we’re going to do it, here’s pictures of before, pictures of after.’ I have no question that D. C. Taylor [Co.] would do a great job for whomever,” concludes Ottosen.