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Chicago Lighthouse

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Location:Chicago, IL - Medical District

Materials:JM 80mil TPO Fully Adhered

Crew Members:24 people

Manhours:2,900 hours

Conditions, Strategies & Results

Chicago Lighthouse

Chicago Lighthouse is a nonprofit organization serving the blind, visually impaired, disabled, and Veteran communities in the greater Chicago area. They contacted Roofed Right in need of a new roofing configuration to effectively stop the present leaking and ensure a solid ongoing maintenance plan. Roofed Right suggests regular maintenance to prevent costly repairs and replacements in the future; this is especially necessary when the roof is older and more vulnerable to the elements as with this roof.

Pre-job Conditions

Buildings with older roofs and minimal maintenance struggle to survive the Midwest winter months, leaks continually worsen and repairs become increasingly difficult in bad weather. The previous roofing system Chicago Lighthouse had in place was half concrete decking and half metal decking with a ballasted EPDM membrane. Incessant leaking was slowly causing the insulation between the decking and the EPDM membrane to become wet. Moisture leaking into insulation becomes a costly project if not caught and handled quickly and efficiently by professionals. Wet insulation tends to accelerate the aging process of a roofing system and the building as a whole, causing structural damage in the long term. Luckily the issues were identified before any major damage occurred, saving time and money for the customer and Roofed Right. Chicago Lighthouse was ready to be upgraded to a newer and more dynamic solution to solve their leaking issues.

Strategies and Results

The first priority when replacing a roof with leaking is checking for and removing all wet or damaged insulation. Releveling the missing sections with new ISO was a cost efficient way to effectively reuse it while upholding industry standards. This particular roof had a previously installed tapering system that was able to be preserved and incorporated into the new structure. In the area with structural concrete decking, a new nailable decking substrate was installed over the existing tapered insulation— effectively creating a reverse ballast system. Another layer of ISO was mechanically attached and the JM 80mil TPO membrane was fully adhered on top. Accompanied by regular maintenance, this membrane provides between 20 and 30 years of protection. The entire project was completed quickly and easily. Replacing most of the roof prevented further damage from wet insulation and restored the structural integrity of the system.

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