Fresh Start With New Decking and TPO

Fresh Start With New Decking and TPO

When you own a multi-tenant commercial real estate property, the condition of your roof is important to your tenants — they don’t want leaks, especially if they have expensive equipment or a lot of square footage that’s client-facing. The back portion of this EPDM ballasted roof at 1230 Bald Ridge Marina Road in Cumming, GA, was aging and experiencing persistent leaks that the owner wanted to clear up before resigning with a tenant. Not only was the roof not performing the way it should, there was an enormous piece of antiquated rooftop equipment was promoting leaks as well.  

We helped him with both problems. And we fixed the rest of the roof, too.

Shovels, wheelbarrows, and cranes

A ballasted roofing system uses rocks to hold down the roof membrane and can be the best solution in some situations. But in others, it can make it more challenging to locate leaks and maintenance tasks, and it’s heavy. The owner didn’t want to keep all of the rock on this roof so step one was to remove the rock from the back portion.

Did we use a fancy, high-tech methodology to accomplish this task? Not needed. We used shovels and wheelbarrows to dump eight tons of rock over the edge, down a chute, and into a truck. We also worked with the owner to arrange for his landscaper to pick up the rock and reuse it in his yard.

Dumping the huge piece of antiquated, non-serviceable HVAC equipment over the edge, however, was not a possibility. It was 30 feet long and 12 feet wide — definitely larger than the typical three-by-eight foot piece of HVAC equipment. We worked with the owner to bring in a crane to do the job, plus we removed a typical-size piece of unneeded mechanical equipment as well. The remaining eight HVAC units on the roof did not need to be moved.

New decking, insulation and boxes to prepare for the new TPO

With the rock and old equipment gone, we could now proceed with installing a new Firestone 60 mil mechanically attached TPO membrane system with a 20-year warranty. This system met the owner’s needs because it offered the best value and installation cost for a roof that would last a long time.

First, we installed and sloped new metal roof decking over the openings left by the mechanical equipment we removed. Then we installed the insulation (some of which was repurposed, as we’ll describe below), waterproofed and reroofed all of the roof openings so that leaks would no longer be an issue. We waited to build the box over the main opening until the rest of the work was complete.

The metal coping on top of the brick wall was functioning properly so there was no reason to disturb it, but we did add new matching sheet-metal counter flashing to protect the top of the roofing material and keep water out of the roofing system. The new 11,000 square-foot roof is now like an original part of the building.

1230 Bald Ridge-HJAIA insulationRepurposed insulation from the airport reduced re-roofing costs

Sentry was able to save the property owner about 40% off the final cost of the new roof by using recycled insulation from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Concourse E. The reclaimed insulation more than doubled the r-value for the property at a fraction of the cost.

The other side of the roof

Unfortunately for the owner, the larger side of the ballasted roof wasn’t performing as intended either. This portion had been re-roofed early the same year (2016) but the installation was faulty in some areas. Problems with the seams were creating leaks — the membrane material itself was performing but the water was getting into the system where the membranes had been welded. Our crew systematically corrected these workmanship-related leaks, bringing the roofing system for the whole building up to good working condition.


To keep this roof performing at its best, the owner will need to have it inspected periodically. Even though it’s new, leaves and debris can accumulate and clog the drainage system. In addition, the technicians who walk on the roof to service the HVAC equipment may inadvertently damage the roofing membrane. Many technicians are not aware that the normal activities involved in their work, such as taking off HVAC panels and setting them down and dropping screws on the roof, can physically damage the roof membrane. If the HVAC equipment is serviced two or three times a year, that’s a lot of opportunity for damage.

Sentry Roof is glad to have had the opportunity to work on this property and get the entire roof in proper working order. We’re also glad the tenant signed a new lease. This project is an example of how our team works closely with property owners and managers to solve a wide variety of roofing problems while also providing excellent value through new, durable roofing systems that incorporate reused and repurposed materials. It’s a win all the way around. You can see this project and others in our Featured Projects section of this website.

If you’re interested in re-roofing your commercial or industrial property, please let us know. We have completed hundreds of projects like this one and look forward to helping you with yours.


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