Last updated: July 24. 2013 2:41PM - 446 Views

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Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

A building inspector found additional problems with the Scioto County Courthouse roof and recommended a hold on payment to the roofing company working on the project until paperwork pertaining to general liability and workers’ compensation insurance is on hand.

Asebrook & Co. Architects/Inspectors released their observation report on the condition of the courthouse roof. Asebrook was called after the Fourth District Court of Appeals offices on the third floor of the courthouse flooded due to clogged downspouts last week.

J. Michael Asebrook, along with Commissioner Doug Coleman, Fourth District Court of Appeals Judge Matthew McFarland and Phil Lajoye of the Scioto County Maintenance Department toured the roof and other areas within the courthouse on March 22.

On March 27, Asebrook’s observation report was presented to Coleman. Asebrook also serves as the Scioto County Chief Building Official.

“Asebrook, at Coleman’s request, toured (Fourth District Court of Appeals) Judge McFarland’s office, because reportedly a very major leak occurred and infiltrated the building envelope from the roof to the basement. The majority of water damage occurred on the third floor judge’s office,” Asebrook stated.

The report states that Servpro has been working to repair the damage that occurred in McFarland’s office.

“The four-story National Register-listed courthouse has a low-sloped roof system with internal roof-drains, several light-wells and multiple raised clerestory monitors for day lighting. Lajoye reported the roof-drain above the Judge’s offices became obstructed by an old bird-screen and other debris that resulted in water backing-up and infiltrating the building,” Asebrook said.

As to the structure of the roof, Asebrook said, “the building’s roof deck appears to be a poured-in-place reinforced concrete pan-system. Some common shrink-cracks were observed due to previous water infiltration. The infiltration has caused some corrosion and expansion resulting in limited delimitation of the concrete.”

Asebrook reported the existing EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer (M-class) rubber) membrane over rigid-insulation as being soft and “spongy” at the time of the observation.

“Apparently foremen Leroy of 5-Star Roofing of Indiana was attempting to save the existing tapered-insulation and was in the process of installing fiberboard over the failed 0.40 EPDM membrane and indicated he planned to install breather-vents. The National Roofing Contractors Association has reported breather-vents are not effective in drying wet insulation.”

Toward the end of the report, Asebrook offered three recommendations. The first being “the old EPDM should be ‘torn-off’ and removed or imaged using infra-red technology to verify if the old substrate is suitable for new roofing. Since trapped moisture becomes steam during the hot summer months which causes blisters and roofing failures.”

Second, “require a manufacturer’s representative inspect and approve the installed work, obtained proof of current general liability and workers’ compensation insurance and obtain warranty and lien-waivers before any additional payments are made.”

Lastly, “perform and record monthly roof-reviews by maintenance staff, and annual manufacture’s inspections to remove all potential obstructions and discover any membrane defects.”

In February, the Scioto County Commissioners awarded a contract for $99,990 to Five-Star Roofing for the replacement of the roof on the courthouse.

Early in March the commissioners approved a change order on the project that potentially added an additional $23,000 to the project to replace a layer of insulation on the roof as needed.

The scope of the work includes the installation of a seamless roofing system that is expected to last 20 years.

According to Coleman, with the removal of the EPDM, all of the funding allocated for the project will be spent, bringing the project total to $122,990.

According to Heather Cunningham, Chief Deputy Auditor for Scioto County, the county has made two payments to Five Star Commercial Roofing. The first payment of $49,995 was a deposit on the roof replacement. The second payment of $11,500 was a deposit on the change order for insulation repair/replacement.

Among Asebrook’s recommendations was that the county obtain proof of current general liability and workers’ compensation insurance and obtain warranty and lien-waivers before any additional payments are made. According to Mike Crabtree, Chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners, the county does not have proof of Five Star Commercial Roofing’s insurance or workers’ compensation insurance, but will aquire the paperwork per Asebrook’s recommendation.

“We discussed all of this before we made arrangements with them (Five Star Roofing). They do have bonding insurance and they do have workers’ compensation,” Crabtree said. “We did not get into a lot of the arrangements you would get into with a normal contract because this was done on an invoice. We had them to fix the roof and we would pay them on an invoice.”

He said there was a contract, but, “we did not ask them to give us a bunch of paperwork that we did not feel was necessary. We were satisfied they had insurance and bonding before they came down here,” Crabtree said.

Crabtree said the paperwork needed by Asebrook’s recommendation was coming.

“What we’ve done now is contacted them and they are going to send us copies of their bonding and their workers’ comp and all of that information. It will be available to anyone that wants to look at it,” Crabtree said. “As far as I know, we did not have a copy of that (bonding insurance and workers’ compensation documents). There was no need for that, that’s something that they are required to have anyway.”

Lajoye told the Daily Times Thursday that he expected Five-Star Roofing to send the needed proof of current general liability, workers’ compensation insurance and warranty and lien-waivers to the county before the end of the day.

According to Coleman the crew working on the roof has gone home for the Easter Holiday and once work resumes, he estimates it could be another couple of weeks before they are finished.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.

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