The 24-year-old 170,000 square foot original roof of Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio‒better known as “The Q” ‒received a new lease on life thanks to a roof restoration by Beachwood, Ohio-based Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance and contractor Warren Roofing of Walton Hills, Ohio. The two-phase project, completed in the summer of 2017, effectively doubled the service life of the roof with Tremco Roofing’s liquid applied AlphaGuard® MT roof restoration system.
The Problem: Twenty-four years of Cleveland’s infamously unpredictable weather had worn down the original Hypalon roof, bringing it close to the end of its service life. Arena owner Gateway Economic Development began investigating roof replacement options, believing a replacement to be the inevitable next step.
The Solution: After performing extensive diagnostics, Tremco Roofing Field Advisor Joe Slattery and the Tremco team proposed restoring the roof rather than replacing it, using the company’s AlphaGuard MT system. The system was ideal to turn the older but still functional roof into a long-lasting, highly efficient weatherproofing system for a fraction of the cost of replacement. What’s more, the resulting 20-year warranty effectively doubled the service life of the roof.
Restoration costs much less than replacement, significantly reduces landfill waste because so much roofing material can be reused and serves to stop roof deterioration.
Upfront diagnostics are crucial to determining if a roof is a candidate for restoration. Visual inspections were made followed by roof moisture analysis using a Troxler meter to identify the location and density of any moisture in the roofing system. This revealed that while there was some damage, more than 90% of the roof could be restored. Areas of wet and warped insulation were marked for replacement.
The staging area in Gateway Plaza, which is adjacent to Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, presented several logistical and scheduling challenges. The Indians 2016 World Series run and the Cleveland Cavaliers 2016 NBA Championship season meant that Gateway Plaza was host to a myriad of events which the project could not disrupt. The staging area had to be cleared by 8 a.m. and space was limited. Material could only be lifted to one section of the roof and then moved by hand. The project also had to be scheduled around the July 2016 Republican National Convention, which was hosted at the Q, dividing it into two phases that year.
Areas of damaged insulation were removed and replaced. This involved cutting through the membrane down to the existing vapor barrier, then staggering two layers of new insulation and adhering pieces of EPDM, or where possible, gluing the existing membrane back into place. Also, the fastening of the entire roof membrane was significantly enhanced to meet wind uplift design requirements.
The roof was thoroughly cleaned in sections with Tremco Roofing’s RoofTec™ cleaning system to prepare it for coating. Each of three sections had to be cleaned no more than 30 days before coating began. Using rotating water jets and a small amount of environmentally safe cleaning solution, RoofTec removes dirt, mold and mildew from the roof surface without the negative effects of power washing. It requires little water and recaptures almost all that it does use. The sheer size of the project required 500 feet of hoses to supply water and return it to the ground-level RoofTec truck for filtering.
Excellent for use in highly sensitive and active areas such as a sports and entertainment complex, the low odor, fast curing AlphaGuard MT system is easy to apply on tough-to-access rooftops and cures quickly to start providing waterproofing protection. The three-step process consisted of a roller-applied primer, followed by a base coat with an embedded fiberglass mat, then a reflective white topcoat applied within 72 hours. Additionally, a second topcoat containing 20/40 silica sand was added for slip protection since the curved roof could not accommodate walk pads.
The restored roof features three different custom coating colors to match the existing roof’s color scheme. The main roof area is light gray, complemented by “wing” sections of 2-foot wide stripes. The 30,000-squarefoot roof area under the arena’s 360-by-90-foot LED sign is black, so that the sign will pop when viewed from overhead whether day or night. One of the many challenges of working on the uniquely shaped roof (designed to be the shape of the arena site turned at a 90-degree angle) was access to the roof under the massive sign’s steel framing– which crews had to reach on their hands and knees, to apply the coating by hand.
Learn more about Tremco’s roofing and waterproofing solutions.