Roof Replacement on Multi-Level High-Rise Apartment Building in Toronto

2185 Lawrence Multi-unit residential roof replacement in Toronto ON Canada.

Industry: Multi-unit residential roof replacement
Location: 2185 Lawrence Ave. East,
Dorset Park Neighborhood, Toronto
Project timeline: approximately 4 weeks

The Ask

This multi-unit residential roof replacement project was tendered through a roofing consultant. This required us to complete a bid form for a specifically defined scope of work. The specifications  included pre-inspection, roof replacement, replacement of the roof walkway, coordination with other trades regarding chimney boiler stack removal, and coordination with the contractor responsible for connections and replacement of the exhaust fan housings. Our bid was selected because of our competitive price, pre-existing relationship with the landlord, quality workmanship, integrity and reliability.

The Setup

Being creative to remove and replace a poorly installed roof

The buyer of this Toronto apartment building may have gotten a rude awakening after we conducted a roof inspection soon after they closed the purchase of the property. As part of the due diligence process before a sale, we recommend a roof inspection so that an estimated useful remaining life can be determined and the roof condition assessed. We visited the building on a windy winter day, only to find what could be best-described as a disaster.

The existing roof membrane consisted of a single-ply EPDM membrane applied over top of a sprayed polyurethane foam roof assembly.  The EPDM membrane was tenting up from gusts of wind. Looking further, not only were previous repairs made using different types of spray foam that were not compatible with the originally installed materials, but the original polyurethane foam was sprayed so unevenly that it created hills and valleys, making it feel like we were walking on the moon! As we conducted the inspection, we wondered how the building had remained relatively watertight. Undeniably, this made our Top 10 List of the worst roofs we have ever worked on.

This multi-unit residental roof replacement was a disaster with hills and uneven roofing material before Elite started working on the project.
Pre-start condition of the roof. Note the uneven roof surface and built up mounds around the roof projections.

Key Challenges for this multi-unit residential roof replacement

Tight Timeframe

Roof replacements can be complex, and time was of the essence to meet the client’s commitment to others. Given the condition of the existing membrane and installation method, the building required a complete roofing system replacement, which turned out to be very complex.  

Difficult Insulation and Roof

Although we knew the roof composition before the project started, removing the membrane was more difficult than anticipated. We needed to carefully remove the foam insulation around all of the exhaust fan housings as the client did not want to replace the housings. In the end, it was not possible to avoid replacement of the housings due to their deteriorated condition..

Keeping the Roof Watertight

The 2185 Lawrence multi-unit residential roof replacement with water on the roof.
Pre-start condition photo.

We needed to maintain an overnight watertight condition throughout the project to provide a continuous barrier against air, moisture, and weather. 

Elite Advantage Solutions: Efficiency, Flexibility, and Coordination  

Timing and Coordination

Our top priority was to get the job done right, with the quality we are known for—with a premium on efficiency to meet the client’s deadline. Our solution required expertise to remove the poorly installed polyurethane insulation, flexibility to accommodate weather, and careful coordination. We chose to work with IKO as the material supplier. We had valuable assistance from Sam Karellas, one of their Technical Sales Representatives, to make sure the system design and method of installation was warranty compliant. There are often site specific considerations that require input from the material manufacturer during a roofing project.

Flexible Project Management for the multi-unit residential roof replacement

Putting a self adhesive layer of vapor retardant in place before installing new materials helped us get the tear off completed and keep the roof watertight with efficiency and high craftsmanship. Creating a watertight seal across the entire roof gave us flexibility to install the new roof system in stages. This process enabled us to concentrate on difficult or problem areas while limiting damage to existing building elements. We created the weather barrier [vapour retardant] by applying a single ply of a self-adhering tri-laminated polyethylene film, self-adhered modified bitumen membrane with an approved primer.

After installing the vapor barrier, the race was on. We needed to install the insulation layers and the modified bitumen SBS protection board with a laminated base sheet. We also needed to do the upper layer, a cap sheet of granular surfaced, torch-adhered SBS modified bitumen.  

The Elite Roofing team working on the 2185 Lawrence roof replacement in Toronto ON Canada.
Work in progress photo showing the assembly almost completed to the base sheet layer. The top granular surfaced cap sheet had not yet been installed.

Careful Coordination with Teams

The multi-unit residential roof replacement in Toronto ON Canada.
In progress photo with the roof membrane nearly completed. The metal copings were not yet installed.

We carefully coordinated with other teams for this project. The client scheduled the boiler chimney replacement to begin just before the roof replacement would start. We also carefully scheduled multiple visits by the HVAC company to temporarily disconnect and remove the exhaust fan housings. By doing this, it ensured the timely installation of the membrane and minimal downtime for the hallway fan units.

Safety is Essential for our team during a multi-unit residential roof replacement.

Worker safety is always a prime consideration. The scope of work required extensive wood blocking to be installed at the perimeters to raise the parapet height. For the safest work environment, especially considering the building height, we completed most of the wood blocking before the full crew was mobilized to the site. Once we completed the new wood blocking, we were able to install our perimeter guardrails and leave them in place for the duration of the project. 

Multi-Level High-Rise Apartment Building
Photo showing the roof replacement upon completion.

Multi-unit residential roof replacement specifications:

  • Building height: 110’, 12-storey high-rise apartment building
  • Total roof area: 15,532 sqft
  • Roof replacement area: 14,330 sqft
  • Deck substrate: Concrete
  • Vapour retardant: self adhered modified bitumen membrane
  • Insulation: 2.0” Polyisocyanurate
  • Coverboard: 3/16” factory laminated modified bitumen base sheet over asphaltic protection board
  • Membrane Type:  2-ply SBS modified bitumen membrane with granular surfaced cap sheet. 
  • Ballast: none
  • Flashings: 2-ply SBS Modified Bitumen
  • Metal copings: 26 Gauge pre-painted galvanized steel

The completed multi-unit residential roof replacement in Toronto ON Canada.

Looking for a high-quality roofer for your multi-unit residential roof replacement? Look no further than the Elite Advantage.

In short, the existing insulation and roof were removed correctly, the tight deadline was met, and the new roof was installed to meet the highest quality standards.  

Elite Roofing is all about quality and relationships. For us, it’s not just a matter of price and doing a rush job. It’s about building a relationship with the client, meeting their objectives, and providing the highest quality craftsmanship for a long-lasting roof that performs well throughout its lifetime.

If your Toronto-area high-rise apartment building needs a roof replacement, you can count on Elite Roofing to meet your needs with the highest quality of craftsmanship. Contact us today.