Historic property roof restoration project by Severy Creek Roofing
For more than 10 years, Steve Louden owner of Severy Creek Roofing has provided excellence in roofing, from collaborating with customers to create unique roofing appeal to guiding consumers through the insurance claim process, especially when dealing with hail damage. On May 23, 2014 a major hailstorm struck downtown Colorado Springs significantly damaging many homes and businesses. One historic property with a very unique roof design was especially hard hit.
The steep pitch and unusual gradient roof pattern of the building at 12 E. Boulder Street provided an interesting challenge for Steve and his Severy Creek crew. Five roofing contractors had looked at the project and declined. When Severy Creek was contacted by the building’s owner, Tim Bussey, Steve was eager to help find the right solution.
Researching replacement tile to match the original led Steve to one tile manufacturer. Ludowici Tile, the original clay tile manufacturer, was still operating and is the only tile plant in the US producing these replica replacement tiles.
An Italian immigrant, Carl Ludowici, and generations of his family had been making kiln-fired clay tiles for 400 years. After arriving in America in the late 1800’s, Carl began crafting tile use the same proven techniques at his new facility in Alfred, New York. By the early 1900s Ludowici Roof Tile http://www.ludowici.com was being produced in New York, Kansas, Illinois and Georgia, and sold throughout the country. Today, one plant remains, a 450,000 square foot facility in New Lexington, Ohio. Using locally-mined shale, ground into clay, the tiles are fabricated much as they have been for centuries.
Tiles are shaped, pressed, dried and then have dyes applied. Next, a football field-sized kiln with a firing time of 24 hours at between 2,100 and 2,300 degrees generates some of the most durable clay tile in the world. The glass-like consistency of the tile is impervious to water, does not flake, and the color will not fade making it the perfect choice for use in freeze/thaw climates like Colorado.
Working with roofing material supply expert, Kerry Davis of KD Enterprises, Steve was able to provide tile samples to the Ludowici factory. Designers and artisans in Ohio matched the original tile’s surface texture, warp pattern, and color variation, in the exact sizes as the original samples.
Steve stated, “We were excited to be able to work with Kerry and with Ludowici to recreate the original look of this historic roof. This building is frequently photographed because the roof design is so unique. The first several courses of tile are larger and longer with the second and third courses get progressively smaller and shorter, creating a really appealing look.”
Preparation for the installation began in March, 2016 when the tile order was submitted. Upon delivery in September, work began on the site. Angel Cruz, crew foreman, described the process, “We started with careful prep of the area to protect the landscaping. We developed a schedule with the property owner to minimize disruption. We installed new copper gutters and valleys and then covered those to avoid damage as work continued. We began to carefully remove the old tile so some of it could be salvaged. It was stacked, tied and secured before bringing it off the roof. After removal, we laid new 30# synthetic felt underlayment, eliminating the old oil-based felt. The tile is basically three different sizes and will be placed to perfectly match the original pattern. Joe Quintana, our Master Installer, will make sure that happens.”