Archive for September, 2012

Hotel Roof Torn Away By Strong Winds

The Bredbo Inn Hotel in New South Wales had their roof ripped off from high winds at about 5am Friday morning. Winds gusts up to 90km/h hit south of Canberra during the storm. Bedbo Inn manager Mary Bligh and her partner Allan Michael where the only ones there when the roof and power lines came down.

More Damage Expected

Ms. Bligh said “it was a blessing we didn’t have any guests.” Roof materials and debris was spread across the Monaro Highway after the storm. More water damage is anticipated since the open area could not be covered with tarpaulins for fear of causing more structural damage to the historic building.

With no electricity, beer or a roof, the bar plans to be closed for several days and the hotel wing will be closed for 2-3 months while putting on a new roof.

First licensed in 1836, the hotel bar has one of Australia’s oldest liquor licenses. The hotel was built for stage coach travelers, part of the original building and stables are still used.

Why Roof Upgrades Are Important

For homeowners, the roof serves to protect their home and keep the family safe from the elements. Rarely, does a homeowner give two thoughts to the roof until a problem arises. The problem with this is that roof damage can quickly spiral into bigger problems. The best approach to roof maintenance is a proactive one; and not just in terms of problems, but also in roof material upgrades.

Benefits Of The Best

Upgrading a roof can be done in several ways. Roof repair upgrades often involve some type of roof coating, which can significant lessen the need for replacement and even boost energy efficiency. White roof coatings are one example that provide reflectivity of the sun’s rays and keep the home temperature better regulated, saving the homeowner money in heating and cooling costs. The same is true for upgrading the attic insulation and underlying base roof materials.

New roofs can be upgraded by simply choosing a higher quality product or a recycled version of a traditional product.  Asphalt shingles now come in various qualities, each with different durability levels and warranty periods. A more durable product will last far longer than the bare essential product. Further, metal or slate tile roofs are more resistant to damage in most climates than as asphalt roof. The costs for installing a higher grade roof product are worth the money when the need for repair is reduced.


Insurance Company to Limit Roof Payouts

Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, Tennessee’s second largest home insurer said it will no longer pay 100% of the cost for roofing materials and replacement shingles. The company will instead be paying the actual cost value, or replacement cost less the depreciation.

Tennessee Farmers Mutual Ins. Co., better known as Farm Bureau spokesman Dan Batey said “We had to make this change because we can’t continue to be unprofitable and lose money.” Since 2008 the insurer has paid out more in claims than collected in premiums.

One Year Cap To Report Hail Damage

A filing was approved by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance for the actual cash value settlement for roofs. Additionally a requirement has been added that all hail losses must be reported within one year from the date of the hail loss.

The Farm Bureau already had limited coverage for some older roofs, but now the change will affect all policyholders. The changes will apply to policies written or renewed on Oct. 1, 2012 and thereafter. Other insurance companies in Tennessee have already applied roofing limits to their policies.

Batey said in the early 1990’s insurers began offering full roof replacements as a way to gain market share. Before then, it was standard industry practice to offer limited roof coverage.

Mobile Home Roof Coatings

roof coatingMobile homes are affordable housing for many people, but they do face challenges that a slab foundation home doesn’t. In general, mobile homes tend to carry a higher need for general maintenance and the roof is a prime example.

Beat The Heat

Most mobile homes are made from metal, which means that a metal roof is its main source of protection from the elements. While metal roofs can be one of the  most weather resistant roof materials, their durability depends on the type of metal used. The metal used for most mobile homes may not be of the highest quality, nor have the appropriate coverings.

One of the best ways to improve the durability and energy efficiency of a mobile home’s metal roof is by applying a “cool roof” coating. Applied by a brush or a roller, these white elastomeric coatings increase the reflectivity and emissivity; both of which disperse the heat from the sun and prevent it from being absorbed into the home. Not only will the coating help keep the home cool, but it will improve energy efficiency and reduce the costs of keeping the home cool. White roof coatings are a green roof system that works to benefit both the home owner and the environment.


Senior Center Opens after Roof Collapse

The Northgate Lions Seniors Recreation Center in Edmonton Canada has re-opened after the gym roof fell in on January 25, 2011. The roof and wall collapsed while the Choralaires were rehearsing songs in the auditorium. No one was injured when they evacuated everyone from the building.

Mayor Stephen Mandel said “This is a very happy occasion. The center is more than just a building – it’s a community gathering place.”

Still Unknown Why Roof Fell In

The insurance covered most of the $5.8 million for the 48,000 square foot roof repair. After insurance and engineering firms studied the collapse, there is still no clear reason why the 38 year old building’s roof collapsed.

The City of Edmonton contributed $680,000 to the building upgrades and $162,000 was donated by the North Edmonton Seniors Association.

Staff and volunteers worked hard to disperse the nearly 400 programs to another rec center, five community buildings and two churches, plus the public library.

Along with the new roof and a fresh coat of paint, the senior center received some upgrades. The doorways are wider, the washroom was updated and a replacement elevator that can now stop on the gym stage was installed.

Green Roof for Girls Boarding School

In Lititz Pennsylvania, Linden Hall School for girls has just opened their new Evita M. Allen Center for Academic Excellence. The new 28,000 square foot facility has the first green roof in Lititz. The green roof will improve the air quality and reduce and purify rain water runoff.

Keystruck Construction Inc. began the project in May 2011 and completed it in August 2012. Chambers & Associates Inc. designed the center and Erb Brothers Landscaping, Creek Hill Nursery and Derck & Edson Associates handled the landscaping and plants.

Using the LiveRoof tray system, Steve Sproles of Derck & Edson said “trays often come premixed, but this new roof was custom designed to feature waves of color and plants that flower in different seasons, as it is easily visible from the school’s library.”

Along with the living roof that can be viewed from the third floor porch, the new center houses the school’s administrative offices, a multimedia library and research center, flexible classrooms and a new computer lab.

Founded in 1746, Linden Hall is the nations’ top ranked college preparatory school in the United States. The 47 acre campus is a day school and boarding school for girls.

Courthouse Roof Verdict

courthouse roofThe Menard County Courthouse in Illinois is in need of serious roof repair. The near 50-year old roof has been leaking for years, and the 116-year old building is being damaged with the continual roof problems. While the decision to replace the roof came easy, the price for the work comes as quite a shock.

Costly Leaks

When it rains, it pours; literally. The Menard County Courthouse is currently using buckets to catch all of the water when it rains. Last repaired in the 1980s, the damaged roof has since gone unrepaired. Now compromising the integrity of the county’s historic courthouse building, city officials are growing increasingly concerned.

The roof comes with an estimate price tag of nearly $1.45 million, $1 million of which will go directly to the cost of repairing the building’s copper dome. With such a costly expense, city officials know they don’t have the money for the work and are still weighing options to fund through local bonds or build a new facility entirely.



Government Cool Roof Initiative Reaching Goals

In 2010 Secretary of Energy Steven Chu issued a memorandum directing that all Department of Energy sites install cool roofs when it is cost effective, basically when a roof needed to be replaced or repaired. According to Jennifer MacDonald, director of DOE’s Sustainability Performance Office, the cost is comparable when installing a cool roof versus replacing a standard roof.

So far the Department of Energy has installed approximately 160 cool roofs on government buildings. Chief among the reasons agencies are installing cool roofs is the energy savings.

National Archives in College Park Md. And William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock Ark.

Two buildings for the National Archives have installed combination of green and white roofs with the addition of solar panels on the sunniest locations. Another benefit is reducing the storm water drain off since the rainwater waters the green roof and prevents excess water entering into the Chesapeake Bay.

Mark Sprouse the director of the National Archives Facilities and property management division said “by the time we removed the old roof and put the new roof on and put the solar panels in and tied them into the building electrical system, it took about six months. “ He went on to say “It saves energy by two ways, it reduces the heat load underneath the roof so we don’t have to cool as much. It reflects the sun and the solar panels are producing about 30 kilowatts of power on a bright day, which we feed back into our building electrical system. “

The green and white roofs are part of the Executive Order 13514 that President Obama singed in October 2009 to established goals for agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency.

Town Requests Analysis for Historic Church Roof

A Historic Acushnet Massachusetts church is in bad need of repair. The 161 year old abandoned church was seized by eminent domain earlier this year. Voters authorized $25,000 for repairs but the town selectmen are asking for an additional $4,000 for a structural analysis and roof condition report.

During a clean-up of the old roof and debris, Building Commissioner James Marot discovered roof problems with the trusses and rafters. He suggested a structural engineer should professionally inspect the roof and offer a repair proposal with a full analysis report.

Necessary Roof Upgrades

Marot said the trusses will likely need to be upgraded and rafters repaired before a new roof can go on the building. Any roof upgrades should not be visible to keep the integrity of the only Greek revival church left in Acushnet.

The Acushnet Historical Commission would like to have the church added to the U.S. Register of Historic Places. Properties listed on the National Register may qualify for tax incentives and grants from the United States federal government.

The historic church is on Perry Hill Road and was completed and dedicated in 1851. The church has two front doors, one entrance was for the men and the other was for women to enter the church.

Restored Red Tiles for Museum Roof

Brownsville Texas’ Historic Brownsville Museum is getting restored to look like the original 1928 structure. The roof tiles are a combination of 6 shades of red, imitating the Spanish colonial revival style that the roof was designed.

Before restoring the tiles they had to be cleaned. They originally thought there were 3 colors and discovered there was 6. The laborers had to make the tile colors blend without looking like a pattern.

New Tiles Mixed with the Old

The new tiles came from Ludowici Roof Tile in Ohio. They come with a 75 year warranty and any leftover tiles can be sold to the city for the other buildings with the same roof style.

The new roof and parapets will cost about $175,000 to repair and restore. The cost of complete restoration of the lower part of the museum will cost just under half a million dollars.

The building was originally a train depot for Southern Pacific Railroad. In the 1950’s the station was retired and the building became a museum in 1986. The museum has a variety of exhibits from Brownsville past. The structure is listed with the Texas Historical Commission.