Houston Roofing: Article About Signs Historic Roofs Need Replaced

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A new roof is a hefty investment. It can be hard to decide whether a roof needs repairs or if it needs to be replaced entirely. When many historic homes are roofed with clay, slate and wood tiles, the criteria for repairs versus replacement are different depending on the roof's materials. Consulting with experienced Houston roofing professionals will help homeowners make the right decision for their home.

Clay tiles were very popular in the early 20th century, especially in homes built in the Italianate or Mission styles. Properly cared for clay tiles can last upwards of 80 or 100 years, but they do have a definite end to their lifespan. Some signs of problems with clay tiles include brittleness, exposed sheathing, extreme moss or mildew growth and broken or loose tiles. Water is the biggest cause of clay tile damage. Water problems usually stem from damaged or backed up gutter systems. If clay tiles are crumbling, broken or loose, then they need to be replaced. The tiles themselves are quite hardy, so it's the materials underneath that need to be replaced more than once every 100 years. The clay tiles can then be removed, the underlying fixtures replaced and the tile reused.

A slate roof is among the more aesthetically pleasing roofing options.

Roofers from Houston Restoration Services of Houston TX would be happy to answer any question you have about commercial roofing or residential roofing.

Slate has been used since the 17th century and is found most commonly on Tudor and Gothic Revival homes. Slate deteriorates naturally with nature's freeze and thaw cycles, which delaminates the slate. When homeowners are inspecting the roof, they should check for any evidence of water getting under the tiles. Moisture in the roof rafters is a sign of delamination, while old slate tiles hold onto water and soften the home's rafters. Slate tiles that need to be replaced will crack under any sort of pressure. Tapping on the tile will give a good idea on how sound it is. If the tiles sound dull when tapped, that means they need replacement. If the sound is clear and solid, then that means it's still in good condition.

Wood shingles have also been used since the 17th century, but it's unlikely to find a wood shingled roof from that period. Wood shingles that should be replaced are thin from erosion, split or warped, or have significant moss or mildew growth. Wood shingles typically only last 15 to 30 years, so a historic home with old tiles probably needs an entirely new roof to prevent any damage to the structure of the home.

Replacing a roof can be a daunting endeavor, especially for homeowners wanting to keep their home's historic character intact. With some careful research and close work with experienced contractors, it can be a relatively painless process.

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