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Officials examine insulation options for town hall roof

June 27, 2018
Town officials are reviewing options to prevent ice and snow buildup on the town hall roof, including the option of installing new insulation on the roof.

Town Administrator Scott Dunn spoke with the selectmen during their June 13 meeting about the option if insulating the roof to keep it from heating up.

In a recording of the June 13 meeting, Dunn said a few winters ago snow developed a thick pack and would freeze. If snow or ice melted or rainwater came down, water would come in through the side of the dormers by the vinyl siding.

"The solution to the front problem this year was to rake snow off the roof, which is labor intensive," Dunn said.

Dunn said the roof has a suspended ceiling, then a layer of plastic and insulation that has been there since the building was put up in the 1980's.

"That plastic has been poked into and ripped and torn," Dunn said. "We have not addressed in the time that I've been here."

Six skylights, which resulted in heat loss, have been removed. Dunn said he also hopes the steel roof will also eliminate the issue. Plans are already in place to remove the gutters at the back of the building and see if it would reduce snow and ice buildup.

Dunn said the insulation would be the final step to address this issue if it continues.

He said the only local company that returned his calls was Quality Insulation of Meredith.

Part of the plan involves doing the "kneewall insulation," or insulation on the dormer sections.

Selectman Richard Grenier said after all the things that have been done to address this, he wanted to finally get this solved.

"Let's solve this problem now, let's do the attic flat and one of the kneewall options, and get this done," Grenier said.

Board chair Gus Benavides asked if this will really solve the problem, Dunn said this is what the insulation expert recommended.

"Can I sit and guarantee if you spend this money the problem will be solved? I cannot do that," Dunn said.

Benavides asked Public Works Director Jason Hayden his opinion on this. Hayden answered that putting in insulation "wouldn't hurt" and it make sense to keep the heat layer lower than the roof. He said Buildings and Grounds can take a look at it. Benavides asked if this was something that needed to be addressed "this second" and Dunn said it was not. Benavides and Dunn agreed this could be brought up again at the next meeting.

Benavides also asked Hayden if he knew any other companies who could do this.

"Not that Quality Insulation of Meredith isn't a good company, I was just wondering could we get something else," Benavides said.

He also asked if sprayfoam insulation would work there and maybe get some quotes on how much it would cost. Hayden said he would look into that. Dunn said he already discussed sprayfoam insulation with Quality Insulation. The information he received was the plastic there now would not hold the foam up and would have to be replaced if they went that route, potentially a high cost.

Dunn said this has been an attempt to do this cheaply and with what's there. Grenier said doing things cheaply has not served the town well; Dunn agreed, saying the town hall building was an example of that.

"We don't want to throw out money just to throw out money, but at some point are we going to leave that plastic tarp up there and then invest roughly $6,000 of putting some more insulation and then 20 years from now there will be three more people sitting (on this board) and going, 'What were those jamokes thinking back in 2018?'" Benavides said.

This topic was tabled for the June 27 meeting, which took place after our press deadline for this week's edition. More information will be available in a future edition.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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