Baldwin Water Treatment Plant

The View: The Baldwin Water Treatment Plant

When a Leak Could Become Much More

There are few man-made structures in Greater Cleveland as beautiful and awe-inspiring as the Baldwin Water Treatment Plant. The plant opened in 1925 at the height of Cleveland’s run as one of the wealthiest cities in America. Its design is breathtaking and harkens back to Cleveland’s opulent design history. From its massive 900-pound brass doors to its wrought iron railings, it’s an amazing testament to the city Cleveland was, is, and will be. At some point though, even a building that looks indestructible needs some upgrades. In the case of a water treatment plant, a leaky roof can lead to much bigger problems. Millions of gallons of drinking water live beneath that roof. The leaks in this roof had jeopardized the supply of water at the Baldwin Water Treatment Plant. It was time for this beauty to get a new roof, and it was time for Warren Roofing to do the job.

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The Job

Tear off and replace the existing roof.

The Challenge

Protecting History as Well as the People

The drinking water of millions of Cleveland citizens was in danger. A leaky rooftop can cause millions of dollars in damage to a business, but in this case, it could also cause illness to the people served by the plant. There were also giant patio areas on the roof that needed to be removed in order to do the repairs. And all of this intense work had to be done while using caution to avoid damaging the ornate decorative stone around the building.

The Team

John VetrovskyProject Manager: John Vetrovsky

The Crew: Eight Warren Roofing crew members worked on this project

The Status: Work was started in March of 2019 and wrapped up in September of 2019

The Process

The project started with the removal of the rooftop patio areas from the top of the building. Warren Roofing partnered with Cleveland Building Restoration to make sure that the stone masonry remained intact during the job of tearing off the current membrane and replacing it. After the old roofing membrane was removed, the team poured a sloping lightweight concrete deck. Next, the crew put down a vapor barrier to protect the deck from moisture and help waterproof the surface. The stone restoration work that Cleveland Building Restoration was performing was phased so that some could be completed before and some after the project. Some of the work being performed was done below the roof and some on top, so the Warren crew was careful to work around them throughout the process to make it as simple as possible. 

The Warren Roofing crew selected a Tremco AlphaGuard™ membrane to complete the job. This particular roofing system is a single-component waterproofing system that is moisture-triggered and can be used for restoration or replacement of current roofing systems. It is also highly proficient at weatherproofing a rooftop, and with Cleveland’s temperamental climate, this can be particularly beneficial. It also has a brilliant white color, which can help reduce temperatures on the roof.

The Results

There were so many benefits to this project, but the most important result is that the drinking supply of many Clevelanders is safe and sound thanks to this new roof. With the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) involved in a project, it has to be taken extremely seriously. Public safety is of the utmost importance. The secondary benefit is that the team from Warren was able to team up with Cleveland Building Restoration to help preserve one of Cleveland’s hidden gems. This building is a beautiful treasure and, thanks to this project, its rooftop will be protected for years to come!

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