New Steel Roof Catapults Historic Church into the Future

New Holy Cross Church, Trenton, NJ

The New Holy Cross Church of WIC in Trenton, NJ, was in dire need of an exterior facelift. The stone façade was cleaned in 2008, but 150 years of wear and tear had done a number on the church’s slate shingle roof. It was evident that the roof needed to be replaced and the New Holy Cross Church Association was looking for an economical, long-lasting solution. 

“The slate roof was deteriorating, affecting the building’s exterior performance and aesthetics, as well as impacting the interior’s integrity,” said Stevi Jerrold, marketing coordinator, ATAS International, Inc., manufacturer of the the steel shingles used for the project.

One of the key considerations for church leaders was maintaining the architectural integrity of the church’s previous slate roof. Representatives from ATAS suggested a roof comprised of ADVANTA Americana Series steel shingles, which they believed would marry the historical look of the church with a durable, cost-effective roof for the future. 29-gauge steel shingles in Cape Cod Grey were eventually selected for the project, and the response from the church association and congregation members has been overwhelmingly positive, according to Jim Bush, vice president of sales and marketing with ATAS. 

“These steel shingles were originally intended to almost look like a dimensional architectural shingle with a similar look to asphalt, but they also tend to provide more of a slate-like look as well,” Bush said. “People may drive by that church and not even realize it’s a metal shingle.”

Although the aesthetic appearance of the steel shingles imitates that of its slate predecessor, Bush said the performance of the metal roof will benefit the church for years to come. “The ADVANTA shingles have some of the longest life expectations of any roofing product out there,” he said.

Not only is the product more durable than slate shingles, it is also lightweight, which minimizes the stress on the overall structure.

“It probably weighs under a pound per sq ft installed versus probably 2½ pounds per sq ft for asphalt shingles,” Bush said. “And slate would be much, much more than that.”

As an added benefit, the shingles added to the ease of installation, which was a challenge due to the steep slope of the roof. The shingles’ prepunched, direct fastening points made for an efficient installation, and their four-way interlock feature provided weather-tightness, according to Jerrold.

The steel roof was installed by Shiny Diamond Cleaning & Restoration, based in Princeton, NJ, and was completed in 2011. In all, 11,730 sq ft of steel shingles blanket the roof. The renovation earned the 2012 MCA Chairman’s Award in the metal roofing category.

©2020 Metal Construction Association. All Rights Reserved.