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Commercial Roof Replacement Question

Old 07-10-2019, 02:12 PM
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Default Commercial Roof Replacement Question

I absentee manage a small (2,300 SF) commercial building in northern NJ that has a flat roof. The existing roof is over 20 years old and requires replacement. This building is adjacent to a three story apartment building. The residents of the apartment building occasionally walk out onto the roof of my building for an occasional beer. This has been an ongoing problem for 40+ years and is not likely to stop soon. While we might be able to fence the roof off, it is probably not worth the ill will and potential vandalism from the apartment building residents. This is something we will have to live with.

We have received a roof quote specifying an EPDM roof system over 3" isocyanurate foam. Will a roof of this type hold up to foot traffic or should we go a different way? I am looking for practical suggestions. Also - any ideas on the cost of such a roof? Thanks.
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:15 PM
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If you allow it, you're liable. Kick them off and keep them off.

Chuck
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:20 PM
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I did a foam roof on 160k square foot center a few years ago... I don't think walking on it is advisable ..... But you could do a small area for them to stand with another barrier/cover over the foam... I believe we ran runners to each HVAC unit so contractors wouldn't walk on the foam ...

Cant remember cost pSF ... Good luck

https://westroofingsystems.com/spf-v...r-a-flat-roof/
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:21 PM
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EPDM is a rubber sheet, excessive traffic isnt good for it. We had 300000 sqft installed and had walk pads placed for the HVAC guys, you should stop the traffic, its gonna cost you
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by FastAttack View Post
If you allow it, you're liable. Kick them off and keep them off.

Chuck
I agree but there may be repercussions from it that can't be prevented and no damages recovered based on OP.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:12 PM
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Ask the company you got the quote from... Will they warrant the roof with foot traffic. They will say no, for good reason.

If you cant avoid foot traffic, don’t go with EPDM or TPO roofs. I’d go with a cheaper hot asphalt built up.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:20 PM
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EPDM needs walk path protection pads. You need to have a path from roof access to every roof unit. If you dont, you are asking for failure. This Photo is a TPO roof but the concept is the same.

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Old 07-10-2019, 05:33 PM
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Just had that roof put on with internal gutter eliminated and scuppers with external gutters added. Spent $20k.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:37 PM
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Anyway to put some slope on It and do a metal roof?
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:02 PM
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Thanks to all for the comments. I was concerned that membrane style roofing was going to be too fragile for this location. From Triplenet, FMB3, Mattttt25,and EMC Pursuit's posts it seems like we may have to look for an alternative surface. Tar and gravel may be a good option. The last one was good for 20+ years, and if we get the same out of a new roof I'll be happy. Now all I have to do is find the right roofing company.

Last edited by Wicked Awesome; 07-10-2019 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Wicked Awesome View Post
Thanks to all for the comments. I was concerned that membrane style roofing was going to be too fragile for this location. From Triplenet, FMB3, Mattttt25,and EMC Pursuit's posts it seems like we may have to look for an alternative surface. Tar and gravel may be a good option. The last one was good for 20+ years, and if we get the same out of a new roof I'll be happy. Now all I have to do is find the right roofing company.
but at 15 years the leaks start getting bad .. @20 you are sick of fixing the leaks and replace it
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:38 AM
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4 ply built up with stone will last much longer than 20 years and hold up to foot traffic.
If done right

SBS modified bitumen is also a nice system, 2-3 layer counting base.

Out of all your options the 4 ply bur will take the most abuse.

With tear off and new insulation, a small job like that should be around 10$ sf. around here.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:04 AM
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Had a similar issue with a strip center. I had 120' of razor wire installed.

After about a month of minor vandalism from the trespassers that could no longer access my roof, all was well.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Wicked Awesome View Post
Thanks to all for the comments. I was concerned that membrane style roofing was going to be too fragile for this location. From Triplenet, FMB3, Mattttt25,and EMC Pursuit's posts it seems like we may have to look for an alternative surface. Tar and gravel may be a good option. The last one was good for 20+ years, and if we get the same out of a new roof I'll be happy. Now all I have to do is find the right roofing company.
Tar & gravel with an 8-10 ft. border of 3" of tar on top to keep the neighbors off.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by FastAttack View Post
If you allow it, you're liable. Kick them off and keep them off.

Chuck
Not only that but one of the drunk idiots is going to fall off the roof and you'll be liable.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Wicked Awesome View Post
Thanks to all for the comments. I was concerned that membrane style roofing was going to be too fragile for this location. From Triplenet, FMB3, Mattttt25,and EMC Pursuit's posts it seems like we may have to look for an alternative surface. Tar and gravel may be a good option. The last one was good for 20+ years, and if we get the same out of a new roof I'll be happy. Now all I have to do is find the right roofing company.
just have to put this out there for smarter people than me

Is having people on your roof parting covered by your building insurance for fire and personal liability ??

does the fire marshal approve ??

does the building code enforcement approve ??

sorry if this is out of line.
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:27 PM
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I didn't see where you said, what is the current roof construction?

Something to consider on an older building, if the new roof weighs more than the existing, there may be structural implications that need to be addressed.

New roof seems like an opportune time to say "No mas". Have a discussion with the apartment building landlord about how to stop his/her tenants from trespassing on your roof?
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:14 PM
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EPDM is slippery when wet. Goes on rvs as well and if gets any growth in it then gets really slippery. We’ve transition from using it on rvs to now using solvent base roll on with fiber backing. It’s much stronger and can be patched
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:14 AM
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Thanks to all for the suggestions. It looks like we will be installing a new roof and some perimeter security fencing.
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