One of the clearest signs and oldest architectural features of a church is a steeple. The origins of steeples trace back to a variety of traditions that date back thousands of years. Even with their long history, steeples are still a popular feature among churches today.
However, steeples don’t have an infinite shelf life. As a church, there will come a time when it is necessary to replace your steeple. Since a replacement often means interfering with the appearance of a focal point for the church, a steeple in need of repair or replacement can create a significant safety hazard. It is important to understand the signs of a steeple in need of replacement to best determine how to go about the process.
When to Consider Replacing Your SteepleAfter a Storm
The most obvious sign of concern as you take care of your steeple is storm damage. If your church has recently experienced harsh weather such as severe thunderstorms or strong winds, it is quite possible your steeple could become unsafe or experience damage and need to be replaced. It’s always a good idea to have your steeple inspected after severe weather conditions occur to ensure your steeple is in good shape and securely attached to your church.If Your Steeple is Outdated
Every steeple needs an inspection. A general rule of thumb to follow in order to maintain the stability and longevity of your steeple is to have a visual inspection once a year and a thorough inspection conducted every five years. With regular inspections, you may be able to fix an issue with a simple repair and avoid a full on replacement. Once your steeple has been a part of your church for 20 years, it is a good time to start thinking about replacements. Similar to a roof on your home, steeples weaken over the years and require replacement to ensure safety and stability.Mold and Mildew on Exterior of Steeple
If certain issues such as facade damage and mold growth are not resolved as soon as they occur, they could risk more serious issues to your steeple and church. This could ultimately mean facing costly repairs in the future. Mold and mildew can permanently deteriorate the gel coat which can expose the fiberglass. Fiberglass that is exposed to UV light will weaken the steeple and can allow water leaks in a short amount of time.Water Damage is Occurring in the Church
A definitive sign of a necessary steeple replacement is water damage within the church. Over time, water can begin to enter your church through the steeple due to its constant exposure to elements. Over time, this exposure can cause pieces to weather and come loose. Replacing a steeple that is causing leaks is essential in preventing any further interior water damage. Leaks can often come from a variety of openings including a puncture, gash, rust or other corrosive hole, cracks or microcracks, tiny pinhole leaks (possibly from imperfect welds), or inadequate sealing between parts of the steeple that have been joined together. Past repairs or improper maintenance choices can also be the cause of a steeple leek, so it is important to ensure proper care and maintenance of your steeple at all times.
Church steeples serve as symbols of faith along with landmarks for certain towns and neighborhoods. Appropriate maintenance is a crucial step in keeping your steeple and church in its best shape. This means cleaning the steeple regularly, checking for and repairing any damages, and even repainting when needed. Doing this will prevent you from having to replace your steeple earlier than necessary as well as ensure it stays safe and stable as long as possible.
Your church’s steeple is one of, if not the most, noticeable and iconic physical features. This is exactly why it is so important to keep it in its best shape. If any of the signs of a necessary replacement apply to your steeple, contact us at American Steeples. We would love to help you find a solution that meets your steeple’s needs.