Self-Adhesive Membranes Are a Welcome Change to Maine Contractor’s Roofing Arsenal

April 30, 2008

By Tony Matter, freelance writer for the construction industry

If you are planning on moving, and a busy nightlife and nonstop action are at the top of your agenda, Vinalhaven, Maine, is probably not on your short list of potential destinations.  Situated on a small, isolated island off the eastern coast of Maine, this quaint little town is only accessible via a small number of ferryboats coming from the mainland.

Known throughout the New England region for its privacy and seclusion, Vinalhaven is a nature-lover's paradise where the local citizens relish in the abundant wildlife and scenic views that come standard with such a remote location.  However, remoteness can have its downfalls, and Vinalhaven homeowner Virginia Edelen recently found that out firsthand when the roof on her detached garage and machine shop began to leak.  A primary reason for the leads was the apparent unavailability of quality roofing materials.

Edelen had the building re-roofed with a rolled roofing product that was sold through a nearby building products distributor.  Unfortunately, the rolled roofing material was faulty and quickly began leaking again.  Edelen contacted local contractor Mont Conway, president of C.W. Conway & Sons Builders Inc. to help her find a more reliable and long-term solution to her roofing dilemma.  A trusted professional with more than 20 years of construction experience, Conway is one of only a handful of contractors located on the island.

Conway went to Viking Lumber, a local building products distributor, in search of a material that would offer Edelen the long-lasting protection that she wanted and deserved.  When he asked a sales representative for their recommendation, Conway was introduced to a new line of innovative products that the distributor had just added to its roofing arsenal.  The products were Elastoflex® SA V and Elastoflex SA P, self-adhesive modified bitumen membranes manufactured by Polyglass® USA, and Conway was intrigued by their self-adhesive capabilities.

Elastoflex SA V and SA P are manufactured utilizing Polyglass' revolutionary, patented ADESO® technology.  The membranes provide a simple, safe and economical roof installation without compromising structural integrity and lap sealing capabilities.

"Based on the performance of the last attempted repair, I knew the homeowner did not want to reinstall another rolled roofing system.  So, I inquired about possible alternatives, and the salesman mentioned the Polyglass products," said Conway.  "He had a very favorable opinion of them, and at first glance they certainly appeared to be a quality material."

Elastoflex membranes consist of a true SBS compound on the top layer and an aggressive self adhesive on the bottom layer.  Elastoflex SA V membranes are reinforced with a strong fiberglass mat and Elastoflex SA P is built with high-performance reinforced polyester, both of which guarantee excellent dimensional stability.  Elastoflex SA P also features a strong granulated surface for long-term protection, just one of the Multiple Surfacing Solutions (MSS) that Polyglass offers with its ADESO Technology. 

After conducting some in-depth research on his own and then consulting with Edelen, Conway decided the Polyglass system was a perfect choice to replace the faulty rolled roof system.  Because he had never installed the system before, Conway found the phone number for his local Polyglass technical sales representative, Jon Hansen, and asked for some advice and possible start-up assistance.

"The homeowner had already experienced one faulty roof installation on this building, so I wanted to be certain that this one was installed correctly the first time, which is why I contacted Mr. Hansen," said Conway.

Hansen was glad to help, and he scheduled a time when both he and Conway would be available to start the job.  "We are always willing to help a contractor when they have a question regarding our products because the finished system is more than a reflection of the installer, it also reflects on our materials," said Hansen.  "Being their first time using these products, I wanted to make sure Conway had all the help and support they needed."

Hansen spent two full days onsite, helping Conway and his crew set up the job and begin the application of the self-adhesive system.  They began the re-roofing process by tearing off the failing rolled roof system and covering the exposed deck with new ½-inch plywood.  Next they taped the plywood joints so the waterproofing membranes would not get pinched when the material expands and contracts with the changing temperatures. 

When the joints were completely covered, Conway adhered the Elastoflex SA V base sheet directly to the new plywood deck.  After the base sheet was adhered, Conway primed a new metal drip edge on the ground and then fastened it to around the entire perimeter of the roof.  To complete the installation Conway adhered the granulated Elastoflex SA P cap sheet over top of the drip edge and SA V base sheet, creating a monolithic system that will offer years of protection.

Both Elastoflex SA V and SA P feature Polyglass' innovative SealLap® and FastLap® technologies.  SealLap is a patented technology that enhances sealing at the side seams and end laps of membranes and FastLap is a U.S.-patented process through which granulated sheets are manufactured with granule-free roll ends, making tight seals at the seams and faster end laps.  Together, SealLap and FastLap create a unique seaming system that allows membranes to bond instantaneously to each other.

The relatively simple installation took Conway only a few days to complete, a stark contrast to what it would have been had they installed another system.  "The laborsaving benefits of this system are impressive," commented Conway.  "Between the self-adhesive membranes and the granule-free side laps and end laps, we were able to complete this project in record time, and we didn't even have to get our hands dirty in the process."

This unique system did more than just keep Conway's hands clean.  It also showcased the quality, customer service and support that Polyglass offers and introduced him to a new and exciting material.

"This was an incredible experience for my crew and me," said Conway.  "The roof system went down so easy and the support Jon offered was absolutely amazing.  We will never install another type of low-sloped roof system again."

Edelen is happy too.  After the horrible experience she had with the first re-roofing project she said she was glad to have her building protected with a quality material.  Now she can focus on relaxing at her remote home on this secluded island, instead of having to worry about a leaky roof and the damage it may cause.

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