No More Monkeying Around
Summer 2020 – Spray Foam Magazine – Hurricane Irma ripped through Miami in August 2017 leaving costly devastation in its wake. Zoo Miami witnessed the power of Irma as the hurricane forged a path through the center of the zoo, tearing trees from their roots and destroying the roofs that housed many of the animals. Luckily, most of the animals survived, but sadly a small number of birds, including a flamingo and a Great Indian Hornbill didn’t make it. The zoo’s granulated roofs took a beating from the high winds, removing most of the ceramic granules from them.
To ensure the animals were dry and comfortable while residing inside, these roofs needed to be fixed. CSI Construction in Medley, Florida (an approved coatings applicator for Oak Ridge Foam & Coating Systems, Inc - ORFC) won the competitive bid funded by FEMA and started the repairs in February 2018. The crew of five consisted of one spay operator, an assistant, and three roofers.
The crew had a mammoth task ahead of them needing to coat and fix the following buildings in the zoo: Monorail, African Elephant, Asian Elephant, Black Rhino, Indian Rhino, Dr. Wildes World of Discovery, Well Field, shipping, kitchen, warehouse, SSA Warehouse, Ice Stand and the Lift Station with a total area of 50,000 square feet. The crew used Graco’s 2- EXP2I & E10HP to help apply the coating.
The CSI crew enjoyed their time at the zoo with Ernesto Diaz the foreman/sprayer stating, “The crew was very excited to be working in such close proximity to the large animals, but we all had to be careful with tools, as the reach of the elephants and giraffes were underestimated. All the animals were moved into adjacent holding areas while work was underway, but the presence of the animals was always felt. Working on the roof while 12 giraffes stare at you for hours can be a little strange.”
The repair process included prepping the existing roofs by removing all the remaining loose debris and contaminants. Pressure cleaning the roofs provided a dry, clean and stable substrate. Once the imperfections on the 13 roofs were repaired, the project included applying 3-4 mils of Oak Ridge’s ORFC ORE41 Primer then top coated with 80 mils of the ORFC OR 80SLM Miami Dade Approved Silver Lining Membrane.
The duration of the project took 17 months with the crew working through all kinds of weather conditions including the intense heat and humidity of a South Florida summer. Each day the crew wore their PPE, consisting of disposable spray suites, gloves, fresh air respirators and eye protection.
Zoo Miami is the oldest and largest zoo in Florida occupying nearly 750 acres and home to more than 3,000 animals. They take conservation and the environment very seriously with one of their projects involving the recycling of the animals dung into fertilizer to grow the plants that are fed to their animals. It is therefore no surprise that they looked for a long term roofing solution with a protective coating that will provide improved waterproofing and durability to withstand all weather conditions.
Thanks to a reliable waterproof coating and the tireless work of CSI Construction, there was a “roar” of appreciation from Zoo Miami and a happy ending to many tails!