Church’s Food Roof for the Homeless Community


Milwaukee, Wisconsin


80 Mil TRITOflex


3,500 square feet


The existing roof on this Church in Milwaukee had been leaking for years. Solving leaks was the first step. Installing a vegetative food roof on top to help feed the hungry was the important second.

This section of the Tippecanoe Presbyterian Church’s building in Milwaukee had an old EPDM single-ply glued down over insulation mechanically attached into a concrete deck. For Years, the maintenance staff battled leaks along the scuppers into the room below which was used to reach the homeless. Now, the churuch was preparing to have only the second food roof in all of Milwaukee installed on their building. Before installing all of this, the roof needed to be restored with a new watertight and durable membrane which is compatible with a vegetative system on top.

Limited Options

Installing Vegetative Roof Components

Hanging Gardens is a Milwaukee-based company which designs green roof system and distributes the necessary green roof components for these solutions. They stepped in to help the church realize their dream of having a vegetative roof to grow fruits and vegetables with the purpose of teaching job skills to the homeless community and providing produce for area soup kitchens. When Hanging Gardens analyzed the existing roof condition before designing the green roof, they saw the existing roof needed to be addressed first. With a limited budget, a tear-off with all new insulation and membrane would be too costly. They immediately contacted Triton, knowing the TRITOflex liquid rubber membrane could be installed over the existing EPDM and would provide a premium level seamless membrane underneath of their new rooftop garden. Triton surveyed the existing roof system and found some areas of damp insulation where leaks had occurred. They recommended these areas be replaced before installed the new liquid membrane.

Quality Installation

After pressure washing the existing EPDM, replacing areas of damp polyiso insulation with new insulation, and priming the roof, TRITOflex was installed in one coat to an 80 mil (2mm) dry thickness. The membrane was spray applied monolithically to all parapet walls, flashing, and transitions. With TRITOflex having extreme impact and puncture resistance on its own, the church utilized the existing EPDM rubber to its advantage rather than wasting it. With nearly 140 mils of rubber membrane on that roof, now sealed up with the seamless TRITOflex system, the church can be confident in a watertight, maintenance-free roof for years to come.

After installation of the TRITOflex membrane, an installation crew installed the components of the food roof on top. This included, in order, a HDPE root barrier, protection fleece, drainage mat, filter fleece, pavers and pedestals to create a courtyard, and a proprietary blend of growth media for the plantings. Within the first month, the church harvested over 90 lbs. of produce from their rooftop garden!

The church is excited for their new, fruitful rooftop garden to provide food for the hungry and skills to the homeless. All kept watertight underneath with the seamless TRITOflex system!