Orange County is spending $306,000 to clean the roof at the newest of the two Convention Center buildings. The North/South building opened in 2003 but is already showing plenty of wear on the flat roof, according to Convention Center Deputy Manager Jan Addison
"The roof used to be really white. It's not so white right now because it's dirty, so we do need to have this one time cleaning and then thereafter we'll keep it up on a regular basis."
The roof is white, because of Orange County's effort to go "green" when the building opened in 2003 -- a white roof better reflects sunlight and is therefore more energy efficient. Addison says that in order to clean it properly and not void the warranty, a special chemical is added to the cleaning solution.
"It's a chemical that will get it clean so that we have more of an opportunity then of the sun reflecting off of the roof, and we can save some energy etcetera."
We wanted to know, why not just get up there with a broom or leaf blower like most homeowners do and clean the roof? Addison admitted that our question was a fair one.
"When I need to clean my roof, I just send my husband up there," she said. "But that won't work here."
She explained that with 1.3 million square feet of flat roof, the cleaning has to be extensive, and use specific chemicals. Using bleach, for example, would void the roof's warranty. They also have to use something that will not eat away at the seams of the flat roof where it is welded together, according to Addison.
"We don't want to have a surprise leak over an exhibitor's booth."
The Convention Center does tell us they were able to get a substantial discount on the chemical used for cleaning.