If you are a Boston owner of an old or historic home, you are no stranger to nostalgia. It’s likely that you chose your home for its charm and the ways that it’s different from new houses, which can seem cookie-cutter and bland to many tastes. Owning an old home has its quirks, but overall attracts a very specific and passionate homeowner.
If you own an old home, you’re probably also no stranger to home repairs. As homes age, it’s common to run into things that need updating, replacing, or renovating. One of the more common home replacements is the roof, with most homes needing a roof replacement every 25 years or so. If you are in this situation and are looking at roofing options, you’ve undoubtedly heard about metal roofing. These roofs have become incredibly popular for their durability and long lifespan. However, owners of historic homes often worry that a metal roof may not fit with their vintage home style. There are several reasons this is untrue, and in fact, a metal roof is often an ideal choice for classic homes.
One major concern many vintage homeowners have is that metal roofing will clash with the beauty of their home. Old homes have a very specific style, and owners often don’t want to change roofing styles for fear of detracting from that. However, metal roofs have a history long preceding current trends. Many houses built in the Jefferson era were constructed with metal roofing, and some of those roofs are still intact today. Many older homes look very natural with metal roofing. No matter your home’s specific style, modern technology has provided extensive options when it comes to metal roofing aesthetics. There is bound to be something that will accentuate your home’s vintage features and colors.
Metal roofing weighs a fraction of traditional roofing materials, making it an awesome option for older houses. Many classic homes have settled naturally, and the materials with which they were built have become somewhat weathered. The home’s bones may be fragile, and heavy roofing only exacerbates the deterioration of a home’s shape and structure. Choosing a lighter roofing option takes some pressure off the aging foundation and studs and can help avoid large repairs in those areas. For areas with seismic activity, the lightweight roofs run less of a risk of caving in the event of an earthquake or natural disaster.
Energy efficiency is often a challenge in older homes in Boston, with windows and doors often becoming drafty with years of use. Though there are few ways to combat many of these problems, metal roofing is a great way to cut down on energy costs in old homes. These roofs keep homes cool in the summer and give air-conditioning units a break by reflecting sunlight. If your classic home isn’t air-conditioned, which many are not, these roofs can help keep the home naturally cooler during the warmer months. The metal acts as an airtight layer of protection against escaping heat as well, allowing your home’s furnace system to get a much-needed break.
In addition to energy efficiency, metal roofing is eco-friendly in its sustainable makeup. Made of commonly recycled materials such as aluminum and tin, these roofs take few raw resources to produce and can be easily recycled at the end of their lifetime. This appeals to many owners of older homes, some of whom chose their home to avoid seeing it torn down or destroyed to make room for new developments.
They Help With Preservation
In old homes, preserving the structure and charm of the building is key. Though it can feel like an uphill battle, you often go to great lengths as an owner of a historic home to ensure there is no damage to your property. As many homeowners know, a small leak or wind issue can lead to catastrophic problems in an old home. Metal roofing provides incredible protection when it comes to wind and moisture. When installed by a professional, these roofs are airtight, providing dependable protection to your home from rain and inclement weather.
They Provide Necessary Attic Ventilation
When updates are made to historic homes, they usually come in the form of new windows, doors, and insulation. Though these are all wonderful and necessary updates, they inherently cut off air and moisture flow to the outdoors. This indoor moisture does not cease to exist but rather collects in other areas of the home, often meaning the attic. Having high moisture in your attic leads to condensation, which can render insulation less effective and cause issues with your traditional roofing. Metal roofs, however, are easily ventilated and allow moisture to escape before it causes problems. This is extremely helpful in cold areas in the fight against ice dams and can prevent heat and humidity condensation for warm climates.
There’s Less Upkeep
Though metal roofs still require some maintenance and repair, they generally need less attention than shingles and tar-based roofs. This is helpful for many home styles popular during and before the turn of the century, such as Craftsman, Bungalow, and Victorian. These Boston homes are characterized by steeply pitched roofs and multiple roof planes, making maintenance dangerous and inconvenient. Some roofing companies will charge extra for work on these types of roofs because of the risks they pose to their crew. You will likely spend far less on maintenance with a metal roof than you would with more traditional materials in the long run.
It’s easy to become attached to the unique qualities of older homes. For all their quirks and charm, it’s important to maintain them properly and give them the tools to last long after you’ve moved away. Metal roofing is a great option for these homes, both as an aesthetic choice and a mode of protection for the home’s structure and safety. Metal roofs accentuate the history of old homes while giving them the tools to last far into the future.