The renovation of the complete lead sheet roof of the hexadecagon of Aachen Cathedral will be concluded by Mid-2016. The renovation of the roof is the last project of the extensive renovation process at Aachen Cathedral starting in 1986.
Damages extend from leaking lead sheets of the roofs over the underlying wooden construction to the drainage channels. A fracture from an earthquake dating back to the time of Charlemagne is another part of the damage to the roof.
The renovation of the roof will follow in two construction stages. A scaffolding with a weatherproof- roof has already been erected on the North and Westside of the roof to remove the lead cover, wooden construction and the drainage channels. Installation of new natural stone drainage channels and carpentry work on the new wooden construction began in the end of last year. New lead sheets will be assembled with the start of the new year.
Solar heating resulted in over 100 cracks and tears in the lead sheets according to Master-Builder of Aachen Cathedral Helmut Maintz. He further lamented the impregnation of the wooden construction with a damaging protection agent during the 1960s, causing lead rust infestation. Maintz thinks the renovation of the lead sheets, wooden construction and drainage channels is going take until the middle of the year 2016, before the second construction stage, the south side roof, will commence.
The estimated costs for the renovation of the lead sheet roof are estimated to be app. €2 Million. €750,000 are provided by the Federal Republic of Germany, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the City of Aachen, the “Karlsverein – Dombauverein Aachen” allocated €630,000 for the project. ”We remain optimistic to acquire the remaining amount of €620,000 with our fundraising campaign “Der Dom braucht Hilfe” (Aachen Cathedral needs help)”, stressed Helmut Maintz, Master-Builder of Aachen Cathedral.