Knappen Milling Co., one of the first providers of grain for the famous cereals of the Kellogg’s family of nearby Battle Creek, MI, had a roofing problem. It needed to replace a portion of the roof to keep the processed flour and grains inside from getting wet. They chose the EnduraTech spray polyurethane roofing system by NCFI.
The building, originally a lumber mill, burned in 1846 and was rebuilt as a flour mill by Dr. William Upjohn, founder of pharmaceutical giant, Upjohn Co. Dr. Upjohn convinced Charles Knappen Sr., a local farmer, to purchase the milling company. His family has expanded the building and the business time and again to its current size and successful scope as one of the largest providers of grains for the Post Foods family of cereals: Fruity Pebbles, Raisin Bran, Shredded Wheat and Grape Nuts, to name a few.
Courtesy of Knappen
Steve Eddy, estimator and project manager for True Colors Industrial, Caledonia, MI, the roofing company chosen for the job, says, “Moisture is the enemy of a grain mill. A good roof is essential to maintain the quality of the equipment, processes and products. They also had some ponding issues up there, so they were searching for a solution that would provide stability and durability with all the foot traffic, keep out water, and look good.”Eddy continues, “The mill is a challenge. There are many, many more penetrations in the roof from all the pipes and vents. The normal roof has maybe two of three; this roof has 30. For other roofing systems that’s a flashing nightmare. Plus, it’s a grain silo, so it’s 70 feet in the air. Certainly not your average roofing job, but it’s the kind we love because the EnduraTech roofing system is the ideal solution.”
Chris Bohn, owner of True Colors Industrial, says Knappen Milling’s was also concerned about the look of a built-up polyurethane roof. “We took them to a few sites and showed them the benefits of the system: seamless, flexible, durable, lightweight, incredible thermal resistance, and since it’s made of billions of closed-cells it’s an excellent barrier to water and air. It inhibits moisture infiltration, which is the number one cause of building deterioration. Plus, it’s attractive and the coatings can add a ‘cool roofing’ effect to help control the interior temps.”
Mitch Clifton, EVP of NCFI, says, “Knappen Milling is a landmark; a true piece of Midwest and American history. We’re proud they chose EnduraTech to protect their greatest assets and we’re glad to play a role in preserving this great American structure.”