company specializes in saving old metal roofs, call 610-941-1051
Virginia's tin roofs: Thomas Jefferson's legacy
Virginia claims the honor of introducing metal roofing to the young republic called United States of America. A notable founding father, Thomas Jefferson, is credited with influencing the early use of metal roofing. Today, that influence is still quite visible in every corner of the state.
"Over the years Jefferson tried a variety of roofing materials including wood shingles of several types, lead, sheet iron, and copper, but it was the lightness and, as he understood it, the durability of tin shingles that was favored in later years. Although tin was known to him by the 1790's it appears that he did not use it until his work at Central College (later the University of Virginia)." **
Both standing seam metal roofs and embossed tin shingles can be found in all parts of the Commonwealth. For example, in Burkeville south and west of Richmond along the railroad line, a large residence with a black metal roof stands out in the neighborhood. The roof was in excellent condition for its age, with the inside gutters still in good working order. With some work, we were able to improve the gutters appearance as viewed from the windows. (In Virginia, I avoid using the "Yankee gutter" label.)
In Appomattox, where the Civil War ended, few metal roofs remain. Probably there was an ambitious asphalt shingle contractor in this community. One of the two metal shingle homes is owned by two history experts on the French and Indian Wars. They, like so many tin roof owners, wanted to preserve our heritage. Their reasonably sound roof exhibited some overhang problems. We worked with them on a solution that appeared to resolve their concerns.
Near Honaker, (the word "near" used figuratively), the new owners of this homestead located in a valley high in the mountains expressed a desire to preserve their unique design on the upper roof tin shingles. We saw the project in its beginning phase. With some metal roofs, the edges can begin to appear ragged, as was found here. We improved the roof silhouette with our work along the perimeter of the roof.
In Clifton Forge, there are many older metal roofs, probably due to an ambitious exterior painting contractor in this community. This couple is renovating almost everything themselves, but decided to leave the roof work to a contracting firm. For his porch, the owner decided to match his upper roof's vintage shingles with modern copies. We performed the work on the upper roof.
In central Virginia the crew began work on an old trainmaster's home , shown here during the fall season. The old railroad station is located next to this home, accompanied with an aging grocery store nearby. On this project, the new owner had a long list of jobs, relegating the asphalt shingles over the porches to the bottom of his priorities. We were able to extend the life of these asphalt shingles by coating them with the same Restoration Green acrylic applied to his upper roof (Add link to project photos). With this simple coating of his asphalt shingles, his color scheme improved significantly and he could focus on more important home improvements, such as his siding.
The Ashland home behind the white picket fence is the project where a customer expressed a creativity in a color scheme. Anyone facing the decision on roof color might enjoy her Virginia tin roofing color story
The Civil War town of Manassas is home to two projects in recent years. The first project was a tin shingle structure with leakage problems. The first year we resolved the leaks; the following year we continued with completing the work with a slate grey finish. The second project was owned by a world traveler. Whenever we were working there, he seemed to be on another continent.
Finally just north and west of Washington is this stately brick structure. The couple renovated the entire structure, then moved out!! They claimed since they were unable to evict their grown children, they decided to leave....I am sure there is more to the story. Seriously, this couple taught me another lesson about color selection: the husband wished the red roof was darker than the bricks; the wife thought the choice looked fine. The lesson: just present the color choices and then....keep quiet.
Virginia boasts its fair share of mansions. Below is a favorite.
Tara II(my designation), located near Charlottesville, is a perfect example of blending a stately old mansion with a modern addition. On the roof, we coated the new metal roof to blend with the fully reinforced vintage roof. (place link to photos)
Each project in Virginia offers a new opportunity to improve our abilities to work with owners in preserving their existing metal roofing.
** copied from http://wiki.monticello.org/mediawiki/index.php/Roofing, an article on Jefferson's interest in roofing
If you are seeking an experienced company to offer an estimate to preserve your existing roof, one of us would be delighted to visit your residence, discuss the alternatives available and, if requested, submit a quote for restoring your tin roofs. Click here for a map of our geographical work area.
Beyond information about our contracting services, this site is designed for individuals interested in tin roofs--photos, technical tidbits and history. These web pages are prepared by the same contractor that specializes in the restoration of these tin roofs. She enjoys dabbling in website construction, therefore photos and articles are simply presented. All pictures are from Roof Menders projects, the same contractor. If you have questions, just call 610-941-1051 for a chat.