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Tin Roof Restoration

If one says "tin roof" today, it usually conjures up images of sharecroppers' shacks or the Tennessee Williams play "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." 1980s music buffs may think about the mysterious cry of "Tin roof! Rusted!" in the B-52s hit, "Love Shack."

Not so long ago, however, the tin roof was a staple of American building. The roofs were particularly popular along the mid-Atlantic. Over time, many of the roofs were replaced with what we now consider standard materials. Others remained in place but suffered significant damage and deterioration over time.

Today, some people are investing in the restoration of these classic roofs. It is a way to protect a piece of history while simultaneously maintaining an attractive antique or rustic look. Homes featuring roofs of tin do not have to be transitioned to more modern roofing surfaces. It is possible to repair an old tin roof.

One means by which this is done is by painting the tin with an acrylic paint. Research has compellingly demonstrated that many roofs suffered significant damage and deterioration because earlier paints cracked and chipped, exposing the tin to the elements. The right kind of modern acrylic paint will expand and contract along with the metal in a way that prevents this from happening. The result is a much-better protected tin element and less exposure to possible sources of deterioration.

This tin roof restoration method can be buttressed by applying a special mesh layer before the paint. This reinforcing technique tends to strengthen the tin elements and can be used in conjunction with the acrylic paint to take care of cracks and other possible leak sources. When a mesh is used, restorers will generally apply a thicker coating of paint. This strategy does afford optimal protection to the roof, although it is usually more costly than relying upon the paint alone.

The exact restoration method used will be determined by the expert's assessment of the roof. A simple layer of acrylic paint may be perfect for a roof that has suffered minimal damage and has not been coated or painted repeatedly. The "mesh and paint" system is usually reserved for roofs that require more attention and that may already be suffering from leaks or damage that is more serious. If the right method is used, a great roof is the outcome.

Roofs made of tin may seem quite distant now, but there are those who remember the old tin roofs and others who still have them in place. Whether it is mere nostalgia or a genuine interest in preserving architectural history, some have decided to restore these tin pieces of history. You do not need to rely upon plywood sheeting, tar paper and shingles to protect you from the elements! There is an alternative to the popular roofing materials of today. You can be quite comfortable and well protected under a restored tin roof.

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