Messiah United Methodist Church

Messiah United Methodist Church Restoration Project

Restoration/Structural Repair — Pennsylvania


Messiah United Methodist Church in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania was built nearly 100 years ago to serve the people in the community. The church had a distinctive stone water table on the outside of the building that complemented the columned entrance and made its way around the front and sides of the church.

Over time, the building began experiencing issues with the stone water table crumbling, which could allow water to potentially penetrate the building and cause interior damage. In addition, the crumbling stone posed a risk to congregants entering and leaving the building. The church needed to find a solution, so they turned to the team at Houck to figure out why the stone was failing and what could be done to repair the issue.


Identifying the Problem

Houck project manager, Doug B., visited the church to inspect the problem and determine a solution. "The metal roof that was installed over the water table was failing," explained Doug. "The joints in the metal roofing had split apart over the years, allowing water to seep into the stone, causing it to disintegrate."

After investigation and identifying the problem, Doug recommended that the repair be made using an Exterior Insulation and Finish System known as EIFS. He met with the board members of the church to review his findings, present the recommended solutions, and to explain Houck's experience performing specialty projects on older buildings.

Stone Repair and Replacement

The first step for the crew was to remove the portion of the tone that was crumbling or had deteriorated to the point where it could not be saved. The water table featured a dentil molding that would need to be matched. A mold of the dentil work was made, and Houck worked with an EIFS specialist to create the pattern for an exact match.

"The bad stone was replaced with the custom-created EIFS panels," said Doug. "We attached them to the building using concrete anchors and steel rebar that protruded out from the original part of the building. Epoxy glue was used on the wall and all the joints were reinforced with mesh wrapping. The EIFS was then coated and sealed to ensure it was watertight."

Doug said that once the bad stone was removed and replaced, the remaining water table was cleaned, patched, repaired, and sealed to prevent future water intrusion. The team also replaced all the old caulk around the expansion joints and the stone to ensure water resistance.

The Houck Difference

The Houck team specializes in projects that have unique specifications and require extra attention to detail. Many contractors are reluctant to take on the work, but the Houck team rises to the challenge, as was the case with Messiah United Methodist Church.

"Older buildings can sometimes be challenging, but Houck has a good crew with the experience to get the job done with superior workmanship," said Doug. "We were very pleased with how well this project turned out."

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