Novel Built-Up Roof System used at El Paso Plant
When the built-up roof at Farah Inc., plant in El Paso, Texas, failed, site management asked for a replacement that would stand up under the high heat that is a way of life in the desert. Farah, a major clothing manufacturer, chose "Hyload," an unusual roofing system that combines the physical strength of a single-ply roof with the integrity of a built-up roof system.
"Hyload" is unusual because it is based on an elastomeric membrane modified with DuPont™ Elvaloy® KEE ketone ethylene ester, and reinforced with dispersed polyester fibers. It also is extended with coal tar pitch. Although it has the physical strength of a single-ply roof, it is usually applied as a two or more layer system: base sheet, "Hyload" membrane, and optional coating.
Elvaloy® extends the roof's life under the hot sun and also has excellent resistance to chemicals, mineral and vegetable oils, acids and alkalis. The dispersed polyester fibers provide extraordinary strength. Coal tar pitch helps resist fungal growth often seen in a single-ply roof, and suppresses plant growth as well. This roof also is resistant to deterioration caused by water ponding. Jim Warwick, purchasing director at the plant, selected the "Hyload" system for its cost advantages as well as durability.
"When we studied the installation and maintenance of this system compared with traditional, built-up roof, it was no contest. 'Hyload' goes on faster with less maintenance. We avoided some steep installation and upkeep costs over the years," he said.
Because Farah has equipment on its roof that requires servicing, the company was pleased that its maintenance people could walk over the "Hyload" system. There was no need to add modifications typically required for that purpose. In addition, the equipment could be accessed from any direction, not just from walk pads.
The plant's existing 120,000-square-foot built-up roof was removed. Then, an inch of perlite, one ply of Type IV glass, and a single-ply "Hyload" 150 E membrane were all solidly mopped to the roof using steep asphalt. The roof was coated directly with white acrylic paint to minimize heat absorption. International Roof Systems of El Paso applied the new roof.
Warwick says the system is easy to repair. "One of our workmen dropped a piece of sharp metal on the roof while servicing an air conditioner and cut a deep gouge. It took just 5 minutes to mop a new covering over it and fill the hole."
Another advantage is that the roof can be applied in a variety of ways: It can be laid in hot asphalt or in cold-applied adhesives. It can be left black, painted for aesthetic purposes or heat resistance, or graveled. This provides an array of roofing solutions that can be designed to suit a particular application.
Hyload Incorporated is located in Pittsburgh. The "Hyload" system, originally used in Europe for waterproofing bridges, has been used for roofs in the United States for the last 10 years. Roofs protected by the system are warranted by the manufacturer not to leak for 10 years.
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