Hurricane Charley put on quite a performance during the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season. The Plaza Theatre in downtown Orlando, Fla., was just one of the many buildings damaged during the hurricane.

Photo courtesy of Roofing Technologies and RMS Orlando Inc.


Hurricane Charley put on quite a performance during the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season. The Plaza Theatre in downtown Orlando, Fla., was just one of the many buildings damaged during the hurricane. Since the devastation, the historic landmark had continual water leakage problems with Hurricane Frances and Hurricane Jeanne following closely behind Charley. In 2006, Bob Koch, The Plaza Theatre’s owner, contacted RMS Orlando Inc. to solve his roofing and water problems. Koch is also a general contractor and knew full well this roofing job could mean a costly job.

After surveying the 24,545-square-foot roof, RMS Orlando detected that the roof membrane had lifted. Richard Tennyson, president of RMS Orlando, contacted Larry Rauktis of Roofing Technologies Inc. to consult on this project. Two options were available, either replace the roof or restore the current roof. Replacing the roof would have cost three times what it would have cost to restore the roof.

To restore the roof, the existing 4-ply BUR membrane would need to be re-fastened and a waterproof product used to cover and seal the membrane. Tennyson, having success with SOPREMA’s ALSAN Flashing System in the past, discussed the possibility of using the ALSAN Flashing System over the entire membrane to create a watertight seal over the existing membrane. The ALSAN Flashing is a patented polyurethane/bitumen resin, single-component, and moisture-cured compound that utilizes solvent technologies.

After presenting the costs and plans for the two options, Koch made an economical decision to restore the roof versus replacing it. The Plaza Theatre is a live performance theatre busy with practices, plays, concerts and special events. Given the nature of show business, not only must the show go on but also you must be quiet during performances. These factors greatly limited RMS Orlando’s work schedule. Work began in June of 2006.

Tennyson’s crew of six to eight people fastened the existing BUR roof membrane to the 4-inch Gypsum deck using Twin-Lok fasteners spaced 12 inches on a 12-foot perimeter. A crane lifted the 5-gallon pails of ALSAN and pallets of white granules. After fastening, the flashing and prep work were completed. A new red metal coping was installed on the perimeter. The ALSAN Flashing System was put down using a squeegee, allowing for flexibility around the HVAC units and the large space-age tower on top of the building. About 50 pounds of white granules per 100 square feet were then used to cover the coating offering UV protection.

The restoration took almost two months to complete. “RMS Orlando’s crew was efficient and able to work around the busy schedule of performances, meetings and practices,” Koch said. “Roofing contractors were in high demand for years following the hurricanes. It was nearly impossible to not only get a roofing contractor, but also one with fair pricing and a good warranty.”

And, as another hurricane season prepares to hit the stage, the folks at the Plaza Theatre can be confident the show will go on.

Founded 1908 in Strasbourg, France, SOPREMA is one of the largest roofing products manufacturers in the world. SOPREMA manufactures and provides waterproofing products such as SBS modified bitumen membranes, hot rubberized asphalt and polyurethane, PMMA and SEBS coatings. SOPREMA products offer various methods of application including self-adhered and green roof configuration. SOPREMA develops systems for civil engineering and to protect the entire building envelope (foundation, below grade, terrace, wall and roofing). SOPREMA built their first U.S. plant in Wadsworth, Ohio, in 1992 and the second started production in 2008 in Gulfport, Miss. For additional product information, visit www.soprema.us or call 800-356-3521, ext 277.