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St John's Lutheran Church

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Location: West Bend, WI

Conditions, Strategies & Results

St John's Lutheran Church

In the spring of 2008, the congregation of St. John's Lutheran Church in West Bend, Wisconsin had enough with the leak problems in their beautifully remodeled sanctuary. They turned to Roofed Right America for their expert advice and experienced craftsmen on a project of such historic importance. Our technical services manager met on a regular basis with the facilities management staff of St. John's Lutheran and together they created a list of needs and solutions: the church staff was constantly pouring money into air conditioning bills in the hot summers and into the heating bills in the frigid Wisconsin winters.

Strategies and Results:

Our technical staff quickly identified the cause of their problems: although the church had been beautifully constructed, the technologies available at that time left no alternative but to piece together the artisan tongue-in-groove interior sheathing with no insulation between the congregation and the elements! The weather was literally sucking every bit of air control measures that they applied, represented by the enormous heating and cooling bills.

Together, we decided to construct a few scenarios and models to test the viability of installing an above-deck insulation system. A few challenges put our staff to the test: the beautiful exposed tongue-in-groove planks below the decking surfaces would be extraordinarily difficult if not impossible to replace if they became damaged by the mechanical fasteners just ½" above them (which were to hold the new insulation system securely to the decking surfaces.) The technical staff here at Roofed Right America began testing the depths and structural thicknesses in many different areas of the roofing sections to determine the exact measurements of the mechanical fastening systems we would use within one eighth of an inch: any over-driven fasteners would quickly become a costly and difficult repair proposition.

The second challenge came about when we decided upon a 4.5" Poly-ISO insulation system with a nailable substrate attachment. Such a thick layer of insulation over the church decking would quickly expose the insides of the church to condensation, vapor entrapment and a host of other possible problems which may have led to early roofing product failure. The solution we devised was to install a Cross-Vented Insulation system which allows air movement directly over the insulation facing through a complex system of intake and exhaust ventilation systems. The intake ventilation we found a clever method of disguising behind the new gutter system while the exhaust ventilation was covered by GAF Timbertex Ridge Capping products to give a classic and seamless appearance to an otherwise high-tech ventilation system.

We also replaced all low-sloped roofing areas on the building with a 60 mil TPO single-ply membrane fully adhered to 2" ISO insulation over a concrete decking surface. All Metalwork including custom collection-boxes, ground-in masonry counterflashing reglets and custom decorative flashing details was created on-site by our artisan metalworkers.

The project began in the late fall because of budgeting reasons and ran through several weeks of winter, as we had explained to the church staff before the project start, but surely made things more complicated. We upgraded the project to include a heavy-duty synthetic underlayment to counteract the winter conditions set upon us by the demanding schedule, but installation began well and completed with all expectations of quality being satisfied!

Contact TPO roofing contractors for a quote.
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