Preserving History: Roof Restoration at Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse
On the edge of the waters of the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis, MD, the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse has stood as a maritime beacon and living testament to history since 1825. The lighthouse, subject to continual erosion, was rebuilt several times before Congress finally allocated funds for the construction of a screw-pile structure in 1873. It has been an official National Historic Landmark since 1999.
Acrymax originally took on the challenge of preserving this iconic structure in 2008 with a custom-engineered HP-2 Roof Restoration System. Our historical preservation and restoration expertise made us confident that this roofing system was the perfect choice for the environment.
Battling extreme elements in its offshore location, this lighthouse is one of the most challenging areas for materials to survive. Saltwater is highly corrosive, and the lighthouse is exposed to elements.
John Potvin, the Lighthouse Manager at Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, underscored this point. “The National Historic Landmark Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, built in 1875, has survived for 148 years. This offshore lighthouse has weathered hundreds of storms in its long history. The materials used to maintain the lighthouse must be of the highest quality and durability.”
Acrymax approached the challenge of restoring this historic architecture with precision and innovation. Understanding the unique demands of the metal roof, the custom HP-2 Roof Restoration System was utilized to address the corrosive environment and substrate condition, and achieve the desired final appearance.
The restoration process began with PC-125 DTM Primer application to prevent rusting of the metal roof, providing a resilient foundation. Following the primer, AF-130BC and AF-130XT elastomeric roof coatings were applied. Poly-1 was embedded in the transitional areas of these coatings for added strength and durability in the constantly changing environment.
The final touch was the application of Acrymax’s AF-4400 Fluoropolymer coating, selected to deliver a high-performance finish that wouldn’t compromise on color. The AF-4400 Fluoropolymer is a flexible version of the field-applied Kynar Aquatec resin – providing the ultimate weatherability and color retention.
This uniquely challenging environment meant working with other experts. In this case, Bachman’s Roofing, Solar & Remodeling stepped up. Both groups were pleased to work with other industry experts, using this as an opportunity for both parties to learn from each other. Shawn Claypoole of Bachman’s Roofing said, “Acrymax’s support before and during the Thomas Shoal Project made things run smoothly. Products were well-defined and access to technical personnel made planning and application an efficient process. Acrymax products used on this project were easy to apply and the quality shows in every application.”
The custom finish included a vibrant red on the main roof, a crisp white for the dormers, and a deep-toned black for the cupola. This selection not only met the functional requirements but also paid homage to the lighthouse’s historic charm.
Initially completed in 2008, the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse project has become a testament to the enduring quality of Acrymax coatings. For the past 15 years, the lighthouse has been maintained with Acrymax coating despite the challenging location. In the fall of 2023, a full-scale recoating was undertaken, ensuring watertight integrity and restoring the original Kynar Aquatec finish.
John Potvin was again impressed with the results. “When we began the preservation of this lighthouse in 2007, we needed the best roof coating we could find. Acrymax was specified, and we were so impressed with the product. When it came time to recoat the roof this year, we again chose Acrymax. We have had so many positive comments. Acrymax supported us throughout the project and monitored the work. We highly recommend this company.”
The colors of the lighthouse, still vibrant after all this time, stand as a mark of resilience amidst the tumult of Chesapeake Bay storms, echoing the lighthouse’s enduring spirit. Acrymax is proud to have contributed to the preservation of history with the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse restoration.