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Franklin & Marshall College

Lancaster, PA

Emergency Roof Blow-Off & Repair

February 2011

“Our goal was to keep the roof from leaving the building and leaving Lancaster County.” That’s how GSM Roofing sums up its job when an emergency call came in from Franklin & Marshall College during a February 2011 windstorm.

In a setting known for collaboration and partnerships, it’s only natural F&M would rely on one, long-time partner to help care for and to maintain its pristine and historic buildings. With more than 50 buildings on campus, the F&M architecture contains just about every type of roof imaginable – from steep slope slate and metal with a technical design, to shingle and the flat rubber roof on its gymnasium. With such a wide variation, including modern and historical, the F&M Facilities Department puts its trust in the diverse expertise of the GSM team.

So when the call came, explaining the danger to the 56,000 sq. ft. roofs of the Alumni Sports & Fitness Center, there was little time to waste if GSM was going to save the roof.  The first task at hand was to secure the roofing material, which was lifting up as high as eight feet, resembling an airplane wing. The greater the wind blew, the greater the lift of the roof. With a full crew on site, the GSM team and the F&M Facilities Department used 100-pound concrete pavers and sandbags to hold the roof in place. If the roof had been able to completely disconnect from the steel decking and installation below it, the entire building would have been unprotected from water damage. Inside the building are the college’s field house, a suspended track, aquatic center and fitness center.

Click photo to enlarge

Project Highlights:

  • Responding to an emergency call for a roof blow-off
  • Securing the lifting roof with 100-pound concrete pavers and sandbags
  • Repairing tears in the membrane roof
  • Installing additional watertight termination points

Ironically, the 15-year warranty of the roof of the Alumni Sports & Fitness Center had just expired and the original roofing contractor was no longer in business. GSM’s quick work and temporary repairs saved the roof and the building from costly water damage. Six months later, GSM Roofing was on the top of the building again, this time installing a new rubber roof – ready to take on the next round of heavy winds.

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I do not check the work. But I can say that the two men answered my question with courtesy. They assured me that the roof is in good order. And your company responded to the work order on short notice as coordination with plumber's installation was key. My association with your company has always been more than satisfactory.

Ann Liarakos June 28, 2022