Western Financial Place roof system needs repair, replacement

Consultant delivered report to city council outlining recommendations to fix water leakage issues

The roof system at Western Financial Place complex needs to be outright replaced or repaired, according to a consultant who delivered a report to city council last week.

The roof structure over various parts of the facility, such as the arena, Coyote Jack’s restaurant, change rooms and the aquatic centre, among others, were examined in order to pinpoint specific problem areas.

Kevin Wilkins, the consultant with Building Consulting Services, found that much of the issues with water leakage occur in early spring during warming cycles after long extreme cold periods.

Wilkins made a presentation on the roof situation to Cranbrook city council at their most recent meeting.

One significant problem is damage to the Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) membrane caused by the weather elements, which allows water vapour to move around in the roof assembly.

The concern isn’t necessarily leakage from the outside roof; rather water vapours that freeze in frost zones during cold snaps inside the assembly structure, then melts when it warms up, giving the impression of a leaky roof.

Wilkins said the biggest concern was the parapets, where the roof structure meets a wall.

“The parapet vapour barriers must be repaired as any part of any roof repairs or replacement,” said Wilkins, “because if you don’t go in and fix those parapets with any kind of roof replacement, you’re still going to have that frost within the parapets and it’s still going to melt and drip down in, because it’s not actually a roof leak.”

Wilkins concluded that parapet vapour barriers need to be repaired as part of any roofing repairs or replacement.

The pool roof, racquetball court and arena roofs all require replacement, while the elevator roof, change room, stair room and office patio are all recommended by Wilkins for repair, which — if done properly — could extend the lifetime by 20-plus years.

The restaurant roof was replaced last year, and no water or moisture issues have been detected, said Wilkins.

Options pitched by the consultant include complete removal and replacement with a new TPO roof or with a Styrene Butadiene Styrene (SBS) roof, or a spray foam application to the arena barrel roof, which is only applicable to the arena section.

A spray foam option would be effective, with the caveat that it would require high quality spray foam applicators and annual maintenance, which would be critical to long-term performance.

A Carlisle Fleece backed synthetic rubber roofing membrane, EPDM, is also an option for low humidity environments, added Wilkins.

The city is currently analyzing the options and associated costs within Wilkins’ report.


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