The challenges of coating one of the largest roofs in Alaska were many and varied. The location just north of Kenai in Nikiski, directly on the bluff above Cook Inlet, makes it a very high profile job. As work on this initial 1,575 square job began, another building of 543 squares was added to the project.
Before actual work could commence, safety issues had to be addressed. Twenty ton concrete anchors were placed around the perimeter and safety lines laid across the peak. Workmen could then fasten their safety harness to this line. A wooden 2″ x 4″ was attached along the eave to allow friction-free movement of the lines and hoses, eliminating possible chafing. Through different phases of the job other systems were employed. Scaffolding was erected to the eave and securely tied off. This was the main access to the very large, 30 foot eave and approximately 105 foot ridge, roof system. The pitch is eight in twelve. The building is 640 feet long by 210 feet wide. On occasion, man lifts and a crane with an aerial basket were used.
Once the scope and specifications of the job were established, the pertinent challenges had to be addressed. Timing is critical as the application window historically is May 15 to September 15, and even that is a bit optimistic. Weather is frequently foggy, misty, rainy and windy with prevailing breezes off Cook Inlet. Inland’s rapid drying characteristics are a definite plus with Alaskan weather. Inland products also have high tensile strength and elongation, allowing them to accommodate not only the movement of the building from the temperature extremes, but also from the nearly daily earthquake tremors common to this area.
The Contractor’s Alaskan manager of operations and his crew, have extensive experience with the challenges of weather and timing presented in this climate. Spring temperatures hover in the high 30’s to low 40’s and roofs achieve acceptable temperatures of 70 to mid 90’s by 10:00 A. M. All dew and mist has generally disappeared by then. The contractor was well prepared with drum heaters as needed. Their technicians kept a constant vigil on ambient air temperatures, roof temperatures and humidity to assure a consistent quality of application.
The huge warehouse facility is for storage, prior to shipment, of processed urea chemical fertilizer. It is imperative that the product stays dry, as moisture makes it solidify into clumps, which renders the product unusable. As there is no way to dispose of damaged product, it must be reprocessed at a greater expense than producing it new. A two coat system was used with all seams, fasteners and penetrations addressed with Inland’s RC-2250
Rubber Seam Compound. For reinforcement, Inland RPM polyester mesh was used on all horizontal and vertical seams and assured the integrity of the completed project. The entire roof was then coated with RC-2000 Rubber Roof Coating. Two field coats were applied at the rate of one gallon per-square per-coat.
Actual work began mid-May of 2000 and was completed August 2000. Many times projects like this have unforeseen residual benefits. The efforts of Inland’s sales and technical departments brought the multiple Alaskan contractors and firms together on this very successful project. This has resulted in the painting contractor garnering project precedence on this 200 acre facility. Inland also furthered their assistance on several additional small projects for the facility.
Incidentally, shortly after the job completion, the area was hit with 16 consecutive days of hard driving rains. The local experts said this period was the first time in many years that this 30-year-old metal roof suffered no leaks. As a result of their product not suffering any damage, estimates indicate the entire cost of this job will be recovered in production savings in 12 to 18 months.