What a summer! The hottest June in Denver history, twice touching the all time “high” of 105 degrees, the hottest July in Denver history, a terrible early summer wildfire season, and on track for the most days over 90 degrees in a summer! Wow- it’s a good thing that the high country is only a short drive away for those days when you need some serious fresh, cool air!
WeatherSure is proud to have been selected as the contractor to replace the roof system on the Pike’s Peak Visitor Center, on the summit of “America’s Mountain” , Pike’s Peak, a mountain who’s namesake, Zebulon Pike, thought would never be climbed, let alone raced up in less than 10 minutes! We’ll be starting up there shortly after the completion of the 2012 Pike’s Peak Hill Climb race on August 12th.
At WeatherSure, we are proud to be the contractor selected for the most difficult and unusual projects around, whether high rises with limited access, unusual architectural details, or located on top of a Fourteener, WeatherSure delivers!
Memorial Day is past and it really feels like summer, although the official start of summer is a few weeks away- “solstice” is Latin for “suns stands still”- as the days get longer and the sun is higher in the sky, the sun seems, at least, to stand still. In Shakespeare’s England, the solstice was called “Midsummer”, although we now consider it the beginning of the season. June remains a popular month for weddings because the Druids celebrated the Solstice as a “Wedding of Heaven and Earth”. For ancient peoples who worshipped the sun, the solstice was a time of great power and magic- temples were built by the Egyptians and others that featured altars only illuminated by the rays of the sun on the solstice, and pagans in northern Europe believed that it was also a time when evil spirits appeared, and wore charms of St. John’s Wart to fend off bad vibes. Today the day is still celebrated around the world, with the most famous celebration occurring at Stonehenge is southern England – how will you celebrate this summer season?
At WeatherSure, this marks the beginning of the busiest time of the year, as our crews start projects spread out across Colorado and Wyoming, we have a lot of school reroofing projects this year and they all have to be completed during the summer vacation period. The long days allow the crews to get an early start, beating both the heat of midafternoon and the scattered afternoon thunder boomers that typically form during the summer months along the Front Range- every project has to be watertight each night.
Welcome to Spring! Along the Front Range, the weather can be very interesting this time of year- like 80’s one day and then a wet snow storm! I thought this month we could take a look at some unusual roofs- let’s face it, most roofs are only there to keep out the weather and the vandals, but you can stick some interesting stuff up on top of a building….for instance, the hotel pool- how about the one at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore?
It’s an infinity edge pool, 55 stories above the ground, spanning the 3 towers of the hotel. There are also quite a few rooftop bars, some fairly low level ones around LoDo, with the Sky Bar at Sirocco in Bangkok, taking top prize as the world’s highest open air bar at 63 stories. In Dubai, where they apparently spend a lot of time building things just to prove they can be built, there’s a tennis court 211 meters above the ground, about the same height as 1801 California (the “Century Link” building). Although the infamous roller coaster atop the Stratosphere in Las Vegas is gone, there are still some rides on the roof, and other rooftop roller coasters elsewhere. In densly populated Copenhagen, architects created a rooftop “playground”, really a rooftop hill covered with grass for inner city kids to frolic upon. Somebody with a lot of imagination came up with the idea of a rooftop trailer park, the Grand Daddy Hotel in Capetown, South Africa features 7 vintage (and imported) Airstream trailers, customized and featuring hip custom décor, are parked on the hotel roof and available as guest rooms. In Melbourne, Australia, you can see a movie at the Rooftop Cinema, 6 stories up and open to the sky above. And it seems that everywhere folks are growing things on the roof- at Ford’s River Rouge plant in Detroit, which was first built around World War I, sprouts the world’s largest “green” or vegetated roof system, over 10 acres of soil and sedum, a “ground cover” type of plant that is proving itself especially viable for rooftop conditions- not only does the roof provide greenery and relief from the acres of industrial roofs all around, Ford expects the roof to last twice as long as a conventional installation, due to the waterproofing membrane being protected from UV and temperature swings by the mass of soil and plants on top- and skipping a roof replacement on a building this size will save millions of dollars. And co-op gardeners and chefs from Brooklyn to Chicago to Vancouver are growing vegetables and even chickens on rooftops, so you can eat “local’ even in the heart of the big city. Perhaps the most innovative of all, I have heard of a company that painted a “QR” code that can be scanned with a cell phone on their roof, so that when someone looks at their building using GoogleEarth (or, I suppose, happens to be flying over) they can instantly access the company website- who knows what we’ll be sticking on roofs in the future!
As we say goodbye to 2011 and meet 2012, warm weather is quickly melting away our White Christmas. One of my favorite things about the Holiday Season is that it also marks the Winter Solstice, the shortest daylight of the year (in the northern hemisphere). Although it’s not too noticeable yet, there’s something pleasing in the knowledge that we are indeed working our way back towards the long days of summer. Many people are surprised to find out that WeatherSure operates year round, only somewhat hampered by winter weather and shorter work days. There are, of course, some days where only critical repairs can even be attempted, and our reroof and waterproofing crews are idled, but if you’ve lived along the Front Range for very long, you know the only constant is how fast the weather changes- January is actually the driest month of the year in Denver, and the average high temperature is in the mid 40’s- lots of great working weather. And, best of all for our customers, buying roofing and waterproofing work in the early part of the year is like buying ski gear in the summer- there’s lots of great deals!
Thanksgiving is over and now we’re firmly into the “Holiday Season”- even the jolliest elf can get a little stressed out this time of year, so don’t forget to slow down and look past the commercialism, enjoy the season for what it really means- or should mean, to you. And it’s time to say Thank You to all of our customers and employees who’ve made 2011 another successful one for WeatherSure Systems.
I’m going to take a minute and explain how we go about replacing the roof on a ballasted EPDM roof system. Ballasted EPDM Systems are among the most popular commercial systems of the last 40 years or so, and with good reason. A ballasted system is a very economical way to cover a big roof, and the vast majority of warehouses, “big box” stores and the like feature ballasted EPDM systems. Insulation boards are loose laid directly on the structural deck, the EPDM membrane is unrolled over the insulation, utilizing the largest sheets possible, in some cases 200’ x 50’, and round river rock is spread to hold the assembly in place. The walls and rooftop units are flashed and that’s about it.
The great news for building owners is that a couple decades down the road, when it’s time for a new roof, the simplicity and economy are still there. WeatherSure Systems has perfected a technique known as the “ballast swap out." Our technicians start at one end of the building, removing ballast on a section of a size that can be completed that day, rolling up and removing the old membrane, then reballasting and completing the flashing details- re-using the insulation whenever possible, only replacing insulation that is wet or has been damaged.
It’s simple, it’s “green”, inexpensive, and most of the time it’s the best choice for owners with an existing ballasted EPDM roof.
Happy Holidays from everyone at WeatherSure.
Let’s have a great 2012 together!