Featured Project: The El Encanto Condo Complex

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At Storm Damage Specialists, we’re always up for a roofing challenge. When we recently had the opportunity to replace the roofs on a multi-family housing complex in the historic El Encanto neighborhood in Tuscon, we knew we were the best team for the job. We were able to install a high-quality roof that will last for decades, and we did it all while maintaining the charming historic features that make the El Encanto neighborhood famous. As is often the case, it takes more than quality materials and skilled roofers—it takes a commitment to the comfort and environment of the customer.

Join us as we walk you through the roofing journey for this multifamily property!

El Encanto Condominium Roofing Project

About El Encanto

Nestled between East Fifth Street and Broadway Blvd., the El Encanto Tucson Historic Neighborhood is a charming oasis in the heart of the city. Born in the late 1920s, El Encanto offers a unique touch to city living, with its homes set on picturesque diagonal and circular streets and peaceful cul-de-sacs. The neighborhood basks in a blend of Spanish Colonial Revival Architecture, intermixed splendidly with Pueblo Revival, Eclectic Revival, and Sonoran home styles, and the appearance of Ranch-style homes began around 1941.

El Encanto, demonstrating the finest Southwest architecture, prides itself on its elegant and distinctive landscaping. Mexican fan palms, planted along the streets since 1929, and original saguaros create a distinctive boundary for this historic neighborhood. Despite the growth of Tucson around it, El Encanto remains a cherished example of early twentieth-century community planning. Its designation as the sixth Tucson neighborhood to be a Residential Historic District in 1988 has helped to protect and preserve its original character. Preserving this invaluable character was at the forefront of SDS’s roofing services for El Encanto.

Phase 1: Emergency Roof Repair

El Encanto Hail Damage
Hail Damage through the Shingle

As Tucson residents will know, we experienced a massive storm in July 2023. This storm was one of the largest in Tucson in over a decade in terms of the size and scope of hail. Even for a well-constructed roof, this storm would have been a problem. The fact that the roofs on the El Encanto complex were old only compounded the issues. Some hail stones reached 2″ in diameter and went all the way through the shingles.

Like many buildings in the area, the El Encanto condominium complex had significant leaks. While they had been keeping up with their roof maintenance, their decades-old roof was no match for the extreme wind and hail. We saw most of the damage in areas where trees had overgrown and touched the roof. When the wind would blow, the branches would scrape the roofing completely off.

El Encanto Size of Hail Damage on Shingles
Size of the Hail Damage

Unfortunately, the severity of this storm meant minor repairs were out of the question. Property managers contacted us shortly after the storm and we were fast on the scene to do emergency roof repairs to keep things safe, but we knew this level of damage meant a total roof replacement was in order.

Phase 2: Multi-family Housing Roof Replacement

Like many multi-family dwellings, this roofing project included separate buildings. In this case, we were working with ten different roofs, each with about the same level of damage. We worked methodically to make the process as efficient as possible. After we laid down the asphalt shingles, the gutter and painting contractors moved in to do their portion. SDS manages all of our subcontractors to simplify the process for our customers.

The El Encanto complex had tile roofing with 20-30-year-old tar coming loose, making it vulnerable to roof damage. If you own an older building, it’s important to know that codes were not nearly as stringent decades ago as they are today. We have replaced many single-ply roofs with metal roofing or other stronger roofing materials. When we did this replacement, we used an Atactic Polypropylene (APP) modified asphalt compound that provides flexibility, dimensional stability, and excellent tear and puncture resistance. This roofing material stands up much better to the strong winds we’ve been experiencing in Pima County.

Working with Older Buildings

El Encanto Special Equipment to Preserve Landscaping
Special equipment was needed to protect the landscaping.

Every roofing project is unique, so our services are tailored to each individual situation. In the case of El Encanto, we needed to order special equipment to accommodate their landscape, vegetation, and spacing. We rented and purchased roughly $450,000 of equipment, including a large crane to lift the flat roofing materials.

As we were working, we noticed some trees in El Encanto’s landscape that could potentially cause problems down the road. As with all of our clients, we gave them our recommendations and ultimately left the landscaping decision in their hands. We understand that balancing the aesthetic of the property with the vulnerability to roof damage can be tricky, so we will never force our landscaping recommendations on a client.

Navigating Insurance Claims

We have helped countless clients navigate their homeowner’s insurance claims. The process can get even more tricky in apartment complexes and condos with property managers. For instance, according to El Encanto’s insurance policy, air conditioners are under the individual owner’s policies, whereas the roof is under the HOA policy. Though that could have been a nightmare, we’re working individually with property owners to get them new AC units.

Thankfully, their insurance company quickly got El Encanto their check. However, this is not always the case. SDS works with every client through the roof insurance claim process regardless of the complexity of the claim.

Preserving the History

Part of why we love working in Tuscon is its rich history. We have had the privilege of working with many historic buildings like El Encanto. Owners of historic properties know they need a roofing contractor who specializes in these types of projects to ensure their flat roof systems don’t detract from the building’s unique architectural features.

We’ve developed a solid reputation for roofing repairs and replacements on historical buildings in Tucson. Our team goes above and beyond to communicate with the client while taking care of their properties. When it comes to old and iconic buildings, often maintaining the historical aesthetics and keeping plant life alive involves navigating extremely tight areas. That’s why SDS ensures we have the right equipment for the job.

Ultimately, our goal is to preserve the historic look while still allowing the application of new materials and modern techniques that will provide a secure roof that will last for decades.

Protect The Past With SDS

Whether you’re looking for a roof for a brand-new construction or a century-old landmark like El Encanto, SDS has you covered. If your existing roof is decades old, we can introduce you to modern roofing systems that won’t detract from the beauty of your building. Contact us to discuss our multifamily and townhouse roofing solutions.

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El Encanto Condo Tucson Roofing Project

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Michelle Conklin, Executive Director
Tucson Botanical Gardens

"Dennis, your crew did a great job. I don't think I've ever been as happy to write a check! Thank you also for taking care of my chimney—so appreciated. Again, your crews were great."

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