One of the most important features of any home is the roof, not only for aesthetic reasons but also to protect every other part of the house. When it comes to maintaining a historic house, roof maintenance is even more crucial than it is for most other residences. It is also typically more expensive. If you own or plan to own a historic home, it is essential to know how to approach roof maintenance and to acknowledge the value of choosing the right roofer to handle the job.
Historic home roofing presents many challenges
Most homeowners can balance their aesthetic preferences with their roof replacement budgets, but this is a more difficult consideration for the owners of historic homes. Some homes fall under historical authorities such as the National Register of Historic Places, and the owner of a historic home may not have the ability to install a modern roof. If no such restrictions exist, then a modern roof that aligns with the traditional appearance of the original roof is a possible option, but it will likely be more difficult to maintain.
When owners of historic homes prefer to keep their homes as true to their original appearances as possible, using the home’s original roofing methods and materials is often possible. However, traditional building materials and methods are not as reliable as modern building materials and methods, so homeowners who choose this path must be sure to arrange regular inspections, typically at shorter intervals than would be necessary for a modern home’s roof.
Preventing water damage is critical
Water damage and attic moisture can be disastrous for any homeowner, but this is especially true for historic homes. If a historic home’s roof is damaged, any subsequent water damage can be extremely difficult or even impossible to repair. Historic homes are much more vulnerable to rot and mold growth due to their age and lack of modern preventive measures against these issues. While a small leak may pose a frustrating problem for the owner of a modern home, the same light water damage can be devastating for a historic homeowner.
Preserve the original aesthetic of your historic home
Ultimately, most historic homeowners prefer to maintain their homes’ original appearances regardless of whether they must do so according to a local historical authority’s regulations. This is a labor of love, and it is typically much more expensive than preserving a modern home’s roof.
When the owner of a historic home works with an experienced roofer, it is possible to maintain the roof’s original appearance while ensuring the best possible protection from the elements. Replicating traditional building practices and using traditional building materials are possible solutions with the right roofer, but it is also possible to replace a historic home’s roof with a modern roof that matches the original appearance almost exactly. However, the modern roof will have a more robust defense against the elements.
Patching a historic home’s roof
If you recently purchased a historic home, it could take months for you to research everything you need to know about it to make sound decisions in the care and maintenance of the roof. However, severe weather and unexpected physical damage will rarely wait for you to complete this research before causing problems. In some cases, it may be necessary to patch damage to your roof, and it is vital to ensure the roofer you select for the job can handle it safely while maintaining your historic home’s integrity.
If you require immediate repairs to your roof, be sure to connect with a roofer with experience in historic home restoration. Local roofers may be familiar with your property and provide you with detailed guidance for the restoration process. Find a roofer who can handle your repair job without removing anything important, such as a layer of the old roof under the existing one, and without installing anything that could potentially damage the surrounding roof structures.
Research to preserve your historic home faithfully
Anyone who purchases a historic home must understand the unique responsibilities that this type of homeownership requires. First, historic homeowners should carefully review all available documentation for the property, some of which may be very old. Photographs, original blueprints, surveys from insurance carriers, and even newspaper clippings preserved by previous owners are all valuable sources of information that can help you determine the exact specifications of your home’s original roof.
You can also consult a local historical organization to see if it possesses any materials that could be relevant to your case. When you need a roofer capable of handling complex historic roof restoration, contact Mr. Roof to learn how our team can assist you with your project and preserve the integrity of your historic home.