Orchard Lake Schools

A Case Study

Orchard Lake Schools

The Orchard Lake Schools consist of three institutions: A prep school for boys (Orchard Lake School), a seminary, and a college, St. Mary’s college which is now a part of Ave Maria College

The institution is now 107 years old however several of the original buildings date back to the civil war. Built in 1859, they were first constructed as a military facility. Of these buildings, some with flat roofs, were the most troublesome to the school in terms of roof leaks.

This roof, last repaired more than 20 years ago, is still providing a leak free, atmosphere for this Administration Building

The Problem

During the long Michigan winters, snow would accumulate on the roofs, then melt from interior heat. Water would run to the drains or gutters and freeze overnight forming “Ice Dams” which in-turn block the flow of additional melt water, compounding matters. When the water backed-up onto the parapet walls or around vent stacks leaks occurred. Additionally the hot-tar roofs would become brittle after a few seasons then shrink and crack due to Thermal Shock during the freeze-thaw cycles of late winter/early sprint. Leaks were a way of life with these roofs.

The picture is the Administration building, it’s been over 20 years since the last application of Spray Foam, to date, it is still providing a leak free environment for the building.

Our Solution

As the school gradually increased in size and prospered, it become obvious that these older buildings would have to have a better roofing system to prevent the intrusion of water and the associated damage and disruption. Re-roofing with conventional hot-tar systems often resulted in extensive interruption to inside activities. Such as smelly hot tar fumes, and they would not provide good weather protection to the vertical masonry parapet walls.

The Outcome

In 1974, it was decided to try a new system –  Sprayfoam Roofing, and the results were outstanding.

  • All roof leaks were eliminated
  • Snow melt during the winter was dramatically reduced
  • Freeze/Thaw cracking from Thermal Shock was eliminated
  • Building comfort was improved significantly

Since the initial use of Sprayfoam Roofing, most of the flat roofed buildings are now covered with the Sprayfoam Roofing Systems provided by Energy Shield.

Customer Feedback

April 7, 1999

Subject: Sprayfoam roofing at our campus

To Whom It May Concern:

Our campus is located on the North-East shore of Orchard Lake, about 5 miles from downtown Pontiac. The original quadrangle campus consisted of several old buildings some dating back to the late 1800’s and many of these had old hot-tar roofs, notorious for leaking, especially during the late-winter.

In 1974, we tried a relatively new roofing system, the “GE” SPrayfoam Roof. We hoped that not only would it keep the water out, but that it would add some insulation to the older buildings. We first used it on the Old Seminary building and then the boy’s prep school. The System performed just as we had hoped and, these roofs are still there and still functioning. Energy Shield renewed them for the first time about three years ago and indications are that these roofs will continue to function for another 25 years before consideration is given towards their next renewal. That’s good performance and excellent value as an investment in asset preservation. Furthermore, the ability to re-roof our buildings without a complete rear-off of the old roof (along with all of the disruption to activities), is a significant benefit.

Since those original installations, we have used Sprayfoam on four of our other buildings, with our most recent being just last year (1998) on the Village Post Office which the school owns and leases to the Postal Service.

We are pleased with the performance of Sprayfoam roofing, and with Energy Shield. They have provided good and dependable workmanship along with timely service towards addressing the roofing needs of our building.






Mr. Mike Loeffler, Business Manager