Restoring and maintaining historic homes can be grueling, it is a labor of love. Knowing where to start is important. Roof Fix wants to help you take care of your historic home. One of the most important things to do when restoring older buildings is to start with historic roof restoration.

The roof has the vital job of keeping everything underneath it, safe. For any historic buildings, water intrusion and rot may cause irreparable damage. It’s a good idea and often recommended by historians, to replace the roof with more modern material to keep the inside of the house safer.

You’ll want to check if your historical home is under the authority of any national historical agencies. They may or may not allow the home to use modern materials for roof replacement.

Discover The History of Your Home

Before deciding what course of action to take for your historical home’s roof, you need to know when the house was built. The roof may or may not be the original roof.

Find a Professional

It’s vital that you find a roofer that is experienced in the restoration of historical homes. Restoration experts decide what is in the best interests of the property and their own budget. They may opt to install a modern roof on the historic home. They provide superior protection with less maintenance and repair costs. It’s possible that a new roof may increase the value of the home. It’s important that they will be able to the roof.

Restoring a historic roof can take a long time. If there are leaks, you may need a quick roof repair. Instruct your roofer to be careful about how they patch the roof. You also don’t want them to remove any evidence that you may later need.

Dive Into Some Documents!

Any documents you may have on the building can help determine what type of roof it originally had. It can also point you in the right direction of what roof it needs if you are restoring it to a specific period. Photographs of the original building are also helpful. It can help show the material and color and detail of the roof.

It’s also a good idea to make copies of these documents and images. With the copies, you can provide proof to your state historic preservation office about any changes needed, and if they are authentic.

Historic Roof Types

There are many types of roof materials used throughout history. Metal roofs may have had stamps. Wood shakes could be cut in odd angles. Roof shingles may have been laid differently than modern shingles.

  • Wood shakes were most common as roofing materials in the earlier colonial days of the 19th century. The manufacturing techniques and installation techniques varied a lot during that time. You’ll need to find more information about your home’s roof if your historical home had wood shakes.
  • Clay tiles were primarily in the colonial period where there was Spanish influence and were popular with the Dutch in the north.
  • Slate wasn’t very common for roofing material. But, it was used pre-American Revolution amid the colonial era.
  • Metal was an older roofing material, primarily in the United States and Canada. It was a relatively expensive material to use for roofing. In the United States, very few homes had metal roofs before the Civil War.
  • Asphalt Singles were introduced to the United States in the early 1900s but didn’t pick up steam until the 1920s.

For more information on roof restoration in San Antonio, The Hill Country, or the Coastal Bend, contact Roof Fix.