The massive 420,000-square-foot roof atop Food Services of America’s (FSA) Woodburn, Ore., distribution center was falling apart. Seam failures on the ballasted roof were tearing as fast as 50 feet per week.

The massive 420,000-square-foot roof atop Food Services of America’s (FSA) Woodburn, Ore., distribution center was falling apart.


Columbia River Roofing was able to complete the new FSA roof in less than two months using Leister tools.

The massive 420,000-square-foot roof atop Food Services of America’s (FSA) Woodburn, Ore., distribution center was falling apart. Seam failures on the ballasted roof were tearing as fast as 50 feet per week. The building, essentially a giant cooler that consistently hovers around minus 8 degrees, needed a new, reliable roof to parlay rising cooling costs and ensure the safety of materials and people inside.

FSA hired Columbia River Roofing of Gresham, Ore., to replace the roof with a single-ply roofing membrane. Once installed, the new roof would benefit FSA with a guaranteed long-lasting, waterproof roof.

No Simple Feat

When choosing the tools to complete the job quickly and efficiently, Eric Finnerty, president of Columbia River Roofing, already knew where to look.

“Production is the name of the game in this business,” Finnerty said. “I’ve used Leister products exclusively for more than 10 years because with Leister, we are able to put the roof on better and faster, guaranteed.”

Due to the scale of the project, the roof was divided into 50,000- to 100,000-square-foot sections. One at a time, a section was vacuumed, prepped and cleaned before the PVC roof was placed and welded down. The process was repeated until the entire roof was complete.

A Race Against the Clock

The major concern on the FSA roof was to ensure that any roofing membrane laid down was secured daily. Unpredictable Oregon weather could cause rain delays, and a leak through an unfinished or poorly welded roof section would cause serious consequences - especially since the building was fully operational and contained about $15 million worth of product on any given day.

With the use of Leister tools, Columbia River Roofing was able to put down and secure 22,000 to 25,000 square feet of roofing per day. All seams were welded using the Leister VARIMAT V walk welder.

Relying on Leister Tools

“On a project like this, if we had a piece of equipment go down, it would be catastrophic,” said Finnerty. “With normal maintenance of Leister products, I don’t have to worry about that happening.”

Including removal of the ballasted roof, the entire job was completed in less than two months, thanks to the hard work of everyone involved and the reliability and efficiency of Leister tools. “The deal with Leister is that the quality of their equipment makes our job easier,” said Finnerty. “That’s the bottom line.”

For more information, visit www.leister.com.