Roof Restoration: Highlighting the Elements of Specialty and Commercial Roofs

Specialty Residential Roofing - Close-up view of roof restoration at 7 St.Thomas Street in Toronto, Ontario
Specialty Residential Roofing - Close-up view of roof restoration at 7 St.Thomas Street in Toronto, Ontario

Roof Restoration: Highlighting the Elements of Specialty and Commercial Roofs

Specializing in interior and exterior restoration of heritage sites, Roof Tile Management is committed to maintaining the cultural value of Canada’s most prominent heritage buildings. Heritage buildings are a part of our past and our future. When restored properly, these buildings can remain a cherished part of our lives for years to come.

Heritage Roof Restoration – Starting at the top is the foundation of our business

Striking rooftops can be the first thing you notice about a heritage building. Each rooftop is distinctive; the size, shape and slope of the roof create the building silhouette, while the roofing materials contribute texture and pattern.

Like any repair or restoration on a heritage building, roofing must be considered as part of the whole and when repairing or restoring, you must respect other building design elements like windows, doors and masonry.

Roofing is the foundation upon which Roof Tile Management was built. For the past 35 years we’ve successfully completed hundreds of roofing projects spanning a wide range of building styles, including government buildings, schools, institutions and heritage residential homes.

Roofing Restoration – Critical to preserve your heritage building

A building’s first defense against the weather, roofing must stand up to extreme elements such as the harsh heat of the sun, freezing winter snows, strong winds, hail, heavy rainfall and even lightning. As a result, the roof is typically the first part of any building that needs restoring or replacement.

A working and functional roof prevents water from entering the structure and damaging the interior and foundation of the building. Secure the roof first if you want to ensure that your heritage building is well-protected and secured.

Heritage buildings boast a variety of roofing material like metal, clay or ceramic tiles, or cedar and slate shingles. Because the rooftops on historical buildings are often distinctly-shaped, restorers may need to hand-cut and shape tiles, wood or stone to fit around corners and chimneys when performing roof restorations.

Clay / Ceramic and Concrete Tile Roofing

Because of the variety of shapes, colours and textures, tiles can be a distinctive and decorative roofing material. Terra cotta clay, concrete or ceramic tile roofing is heavier than many roofing materials. As a result, buildings on which these tiles are used require some structural reinforcement.

Clay or ceramic roofing tiles date back to pre-historic times. The material to make clay tiles was abundant and simple to form by hand. While properly-formed clay tiles can have a long life-span, the material can also be fragile, so special care must be taken to preserve and repair the tiles. The distinctive bright-red colour of the clay can fade due to weather conditions, the water absorption is high and the tiles do not always withstand temperature variations well, meaning clay tiles may require ongoing maintenance.

Concrete tiles were developed as an alternative to clay in the late 1800s. Although concrete lacks the bright colour of clay, concrete tiles gained popularity as they reproduced the distinctive patterns of clay tile, with a slightly lower cost and weight. The strength and durability of concrete tiles depends on the quality of the concrete mixture.

Life expectancy if properly maintained: 50 – 80+ years.

Slate Shingles

With a dark, aesthetically-pleasing pattern and detailing, and extremely durable properties, slate is an important design element on many historic buildings, especially church and government buildings.

Used in Canada since the early 1800s, slate shingles are low-maintenance and provide a strong, solid, look to heritage buildings. When installed properly, slate roofs require little maintenance. Natural slate is fire-resistant, frost-resistant, energy-efficient, and has an extremely low water absorption index.

RTM experts work with both natural and synthetic slate to restore the striking appearance and exceptional functionality of slate roofs. Although hand-crafted slate shingles can be expensive to repair and replace, the rewards when they are properly restored can last a lifetime or longer.

Life expectancy if properly maintained: 60 – 125+ years.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are constructed of felt saturated with asphalt, with a coating of ceramic grains. Used in Canada since the 1890s, asphalt shingles were chosen for their relatively low cost and their ability to mimic the look of traditional shingle materials like wood.

Life expectancy if properly maintained: 15 – 25 years.

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