Older Homes

How to Choose the Right Roofing Materials for Older Homes

If you live in a house that’s 50-years-old or older, your house can rightly be considered an “older home.” On the real estate market, some might find an old home to be a turnoff, but for others, living in a historic house is a privilege. But whether you live in a pre or post-war antique home, or an older house you simply inherited from your parents, it is important to pay attention to its particular needs. This can be difficult when it comes to roofing, as some older houses are not compatible with modern roofing materials. Keep reading to learn how to choose the right roofing materials for older homes, and for your next residential roofing service, remember to call our experts at Lyons Roofing.

The Top 5 Roofing Materials for Older Homes

  1. Metal: You might not think of metal when you think of older roofs, as many homeowners associate metal roofing with sleek, modern houses. Yet the reality is that sheet metal and copper roofs have been used in construction dating back to the 1800s, and some old roofs were made of alloys derived from tin and led. While the popularity of metal roofing began to decline in the 1920s, there are many sturdy roofs from this era that are still standing today. There are also ways to ensure your older home retains its original style while installing modern metals that are safer and more efficient.
  2. Tiles: Tile roofs have been popular particularly on the east coast going back to the colonial period. These roofs come in many different styles and colors, though clay tiles are probably the best well-known, as they are associated with Spanish, Dutch, English, and French architectural traditions you still see in America today. Although clay tiles waned in popularity over time, they did see a resurgence in the mid-19th century, as Italianate and Romanesque architecture became more popular. While replicating the shape and color of old tiles (especially clay tiles) can be challenging, there are a number of tile options today that can be used to recreate the original style of your roof.
  3. Wooden Shake/Shingles: Wood shingles are probably the most well-known historical roofing material, all the way from the colonial period into the 19th century. Pine, oak, and cypress shingles have long been the most popular options for older homes, with white oak being an especially durable option. Red cedar also went through a period of popularity in the United States, as it was known for being rot-resistant. Shake roofs, meanwhile, are more commonly associated with modern homes, as most people think of shake as a composite material. Yet wood shakes were also used in homes going back to the 1840s, which is why wooden tiles and wooden shake are still used when repairing older roofs today.
  4. Slate: Slate roofing has been used in America going back to the late 1700s, though it wasn’t used in homes until the early-mid 1800s, after the railroad was invented and it became easier to transport this heavy material. The 19th century saw the rise of colorful purple, green, red, and blueish-grey slate, and this material was used into the 20th century. Although the slate roofing of today may be different than the heavy slate used in older houses, there are still many ways to recreate that original slate look if you live in a historical home.
  5. Asphalt Shingles: As opposed to some of the other options cited on this list, asphalt shingles are fairly new. They were first introduced at the turn of the last century, though they did not become popular till the 1920s. While this original style of asphalt shingles is no longer in use, they paved the way for modern three-tab shingles, which remain an excellent option for new and older homes today.

For more information on how to upgrade your older roof, call (520) 447-2522. You can also contact us online.