A New Roof for God’s House!
During 2017 we began to experience membrane roof leaks with greater frequency. The PVC-membrane roofing material was only 15 years old, but that particular type of single-ply roof membrane has a typical life of only 15 years. We knew that a roof replacement project would be very expensive, so we began to pray and remind God that His hurting, homeless and hungry Poor need a dry shelter. We asked God for His favor for a new roof.
In addition to seeking the Lord’s favor, we prayed over the funding necessary to accomplish such a big, bold and critical need. Three years later, in year 2020, we had collected the funding needed for a complete roof replacement. With the help of several local foundations and individuals, we finally reached our goal of $250,000! The final funding arrived just in time, because the leaks had become a major challenge!
With a task this big, installing a new roof is not as simple as tearing off an old membrane and installing a new one. The old membrane was installed on the flat roof without insulation. Complicating the job even more were the 13 HVAC condensing units on the roof – along with other roof-mounted equipment. The HVAC units were simply resting on old, wooden 4 X 4 timbers that were rotting in place. A roof-mounted electrical panel fed this rooftop equipment, meaning that we had electrical conduit running across the roof surface.
The electrical conduit was a PVC type which doesn’t fare well in sunlight. The conduit was also resting on rotted timbers. In addition, we needed to install energy-saving insulation, which meant that all the roof mounted equipment had to be elevated 8-10 inches, so that insulation could be placed beneath it. To top it off, we needed to place the condensing units back on the new roof membrane. That required a suitable mounting mechanism that could lift the heavy HVAC equipment.
The Christian Shelter assembled a terrific team of experts to accomplish this project. The team included:
Gipe Associates, a mechanical engineering firm located in Easton, Maryland. They were hired to document the existing conditions on the roof and make recommendations for handling the mechanical and electrical needs of the existing equipment once the new roof was installed. The company’s engineers worked with Tecta America, our roofing contractor, to develop a plan to both elevate the condensing units, and efficiently handle the electrical conduit and refrigerant piping.
Tecta America, our roofing contractor, installed a series of long, elevated aluminum rails to support the condensing units. This allowed the new roof to be installed below the units, and make future equipment servicing easier and more efficient. Tecta America also installed a series of large “vaults,” strategically located between multiple HVAC condensing units, to serve as a pathway for refrigerant piping and electrical conduits.
Triple J Electric installed a new 200-ampere electrical panel on the second floor of the Christian Shelter building and installed conduits to feed the thirteen condensing units on the roof. These conduits exited second floor space through the ceiling and led into the new vaults. Once at roof equipment level the electrical conduits came out of the roof vaults horizontally, in a watertight fashion, to connect with each of the condensing units.
Real HVAC Services served us well by relocating the roof’s refrigerant pipes from the rooftop to interior space beneath the second floor’s ceiling. The refrigerant pipes rose through the new vaults on the roof level and then routed horizontally to the condensing units in a water-tight fashion. Real HVAC Services also installed non-penetrating pipe supports for both the refrigerant pipes and the electrical conduits at the few locations where it was necessary. Servicing HVAC equipment in the future will be greatly enhanced by this new arrangement.
We are blessed to have this new roof which carries a 25-year warranty on materials and labor. The new R-30 insulation will also pay dividends to the Shelter for years to come by reducing our energy bills. We want to thank the following foundations and individual donors who made this roof replacement possible through their financial contributions:
- Individual donors:
- Kimberly Ha
- Ed Wilgus
- Susan Wilgus Murphy
- Several Anonymous Donors
- The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore
- The Henson Foundation
- The Humphreys Foundation
- The Perdue Foundation
- Mustard Seed Foundation
- A foundation which wishes to remain anonymous
Thanks be to God for His work through the companies, foundations and individuals which made the new roof possible. We are blessed. A generation of poor, hurting, hungry and homeless families will have a shelter that is dry and safe. What a blessing! Our God is faithful.