Why Choose Retro-R® Panels?

If you are looking for a low-cost retrofit solution and want to cover your roof with a lightweight, through-fastened panel, MBCI’s Retro-R® Panel installed over your existing roof could be the answer. Retro-R® panels provide a host of advantages for the retrofit roof project, including allowing the existing roof to stay in place during installation, thereby eliminating business downtime; time and labor cost savings; minimizing the possibility for water entry into the building; and providing a safer working environment—all with energy-efficient, versatile options. Here’s a quick rundown of some specific benefits of Retro-R® panels.

MBCI's Retro-R® panel can be installed directly over an exiting R panel.
MBCI’s Retro-R® panel can be installed directly over an exiting R panel.

Cost and Time Savings

There are a number of potential cost saving scenarios afforded by choosing the Retro-R® panel solution. First and foremost, this panel entirely eliminates the roof or wall removal process as it is installed directly over an existing R panel. This allows the facility to remain open so there’s no interruption to business operations, minimizing the loss of revenue.

Also, by not having to remove the roof or wall, installers save time (which also equates to lower labor costs). Not only does installation of Retro-R® panels save time in the project schedule and maintaining operations, this exposed fastening system requires fewer installation accessories, thereby keeping costs down while still providing a new look and long product life.

Additionally, existing rooftop equipment, vents or light transmitting panels can all be accommodated by the Retro-R® system, again providing significant cost savings when compared to installing a new roof system.

Installers may also be able to reuse all the trim from the original building when utilizing Retro-R® panels for a retrofit. They may not have to remove certain roof elements, such as the rake, gutter or down spouts; in fact, they may not even have to disassemble them. On one recent Retro-R® retrofit project, for example, Texas-based Benny’s Transmission, installers only took the ridge vents up in order to lay the panels flush, and were able to reuse them once the roof was installed, adding up to large material and labor savings for the building owner.

With a seamless solution to their 41-year-old roof in mind, Benny's Transmission selected MBCI's Retro-R® panel to be installed over their existing roof.
With a seamless solution to their 41-year-old roof in mind, Benny’s Transmission selected MBCI’s Retro-R® panel to be installed over their existing roof.

Site Safety

Any time installation time and required manpower are reduced, jobsite risks are also reduced. Additionally, it is more likely an installer could fall through if the original roof is not in place. With Retro-R® panels, if tied off at the eave, that risk is minimized as well. Generally speaking, inspecting and evaluating the existing roof panel and structure to determine if they will support the new panels and any live loads on the roof during installation is a key safety guideline.

Long Lifespan and Rust Prevention

The Retro-R® panel has a Drip Stop membrane to prevent rust from the old roof or wall from transferring to the new panel, which helps contribute to a longer lifespan.

Coatings, Color Choices, and Energy Efficiency

With availability in both 26- and 29-gauge Galvalume Plus® and Signature 200 color options, MBCI’s Retro-R® roofing system is a great option for retrofitting projects. On the Benny’s Transmission project, for example, the color chosen was Galvalume Plus®, which comes with a 20-year Galvalume warranty through MBCI. Although there was no extra insulation added, the high reflectivity of the Galvalume roof increased the building’s energy efficiency.

All in all, Retro-R® panel systems can be a cost-saving, efficient, versatile solution for your next retrofit project.

To find out more about Retro-R® panelscontact your local MBCI representative or stop by MBCI’s booth #2245 at the International Roofing Expo 2019 in February to see this panel installed live. Can’t make it to IRE? Tune in to our Facebook page on Tuesday, February 12th to watch our demos live!

Planning for Metal Roofing Retrofits

The decision to retrofit an existing commercial roof with a new metal one is usually based on the very real appeal of creating a long-term (50-60 years) roofing solution, achieving better energy efficiency, creating better aesthetics, or all of the above. Prior blog posts discussed these benefits in more detail and talked about different types of metal roofing retrofits. Here, we will focus on where to start in terms of planning to undertake a roofing retrofit based on covering a membrane roof with a metal-framed, low-slope, metal roofing system.

Existing Building Assessment

A successful retrofit is based on the new metal roof system working with the existing building structure and local conditions. Each of the following should be looked at first when starting the planning and design process:

  • Existing Roof Geometry: The shape (length and width) of an existing roof is important to determine the square footage of the roof, but so are the actual dimensions, since those can impact the height of the new metal roofing. The minimum recommended slope for new roofs is between ¼:12 and 3:12 , depending upon the roof system chosen for the new roof. Existing roof details such as overhangs, parapets, and the existing roof slope itself all need to be documented in order to determine how best to address them with the retrofit system.
  • Existing Roof Type: In many cases, the existing roofing does not need to be removed, but there may be ballast such as stone or other materials that are no longer needed. Oftentimes, the removal of this ballast will compensate for the additional weight of the new roof and framing system. The materials of the existing roof may also pose compatibility issues with new materials, so they should be documented to plan accordingly.
  • Existing Roof Substrate: Under the existing roofing, some type of substrate material is holding it up. It may be rigid insulation resting on a metal, wood, or concrete deck, or it may be an uninsulated substrate that has insulation below it. The specifics here need to be established, since the new metal framing will need to connect through this material. If insulation is in fact part of the substrate, then its effectiveness should be determined—has it gotten wet and been compromised, or is it still in good usable condition? Either way, how much is there?
  • Existing Roof Structure: The structural system of the building includes framing or other components that support the roof. This is what the new metal framing will anchor to and transfer structural loads to. Hence, the specifics in terms of type (steel joists, concrete beams, wood joists, etc.), the size, and the spacing are critical. Further, the carrying capacity of this system should be assessed and analyzed by a structural engineer, since the retrofit system will add 2 to 4 pounds per square foot of dead load to the roof structure. Further, this weight, plus any live loads from the roof, will typically not be distributed uniformly, but in a series of point loads. Therefore, the engineered capacity of the existing structure needs to be known to determine if any structural enhancements are needed.
  • Existing Roof Equipment: Many commercial buildings use the roof to locate mechanical, electrical, or elevator equipment. In some cases, that equipment can be moved to the ground or elsewhere, but in other cases it can’t, or would be too costly to consider. Hence the details, location, and height of such equipment needs to be known so a determination can be made on whether it can be covered and enclosed in the “attic” of the retrofit system, or if it will need to be raised to the top of the new roof.

New Retrofit Roofing Goals

With an assessment of the existing conditions in hand, the focus now becomes identifying the primary objectives of the new roof. These should be clearly articulated so the final design can address and include each of them:

  • Appearance: What is being sought in terms of shape, height, visibility, color, improved curb appeal, or other visual considerations?
  • Performance: What is the new roof being asked to address related to operations or performance issues? Common elements could be improved drainage, less maintenance, greater longevity, or more resistance to damage.
  • Energy Efficiency: Replacing a roof is the ideal time to improve energy efficiency in a building by adding new or more insulation. This could be done simply to meet current energy code requirements or to contribute to an overall energy-use reduction project at the building. In some cases, the new roofing system could enhance the ability to include energy generation, such as solar panels mounted to the new roofing system.

With proper planning and goal setting, a metal retrofit system can meet or exceed all expectations. This was the case recently at a water treatment facility in Dallas, Texas. Here is a photo of the existing built-up roof that was experiencing problems and needed replacement. It was assessed, analyzed and determined to be an excellent candidate for a retrofit metal roofing system.

Retrofits

 

Metal Roofing Retrofits
Here is a photo of the light-gauge metal framing installed to create the new low-slope planes and transfer loading to the existing building structure.

 

Planning for Retrofits
And, finally, here is the completed metal roofing, which looks better and is expected to perform better than the original roofing.

 

To learn more about MBCI retrofit metal roofing systems and how they might work on a building you are involved with, visit http://www.mbci.com/products/retrofit-products/.

How to Retrofit Existing Roofs with New Metal Roofing Systems

In our prior blog post, Benefits of Roofing Retrofits with Metal Roofing Systems, we looked at the benefits associated with retrofitting an existing building with a new metal roofing system. In this discussion, we will look at several ways to do it.

New Sloped Roof Over an Existing Flat Roof

Buildings with flat roofs can be retrofitted with light-gauge steel framing systems to create a new sloped metal roof. Such systems can be installed directly over existing roofing membranes and structures, subject to appropriate structural engineering review. These systems typically use light-gauge (16 gauge to 12 gauge) steel framing installed directly above the existing roof to create a sloped plane. Regardless whether the existing roof structure is steel, wood or concrete, the new, lightweight framing system can be designed to disperse roof loading appropriately and connect securely.

The physical footprint of the existing roof, the type of framing system employed, and any special rooftop conditions will typically control the final geometry of the new sloped roof. A low-slope application (less than 2:12) can be selected based on economy and configured to discharge rainwater off of the roof. High-slope applications (greater than 2:12) are typically selected to improve and update the look of an existing building while improving long-term performance. Once the metal framing system is in place, then standing seam metal roof panels are commonly installed, creating a ventilated attic space in the process.

Retrofit Roofing Panels

Low-slope metal roofing can be a great choice when a fairly utilitarian solution is needed for improving overall roofing performance. Exposed fastener systems can be used to allow direct installation of the new roofing panels over existing metal roofing or some other materials. Roofing panels specifically designed for retrofit applications typically have a rib spacing of 12″ on center with a rib height of just over an inch. The minimum slope for such a panel is 1/2:12. Any existing lap screws must be removed from the existing roof before the new panels are installed. The new retrofit panels are then attached with screws that fasten through the existing panel major ribs and into the existing purlins.

A New Standing Seam Roof

In some cases, an existing sloped roof may have another roofing material in place that is nearing the end of its service life. In that case, a new long-lasting, standing seam metal roofing system can be installed directly over the existing roof. Some systems will require a simple sub-framing system that allows the new roof to be installed directly over the existing. Retrofit roofing systems such as this can be UL-90 rated and FM Global rated. Other strategies exist to increase the energy efficiency of the building when adding new standing seam roofing, such as adding unfaced fiberglass insulated between the existing and the new roof and to vent the cavity between the old and new roofs by adding vent strips at the eaves, plus a vented ridge to allow air intake and exhaust. This method works well with roof slopes of 3:12 or greater.

Retrofit
OST Trucking Co. featuring Retro-R® metal panels in Polar White.

End Results

Regardless of the specific system selected and designed, installing a retrofit metal roofing system allows the existing roof to remain in place, which saves on labor costs. It also minimizes the chance for water entry into the building during the roofing process and provides for a safer working environment. Existing rooftop equipment, vents, or light-transmitting panels can be accommodated by any of the systems described.

According to the Metal Construction Association (MCA), “retrofit metal roofing represents an economical and functional solution for building owners who want to beautify their existing structure or correct performance issues related to aging roofs and out-of-date materials. They have been employed in millions of square feet of existing commercial, industrial, retail and education facilities. The result is a new code-compliant metal roof that will last for 60-plus years, providing higher energy efficiency by reducing heat gain through the roof in summer months and reducing heat loss during winter months.”

To find out more about these retrofit systems, contact your local MBCI representative.

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