Assessment by Architect Tom Keefe
Excerpt from full report October 19, 2017
A small 5’ square wood-framed steeple rests on the peak of the roof at the east end and has a rusty galvanized metal roof and ball finial; the metal appears sound but weathered and has a ragged drip edge especially on the north side. The metal needs painting and may have pin-hole deterioration that is characteristic of weathered galvanized roofing. This roof is a prime candidate for application of a liquid membrane consolidation such as Acrylabs (www.acrylabs.comMitchell Weinberger Technical Representative Acrylic Roof Systems 37 County Road Lincoln, VT 05443 802-453-4648 phone 800-881-6195 phone 802-453-6438 fax); this product is designed to consolidate historic roofs, and will last longer and more effectively than just painting the rusty metal, which is the other option.
Below the metal roof a bracketed wood cornice encircles the eaves above round arched openings on all 4 sides; a low balustrade protects each opening, and the flared exterior of the steeple base is covered in painted wood shingles that are substantially deteriorated. Most of the base flashing is concealed but where visible it appears rusty and should be replaced with a non- ferrous flashing. We could not observe the deck inside the railings, where a bell is apparently located; this is likely to be either flat seam soldered metal, or some form of membrane, and needs to be checked – with access via a lift or long ladder on the exterior as there is no connection from the attic – to determine any repairs needed.
The main roof is covered in purple slate nailed to the horizontal board roof deck, with a galvanized metal ridge cap; the small section of ridge cap east of the steeple is missing. A number of slates are hung on repair hooks. Approximately 12 slates on the south and six on the north are damaged, slipped or missing and need replacement; this is a yearly maintenance issue for slate roofs of this age. This roof appears to have been well-maintained, with relatively little current repair needed.
The shed roof on the west addition is covered with asphaltic roll roofing lapped up onto the west gable of the original building; this material has failed and is leaking, and needs to be stabilized (blue tarp) immediately, and re-roofed as soon as possible. Framing has been affected and will need reinforcing or partial replacement, and should be treated with a fungicide preservative; it is exposed on the interior, where white dry-rot fungus is visible. New roofing should be properly flashed to the vertical west gable wall of the original building.
Access to work on any exterior items above the eaves of the main roof will be a significant part of the cost, and such work should be grouped where possible to take advantage of the expensive access (lift truck; staging; etc.). Use of the highest quality materials with the lowest maintenance requirements is an economical plan for these locations.
A 14 x 20 brick chimney centered on the ridge near the west end has a mortar wash and concealed base flashing; it is somewhat rough looking but appears sound. It should be checked to confirm the presence of a clay flue liner before use, and the base flashing should also be inspected up close to determine if any additional work is needed. A rain cap is always a good idea, to exclude rain and snow from the interior of the chimney.