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Roof Restoration Story – A Record Setting Roof

Each day we can follow a roofing project that is installing another layer of protection and reconditioning an existing Western Colloid system.

Our founder, Larry Widmer began applying coatings and fluid applied systems in the 1960’s. Throughout the West notable companies like Boeing, Weyerhaeuser, Fred Meyers, TRW, Certified Grocers, Payless, Thrifty Drug and others received asphalt emulsion systems from his team. He soon became the largest fluid applied roofing contractor in the Western United States.

The Western Colloid brand was born in the 1970’s when he built his own manufacturing facilities. As a successful contractor he understood the need for consistent, quality products; he also knew that in order to help this sector of the roofing industry grow he would have to provide contractor services that were effective and unique.

Because of that history and the nature of his business at the time we have the opportunity to really trace the history and success of Western Colloid’s roof systems.  Although the contracting portion of the company fell away when Western colloid was started and most original project records lost, we can trace one roof back 80 years!

That roof is in Vernon California, originally put on in 1940-42 around the beginning of World War II.  The buildings were barrel shaped with a built-up roof with gravel.

In the 60’s Widmer’s roofing company, a year or two before Western Colloid was started, vacuumed all the gravel off and applied a few layers of a chopped glass and asphalt emulsion overlay, (precursor to a polyester reinforced system). Then top coated the roof with aluminum coating. It was coated again in the 80’s then again 16 years ago a contractor put a third top coating of aluminum coating on those roofs to further extend the life of the roof. As far as we know that original roof is still on there and still performing.

In the past roof consultants, contractors, and property managers wanted the entire roof torn off but that became wasteful. You may be losing valuable insulating factors and sending so much debris (some toxic), to landfills is unnecessarily.  90% of Roofs can be restored without tearing off and removing the roof.

One concern is missing the damage underneath the roof surface. There are ways to find out if your roof has damage. With inspection inside the building, roof appearance, core samples, and moisture imaging. In most cases it can be isolated, and the different types of decking can be replaced.

Western Colloid President Greg Hlavaty states “Usually, the biggest concern is will the deck hold the additional weight of another roof system.  And in many cases, it won’t when you’re putting on a re-roof where they put board overlays and add another type of roof on top. That adds a lot of weight. Today they’re also adding solar to many roofs, which is adding weight.”

Greg adds, “If the building needs a roof replacement, or if they are adding solar, a lightweight solution with systems like Western Colloid offers might be the saving grace because it’s adding so little weight. We often work with engineers in different areas that can give you the actual allowances for weight for any specific structure.”

“In the big picture when comparing traditional roofs at hundreds of pounds per square (100 square foot), and we’re talking about pound or less per square foot.”

As time marches on for our 50-year-old company, Western Colloid is now involved in roof restoration projects more and more.  We get to extend the life 15 to 20 years on roofs previously restored with Western Colloid roof systems. Another great example is this featured project below.

In 2009 Bligh Pacific Roofing in Southern California was tasked with reroofing a gravel roof on a 2-story office building. There was a big concern by the owner to install a roof that would not disturb the sensitive building occupants.

Rather than removing the roof entirely they trusted Western Colloid’s products to be able to work over a rough surface and provide a new cool roof with a 10-year warranty.  All while installing a roof safely with little to no inconvenience for the tenants. They removed the loose gravel exposing the rough surface below and proceeded with an emulsion, 2 ply polyester and acrylic topcoat system which is ideal for these kinds of situations. Bligh Pacific completed this quality project with very happy clients.

Here comes the time marching on part.  12 years later Bligh Pacific Roofing was asked to comeback and recondition this well-maintained roof.  They recently renewed the roof system with a one ply reinforced acrylic specification which gives them an additional 10 years. Plus, they took advantage of our 850 SWS Walkway coatings for additional protection.

These projects are a shining example of extending the life of your roof.  With a little attention and the right roof systems a roof can be sustainable.

Each day we can follow a roofing project that is installing another layer of protection and reconditioning an existing Western Colloid system. Very few manufacturers with our type of roof systems have a track record with building owners, large corporations, consultants, and contractors, and have that level of confidence in Western Colloid.

To find out more about this terrific roof alternative please contact Western Colloid today.