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Surf Mall, Ocean City, N.J.


The Surf Mall recently became the enhanced highlight of the Ocean City boardwalk because of a new metal roof from Drexel Metals Inc.

"Reroof projects give a building owner the opportunity to express a building's history but with updated technology and materials," says Brian Partyka, president of Drexel Metals. "Almost any look can be created with metal because of various profile options, but metal also provides added strength, durability, longevity and sustainability."

The mall was originally the Showboat Theater developed in 1929 as a re-creation of the previous theater that was destroyed by a fire in 1927. Showboat changed its name to SURF in 1939, and by the 1970s, the years began to show. Standing water, crumbling walls and roped off dangerous theater sections forced the theater to close in 1979. A renovated facility reopened years later as the Surf Mall, a stop for tourists and locals to collect souvenirs and boardwalk memorabilia, but by late 2010, improvements were once again needed.

"The mall was in desperate need of improvements," says Michael J. Schlembach, president of design-build firm KMR Enterprises Inc. "The previous steel roof was rusted and faded, and there was evidence of coastal destruction and blow off. It was in really bad shape, and the owner needed to look at what could be done to improve the look of the building but also the safety issues."

Schlembach and his team joined forces with Drexel Metals to tackle the renovation. Tear off work began in November 2010, once the summer boardwalk season was wrapped up. Working on the coast in the winter presented challenges, but what the crew uncovered was worse than expected. Underneath the deteriorated metal were a modified bitumen roof and wood decking that needed to be replaced. All these layers showed signs of damage and the entire roof structure had a bounce factor that needed to be corrected. The building's original construction span created a roof deflection, which Schlembach believes allowed wind and water to penetrate the system and deteriorate the roof faster than is typical for a properly installed metal roof.

The crews worked quickly but meticulously to ensure the safety of the building contents. In the end, the 20-plus-member crew installed a new 5/8-inch plywood deck, redid framing and adjusted roof pitches to correct areas of ponded water. The addition of new plywood along with 2- by 6-inch stiffeners and thousands of fasteners eliminated the deflection issues.

Drexel Metals supplied DMC175, a 24-inch coil with 18-inch pan. The new metal roof is a 1 3/4-inch Snap Lock panel, which was roll formed on-site. The 0.040-aluminum is coated with TRINAR from AkzoNobel Coil and Extrusion Americas. The coating contains 70 percent PVDF resin for unmatched durability even in a harsh ocean front environment. At the owner's request, AkzoNobel created the custom color-Wind Surf Blue-to match the previous metal roof system.

Coastal considerations were vital for a building that sits directly next to the ocean. KMR selected a thicker gauge coil, stronger profile, additional clips and superior coating to help this roof stand up to Mother Nature. The roof was tested to meet Miami-Dade County standards of 135-mph wind load. New Jersey officials also enforced stringent engineering requirements to ensure the safety of the structure.

As a local business, KMR appreciates the team effort that was put forth for more than six months to improve Surf Mall. But as a resident, Schlembach hears firsthand what this retrofit means to the community. "I often ride my bike down the boardwalk and friends and familiar faces stop me and say, 'Hey Mike, the Surf Mall looks great. The color just pops out at you, you can't miss it.'"


Design-builder: KMR Enterprises Inc., Ocean City

Metal roof panels: Drexel Metals Inc., Ivyland, Pa.,

Coil coating: AkzoNobel Coil and Extrusion Americas, Columbus, Ohio,

Coil coating: AkzoNobel Coil and Extrusion Americas, Columbus, Ohio,