Colorado Church Replaces Roof with Steel After Costly Hail Damage

St. Luke Orthodox Church in Erie, Colorado, serves believers within the eastern Boulder County and northern Denver metropolitan area. Aimed at being a beacon of spiritual life, the church provides sermon services, education ministry for children and youth, an Antiochian Women’s Ministry, among other offerings.

While the church has been successful in its mission to serve the community, it has been less successful in recent years with its roof.

“In 2016, the structure’s asphalt shingle roof was seriously damaged during an intense hailstorm,” says Todd Trehey, project manager with Black Roofing and Waterproofing, a commercial and residential contractor that has operated out of Boulder, Colorado since 1975. “That initial roof was replaced with another asphalt roof which, in 2018, got hit with hail. Again, the roof was irrevocably damaged.”

The insurance deductibles associated with both of the asphalt roofs proved costly for the church. It was obvious the third roof needed to perform better against the elements. New to working with St. Luke Orthodox Church, Black Roofing and Waterproofing was brought in to lead the replacement.

“In 2023, our collaboration with Black Roofing had already gained momentum,” shares Glenn Summerlin, Colorado territory manager at Westlake Royal Roofing Solutions. “We enlisted them as a proven installer for the Unified Steel Stone Coated Roofing, and they’ve been successfully marketing and offering our steel product ever since.”

Adds Trehey, “We were in the process of finishing up another Unified Steel roof in Cherry Creek and convinced the church leadership they should consider steel rather than going back to asphalt. While they were unfamiliar with stone coated steel roofing, they were tired of the prohibitive insurance deductibles and were open to a change. Glenn helped us educate the church board of directors on the benefits of the material, as well as the ins and outs of how it is installed.”

The church chose Unified Steel PACIFIC Tile in Spanish Red, an option that provides a traditional Mediterranean aesthetic. Weighing in at just 1.5 pounds per square foot, the material is extremely lightweight, yet it benefits from the structural strength of the steel that comprises it. Among its attributes, its modular design, direct-to-deck installation and fastening patterns help it withstand severe wind events, even meeting codes for the most stringent wind regions, including in Miami Dade County, where requirements reach as high as 180 mph. (For product warranty details, visit

Unified Steel also helps protect the structure from fire spread, as shown by testing results that meet ASTM-E108 and, with its steel composition, panel profile and installation methods, can carry more snow load weight than other roofing options.

“Perhaps one of the most important performance attributes for the church considering what happened to the two previous roofs is it meets the ASTM Class 4 Impact and FM-VSH (very severe hail) ratings for hail resistance,” adds Summerlin.

Smooth Installation

After the roof on St. Luke Orthodox Church was damaged by hail, crews from Black Roofing and Waterproofing installed a new stone coated steel roof system. Photos: Westlake Royal Roofing Solutions

The roof retrofit start-to-finish took eight weeks and was completed in late 2023. On average, five installers were on the project at any given time, and Trehey notes that “it wasn’t a big crew, but it was the best crew.” Despite the time of year, the contractor’s team experienced no major weather-related delays when completing the project.

“We started working on the roof in mid-October and were blessed with near perfect weather,” says Trehey. “We did have a couple snowfalls but nothing serious. By the way, this is completely out of the norm for that time of the year.”

Black Roofing installed the Unified Steel over the existing roof after a thorough substrate inspection had been performed. “This was a much more cost-effective solution for the church, plus there was a lot less trash generated and thrown into the landfill,” says Trehey. “Also, because the steel is so lightweight, there was no impact to the loading of the structure.”

The church’s leadership is very happy with the result.

“I can’t count how many times people came out to tell us how nice the roof looked while we were in the midst of installing it,” says Trehey. “St. Luke members really love the way the roof complements the overall look of the structure and have commented on the depth and richness of the red tone. It showcases the church much better visually than the asphalt did.”

As for Black Roofing and Waterproofing, there are additional reasons to like Unified Steel.

“The manufacturer’s support of us during this project as well as the others we have collaborated on has been key for us,” says Trehey. “I’ve worked with a lot of material reps and none have spent as much time as Glenn has educating us and our customers.”

While the primary goal of the retrofit was enhanced resistance to hail, wind and other inclement weather endemic in the region, the roof will also enhance energy efficiency and lower long-term energy bills.

“The bottom line is that this stone coated steel roof provides protection from the climate conditions common in Colorado,” adds Trehey. “It’s also beautiful and energy efficient.”

About the Author: Ann Iten is director of marketing with Westlake Royal Roofing Solutions. For more information, visit


Roofing Contractor: Black Roofing and Waterproofing, Boulder, Colorado,


Roof System: Unified Steel PACIFIC Tile, Westlake Royal Roofing Solutions,

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