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Roof Repairs ongoing at Depot

By WILLIAM PAINE

william.paine@southwesttiems.com

Major roof repairs are taking place at Pulaski’s Train Depot.

Monday work crews from Rick Cook General Contracting were making as much progress as possible before the rains forecast for later in the week.

“It’s a step by step process,” said Rick Cook, who is based out of Narrows. “It goes pretty quick in the straight sections but in around the dormers you just have to cut every piece, so it takes a while.”

As of Monday, Cook and his crew had spent seven days working on the roof of the depot. Much of the plywood forming the substructure of the roof needed replacement, as water leaking from the building’s internal gutter system had rotted the wood around the roof’s edge.

“It had an internal gutter system that was leaking, so we had to replace 60 some rafters around the building,” said Cook.

The train depot was not built using a standard drainage system where water flows from the roof into a gutter, as is seen on most modern structures. Instead, water flowed into a slit approximately one foot above the edge of the roof, where it collected into a trough and then flowed through the roof into downspouts.

“You know, internal gutter systems are not the way to go,” said Cook. “Anytime you’re catching the water and letting it flow through the roof itself, instead of just catching it on the outside, you’re asking for trouble. It’s not that the install was incorrect, it’s just that internal gutters are a thing of the past. They eliminated them for that one simple reason.”

Cook removed the internal gutters system and will replace it with an old style galvanized metal half round gutter along the roof’s edge.

The old internal gutter system used copper in the troughs that collected rainfall.

“Copper tends to heat up and expand the joints where it was put together.,” said Rick Tawney, who works as Project Manager for the Town of Pulaski. “It seems to come apart. Then you get the leaks and then you get the rot. The copper would have done the same thing. The heat, the expansion and the cold contraction would have eventually caused the seams to break.”

Tawney expects the exterior gutter system to require less maintenance than the old internal gutters but this was not the only problem with the train station’s roof, which last was repaired in 2010.

“The shingles began to deteriorate,” said Tawney. “They had something wrong with their chemical makeup. They had a 50-year warranty but after 10 years, they started falling apart. There were several lawsuits against the company.”

That company has since gone out of business.

The rains of May will likely cause some slowdown in Cook’s roofing efforts but his crew should have their work mostly completed by month’s end.

After that, a Pembroke based painter will begin his work.

“We’ll power wash everything underneath,” said Tawney. “Everything gets two coats of paint and it will all be done with brush and roller … No spraying.”

It’s estimated that 160 gallons of paint will be needed to paint the Depot. After the painter finishes his work, a company from Roanoke will install the commercial half round gutters on the depot.

All told, Tawney estimates the cost of this roof renovation to be approximately $150,000.

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