Historic Roof Care

Maintaining a Roof on a Historic House in New Jersey


Historic buildings are treasures from our past. They have the grace, beauty and architectural appeal that most modern homes lack. In addition to their gorgeous moldings, elegant arches and beautiful hardwood floors, many also have historic roofing materials. In most cases, they are slate roofs that have withstood the test of time and weather woes. When roofing troubles fall upon these graceful old buildings, it is important that they are repaired quickly and correctly.

Before attempting to do any roofing repairs, be sure to check with your county’s historical society to determine the requirements for a home to remain historically identified. Some counties and states only allow the original material to be replaced. That may mean that your slate roof will need to be repaired only with slate tiles. If you are not interested in keeping the official historical distinction, you have more options, but you also lose some of the charm and personality of your home or building.

Finding a Contractor

There are many roofing contractors in the yellow pages and online, but the best source for a roofer recommendation for a historic building is your local historical society. They will often have a list of roofers and contractors who specialize in historic homes. This is especially important, because you want to make sure that the job is done correctly and is historically accurate. Any qualified roofing contractor can tear a roof off a building, but finding one who can tenderly repair a loose 90-year old slate tile is a much more difficult task.

Maintaining a Roofshake-roof

In order to ward off major roofing problems, it is important to maintain the roof to the best of your ability. Making sure that the gutters are cleaned bi-annually and doing a visual inspection of the roof will help to ensure that you catch any problems quickly. It is also not a bad idea to hire a roofer who specializes in historic roofs to come and look over your roof every year. While you may be able to spot a loose shingle after it has already slipped from its hold, a qualified roofer may be able to identify it before it has a chance to slip out of place.

Replacing the Roof

If it comes down to having to replace the roof on a historical building, take the proper precautions to make sure that the rest of the building is not damaged in any way. A quality contractor will take extra care when it comes to protecting the building’s integrity, but it does not hurt to cover up shrubbery and any outdoor accessories or structures that could be damaged. It is better to be safe and protect them, than have to replace them if they get damaged.

A historical building is a treasure to own, but it does have its ups and downs when it comes to maintenance and upkeep. Before investing in such a home or building, be sure that you have the resources to preserve its integrity. There is nothing worse than seeing a beautiful old home have its slate roof torn off in favor of asphalt shingles.

To have M&M Construction Specialist evaluate your historic roof, gutters and possible roof repairs in Northern or Central New Jersey, please call us at 908-378-5951 or fill out our free estimate form.

About the Author: Veronica Smith, writes for AmericanArtisanArt.com and has many ideas for bringing the beauty of unique large wall art and contemporary aluminum wall art to your interiors.

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