Historical structures deserve their fair share of tender loving care to preserve them for the next generation. Katie Pearce of The Georgetown Dish in Washington D.C. has one such story to tell.
The largest restoration project in decades at Georgetown’s Oak Hill Cemetery is now finishing up, replacing the roof of the small 1853 chapel designed by James W. Renwick Jr.
The chapel, a national historic landmark located near the front entrance of the hillside cemetery, is the District’s sole example of Renwick’s Gothic Revival church style. The architect is best known for designing St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, and in D.C., the Smithsonian Institution’s “Castle” building.
Residents of Newport News, Virginia, can definitely relate to this issue, since the city boasts a variety of homes and historical buildings dating back hundreds of years. Both Newport News and nearby Virginia Beach possess significant historical structures, some of which date back to the development boom under Collis Huntington in the early 1880s. Older buildings with slate roofing will require the services of Newport News roofing companies, like The Roofing and Remodeling Company, to ensure that slate roofing is repaired correctly.
Whenever possible, historic slate roofing should be repaired rather than replaced. However, slate roof assessments and repairs should only be carried out by certified slate roofing contractors in Newport News, VA to ensure the implementation of proper remediation procedures. Broken, missing, and cracked slates should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent moisture from destroying the interior finishes, as well as the roof sheathing and framing.
On the other hand, if replacement has been deemed necessary, than it is wise to inspect the entire surface for telltale signs of wear and water damage, starting with the attic. Signs of water damage include corroded and worn flashings and poor attic ventilation. Before a new slate roof can be installed, the old slate must be stripped off in sections to avoid exposing the entire subroof to inclement weather conditions.
As for the Renwick Chapel, Pearce said that construction work accidentally shook plaster decorations off the high ceiling because no proper protective barriers had been established to separate the interior from the exterior of the roof. Moreover, as the Renwick Chapel possesses a pitched roof made of purple slate, the roofers acquired purple slate tiles from a Vermont quarry to complete the restoration process.
(Article Excerpt and Image from Oak Hill Cemetery Wrapping Up Chapel Work, The Georgetown Dish)