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Complex metal roof protects historic church from harsh environment

The historic old church in Galveston, Texas, that once boasted that its steeple was the highest tower in all of Texas now sports a brand new PAC-CLAD metal roof. Originally built in the late 1800’s, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Holy Family Parish has an interesting history. The original church was destroyed by the infamous hurricane of 1900 that devastated Galveston, the nation’s deadliest natural disaster. Rebuilt in 1904, the church later was the largest structure raised as part of Galveston’s massive effort to elevate more than 3,000 structures to higher levels.

The new aluminum roof now protects the stately structure from its corrosive saltwater environment. Approximately 9,000 sq. ft. of Petersen’s Snap-Clad panels were installed after removal of an aging shingle roof and replacing the decking. The .040 aluminum panels were finished in PAC-CLAD color Metallic Silver and fabricated at Petersen’s plant in Tyler, Texas.

“We use aluminum almost exclusively down here and we use Petersen all the time,” said David Morgan, owner of Morgan Roofing, the installing contractor. “In fact, we’re in the process right now of replacing Galvalume roofs with aluminum in many of the subdivisions on Galveston Island.”

The steep, 18-on-12 pitch roof on St. Patrick’s required the use of a 120-ft. manlift and involved complicated detailing. “Twelve different planes at the rear of the roof all came together at the peak,” Morgan said. “It was complex and a definite challenge but turned out to be a finished job that every roofer would be proud of.”