Five alternatives for your old tin shingle porch

This page is for owners of front porch tin shingle situations where leaking, rusting and aging are forcing a decision about what to do.

Usually, owners of vintage homes want to preserve their embossed tin shingle, including their porch surfaces.

For most traditional shingle roof owners, there are no readily available modern metal shingles that will match the size, texture and shadowing of the ancestors’ style dating from 1870 to 1930.

For these owners of homes with embossed metal shingles, the porch is usually the most challenging. The porch area tends to be the most trampled. Understandably, painters have placed ladders on the porch surfaces. Or children have played on them. As a result, damaged porch tin shingles are a common occurrence.

Few of the 100 to 150 year old shingles are still in existance. It is not uncommon to see a home with an attractive upper slanted roof with the old shingles, then discover the porch roof has been replaced. When maintenance is due on metal shingle roofs, the porch roof may be handled differently than upper roofs because of excessive damage.

It is important to balance price as well as appearance to resolve the most practical approach.

Here are five solutions:

1. Fully reinforce existing shingles

When a porch roof is this damaged, leading to leaks inside the house, most homeowners prefer a “new” project, but not always. One front porch surface received the fully reinforced treatment; not a common approach but is an alternative worth knowing about.

This link to repair of metal porch shingles near Washington DC is an excellent example where fully reinforcing the worn, leaking shingles worked well. The owner was able to balance the demands of the local historical society with her own limited budget at that time. In addition the roof leaked into the living room. Plus her gutters were hardly the recommended type for metal roofing.

2. Traditional standing seam panels

The reasons are obvious: Both standing seam and shingles are traditional metal styles dating to the same period after the Civil War to post World War I. The styles are different, but seem to complement each other quite attractively. The cost of this approach is less expensive than new metal shingles.

Often these standing seam roofs just require a simple refresher coating. If more work is needed, then the fully reinforce choice is available.

3. Coat existing asphalt shingles

If modern asphalt shingles have already been installed as a solution, every owner will agree the overall house appearance is usually undesirable. On these porches, where tin shingles are visible on other roofs, the least expensive approach may be to coat the porch asphalt shingles with the same acrylic tint as the rest of the metal tin shingles. The color ties in the different roofs. The slant of the porch mutes the impact of those unsightly asphalt things.

4. Smooth rolled roofing receives a coating

Like the above suggestion, coating a mineral treated or rubberized flat rolls will tie in the color scheme. In addition, the coating prevents early aging of the rolled roofing for the former front porch metal shingle area. One other advantage,is the cost factor. When faced with many expensive projects around the old house, this approach buys many years of timing before deciding on a long term solution.

5. New metal shingles for porch areas

The most expensive choice are new metal shingles, usually from Berridge. Although the size and appearance do not completely match, the slant of the porch roof helps overcome any visual difficulties. A customer from Clifton Forge, VA, forwarded an email with helpful advice if you select this route