Polaris Career Center

The View: The Polaris Career Center

Giving Tomorrow’s Tradespeople a Front Row View of Commercial Roofing Excellence

At Warren Roofing, we can tell you firsthand that finding skilled laborers and craftspeople is getting harder and harder. With more students looking to get business and computer degrees, the trades took a backseat in career planning for decades. But thanks to top-notch facilities like the Polaris Career Center in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, the tides are turning. Students at the center can get training in anything from Hospitality Services to Auto Mechanics, and it’s not just for kids. Adults can get continuing education courses and even their Equivalency Diploma. What better way to find out just how important the trades are than watching the team from Warren Roofing remove and replace the rooftop above the school and showcase their handiwork?

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The Job

Warren Roofing was hired to remove 15,600 feet of asbestos roofing to be replaced with a new PVC roofing material.

The Challenge

Taking a Load Off

The project started in May and school was going to start in September. That’s a tight window for any commercial roofing process, but a unique rooftop environment created an interesting problem for the Warren Roofing team. The surface of the roof was a Tectum roof deck. This is not as strong as many other materials, meaning that there is a lower load-bearing limit to work with. Hauling materials and team members across the rooftop would require some out-of-the-box thinking from the team.

The Team

John ArsenaProject Manager: John Arsena

The Crew: Two crews of eight people working six days a week

The Status: Project was initiated in May of 2019 and finished in September 2019

The Process

Tectum is a material that is designed to absorb sound and is generally considered to be durable and sustainable. The only problem is that in comparison to metal and concrete roofing decks, it’s not able to withstand as much weight. While not impossible to overcome, this makes logistics a more difficult issue than normal roofing projects.

To overcome this obstacle, the team at Warren Roofing had to get creative. Normal roofing buggies would be too heavy to be used to haul and remove debris from the rooftop. All of the asbestos roofing had to be torn off and hauled across the roof in lighter-weight, traditional wheelbarrows. The wheelbarrows were then taken to central dumping locations and then removed from the roof.

Adding to the challenge of this project was the time crunch. When you have to work with equipment that is outside of your normal scope, it slows down the process. Two crews worked six days a week throughout the summer to get everything accomplished. This scheduling enabled the team to get an eight-month project done in about four months, which is truly a testament to Warren Roofing’s commitment to getting things done efficiently.

Anytime there is asbestos removal involved, the team at Warren has to be extremely careful. Exposure to asbestos can lead to mesothelioma, a cancer that is commonly found in the lining of the lungs or chest wall. So, under careful attention and supervision, the team at Warren Roofing removed the dangerous substance and laid down a layer of Firestone roofing insulation. The asbestos material was then replaced with a PVC roofing membrane from Johns Manville. With UV inhibitors, watertight heat-welded bonds, and high resistance to tough environments, it’s a great membrane to protect a roof and help have a long life in the challenging Cleveland environment.

The Results

If any of the students attending the Polaris Career Center plan on getting into the trades, they will learn early on that adaptation is the key to being able to provide quality service to customers with difficult tasks. When a rooftop presents a challenge, the team at Warren sees it as an opportunity to show why we are the top commercial roofer in Cleveland. The school was ready to return to class with a safe, durable roof that will keep them ready to train for many years to come.

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