Roofing a labyrinth

Raintight Roofing installs a new TPO roof system on Pleasant Valley Country Club in Arkansas

  • Photos courtesy of Raintight Roofing Inc., North Little Rock, Ark.
  • The clubhouse is a maze of pipes and equipment. Workers climbed over and under equipment, often lying on their stomachs to reach areas.
  • The clubhouse is a maze of pipes and equipment. Workers climbed over and under equipment, often lying on their stomachs to reach areas.
  • The roof system under construction

Pleasant Valley Country Club offers members and guests a picturesque sanctuary of rolling hills and lakes in Little Rock, Ark. Its 27-hole championship golf course was designed by world-renowned architect Joseph Finger and is regularly ranked among the best golf courses in Arkansas and the Mid-South.

State-of-the-art tennis and fitness facilities, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, fine dining, terraces, and a clubhouse large enough to hold weddings and events for up to 500 guests are just some of the reasons why Pleasant Valley Country Club is a popular, sought-after venue in the area.

When the roof system on the clubhouse began leaking, Pleasant Valley County Club's general manager called on Raintight Roofing Inc., North Little Rock, Ark., for help.

A grueling process

Having previously worked on other Pleasant Valley Country Club roofing projects, such as installing a low-slope TPO membrane roof system on another section of the main building and installing decorative shingles on the exteriors of parapet walls, Raintight Roofing was familiar with the country club's roof systems, but this project would be more complicated than previous ones.

Initially expected to be a repair and maintenance job, the original plan was to install drains to address isolated areas of ponding water and repair a few leaks. However, the Raintight Roofing crew quickly found that though the leaks into the building's interior were minor, there was a lot of water underneath the membrane and a complete roof system tear-off and replacement project would be necessary.

The clubhouse roof is a maze of pipes and equipment. There are 380 roof system penetrations (an average of one penetration per 39 1/2 square feet), including 24 HVAC units, 32 electrical boxes with breakers and numerous vent pipes with support stands throughout the roof's surface.

Constructed in 1963, the building had several roof systems installed on it over the years. In April 2018, Raintight Roofing workers began removing several layers of built-up roofing and perlite insulation from the 15,000-square-foot roof area down to the metal deck. Working on a roof with so many penetrations was not easy.

"The tear-off process was interesting to say the least," says Randy Hindman, owner of Raintight Roofing. "In some areas, crew members had to lie flat on their bellies while working underneath and around the pipes."

In addition to creating physically demanding challenges, the roof system penetrations made it impossible to store materials on the roof, so everything was staged in a parking lot next to the building's main entrance. The crew used a SkyTrak® telehandler to transport materials.

To limit the number of parking spaces needed for staging, half of the materials were delivered at the start of the project, and the remaining items were delivered halfway through the project. Every morning, the crew transported the materials needed that day to the roof.

"But there wasn't enough room among the obstacles to even place that amount of material on the roof surface," Hindman says. "So the crew erected scaffolding inside the parapet wall and stored materials there. Then, to get materials where they were needed, the crew hauled them by hand through the maze of pipes and equipment."

Workers used the Skytrak telehandler with forks and a big scoop to remove tear-off debris and stage new materials. To avoid disrupting clubhouse activities, the crew only operated the telehandler before 11 a.m. and at limited times during the afternoons.

A single hatch provided access to the roof. From there, the only way workers could reach some roof sections was to crawl around and over rooftop equipment.

"I spent a couple of hours crawling around the roof doing the warranty inspection," says Jeff McCraw, territory manager for Mule-Hide Products Co. Inc., Beloit, Wis. "Sometimes, we had to climb onto an air-conditioning unit and then step down onto a pipe just to get to another section."

The new roof system

After workers completed the tear-off process, the crew installed 1 1/2-inch-thick Mule-Hide Products polyisocyanurate insulation over the metal deck followed by mechanically fastening Mule-Hide Products 60-mil-thick white TPO membrane. Raintight Roofing has collaborated with Mule-Hide Products for about 12 years.

"We like working with them," Hindman says. "Our territory manager [McCraw] takes great care of us. He comes out to a job site and answers any questions we have and takes care of issues that arise. That matters a lot."

Each of the hundreds of roof system penetrations needed flashing, requiring a knowledgeable and skilled crew to tackle a wide range of detail work.

"The Raintight Roofing crew did a great job handling a lot of different kinds of penetrations coming through the roof and walls," McCraw says. "All the work had to be done per specifications for the roof to be warranty-eligible. It took a well-trained, well-versed crew to know what would be acceptable on so many different types of details. Most roofing workers would have looked at it and scratched their heads, but when I inspected this roof, there only were a few minor things to be addressed."


Although difficult logistics and an unusual amount of roof system penetrations created a longer-than-typical work schedule for the roof size, Raintight Roofing workers completed the Pleasant Valley Country Club project one month later, on time, in May 2018.

"Our crew members typically can tear off and replace about 20 squares per day, so reroofing a 150-square roof usually would take about two weeks," Hindman says. "But in this case, they only were able to complete about four squares per day, so the project took more than eight weeks to complete."

According to Hindman, since completing the new roof system, it has rained "a bunch," but there have been no leaks or issues, a testament to quality workmanship.

"The crew is to be commended for their work on this job," McCraw says. "Working while bent over or on your knees or lying flat on your stomach is not typical on 99.9 percent of roofing jobs out there. This one was a challenge, and only the best of the best could handle such a project."

"Our crew is particular about their work and take pride in it," Hindman says. "People have told me we have the best crew in the South. I'd put money on that."

Chrystine Elle Hanus is Professional Roofing's associate editor and NRCA's director of communications.

Project name: Pleasant Valley Country Club
Project location: Little Rock, Ark.
Project duration: April-May 2018
Roof system types: TPO membrane
Roofing contractor: Raintight Roofing Inc., North Little Rock, Ark.
Roofing manufacturers: Mule-Hide Products Co. Inc., Beloit, Wis.


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