Removing removal from the equation

How many of your metal shingle bids come in lower than a competitor who installs asphalt shingles? You can probably count them on one hand, if you have any to count. Here’s the story you’ve been waiting for: a metal roofing installation that was more economical than had the owners selected asphalt shingles.
The Capuchin Franciscan Friars at St. Anthony’s Retreat Center in Marathon, Wis., determined their facility needed a new roof. The fiber cement asbestos tiles were old and in disrepair. What do you do with 43,000 square feet of fiber cement asbestos tiles? At 500 pounds per square, that’s more than 100 tons of tiles! Asphalt shingles could not be installed over cement tiles, so the cost of removal, handling, delivery, and dumping was included in any bid by an asphalt shingle installer.
How about a metal shingle? Bob Kulp, owner of Kulp’s of Stratford, proposed a lightweight metal shingle from Decra that would safely encapsulate the asbestos. The shingles could be installed with screws, right through the cement tiles, eliminating the need for removing them.
Adding to the difficulty was the fact the rectangular building has a center courtyard. To safely and effectively work on the roofing facing the center, a crane was brought in to lift a hoist over the building, into the courtyard.
Kulp decided to cover the entire roof with Ice & Water Shield to help contain the asbestos, adding to the time of the installation. Among the other obstacles that extended the length of the project was screwing the shingles into the cement tiles. “We were there about a week longer than for a normal job, but it’s still the most economical method of re-roofing these projects,” he says.
Kulp says his company has installed metal roofing on almost 10 projects that involved fiber cement asbestos tiles, mostly churches. Some congregations opt to remove the tiles because they can afford to and choose to eliminate the need for future generations dealing with the asbestos tiles. For those that can’t afford to, the metal shingles can, in many cases, be installed over the top.
“It’s a good market and it’s an approved method,” Kulp says. “There are a lot of fiber cement asbestos tiles on old buildings in northern Wisconsin.”

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