A roof repair at the Long Barrack, part of the Alamo Complex in San Antonio, Texas, presented unusual challenges to the contractor.
A roof repair at the Long Barrack, part of the Alamo Complex in San Antonio, Texas, presented unusual challenges to the contractor.

Cram Roofing faced the usual problems any re-roofing project might throw its way. But when the building is the 1700s Long Barrack at the iconic Alamo, it can get a lot trickier. The building housed Alamo defenders in the famous siege 180 years ago in which Texas defenders were killed by Mexican President Santa Anna. Cram's job was to remove the old roof, replace old beams and install a new SBS-modified bitumen roof.

Kevin Blische, Cram Roofing's estimating sales manager, says three things separate a job like this from more routine work.

First, it can be tough to maintain the building's historic appearance because modern building materials look nothing like the originals. Cram, for example, needed a liquid-applied flashing mixed to a custom color.

Second, the Alamo is a huge draw for tourists, attracting 2.5 million visitors a year. That meant clear communications with all of the contractors, park rangers and a long list of other officials was crucial.

Third, because the site is so busy, scheduling took on added importance. All the materials needed for the day had to be unloaded before 9 a.m. when the first visitors were allowed in. And workers had to wait until the Alamo closed at 5:30 before removing anything from work areas.

"Creativity, a can-do attitude and know-how are the keys to making it work," Blische said.

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