Historic properties tend to have a lot of issues, but the biggest of them often relates to basic materials failing. Hand hewn beams, glass and wrought iron aging and giving out, and even protected materials like tile and plasterboard may fail after a hundred years or more.
Yet, though they are built in periods dating back hundreds of years or many decades, they are often made of materials that last far longer than some of the items we buy in “big box” home improvement stores today.
Even the National Park Service agrees, saying on its pages dedicated to historic buildings that “The use of the historic roofing material on a structure may be restricted by building codes or by the availability of the materials.”
And as to the aesthetics of historic materials versus many newer options, well…it is easy to see that “they just don’t make ‘em like they used to!”
That is why the historic roof restoration done to the home at 1206 White Street in New Orleans was such a breath of fresh air.
Rather than removing the beautiful old slate roof and replacing it with modern asphalt shingles, the team at Juneau Odenwald, Inc opted to retain the home’s history using a synthetic/engineered slate roofing system.
Old Can Be Made New
As one of the most commonly used materials on historic homes, slate roofing has proven itself nearly undefeatable. With a life span averaging at around 100 years, it is beautiful as well as high-performing and incredibly low-maintenance. Yet, it can ask a lot of the structure beneath it, and if not properly installed, it can lead to disaster.
When an older home requires repair, restoration or full replacement, it is rarely a small task. It is understandable that some opt for an easier solution. Yet, such compromise is not the only answer thanks to synthetic or engineered slate roofing.
What’s the Deal with Engineered Slate Roofing?
Weighing nowhere near the heft of authentic slate, it is still just as durable, wind and water resistant, and esthetically appealing. Brands like Inspire and Ecostar make these slate roofing products in colors and styles that have all of the visual appeal of authentic slate, but with a lot less weight and a much easier installation process.
For the home at 1206 White Street, the team opted to replace the failing slate roof with synthetic slate, and because it is made in such an array of colors, the owners could retain the beautiful colors and patterns created when the home was original built. Varied shades of grey, dark plum, and slate combine to ensure that the home retains its original good looks.
Yet, the roof is still able to withstand the region’s winds, periodic bouts of hail, intense heat and more. It is a sustainable type of roofing that can even be recycled when it has to be replaced decades in the future, but until then it will not crack, lose is laminated coating, or break. It looks exactly like real slate, but comes with a much lighter overall weight, much lower purchase and installation cost, and is even believed to be more durable than the “real thing”.
Vintage Looks with Contemporary Perks
Environmentally friendly, long-lasting, and a favorite of architects throughout the region, synthetic and engineered slate roofing is a wonderful solution. As seen on this project and many others done by the team at Juneau Odenwald, Inc it is a creative answer to the question of historic home ownership.
If you have an old or failing slate roof and wonder about repair or replacement, consider the options for slate and engineered or synthetic slate. With options in almost any color or shape, your home can retain its old-fashioned beauty while enjoying the benefits of modern technology.
Contact us today for a FREE estimate. And whatever you do, don’t trust your slate roof to the guys around the corner who just work on any type of roof.