Roof Replacement Through the Years: Old vs New Roofing Techniques

If you’re stuck choosing between a modern and traditional roof during a replacement project, be assured you’re not alone. Traditional roofs were commonly constructed with natural materials like thatch, wood, and clay using old roofing methods. Modern roof materials include metal, slate, and various tiles laid using new roofing techniques. This read will explore roof replacement through the years and possibly make your decision-making process easier.

1. More Durable Materials

Roofs are one of the most important parts of the house that protect you from the harshness of the elements. For any roof issues you may be facing, you need to find a professional roofer to handle the fixing process from the initial inspection through the solution given and the final inspection. When looking for commercial roofers, homeowners should always ask about their experience. Competent roofers should be aware of the different types of roofing material, their stress limits, and how they are laid.

For instance, metal roofing offers several advantages compared to any other traditional roofing material. First, it’s about 40% more durable, with metal roofs lasting up to 50 years. It’s also cheap to construct, especially considering how long it’ll last, and comes in different styles and colors.

Metal roofing is fire-resistant, making it more secure compared to the highly flammable material traditional roofs are made of. Despite all this, homeowners may opt for a conventional roof because of the building’s design or preferences. If this is the case, a competent roofer should also be aware of the various materials and where to source them.

2. Renovating Old Buildings

Roof repairs are complicated enough on their own. However, things get way more complicated when considering a historic building restoration project. Old buildings selected for preservation are cherished, so working on them requires much care to avoid introducing new damage. For old historical roofs, the materials used, like wood and clay, were usually highly susceptible to weathering, so compared to today’s roofs, they didn’t last long. The methods of installing traditional roofs are antiquated, and finding local roofers who can lay the roof flawlessly may be challenging.

Just as you would using new roofing techniques, traditional roof repairs begin with an assessment. This process should be as non-invasive as possible, as old roofing material can easily be damaged when walked on. The next step is researching the building, its history, and original plans to help plan the repairs.

Now, for the actual repairs, challenges may come with finding the original roofing material, most of which is no longer in production. Repairs should be done in mild weather and when activities around the building are low. Lastly, you’ll need to document the work done on the building to guide future generations.

3. Roofers Work With Siding Experts

A well-kept siding significantly improves your property value apart from insulating against extreme weather. The roof, gutters, windows, and siding form the exterior face of any house, and they work together to offer the insulating character of the house interior. There are telltale signs of a falling siding, including when it starts getting cracks, warps, or rot. Blisters or bubbles are an indicator of moisture problems. A spike in energy bills also points to a failing siding.

New roofing techniques include a siding technician in the roofing team. This ensures comprehensive maintenance of your house exterior, as all areas are catered for in one go. It’s good when siding contractors work with roofers because the order of repair can make a big difference in the cost and final result of the project.

Contractors typically recommend repairing or replacing the roof before working on the siding. The logic is to work on new projects without causing damage to previous projects. So, if you start with the siding and later repair the roof, the roof repairs are likely to cause damage to the new siding.

4. Roof Restoration

Choosing between a roof restoration and roof repairs depends on the problem you’re addressing. Repairing a roof involves patching a small area or fixing minor issues. Restoration resolves a host of issues. It’s all the processes undertaken to restore the roof’s health to as close as new.

They include roof repairs, pressure washing, and chemical treatment. A roof inspection from expert roofers will help determine whether a roof repair, restoration, or replacement is required. Restoration and replacement are mostly needed for old roofs ranging from 25 to 50 years of age.

Restoration is usually less expensive than replacing an entire roof. When done well, it can extend the use of the same roof for up to 15 years. New roofing techniques apply much more environmental consideration, and roof restoration is one of those.

It’s environmentally friendly because it reuses parts of the old roof. Some instances where roof restoration is effective are in case of damage by fire, water, or hail and exposure to high winds. These events cause uneven damage to roof sections over a couple of years.

5. Roof Overlay

Apart from repairs, restoration, and replacement, roof overlay is among the new roofing techniques for dealing with a failing roof. A roof overlay is laying a new roof over an older one, just as the name suggests. It’s an option many homeowners run to because of its relatively low cost to get done. In other cases, it may be a technical matter guiding the decision not to tamper with the old roof but rather just overlay it. The advantage of an overlay is that it is executed quickly at a low cost and causes minimal disruptions to the ongoing activities in the house or building.

All qualified home builders and professional roofers should advise you on the appropriateness of an overlay because of the challenges that come with it. For one, they add to the weight of the roofing material, so if the framework was not built to withstand the added weight, you risk your roof caving in on you. Secondly, there are underlying issues that an overlay cannot address.

This means some problems may persist even after an overlay, making it futile. The old, damp, and infected roofing material affects and corrodes the new overlaid material, greatly reducing its lifespan. These are some of the reasons why new roofing techniques largely avoid overlays.

6. Gambrel Roofs

A gambrel roof is also called a Dutch or barn roof, characterized by two slopes on each side. This roof design is common among traditional or colonial architectural styles. The two slopes of a gambrel roof consist of a lower slope being steeper than the upper slope.

This design provides added space in the attic along the upper slope, while the steeper slope provides ample headroom. This roofing style helps to shed off rain, snow, and hail using the force of gravity. This reduces the risk of water damage. It also handles well in high winds as its slope deflects the wind.

You can still see gambrel roofs used in new roofing techniques despite it being an old style. They’re typically constructed in asphalt shingles, metal panels, or clay tiles. The material used is determined by the local climate, the design of the building, and your personal preference as the owner. Gambrel roofs are a distinctive roof design that offers a traditional appearance with high functionality. The only minor drawback is that the slopes can make the roof a bit harder to maintain because of the difficulties navigating the slope and accessing different areas around the roof.

7. Hip Roofs

Hip roofs are an old roof design similar to barn roofs. The difference in design is that there are four slopes in a hip roof rather than two. The ridge where the two slopes meet in a barn roof meets the other two slopes in a hip roof at its ends. This gives the roof an even gradient along each slope, with two opposite slopes longer than the others.

If you’re considering such a style, your custom home builder can inform you of the advantages you will enjoy. For one, it’s a very stable roof design as it’s supported on all sides, making it resistant to high stress. It’s a popular style with clean lines and beautiful symmetry.

Hip roofs allow homeowners to choose from various materials because they’re versatile and can be made from metal, asphalt shingles, or clay tiles. This way, you can quickly develop a theme, scheme, and budget, given the many options available. They can also be easily adapted to feature skylights or dormer windows to add ventilation and natural light to your interior space.

The main disadvantages of a hip roof include its complex construction, even when using new roofing techniques. This makes it relatively more expensive to construct. It also isn’t easy to maintain as it has slopes and angles that make it hard to operate on.

8. A-Frame Roofs

An A-Frame roof is among the new roofing techniques used today, and it’s also referred to as a triangular roof sometimes. A-framed houses are what A-framed roofs cover. Looking at it, you may think it’s all roof. The two distinctive steep sloping sides intersecting at a ridge make its design stand out. This modern design is stylish and appeals to young homeowners, especially because it can be constructed using metal panels, asphalt, or wood shingles.

Find competent contractors to advise you on building an A-framed roof because some issues may present dire disadvantages you may want to avoid. Such a roof may require much more work to provide adequate insulation in cold weather. A-framed roofs can also do very badly in windy conditions if it isn’t done right. The gusts of wind exert greater pressure on A-framed roofs than on other sloping roofs because of the steepness of the gradient. The same steepness also makes them harder to maintain.

9. Clerestory Roof

A clerestory or monitor roof can be mistaken for a contemporary roof constructed using new roofing techniques. But the reality is that variations of this style can be traced back to the times of King Solomon. It’s a functional design with windows along the ridge to allow natural light in and reduce the need for artificial lighting. This design can be found in some modern homes but is more common in commercial buildings like malls and industrial buildings. The roof is typically made of metal panels or glass, offering numerous benefits, including reduced energy costs and improved ventilation.

In most cases, clerestory roofs are preferred purposefully for their design, which allows natural light in. On the flip side, this can easily be a disadvantage because it’s significantly harder to do under a clerestory roof if you need a dark spot or space. So, too much light can sometimes be cited as a disadvantage.

Clerestory roofs also have the disadvantage of losing a lot of heat. This is because the windows are not insulated and are positioned well to allow hot air to escape quite easily. Even excellent double glazing may not reduce heat loss.

10. Skillion Roofs

Skillion roofs are a simple, low-cost, and versatile design mostly used for small and temporary structures like sheds, garages, and annexes. They’re also known as shed roofs. The design is characterized by a single-sloping roof running from one wall to another. Skillion roofs are preferred because of their low cost of construction and the ease of incorporating stuff like skylights, sun tunnels, or solar panels. They can be made from metal, corrugated steel, or asphalt shingles from your local shingle supply company.

Skillion roofs can’t be categorized among the new roofing techniques today, but their significance can’t be denied. They’re widespread today, given their low cost and ease of construction. However, they’re more susceptible to water damage and leaks.

They may not be suitable for areas that experience heavy snowfall or rainfall. For houses covered by skillion roofing, it offers a much smaller space for the attic, and the design can be easily damaged by strong gusts of wind. Because of these limitations, especially their poor waterproofing abilities, they’re not used much to roof houses.

The roof is an essential building feature that protects us from adverse climatic conditions. Both traditional and modern roofs have their pros and cons. However, contemporary roofs built using new roofing techniques and materials are more suitable for long-term use as they’re much more durable.