Roof & Windows final report

Stained-Glass Window & Roof Inspections

Trinity United Methodist Church

April 18, 24 & 25, 2013



On April 24, 2013, an architect with the Idaho Heritage Trust inspected and assessed the condition of the stained-glass windows at Trinity.  In addition to inspecting the stained-glass windows, other architectural features of the building, including pointing, moss growth and wooden-framed windows, were also evaluated.


Additionally, a roof inspection was conducted on April 18, 2013 by representatives of the Trinity United Methodist Church Trustees and the Trinity Maintenance Engineer.  On April 25, a representative from Robinson Roofing in Blackfoot performed an inspection of the Trinity roofs to assess water leaks and provide a bid for repairs.


Observations made during the inspection of the stained-glass windows and other features of Trinity Church are summarized in Part I of this report.  The observations from the roof inspections are summarized in Part II.  Photos documenting the conditions observed during the inspections are included as Attachment 1.

Part I - Trinity Church Stained-Glass Windows

April 24, 2013



In February 2013, Shirley Chastain contacted the Trustees about researching costs and funding possibilities for preservation of the stained-glass windows at Trinity Church.  She was interested in this project because of the significance and importance of the historical church building to the community and our history.  Ms. Chastain arranged for the Executive Director and architect, Katherine Kirk, from the Idaho Heritage Trust to inspect and assess the condition of the stained-glass windows at Trinity on April 24, 2013.  Judy Mortimer, a member of the Board of Trustees with the Idaho Heritage Trust and a member of the Idaho Falls Preservation Commission also participated in the inspection.  Shirley Chastain, Rob Dinkens, Cheryl Siedelmann, and Richard Dickson helped guide the tour and inspection of Trinity Church.  In addition to inspecting the stained-glass windows, other architectural features of the building, including pointing, moss growth and condition of standard windows, were also evaluated.



Stained Glass Windows


Overall, the stained-glass windows at Trinity Church are in relatively good condition.  At about 100 years of age, restoration of stained-glass windows and the associated wooden molding is normal.  Restoration of the windows doesn’t necessarily need to be a short-term project, but could be considered as a 10 to 20-year project.  One possible approach for dealing with this type of project is to have the restoration experts teach individuals at Trinity how to remove individual panels.  The panels can then be transported to the expert’s studio for restoration.  The cost of restoring one of the clerestory panels would be in the neighborhood of $10,000.  Additional cost would be incurred to rebuild the wooden molding and install new protective covers on the windows.


The small pivot vent windows along the ambulatory walls and the clerestory appear to have suffered from the constant opening and closing of the metal framed windows.  Numerous cracks exist in the vent-window panes and most of the pivot vent windows sag inward (Photo 62).  Latching mechanisms on some of the pivot vent windows are difficult to engage.


Heat buildup between the stained-glass windows and the protective coverings is also a concern.  Even though the outside temperature was near freezing on the day of the inspection, the panes of the main window at the front of the sanctuary were uncomfortably hot to the touch.  Over time, the high temperatures can cause the lead to sag.  Heat buildup is also likely for the windows along the south side of the sanctuary.  Some sagging was noted in the central panes of the most eastern stained-glass window of the south clerestory (Photo 63).  It is not know if the sagging is the result of heat or some other mechanism.


In addition to the stained glass windows in the sanctuary, a large stained-glass window is installed behind the balcony in the west wall of the Loft (Photo 64).  Smaller stained glass windows are installed in the parlor (Photo 65) and the chapel on upper floor of the Education Wing (Photo 66).  These windows appear to be in relatively good condition.



Caulking on Protective Coverings


The silicon caulking around the aluminum frames of the protective coverings over the stained-glass windows has deteriorated over the years.  Photos 20 and 26 show the condition of the caulking on the windows in the north and south clerestory.  The wooden molding around the clerestory pivot vent windows is in poor condition and needs to be scrapped, primed, caulked and painted (Photos 19 & 32).  The poor condition of the caulking on the south clerestory window coverings may provide a pathway for water to penetrate behind the protective coverings.  This may be the cause of the streaking noticeable inside the sanctuary on the walls below the windows.  The Trinity Maintenance Engineer reports that the caulking around the new protective coverings on the main east window of the sanctuary has been coming off.  However, the caulking around this window was not assessed during this inspection.



Clear Windows in the Education Wing


Several of the clear wooden-framed windows at ground level in the Education Wing have been replaced with vinyl windows.  The old wooden-framed windows in the upper stories of the Education Wing are deteriorating.  In keeping with the historical designation of Trinity Church, restoration of the wooden windows should be the goal, rather than replacing them with vinyl windows (Photo 67).



Pointing


The grout filling the gaps and joints between the stones is referred to as the pointing.  Overall, the pointing in the main walls at Trinity Church was judged to be in relatively good shape; however the pointing tends to deteriorate towards the upper courses of the stone walls.  This is evident on the north aisle wall (Photos 10, 12 & 15), the north clerestory wall (Photos 16, 17 & 18) and the south clerestory wall (Photos 33, 34 & 35).


Additional instances of deteriorating pointing exist in the north nave wall (near the roof access hatch) (Photo 46), the northwest corner of the nave wall (Photo 47), and the west wall of the nave (Photo 48).  One of the capstones on the north nave wall is loose (Photo 49) and strapping has been wrapped around one set of loose stones on the top of the north nave wall (Photo 50).  Photo 52 shows a repair of the pointing on the south wall of the high north tower.  The pointing is absent between the capstones of the chimney (Photo 59).


At some time in the past, a silver-colored, fiber tape was applied to protect the grout between the capstones of the stone walls.  This tape can be seen in numerous photos, but is most prominent on the south ambulatory roof (Photo 02), the south aisle roof (Photo 28), the west wall of the nave (Photo 48) and the loose capstone on the north nave wall (Photo 49).  The roofing expert opined that that the fiber tape might contain asbestos.  The silver-colored tape is deteriorating in many places.


Moss & Lichen on the North Aisle Wall


Patches of moss are evident in numerous locations on the north aisle wall, primarily near the capstones.  The moss can be seen in Photos 12, 14 and 15.  Lichen is also growing over one of the basement windows in the north aisle wall (Photo 09).  The moss and lichen growth is not an urgent problem; however it suggests the presence of moisture that could cause deterioration of the stone over many years.  Additional research is needed to determine the best method for cleaning the moss and lichen from the stone.  Until that research is performed, no cleaning agents, soaps or chemicals should be applied, as they may cause more long-term damage to the stone than the moss and lichen.



Foundation under Southeast Ambulatory Corner


Scabbling of the concrete in the foundation under the southeast corner of the ambulatory was observed (Photos 60 & 61).  No assessment of the relative importance of this condition has been made.

Part II - Trinity Church Roof Inspections

April 18 and 25, 2013


A roof inspection was conducted on April 18, 2013 by representatives of the Trinity United Methodist Church Trustees (C. Sidelmann, J. Bryan, R. Dickson) and the church Maintenance Engineer (R. Denkins).  On April 25, a representative from Robinson Roofing in Blackfoot performed an inspection of the Trinity Church roofs to assess water leaks and provide a bid for repairs.  R. Denkins, V. Esparza and R. Dickson accompanied him on the inspection.


A sketch was created of the church roofs to help identify the various sections of the roof and is included as Figure 1.  A list of the locations where water has been observed inside the church building are included as Attachment 2.  The bid received from Robinson Roofing for roof repairs is included as Attachment 3.

Figure 1. Sketch of Trinity Church Roofs.

North Ambulatory Tower Roof


The North Ambulatory Tower is the lower tower on the northeast corner of the original stone structure built in 1916.  A roof leak occurred over the ramp in the ambulatory during the winter of 2012-2013 that damaged the inside ceiling plaster.


Asphalt roll roofing is installed on the flat roof of the North Ambulatory Tower.  The roofing is lapped up on the stone sides of the tower (Photos 01 & 02).  The overall condition of the roofing is good.  The source of the leakage this past winter appears to be the scupper that diverts water from the tower to the North Aisle Roof (Photo 02).  The Maintenance Engineer has patched and caulked around the tower-side of the scupper and the counter flashing over the scupper.  The Maintenance Engineer reports that snow and ice tend to build up near the scupper and discoloration of the asphalt indicates some puddling in front of the scupper.  The repair and caulking around the scupper has probably remediated the leakage problem.  Annual inspection and preventative maintenance needs to be scheduled to inspect the caulking and ensure this scupper continues to function well.



North Aisle Roof


The flat roof of the North Aisle is constructed of asphalt roll roofing.  The roofing is lapped up on the stone sides (Photo 03).  The lapping and tar sealant under the bottom edge of the concrete sill of the stained glass windows prevents moisture from getting behind the asphalt roofing (Photo 04).  No water leakage has been noted from the North Aisle roof, and the overall condition is good.  Two roof drains (roughly 2 to 3 inches in diameter) are installed in the aisle roof, one in the northeast corner (Photo 05) and the other in the northwest corner (Photo 06).  The overflow scupper near the northeast corner of the aisle roof is visible in Photo 07.  Inspection of Photo 01 shows that this overflow scupper has been blocked off, apparently to reduce water infiltration at the foundation of the building.  This could create a problem if the drains in the aisle roof were to become plugged, as the water would have no way to discharge.  (Photo 08 is taken under the outflow of the scupper.  It also shows the patched hole at the base of the wall where the roof drain originally discharged.  The discharge of the two aisle roof drains was rerouted into ABS plastic piping that runs inside the north wall of Mary Dawson Hall many years ago because ice blocked the external drains in the winter months.)


The aisle roof receives water from the North Ambulatory Tower and overflow scupper in the northeast corner of the central (nave) roof of the sanctuary.  The Maintenance Engineer reports a large build up of ice during the winter near the northeast corner of the aisle roof, and stains suggest some puddling in the northeast corner.


A large icicle hung from the overflow scupper at the NE corner of the nave roof during January 2013 (Photos 07, 08, 10 & 11).  The roofing expert suggested placing a rubber mat, and possibly cement blocks, below the scupper to prevent damage to the aisle roof from falling ice.



South Ambulatory Tower Roof


A membrane roof (possibly Duro-Last) is installed on the flat roof of the South Ambulatory Tower.  The membrane is lapped up on the stone sides of the tower and held in place with masonry nails (Photo 24).  The advisability of using masonry nails and potential for long-term degradation of the stone needs to be determined.  The upper end of the scupper is bonded into the membrane (Photo 25).  Although no problems have been noted with water leakage, the perimeter of the scupper has not been caulked or grouted (as viewed from the south aisle roof).  Overall condition of the membrane roofing is good.  The abandoned antenna wires formerly used by the radio broadcast need to be removed from the side of the building.


South Aisle Roof


The flat roof of the South Aisle is covered by a roofing membrane (same as the South Ambulatory Tower).  The roofing is lapped up on the stone sides and held in place with masonry nails (Photo 26).  Roof drains and overflow scuppers are installed in both the southeast corner and southwest corner (Photos 27, 28, 29 & 30).  Photo 31 shows the western end of the South Aisle roof that abuts the spiral staircase.


Minor water leakage was noted inside Trinity Church during the winter of 2012-2013 under the 2nd and 3rd stained-glass windows in the clerestory.  The plaster of the inside aisle ceiling is damaged under the 4th (most western) clerestory window.  Inspection of the membrane identified no apparent problems and the overall condition of the membrane is good.  The water may be making its way in through the degrades silicone caulking around the acrylic coverings over the stained-glass windows or around the central vent window (Photos 26 & 32).  Another possible leak path may be through the deteriorated caulking at the base of the tilted concrete sills at the bottoms of the clerestory windows and the top edge where the membrane is lapped up against the stone (Photo 26).  Careful removal of deteriorated caulking and installation of new caulking may solve the minor leakage problems.  (For comparison, the caulking below the stained-glass windows on the north side clerestory was not deteriorated (Photo 04).)



Education-Wing Roof


The flat roof of the Education-Wing is covered by a roofing membrane similar to the ones installed on the South Ambulatory Tower and the South Aisle (Photo 37).  The Maintenance Engineer reports the membrane is Duro-Last and that a Carlisle rubber roofing material is underneath.  The western concrete block wall in the alley shows some white watermarks near the roof (Photo 38), although the Maintenance Engineer reports that the watermarks predate the installation of the membrane roof.  Some minor paint peeling was also noted on the beams inside the chapel.  The roofing expert from Robinson Roofing reported that caulking around the drain gutter seams is deteriorated and needs attention.



Parlor Roof


The parlor roof is a peaked structure running north and south.  The roof of the parlor is covered by a Duro-Last membrane (Photo 39).  Roof drains (~ 2 inches in diameter) are located in each of the 4 corners of the roof (Photo 40).   An overflow scupper that discharges into the alley is located at the northwest corner of the parlor roof (Photo 41).


Peeling paint was noticed along the concrete pillar in the northwest corner of the parlor this past winter.  The roofing expert from Robinson Roofing observed that the gutter from the southwestern end of the education wing discharges into the northwest corner of the parlor roof (Photo 41).  This is a poor design, given the large volume of water that may drain from the Education-Wing roof and the small size of the drains for the parlor roof.  Re-routing of the downspout from the Education Wing Gutter to the base of the alley is recommended.  Reducing the water discharged onto the parlor roof may alleviate the minor water seepage seen last winter.



Central Nave (Sanctuary) Roof


The central roof over the Nave is a peaked structure with asphalt shingles.  Membrane roofing has been installed at the base of the shingle roof to allow for personnel access and water drainage.  (Photos 42 and 43)  The north side of the nave roof has roof drains and overflow scuppers at both the northeast corner (Photos 08 & 11) and northwest corner (Photos 44 & 45).  Notice that the grout and caulking have not be installed around the scupper at the northwest corner of the nave roof (Photo 45).  Similar conditions were previously noted around other scuppers.  A bird nest was noted in the scupper on the southeast corner of the nave (Photo 30).


The south side of the nave roof is believed to be similar to that of the north side, although it was not inspected and no photos were taken.  Overall condition of the asphalt roof is satisfactory, however spring winds have torn several shingles from the roof in recent years.  The Maintenance Engineer regularly inspects and replaces missing shingles.



High North Tower


The west side of the High North Tower is shown in Photo 51.  A tear is visible as a black mark in the asphalt roofing that forms the flashing at base of the south side of the tower and needs to be repaired.  The tear is located directly below the tower scupper and was probably caused by ice buildup during the winter.  The south side of the North Tower is shown in Photos 52 & 53.  The flat roof of the High North Tower is constructed of asphalt roll roofing.  The roofing is lapped high up on the stone sides (Photos 54, 55 & 56).  Heat tape is also visible and extends into the scupper.  The heat tape has reduced the buildup of ice in the winter.  Leakage of water from the tower roof has been greatly diminished, partly because of the heat tape and partly from the caulking installed by the Maintenance Engineer on and around the scupper.  Overall condition of the roofing is good.  Annual inspections and preventative maintenance of the caulking around the scupper and the heat tape is recommended.



High South Tower


The roofing in the High South Tower is similar to that in the North Tower, however no heat tape is installed on this roof.  Condition of the roofing in the High South Tower was judged to be good on April 25, 2013.  No photos were taken of the roof of the High South Tower.  Annual inspections and preventative maintenance of the caulking around the scupper is recommended.



Southwest Entrance Roof & Spiral Staircase Tower Roof


The roofs over the southwest entrance to Trinity Church and the Spiral Staircase Tower were not inspected.  The Southwest Entrance roof is just to the west of the spiral staircase tower (Photo 57).  A large (~ 4 inch diameter) ABS plastic pipe is routed downward from the ceiling of the entrance along the wall and discharges next to the entryway steps (Photo 58).  Presumably, this pipe functions as the drain for the entry-away roof.  The condition of the Spiral Staircase Tower Roof and routing of the drainage from this roof are not known.

     Trinity United Methodist Church; 237 N. Water Ave. Idaho Falls, ID 83402                                  208-522-7921; office@tumcif.org or webmaster@tumcif.org