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Preserving the Past: Key Considerations When Choosing the Right Roof for Your Historic HOME

Updated: Feb 19

Guaranteed Roofing and General Contracting Inc. Repairs and Shingles a Historic Home in Aurora, York Region, Ontario

Owning a historic home is like holding a piece of history in your hands. These architectural treasures, each with a unique story to tell, deserve careful consideration when it comes to roofing. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the process of choosing the perfect roof for your historic home – one that not only preserves the authenticity of the past but also provides the durability and functionality required for the present and future. If you own a heritage home in King Township, Newmarket, Aurora, or beyond that requires an inspection, repair, or roof replacement, here are some key considerations for the roof of your historic home.

  1. Ventilation

Inspecting the ventilation of your historic home is an essential first step to ensure the roofing system is functioning properly. Improper or inadequate ventilation is common in century homes and may cause significant damage over time. Your roof's attic ventilation is a system that allows your roof and home to breathe. It works by pulling fresh air through your attic and allowing the heat to escape through your roof vents. While many factors impact a roof's lifespan, proper attic ventilation is one of the most important. Without proper ventilation, trapped hot and cold air in the attic may significantly shorten your roof's lifespan.

  1. Roof Boards

Today roofs are sheathed using plywood however historic homes often have roof boards. Ensuring roof boards are in good condition is paramount in protecting the roofing system of your heritage home. One common issue that can be found with roof boards on a historic home is gaps between the boards. Another common issue with historic homes roof boards is dry rot. Dry rot is the result of a slow leak or build up of condensation over a long period of time. If your historic home has significant gaps or dry rot on roof boards, replacing the affected area of the roof with plywood may be recommended in order to prevent shingles from sagging over time and to protect the overall integrity of your roofing system.

  1. Additions

Finding historic homes with one or more additions is very common to accommodate for growing families and needs. It is important to inspect the roof structure for ventilation dead zones between the original roof system and addition. Attic air movement is essential in every home. If there is an area without air movement or a “dead zone”, it is possible that cold or fresh air can mix with hot/humid air leading to condensation pockets which can lead to issues with your roofing system. Dead zones are more common on homes with additions where new roof lines are built upon old roof lines. Finding out if there is a dead zone and then taking necessary steps to properly ventilate the space is key to protecting your home.

  1. Historic Integrity

Choose quality roofing materials for your century home that maintain the charming beauty of the architecture and preserve the historic integrity. Wood shingles or cedar shakes were a popular choice for Canadian homes in the 19th century. Installing premium architectural shingles as part of the roofing system on your historic home provides the character of cedar shake shingles with increased longevity and can be more cost-effective.

  1. Experienced Contractor

Preserving the past requires a level of craftsmanship that goes beyond standard roofing projects. Meticulous attention to detail and a deep understanding of historical construction methods can make a significant difference in the success of your roofing project. Choosing a roofing contractor that has experience and knowledge of the unique requirements and nuances that come along with repairing or re-roofing a historic home is of utmost importance.

Replacing a roof on a historic home is a journey that combines the best of preservation and innovation. Choosing the right roof and roofing company for your historic home can be a complex process. Only a select few roofing contractors have the experience with these architectural gems and their nuanced components to preserve the unique beauty of historic homes for years to come. At Guaranteed Roofing, we recognize the delicate balance required to protect the past while embracing the future. We bring decades of knowledge and expertise to ensure your roofing system works best for your home. If you own a historic home in York Region, Simcoe County, Muskoka, or Almaguin, Ontario that may need roof replacement, Guaranteed Roofing checks all the boxes.


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