Pier 1 is America's largest importer of gifts and home furnishings. It provides merchandise that is distinctive and of high value to its customers. In return, the company expects high value in support of its 1,000 stores and a dozen distribution centers spread across 50 states.

LRW Consultants Inc., Dallas, has maintained, analyzed and supervised the roofing projects for Pier 1 since 1995. Over the last 10 years, reroofing projects on distribution centers have averaged over $1,000,000 a piece. Gary Hudspeth, president of LRW, is the person charged with providing Pier 1 the highest possible return on its roofing investment.

The 450,000-square-foot distribution center in Mansfield, Texas, was built in 1986. Its roof consisted of fully adhered EPDM over polyisocyanurate foam insulation board. A white acrylic coating was then applied to the membrane. Hudspeth inspected the roof in 2002 and found that some seams had disbonded, a few sections of the membrane required replacement, and ponded water had damaged the coating along the roof's perimeter. In addition, over the 16-year life of the roof, the thinner areas of coating had eroded and in some areas had flaked away. Nonetheless, the majority of the roof was in relatively good condition.

During 2002, Hudspeth and Pier1 contracted with Boyd Roofing to do EPDM seam repairs and keep the building dry until a scheduled 2003 reroof could be performed. Boyd Roofing won the project based on pricing, performance history and manufacturer certification.

In February of 2003, Hudspeth and Boyd attended a "Cool Roof Restoration" seminar conducted by ERSystems in Dallas. Hudspeth and Pier 1 worked with ERSystems and determined that the roof would qualify for restoration. This process would extend the membrane life and warrant an additional 10 years of watertight performance.

During July 2003, the contractor-consultant-manufacturer team conducted adhesion tests to determine the type and extent of cleaning required to achieve maximum adhesion of various coatings to the membrane and to the original coating. Boyd Roofing elected to use rotary power washers and ERSystems' Enviro-Wash biodegradable cleaner to remove the dirt and most of the old coating. In some areas, coating fragments were removed by hand.

Crews opened up the wet and deteriorated areas of the roof and replaced the insulation. They installed the new EPDM membrane with double seams using EPDM seam tape and EPDM cover tape. ERSystems fabric-faced butyl cover tape was applied over all the other field seams. Once membrane repair and preparation were complete, crews applied single-ply primer at a rate of 3 squares per gallon. On the low areas around the roof perimeter that held water, Boyd Roofing applied Erathane-ULTRA, a water-based aliphatic polyurethane coating that withstands prolonged standing water. The remainder of the roof was coated with Eraguard 1000 acrylic coating to a minimum of 20 dry mils thickness, bringing the total membrane to 65 mils thick.

As cooler weather set in, Boyd Roofing requested a faster cure for the water-based coating. ERSystems provided Eraguard 1000 Winter, which contains a sky-blue photosensitive tint. The blue color helped the coating absorb heat, cutting the initial dry time in half; and then converted to a high-hide white finish as the sunlight bleached the photosensitive tint.

Hudspeth and Boyd Roofing made temperature checks with an infrared thermometer and documented that under the same conditions, the clean EPDM registered 141 degrees and the coated area next to it was 90 degrees.

"I like using a liquid-applied roof system" Gary Boyd explains. "There is no bleed-through, no smells, and you end-up with a crisp, neat, clean, finished project. Fluids are easy to handle and require dramatically less labor, which means savings I can pass on to Pier 1." Boyd says that the company averaged less than 3/4 of a man-hour per square, and half of that time was spent in surface preparation.

Both Boyd and Hudspeth indicate that ERSystems is their manufacturer of choice because of the company's ability to tailor solutions and products to the specific problem. In addition, the company is a single source for the EPDM membrane, EPDM accessories, primers, adhesives and coating. Says Boyd, "Their technology, support, and responsiveness is outstanding."

Hudspeth is pleased because he has provided Pier 1 with a new, "cool" white reflective Energy Star roof that conserves energy, has a 10-year watertight warranty, and ensures long-term protection that provides the high value and return on investment that Pier 1 has come to expect.