Roofing Materials & Design Failures
Roof environments expose materials of construction to some of the most difficult stresses seen in the built environment, particularly the range of temperatures and the compositions of the air and water. As a result, roof components suffer a higher incidence of failure than found in most building components.
Many building materials are not single-component. That is, for example, steel beams may be painted or galvanized. Anything that is coated requires that the coating process have been conducted according to rigid specifications of cleanliness, timing and temperature of coating, and of course, original choice of materials for the particular environment. And in a sort of triumph of perversity, changing air quality may mean that what was correct when the building was originally constructed may no longer meet today’s requirements.
MATCO Services is deeply experienced in solving materials problems in these areas. For example, MATCO engineers were called on to analyze corrosion problems in galvanized safety systems on the roof of the Pentagon Building in Arlington, VA, rebuilt after the 9/11 attacks. MATCO teams have been on-site working with lead-coated copper roofs in San Diego, CA and rural Chicago, IL. Both of these problems were exacerbated by local air quality changes.
In many instances we have seen that inexperienced applicators have not scrupulously followed instructions on removing pre-existing coatings or soils before applying replacement coatings or paints. This happens all too often with incomplete sand blasting or failure to clean off residues from surface blasting. Sometimes the wrong product is chosen for a particular application or the product application specifications are not followed. For example, a prime coat may either not be allowed to cure or to cure too long, causing a poor bond between prime and exterior coats.
All of these subtle failures can be detected by MATCO scientists working with state-of-the-art microscopy and spectroscopy techniques. Corrosion and coating specialists can analyze your particular problem. It is very common that a visit to your site will help in understanding the local conditions more fully. That is, it is possible but unlikely to be able only to look at a failed sample and determine just from that what the issue was in your case. Site visits are commonly extremely useful. Once the reason for the failure is understood, MATCO’s materials selection specialists can help you choose a proper material to overcome your problem.
Our team is comprised of certified and experienced personnel from a variety of technical disciplines including: mechanical engineering, cathodic protection, paint inspection, chemistry, metallurgy, and materials science. We also have a vast array of laboratory and field testing equipment. All of MATCO's testing equipment is calibrated on a routine basis in accordance with both national and international standards, and is ready to be put to use at a moment's notice.
Our team includes NACE Certified Corrosion / Cathodic Protection/ Materials Selection/ Design / Coating Specialists and Technicians (*) and other materials experts including:
Dr. M. Zee * Mr. Geoff Rhodes *
Dr. George Bayer Mr. Marty Latona
Mr. Roger Joy Mr. Ed Larkin
Dr. Huiping Xu Mr. Tom Thomas