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Ag Center roof leaks too; county considers solution

Just as repair work on the Government Center roof got underway, St. Croix County supervisors were advised last week that the roof on another county building needs replacing.

Facilities Manager Art Tobin said he isn't asking for money to repair the roof on the Agricultural Services and Education Center in Baldwin now, but suggested the work be done next year.

"This isn't going to last three (years)," said Tobin.

"You got 11 years out of those shingles. That's terrible," commented County Board Chairman Roger Rebholz. He suggested replacing the asphalt shingles with metal.

The Ag Center was built in 1997 with a three-tab asphalt single roof. After inspecting the roof in March, Kurt Reed of Roof Spec Inc., St. Paul, reported that leaking has been a reoccurring problem.

He said part of the problem was attributed to improper placement of nails. County personnel fixed much of that, but the roof still leaks in the winter after long periods of cold weather.

"Workmanship of the shingle installation was found to be very poor," said Reed. He said the shingles were misaligned both horizontally and vertically.

There are gaps of 3/4 inch to two inches between shingles in places, said Tobin.

Reed reported that the plywood roof deck is soft in many places and decking has buckled between trusses. Nails and other fasteners have also come loose.

But, said Reed, some of the leaking inside the building is probably caused by condensation in the building's attic.

He concluded that the attic's exhaust and intake ventilation is inadequate, causing frost to build up during long periods of cold weather and melt and drip into the building when the weather warms.

Reed also suggested that snow blows into the exhaust louvers in the east and west gables and melts inside the attic.

He recommended replacing the roof within one to three years and keeping the building watertight by modifying the exhaust louvers.

Reed estimated it will cost $37,800 to remove and replace 10,800 square feet of shingles and $16,200 to remove and replace the decking for a total cost of $54,000.

Tobin said the good news is that inspectors found no mold.

"I don't know about waiting that long," said Supervisor Buck Malick of Reed's suggestion that the roof needs to be replaced within three years. Malick suggested that delay might result in damaged or stained roof tiles and other materials.

Other Finance Committee members agreed. The topic will be added to the committee's June meeting agenda.