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Allen Brothers Roofing Restoring National Landmark Cranbrook House

Company is excited by the challenge, yet very aware of the magnitude of completing the project with the utmost quality in mind.

Posted July, 2003
Allen Brothers, Inc., a roofing company in Rochester Hills, Michigan, is re-roofing the Cranbrook House, a national historical landmark in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Allen Brothers work began at Cranbrook House in May 2003 when workers removed the original clay roof tiles. From now through early August 2003, Allen Brothers will install reproduction clay tiles from the original Cranbrook House tile maker, Ludowici Roof Tile in New Lexington, Ohio. The Cranbrook House was built in 1918.
As a well renowned custom roofing contractor, Allen Brothers is excited about the new challenge of working on such a historical landmark. "When we were awarded the project, we were extremely gratified and proud to have a chance to restore the roof of such a national treasure. We are excited about the challenge and at the same time, very aware of the magnitude of completing the project with the utmost quality in mind," said Robert Allen, President of Allen Brothers.
Many key areas of the Cranbrook House are in need of restoration. Allen Brothers has begun work on restoring the west wing library roof. The library roof, which is about 5000 square feet, has a number of tiles missing and many other tiles are brittle due to algae growth. Over the years, seems have been patched to seal leaks, which has accelerated tar and copper erosion. The dormers are covered with flat-seam copper that now requires replacements.
In several places the roof eaves are in poor condition and parts are missing. In addition copper gutters and downspouts overflow and leak through open joints, especially at the corners, allowing water to saturate adjacent stone, brick and stucco. Roof drainage is also a problem, as are open joints in downspouts and gutters. Allen Brothers challenge is to replace all these problems and preserve the library ceiling, walls and valuable contents within the limited public access to the library.
Cranbrook revisited Lodowici Tile Co., the original tile maker for the project. The Cranbrook project manager and his staff flew down to New Lexington, Ohio to see how the tile was made and to make sure the custom fixtures and accessories on the custom tiles which were made up to copy the originals. This particular tile was put through a stamping machine created from original sample pieces from the Cranbrook House. From there, each clay tile was hand dressed for little straggles. Lastly, they were checked for soundness after going through the kiln.
The Cranbrook House stands as a classic example of early 20th century design and craftsmanship. Situated on 40 acres within the 315-acre Cranbrook Educational Community in Bloomfield Hills, the Cranbrook House was the residence of George and Ellen Booth.
Since 1950, Allen Brothers mission is to give its customers premium quality; professional roofing services and deliver these services cost-effectively. Allen Brothers adheres to the highest standards of professionalism in the industry. Allen Brothers has helped thousands of building and homeowners protect and improve the value of their property through the professional application of state-of-the-art roofing systems.