Roofing tin over cedar shakes: New Jersey project in Mt.. Holly



Robin's Nest Restaurant in Mt. Holly, NJOn Main St. in Mount Holly, New Jersey, sits the Robin's Nest Restaurant.. The roofing tin project saved a roof dating back to the Civil War period. In truth, the tin restoration project preserved two roofs: the old standing seam panels plus the cedar shakes underneath.

Advantages to owner for restoration work over replacement:
1. Cost of restoration project totaled less than 50% compared to a new metal roof

2. Restaurant remained open during renovation
3. Restoration meant preserving instead of replacing
4. Traditional appearance was maintained, instead of a new roof look
5. Ten year warranty against leakage is included

As some tin roof owners in New Jersey have discovered, their metal panels were a "reroofing" over the older cedar shake styles. During the mid to late 1800s, this home improvement made sense: local fires were devastating on wooden roofs, tin sheets became reasonable in pricing, and the local home insurance agent offered premium discounts for a metal roof. As one customer told the story, the local insurance agent and roofer were either related by blood or pocketbook.

This roof is one of the originals, as noted by the smaller size tin sheet pieces. In addition to a rough surface, some panel edges had rusted through the metal sheet. For us, this project meant employing extensive work.

Roofing tin over cedar shakes in Mt. Holly View of project before work by Roof Menders

Preparation for panel restoration steps

The crew washed down the roofing surface with clorox and a pressure washer. On this project, the crew kept the scraping of loose debris to a minimum. Note the aging of these panels have created an uneven surface.

As a result, scrapping might weaken the metal thickness. Also, the crew knew that the upcoming restoration steps would smooth out the surface appearance better than scrapping

The primer from Andek Corporation not only retards the rust, but strengthens the metal. For this type of metal panels, only the strongest primer would work

Setup on steep roof that allowed restaurant to contnue to be open Pressure washing loose debris by Roof Menders crew member x Grey primer over some of the roof Example of extremely old crimped standing seam roofing

Repairs were made once the roof surface was cleaned. After the primer was applied, a careful examination of the panels' condition is undertaken to determine if any further repairs were needed. As can be seen on these photos, numerous areas required reinforcement.

Roof Menders crew performed repairs on weak areas of paneling before priming Area primed by Roof Menders Example of repair work <br>
Crew chief inspecting work by his Roof Menders crew members

The all-important base work

As any roofing contractor in this business can tell you, the ability to find a crew that can apply the base work in a roofing tin restoration project is difficult. The embedded mesh has to lay smoothly to avoid wrinkles, yet not too tight since the mesh might snap during curing. These photos make this step look easy, but the ability to expertly handle the mesh is the key to a project's successful well as performance.

A comment about the mesh: The mesh provides the integrity necessary for the long-term performance of the acrylic. The performance not only insures a weatherproof reroof of the metal panels, but the assurance that flaking will not occur. Plus the mesh smooths out the rougher look of the old tin panels, yet retain a matted finish like the older metal roofs.

Base work in red going over gey primed area by Roof Menders crew Closeup of important base work of mesh and coating Over roofing tin mesh is placed over wet coating By brush mesh is embedded into wet base coating Closeup of foundation work that weatherproofs the roof and mutes the imperfections. Another part of roof receives same treatment <pre foundation of roof where extensive repairs had been performed by Roof Menders Upper roof ready for top coats Base work is a crew event in the process requiring three knowledgeable workers

Roof Menders crew humor

An aside: This crew chief knows how to maintain a positive attitude toward the work, even on those hot July days of this project. A game had evolved during previous projects while performing this base work--tossing the mesh roll from the guy working the roof edge to the guy at the roof ridge. Reasons for less-than-perfect catches range from "weak arm", "old eyes", "wind", etc. The roof edge crew member did have every incentive to throw properly since he was earmarked to retrieve the roll. And the roof ridge crew member could exaggerate his prowess in the catch.

 Afterwards, they bragged to me that they never missed a toss on this project.

Roof Menders' crew changes work to a game that requires their skill

Roof edge work illustrates the mesh importance

The handling of the mesh involves a comfort level with handling a flexible material. The work along the roof edges illustrate the expertise of this crew.

Crew chief Lester Mobley determines width needed for inside gutter work Assistant required fr properly proceeding with restoring inside gutter area Roof Menders prepares area for foundation work Mesh is contoured to roofing tin in Mt. Holly restoration project Using your hands:  the only way to assure a contour in detail areas Overlapping recommended for certain parts of the work Mesh is adhered by Roof Menders crew Application is finished with hand brush over roofing tin Area is ready for top coating

Top coats of slate grey acrylic

By the time the crew is applying the two top coats of grey, the project becomes more a painting job.

Roof Menders applies the slate grey top coating: the easy step The easy step of the project, and the most attractive portion Roofing tin takes on the appearance of a traditional panel surface Project coming to a conclusion Back section over pond area

Customer changed her mind

If you are confused about the use of red or grey acrylic in these photos above, there is a simple explanation. After the primer was applied, the owner changed her mind about her final tint preference--not a rusty red, as had been originally planned, but slate grey. In order to keep the crew working while awaiting the replacement grey acrylic, they used some of the rusty red acrylic for base work. The owner explained her decision as follows: The large restaurant with a red roof tended to dominate that Main St. corner; she thought a slate grey roof would blend the building more smoothly into the ambiance of the area.

As on many projects, she illustrated the importance of color selection in a roofing tin restoration project.

The final result was a weatherproof, restored roof overlooking Main St., Mount Holly.

Roof Menders project of slate grey over roofing tin in Mt.Holly, NJ A view of the restaurant from the historical district Closeup of the roofing tin work completed by Roof Menders Bad lightening on the section over the pond Stacks are coated with the same slate grey acrylic from Andek Corporation Example of repair where a chimney was removed Robin's Nest restaurant, renamed by crew to Hornets Nest due to unwelcomed squatters and difficulty of project A well-earned medallion for the resturant owner

Updated photo of restaurant in 2014

Robin's Nest updated 2014

Are you looking for a tin roof contractor?

If you are seeking an experienced company to offer an estimate for the purpose of preserving your existing roof, please contact us. You would discover alternatives available, each with pros and cons. If you request a quote, any restoration work would be performed by my crew.