Ask a Pro: How To Care for an Older-Style Roof

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Joyland Roofing.

Lancaster County craftspeople are well known for their excellent work. We love living and working in Lancaster because of this deep-rooted history. It is inspiring to see the quality artisanship from the past that surrounds us here. This sense of history pushes us to produce great work.

Historic homes present unique challenges, though. They need special care, and their roofs are no different.

The roof on a historic home requires routine inspection and maintenance, like any other roof. Preserving and maintaining a roof on a historic home is often tricky because of the materials.

Editor’s Note: Here’s a list of more roofing companies in Lancaster, PA.

Here are a few of the roofs you might encounter on older Lancaster homes.

Slate Roofs

Slate has been a popular roofing material in this area for a long time, and for good reason. It looks great, and with proper care, a good quality slate roof can last decades.

Part of caring for a slate roof is staying off it. It is best to leave inspections and repair to a professional who can get on the roof without cracking tiles.

Falling branches, or anything else that strikes the roof, can break slate. Hire a professional to repair or replace missing slates to prevent leaks and interior damage. Leaf buildup and other debris can cause water backup or sitting moisture on a slate roof too.

A slate roof can remain attractive and watertight for decades with routine maintenance every few years. Some roofs we’ve worked on were more than 100 years old and are still going strong.


Joyland Roofing - ShakerWood Shake Roofs

While a slate roof on a historical home is likely original, wood shake roofs don’t last as long. If your historical home has wood shakes, it has probably been reroofed a few times. It is common to replace wooden shakes that are a similar style to preserve the authentic look of the home.

Shakes will fade and change color as they age. It’s nothing to worry about. But there are a few things to keep an eye on.

Repair broken or missing shakes to prevent leaks.

Clean off mold because mold tends to trap moisture and causes wood shakes to decompose faster.

Hire a professional to inspect the roof every few years to ensure it is aging appropriately and no red flags are present.


Joyland Roofing - SlateDesigner Shingle Roofs

Slate, wood shakes, and other historically-accurate roofs can be cost prohibitive. Some owners of older homes in Lancaster are now choosing designer shingles, which are more budget-friendly, while preserving their home’s classic look and curb appeal.

If you’re installing a shingle roof on an older home, there are a few things to consider. First, it is likely that your roof will need to be sheeted with plywood or OSB decking. Other roofing materials often only require lathe strips underneath, but shingles need a solid deck to nail into.

Shingle roofs will last longer than wood shake, but not as long as slate. When they’re installed properly, shingle roofs are one of the most reliable roofing materials, and can be as attractive as a historical roof.

You should check a shingle roof after severe wind or hail and should be on the lookout for missing or misshapen shingles. As with any roof, remove debris or moss as needed.


Caring For Your Historical Home

A home that’s been around for decades or even centuries is more than a roof and four walls. It’s a landmark, a time capsule, and part of the community. It’s worth investing in and protecting, as previous generations did.

With proper care and maintenance, your roof can continue to protect your historical home for years.


Joyland Roofing - Lancaster, Pa


About Joyland Roofing

Joyland Roofing is a residential and commercial roofing contractor serving southeastern Pennsylvania. We specialize in new roof installation, re-roofing, and roofing repairs. We also install and repair skylights and seamless gutter systems, and are Solar Elite contractors, installing integrated solar roofs. We are certified by GAF as a MasterElite contractor, so we can provide unrivaled service and a 25 year Golden Pledge warranty.

We work throughout southeastern PA, including York, Lancaster, Dauphin, Chester, Berks, Montgomery, and Lebanon counties. Visit our website to see recent roofing projects and to schedule a free on-site consultation.


Commercial Roofing

We know what matters most to you as a business owner: Competitively-priced bids that are turned around quickly and written according to your specifications. Steve Esh, our commercial project manager, grew up in the roofing industry working alongside his father and brothers. Contractors and property managers like working with Steve because he gets projects started on time, keeps them on schedule, and makes sure they’re on budget. Contact our project bidder to get a fast and fair quote.  Learn More.



Joyland Roofing

2348 Harrisburg Pike
Lancaster, PA 17601

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