New roofing solutions for old houses

By: Conrad Neuf , Contributing Writer
In: Old Houses, Home Improvement Tips

Regardless of how much you like the standing seam roof on your old house, there may come a time when it has to go. Even a properly maintained metal roof can eventually give up the ghost. When water spots show up on your ceilings and rays of sunshine find their way into the attic, putting a fresh coat of paint on the metal probably isn't going to suffice.

However, the good news is that there are many roofing products available now that should blend in with or even enhance the appearance of your old house. Many of the materials require very little maintenance and as an added bonus some may be able to help lower your heating and cooling costs.

New materials for old roofs

Whether you want to stick with metal or head in another direction, manufacturers offer many roofing choices that can maintain the historical look of your home. Here are a few to consider:

  • ATAS International, Inc -- ATAS has a full line of metal roofing products, but of particular interest to old house enthusiasts might be their standing seam panels. The material looks very similar to the metal installed on homes many years ago, but never needs to be painted. Profiles such as Dutch Seam are offered in 33 factory-applied colors. ATAS is also an industry leader in "cool roofing" innovations. Their Above Sheathing Ventilation system may be able to lower your home's heat gain during the summer months by as much as 45 percent.
  • DaVinci Roofscapes -- If you think your old roof might look great with slate but are concerned about the weight and cost, DaVinci synthetic slate might be the answer. The roofing looks just like natural stone, but is made from materials that are 100 percent recyclable. Some of the company's EcoBlend colors are so effective at reflecting the sun's heat away from roof surfaces that they've earned a coveted Energy Star rating. DaVinci synthetic slate is available in numerous profiles and colors.
  • CertainTeed -- Victorian homes are known for their intricate exterior trim and detailed workmanship. If you want to give the same look to your Painted Lady's old roof, consider installing CertainTeed's Carriage Home luxury shingles. The heavyweight dimensional shingles are scalloped to create unique shadow lines on steeper pitched roofs. They are offered in eight colors and feature a limited lifetime warranty that can be transferred when your home is sold. Old house enthusiasts who are also eco-friendly might want to consider CertainTeed's Landmark Solaris PLATINUM shingles. The Energy Star rated product can give roofs a solar reflectance value of over 40 percent.

While saying goodbye can be difficult, there are many great products available when it's time to replace your old house's standing seam roof.