case study 5
28 Mar 2020

Basilica of St. Josaphat

Case Study 5

We initiated the company by providing expertise in the commercial roofing. However, our crew has also developed excellent skills in restoring historic buildings. Because of the positive word of mouth, we were able to get this project. The Basilica of St. Josaphat is a landmark building on Milwaukee’s south side. We were approached by the management of this building, who wanted to restore the roof and make it durable.

This church was constructed at the end of the 19th century, and the primary material used in the construction was shipped to Milwaukee on 500 rail cars. The height of the church dome is almost 250 feet, and the building is considered as one of the most wonderful historic buildings in the country.

Project Details

Our goal was to restore the building in such a way that it does not lose its authenticity. The results should not look like a new building but an ancient building. This was also a tourist attraction and considered a national asset. Therefore the pressure on our crew was very high.

We resoldered all the copper joints which need the replacement and added a gutter system on ledges. This church was damaged after the 1988 storm, and the portion of the copper roof required complete replacement. The current exterior consisted of wood painting and re-caulking.

Although the gutter system was in excellent shape because the renovation was done almost 31 years ago, many joints were also in a perfect shape, which reduced our amount of work. We focused more on the most damaged part of the roof.

The major challenge was to make sure that the foundations and walls of the building are durable enough to bear the weight of the new roof. If we put too much pressure on these walls, then there was a chance that these walls would collapse.

By keeping in view this high risk, our experts decided to go for the lighter materials, which are although expensive but strong enough to give protection to the building against all the weather.

We used a triple coating technique to keep the budding completely leakage free and provide proper drainage system to the building. The results were very astonishing, and our crew was able to complete the work well within the timeline.

However, our team faced multiple challenges, which included keeping the interior of the building safe, which was prone to damage after the removal of the old roof. The building is located in the busy area of the city, which caused the commute problems in bringing our pieces of equipment and machinery.

The wind blow was also a problem during the application of the coating spray because the debris could blow off and damage the interior of the building. It was not acceptable as everything in the building was historic.

So, we could not take the risk and covered everything before applying the coat of sprays and used the guard rails to prevent the debris from blowing-off onto the streets and the adjacent buildings.

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