by Jim Austin – The Helene S. Mills Multipurpose Facility opened in 2002 as a Fulton County focal point to enrich the minds, bodies and spirits of independent senior citizens. Soon after opening, a leaky roof put a damper on senior activities. 

“It wasn’t the right roof for the job,” says Ryan Finney of Ideal Building Solutions of Atlanta. “There were a lot of long runs and when it rained, the water was going over and into the 1-1/2-inch snap-lock seams. That system was not intended to deal with that much water.”
Finney said a consultant hired by Fulton County accurately assessed the problem and recommended a complete tear-off of the original metal roofing material and 30-pound felt, both a part of the original installation. Because this was a government job, the bidding was opened to the public. Finney explained that the project was listed on a website. Applicants have to meet certain minimum requirements, regarding insurance and manufacturer certification for installing the product.
Ideal had the lowest bid and was picked for the project. Ideal Building Solutions executed the tear-off and proceeded to install Firestone Building Products’ UC-6 panel, a 2-inch double mechanical lock metal roofing system. To best work with the new standing seam metal roofing system, Ideal first installed a synthetic underlayment from Firestone called Clad-Gard. The color chosen for the new standing seam roofing was Hemlock Green – it was close to the original roofing color, but offered a higher reflectivity, which helps keep the building cooler during the summer months, thus reducing the cooling load.
Providing a reduced cooling load is just one benefit of a metal roofing system. A metal roof is a premium roofing system that will save money for the building owner over time, because most metal roofing systems come with a true 30- to 50-year warranty.
“That was a special project,” Finney said. “Safety was a major concern, for our employees as well as the seniors using the building. It was open during the tear-off and install, so we were extra careful. We had one of our safety people onsite at all times. We’re proud of the way it looks, the way it works and the way we were able to install it safely.”
Finney said the job, 46,000 square feet, took about six months and was completed in March 2013.
“The double mechanical lock is a pretty tight seam,” he says. “We haven’t had any problems there at all. We even designed a cricket system to divert water around the large air vents and keep it moving off the roof. You need to show customers your solutions to unique problems like that so they feel comfortable sending work your way.”
Since completing the Helene S. Mills project, Ideal Building Solutions has gotten more aggressive in the commercial metal market in the Atlanta area, taking on jobs of all sizes. Finding itself in the market for a large folder with this new plan of attack, Finney attended METALCON in Atlanta in 2013. “Actually going to the show, we were able to compare the different types of computerized brakes and shears from different manufacturers,” he says. “They were all right there.”
After a meeting with several exhibiting companies, including MetalForming Inc., Finney later visited nearby Peachtree City, Ga., to see a Schechtl brake in action at the MetalForming plant. Ideal completed the purchase and the investment into the metal side of the business grew. “The profit margin is higher and there are fewer players in Atlanta,” Finney says. “At the beginning of this year, we bought a Schechtl brake and shear so we can do our own trim work. We also do TPO roofing, PVC roofing, EPDM and modified and we’d have a 2-3 week wait for our copings. We’d have jobs open, just waiting for copings. Now we can bend it ourselves.”
About Ideal Building Solutions: Ideal Building Solutions is a commercial roofing company that offers professional and reliable roofing services. Ideal offers planning and consulting services, repair and maintenance, as well as new construction installation. Visit