Old House: Metal Roof Replacement?

July 29, 2022 | Filed under: Buying a New Roof,Consumer Education,Financial,Newsletter Articles,Research


Several things might come to mind when you think of an old house. Maybe you picture an elegant Victorian in the historic part of town, a farmhouse in a windswept field, a quaint lakeside cottage, or a rustic log cabin amid tall pines. Whatever you think of, an old house is often a nostalgic reminder of days gone.

Restoration is a complex process whether you view an older home as a work in progress or a money pit. It takes care and time to replace unsafe products like lead paint or asbestos. Transforming a dilapidated building needs a certain type of love from the owner, a vision of what was and could be again. Usually, the goal is to restore the home to its original grandeur and update it wherever possible with sustainable, distinctive, and energy-efficient upgrades.

So, what about the roof? We don’t use wood shake anymore, and slate is a difficult material with few installers still around. Can a modern solution like metal preserve the style and bring new benefits?

From a historical standpoint, metal roofs date back hundreds of years. Here in the US, they came over from Europe in colonial times. Originally hand-formed roofs with vertical seams, metal roofing evolved in the Victorian era to shingles designed for many other aesthetics.

Metal Roof Replacement Benefits

Let’s look at some attributes of metal roofing that lend themselves well to older homes:

Older homes come in a beautiful variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. Here are several that we’ve had the privilege to work on recently.

Low Weight
As homes age, you have to worry about their bones. Foundations deteriorate, and structural lumber loses strength and resiliency. Many older homes are burdened with several layers of heavy roofing, like wood shake, slate, or asbestos, and metal roofing is a great way to take a load off. Compared to the common replacement material, asphalt, at 2 ¾ – 4 ¼ pounds per square foot, a metal roof is only ½- 1 pound per square foot. This low weight lengthens the life of a home’s foundation and structural lumber and reduces the risk of a cave-in in the event of seismic activity or fire.

If you own an older home, chances are you bought it to fix it or save it. Metal roofing’s long life protects and beautifies homes for many, many years to come. Also, many metal roofs feature high recycled content – about 95% for aluminum and 35% for copper and steel. And, once a metal roof reaches the end of its useful life, it is 100% recyclable.

Energy Efficiency
A common struggle with older homes is making them more energy efficient. It’s a challenging process – old windows and doors are drafty, and walls and ceilings can be difficult to insulate. Enter the energy-efficient metal roof. A metal roof will transform your home’s energy usage. Designed to reflect the sun’s radiant heat and keep the home cooler in hot weather, they reduce air conditioning costs and make the home more comfortable in the summer.

The laundry area, kitchen, and bathrooms are often poorly ventilated in older homes. While moisture escaped through the gaps left by older windows and doors, with modern tighter seals, water migrates into the attic, collects on the insulation, and condenses on the underside of the roof deck. Metal roofs are easily vented, letting that moisture escape before it condenses and causes problems. A well-vented attic will fix issues like ice dams and unwanted heat gain.

Dependable Protection
Anyone who owns an old house knows that preserving the original parts of the home is just as important as restoring them. Even the slightest intrusion of water or wind can set off a chain of events that significantly damages the house. The long-term dependability of metal roofing, bolstered by custom flashings, ensures a watertight roof system.

Whether you own an old house, admire the style from afar, or even if you’re more of a new house person, metal roofing has you covered. At Classic Metal Roofing Systems, we want to make your housing dreams a reality one beautiful old (or new) home at a time.

Our team of friendly, no-pressure metal roofing specials are here to hear your dreams. Please send us an email today and start the conversation about metal roof replacement for your old home.