Commercial Roofing Expert Provides Sound Advice to South Carolina Building Owner

Nov. 12, 2007

During a recent inspection of the Superior Essex facility in Chester, SC, Carlisle SynTec Building Owners Services Representative George Garven found that the building's existing smooth built-up asphalt roof system contained numerous leaks.   As a result of the leaks, the building's steel roof deck had experienced deterioration in several locations.  Replacement of the roof system became a priority, in order to prevent additional saturation of the insulation and further deck deterioration.  Because the 230,000-square-foot facility had an existing smooth built-up roof system with minimal penetrations, Garven suggested the use of Carlisle's Sure-Weld® TPO, FleeceBACK AFX membrane.

Superior Essex Facility Manager Scott Burford, after comparing various manufacturers' products, chose to accept Garven's suggestion, and recover the existing membrane with Carlisle's FleeceBACK system.

"When we did comparisons of various competitors' roofing products, we felt that FleeceBACK was the best bet for this facility," said Burford.

It is interesting to note that Superior Essex did not pay for the service that Garven provided.  Through Building Owner Services, building owners can obtain a free inspection of their roof systems, regardless of the material manufacturer.  Upon receiving a request from a building owner, Carlisle Building Owner Services representatives will set-up roof evaluations through external contractors that are certified through Building Owner Services.  The contractors will evaluate the roof and compile a report that delineates the deficiencies of the roof system and suggests viable solutions, in this case Carlisle's high-performance FleeceBACK TPO roof system.

Carlisle's FleeceBACK membranes are manufactured with a hot-melt adhesive technology that provides consistent bond strength between the membrane and the fleece backing.  FleeceBACK is incredibly durable, providing increased puncture and tear resistance of up to 40% and 180% respectively.

Sure-Weld TPO is a reflective, high-performance membrane comprised of three layers: a TPO polymer base, a polyester-reinforced fabric center, and a thermoplastic polyolefin compounded top ply.  This top ply leads the industry in providing a thick and smooth coverage that ensures long-term durability and reflectivity.  The white TPO membrane is compliant with ENERGY STAR® and CRRC (Cool Roof Rating Council) guidelines for solar reflectance and heat emittance.  Due to its high reflectivity ratings, Carlisle's TPO membrane reduces the amount of energy required to maintain a cool building environment, and consequently reduces environmental pollutants.

Prior to the installation, Garven helped Burford find an authorized Carlisle applicator to perform the re-roof, a standard procedure for all repair and replacement projects that are recommended by Carlisle's Building Owner Services.  After narrowing their search to several local contractors, Superior Essex selected Radco Construction, from Mt. Holly, NC, to complete the installation.  Radco has been installing Carlisle roof systems for more than 20 years, so their experience and expertise made them a perfect candidate for the job.

Garven and Radco performed field wind uplift tests to ensure that the wind uplift of the existing membrane was sufficient before installing Carlisle's FleeceBACK membrane.  The uplift tests were in accordance with Factory Mutual 1-52 Section 2.1.2.  Each of the test areas successfully reached and maintained the required test uplift pressure of 30 pounds per square foot and 60 pounds per square foot.  To ensure accuracy, the test equipment was zeroed prior to the test, and ten randomly located tests were performed.  According to the results of these tests, the uplift of the existing membrane met the 1-60 rating required for membrane replacement.

The installation of the new FleeceBACK system took three months, and involved numerous steps.  The first step was the removal and replacement of all existing wet insulation and associated damaged roof deck.  This insulation was replaced with new polyisocyanurate insulation to match existing size and thickness of removal area. 

Upon replacement of the insulation, the surface of the existing built-up membrane was primed, and Carlisle's 115-mil FleeceBACK TPO was adhered directly onto the surface in 75 feet long by 12 feet wide sheets.    The labor was completed with 7-10 professional and detail-oriented roofers on the site at all times.

Throughout the installation process, Carlisle's Building Owner Services representatives diligently accommodated additional specifications required by Factory Mutual (FM), the building's insurance carrier.  With the help of Garven and many others in Carlisle's Building Owner Services division, the roofing system was submitted to and approved by FM.

"George Garven and his group acted as a liaison between Building Owner Services and the insurance carrier, FM Global, numerous times," said Burford.  "Building Owner Services, and particularly George Garven, was very helpful and knew and understood the process extremely well.  There was definitely a real benefit in using Carlisle's Building Owner Services."

Garven emphasized the specific benefits that the use of Carlisle products provided for this facility.

"The FleeceBACK membrane handled extremely well around the HVAC and numerous penthouses on this roof, and the use of Sure-Weld pressure-sensitive cover strip facilitated detailing of the additional perimeter security required by FM Global," said Garven.

Garven went on to say that the Carlisle system was the "perfect choice for the job because, as it was installed directly over the existing membrane, it saved time and money for the owner with no need for additional insulation, except where wet insulation was replaced.  This direct adherence also made the roof system installation easier, faster and more efficient."

Other benefits of the Sure-Weld TPO system include reduced energy costs and urban heat island effects due to the membrane's excellent reflectivity.  Located in a hot, southern climate, the Superior Essex facility should see considerable savings on its energy bills as a result of Carlisle's TPO membrane.

Carlisle's Building Owner Services once again provided unparalleled service to a building owner in need.  To learn more about the valuable services offered by Carlisle and its Building Owner Services, call 866.386.7454, email [email protected] or visit

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