JD Candler Roofing Company of Livonia, Mich., has installed the first GAF EverGuard Extreme TPO roof in the Great Lakes state. The new membrane now covers the 16,500-square-foot rooftop of Sealant Equipment & Engineering Corp., located in Plymouth, Mich.

GAF EverGuard Extreme TPO now covers the 16,500-square-foot Sealant Equipment & Engineering Corp. building rooftop located in Plymouth, Mich. Photos by Tom Watts.

JD Candler Roofing Company of Livonia, Mich., has installed the first GAF EverGuard Extreme TPO roof in the Great Lakes state. The new membrane now covers the 16,500-square-foot rooftop of Sealant Equipment & Engineering Corp., located in Plymouth, Mich.

“This is the nicest TPO I’ve put down,” said John Paul Vujnov, project foreman for JD Candler Roofing. “It has more strength, and rolls and lays down flat.”

GAF Materials Corporation is the manufacturer of Extreme TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin), which was designed with enhanced UV and heat protection packages to withstand the rigorous demands of highly reflective environments and the high heat that can accompany solar applications.

“The product is relatively new - just introduced at the start of the year,” said Ricardo Aranguren, GAF’s territory regional representative in Michigan. “The owner had a 28-year-old tired asphalt roof nickel-and-diming them. When they pulled the trigger, we had a pre-bid and the low contractor was JD Candler. The owner agreed to use JD Candler.”

After the bidding process the owner agreed to look at a high-performance TPO Extreme membrane that offered them an extended NDL (no dollar limit) warranty. The system was installed as a mechanically fastened system meeting an FM 1-60 Wind and UL Class A Fire regulatory requirements over two layers of EnergyGuard 1.5-inch polyisocyanurate.

Why Extreme TPO?

The building owner, Carl Schultz Sr., and his four sons make robotics for two-part adhesives and dispensing mechanisms at Sealant Equipment & Engineering. “They produce the mechanisms that go on robotics for placing adhesives exactly in a certain spot,” Aranguren said.

Vujnov, the project foreman, said at JD Candler’s suggestion, Schultz went with TPO Extreme membrane upgrade. The roof does have some reflective ductwork, but there are no plans to install a solar system - at least not yet. The key factor in the decision to install the membrane was longevity. “This is the first TPO Extreme in Michigan,” Vujnov noted. “There are other systems that could have worked, but this system is as good as it gets.”

The timing was near perfect for Extreme TPO to be introduced in Michigan. “It’s the first one here because of the timing of product - it’s been on the market only a few months,” Aranguren said. “Also, in our area, Michigan does not have tax incentives where certain states do, like Ohio, New Jersey, and California. You see more solar activity out there because its cutting edge and they’re getting rebates at state and federal levels. We don’t have that in Michigan, yet. For someone here, they have the foresight for installing solar as prices come down or are looking for extra longevity purposes. And with it comes the bang for the buck.”

The JD Candler crew responsible for installing Michigan’s first GAF Extreme TPO roof includes (standing, left to right) superintendent Dan Cronk, on-site foreman John Paul Vujnov, (kneeling, left to right) operator Ken Motsch and purchasing manager Tony Badalamente.

Jobsite Details

Vujnov said his crew of 12 was able to complete the job in three days during the cool, windy and wet spring days of April 2011. “We put up 130 squares up high and 30 squares on another level,” he said.

With a large HVAC system attached on top of the roof, Vujnov said he utilized a JD Candler electrician to help install the HVAC unit back on top of the newly installed roof.

“We have new electrical lines through the metal decking,” he said. “We raised up the HVAC unit and provided discharge panels.”

JD Candler also utilized outer fasteners 12 inches apart, Vujnov said, along with separate flashings, and waterproofed the HVAC units on the rooftop with “cutting-edge GAF sealant.”

The 60-mil Extreme TPO Mechanically Fastened system has a 25-year NDL warranty, said Vujnov, who noted that Extreme TPO can withstand a temperature range of up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, while standard TPOs are tested to withstand approximately 160 degrees.

“It has an enhanced weathering package with higher grade weathering agents,” Aranguren said. “That enhanced weathering package allows GAF to increase warranties to 25, 30, 35 years depending on the system application method and membrane gauge.”

While the final product specified was 60 mil, they considered going with the 80-mil version. “The reasoning and owner’s decision was that going to newer membrane, they would get a straight 25-year NDL warranty - and transferrable,” Aranguren said. “They felt comfortable that if they move out of the building they will have something of value to give the new owners. Or if they stayed put, they are covered for 25 years going forward under the manufacturer’s guarantee.”

Longevity was the owner’s key concern, noted Aranguren, as there are no immediate plans to install solar panels. “It’s a solar-ready type material,” he said. “Or it could be high performance with a straight 25-year NDL, no exclusions warranty.”

Aranguren noted that if solar becomes “more affordable down the road, they don’t have to replace the roof membrane to install then film solar.”

“A person does not have to change the membrane to accommodate solar photovoltaic,” he continued. “As solar cost come down and oil and energy keeps going up - there’s some sort of balance in the future for affording solar top installations. Now you have a high efficiency Energy Star rating roof. It’s nice to have a roof ready to accept that down the road as solar becomes cost effective.”

JD Candler foreman-on-site John Paul Vujnov shows off Michigan’s first GAF Ever- Guard Extreme TPO project.

Excellent Teamwork

Tony Badalamente, Purchasing Manager at JD Candler, has been with the company just three months, but already he is providing dividends. “This is a turning point in the company to provide the first Extreme TPO in Michigan,” Badalamente said. “This product is perfect. It’s easy to work with. It’s clean and weldable. The guys like to work with it. And it’s nice to go with higher reflectivity.”

Dan Cronk was JD Candler’s project superintendent. “What was special was GAF recommended this product because it’s top-notch,” Cronk said. “It welds easily, and it’s friendly to work with.”

GAF Inspector Steve Gilbert worked with JD Candler for a day, showing the crew how to install Extreme TPO and answer any questions. Aranguren, meanwhile, said he turned Everguard Extreme TPO onto JD Candler after the parties looked at pricing.

“JD Candler and estimator Dave Godak did that,” he said. “They felt comfortable using the extended high warranty product.”

A New Generation of TPO

EverGuard Extreme TPO was engineered to stand up to solar loading and the high heat of BIPV installations. Temperatures are as high as 190 degrees Fahrenheit in close proximity to solar panels mounted directly to white roofing membrane, and standard TPO formulations can fail prematurely under those conditions. Removing BIPV and repairing failed roofing membrane is expensive. Installed pricing for BIPV ranges from $4 to $6.50 per watt, and solar arrays are typically expected to have a useful life of 20-25 years.

Highly reflective architectural structures such as mirrored glass can act as solar magnifiers and concentrate sunlight onto adjacent roof surfaces. This concentrated sunlight can be far more intense than ambient sunlight, leading to higher heat and UV loading than would be anticipated under normal circumstances.

According to the company,s GAF scientists have created a new grade of TPO single-ply membrane that is built to handle the extreme demands that new rooftop applications can place on roofing membranes. EverGuard Extreme and other commercial TPO membranes were subjected to accelerated weathering and aging tests. Heat-aging studies were conducted at 280 degrees Fahrenheit - a temperature beyond the most rigorous proposed ASTM tests.

GAF scientists were the first to use the new Atlas Ultra Accelerated Weathering Test Unit, which collects and concentrates sunlight producing the equivalent of 40 years exposure in only 12 months. EverGuard Extreme TPO membranes survived 13 months under these conditions without signs of failure.