Project of the Year Award
Contractor: Mid-Western Commercial Roofers
Project: First Baptist Church
Location: Biloxi, Mississippi
Square Feet: 120,000
Products: Duro-Fleece® charcoal 60 mil membrane, Duro-Tuff® charcoal 60 mil vinyl rib membrane, Duro-Guard® ISO, Duro-Grip® CR 20 HFO Adhesive, ½” Duro-Guard® DEXcell® cover board, vents, stacks, drains, caulk, custom skirt and vinyl-coated drip edge.
Just west of the Interstate 100 and I-10 interchange in north Biloxi, the steeple from First Baptist Church shines brighter toward the sky. Admittedly, a power wash helped. On a sunny day as tens of thousands of cars drive by, there’s a bright reflection coming off one of the largest vinyl rib roofs in the country. Inside, the people of First Baptist Church gather under this roof, because, in the words of Pastor Smokey Gibson, “We are better together.”
Leaks plagued this building for years; a 2015 Facebook post shows a volunteer melting tar to temporarily patch a 60-foot gully, and contractors were hired to replace rotting board. A new roof is a significant expense for the church, but in 2021 Hurricane Ida forced the project. The high winds blew off shingles and the deluge of rain led to more than 1,000 ceiling tiles falling to the floor inside; which is ironic, given there are almost 1,000 members of the church. With a new roof to pay for, they launched a three-year “Under This Roof” fundraising campaign.
“This job was so special to us because it’s right here locally and everybody sees it every day coming down the interstate,” said George Bock, owner of Mid-Western Commercial Roofers. “And with the size of the church and with the visibility of it, we did not want to make any mistakes.”
The shingle roof was torn off, and Duro-Guard ISO cover board was fastened to the roof deck. Duro-Guard DEXcell cover board was glued to the ISO to eliminate the risk of fasteners showing through the membrane layers. Duro-Grip CR 20 HFO Adhesive was sprayed to adhere Duro-Fleece 60 mil membrane.
Mid-Western worked closely with Duro-Last® in the planning stage so once installed, the Duro-Tuff charcoal 60 mil vinyl rib membrane would look like a metal roof with ribs. The rolls were installed from top to bottom without any seams butting. Side laps were hidden by running close to a rib.
“We spent a lot of extra time, probably twice the amount of normal labor on this roof to put the ribs on,” Bock said. “We had to do a lot of unique things to it, because it was so large [120,000 square feet], and because everyone is looking at it.”
The project, using all Duro-Last products from Edge-to-Edge & Deck-to-Sky™, took two months to install 90,000 linear feet of ribs, completing one section at a time. The Mid-Western crew did not want any mistakes, so if Duro-Grip Adhesive splattered onto the Duro-Fleece membrane it was removed and replaced. The terminations include a custom-fabricated skirt, vinyl-coated drip edge, vents and stacks.
“We wanted it to be a showpiece to be proud of,” Bock said. “With over 1,000 members of First Baptist Church looking at it every day, we knew we could face a harsh crowd, especially after they had just put up with 1,000 leaks. So now, not only does it look good, but it is leak free.”
With a 20-year NDL Warranty, this building will be leak free and a place for thousands to gather, worship and be better together for years to come.