A misguided notion that installing a “tin” roof on your house is somehow old fashioned or associated with the unattractive tin roofs on the old rusty barns and industrial warehouses, could not be further from the truth when it comes to modern tin or terne metal roofing.
Tin and Terne metal roofs are some of the oldest, most reputable roofing systems in the world, boasting numerous advantages that are as desirable today as they were centuries ago! In fact, modern tin roof systems offer highly sophisticated and beautiful design options, superior strength and durability, lasting protection, and superior energy efficiency.
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For any homeowner looking to make a lifelong investment in their home, and get the most value for their money, a metal roof aka tin is an obvious choice.
It will cost between $12.50 and $18.50, on average, for a mid-range tin-styled metal roofing system that replicates the look of traditional tin roofing. That said, there are five different tin and terne styled roofing options to consider:
- Terne-coated Stainless Steel (TCSS): $15.50 to $25.50 per sq.ft. installed.
- Zinc coated to replicate the look of tin: $12.50 to $20.50 per sq.ft. installed
- Terne-coated Steel (TCS): $10.00 to $16.50 per sq.ft. installed
- Painted steel or aluminum: $10.00 to $16.50 per sq.ft. installed
- Mill-finished aluminum panels: $10.00 to $16.50 per sq.ft. installed
Where to buy: MetalTech USA is an international company with presence in the US. They carry stainless steel and other coils for standing seam metal roofs.
Local roofing supply warehouses such as ABC or Beacon supply can also help you get some of these sheet metal coils and form or fabricate the panels specifically sized for your roofing project.
ABC and Beacon Supply generally work directly with contractors, so your installer will have to do all the ordering of the panels on your behalf. There are other sheet metal and roofing supply companies you should also explore in your local markets.
Brief History of Tin Roofs
While today, metal roofs are often referred to as “tin roofs”, the reality is that no roofing product has ever been made of pure tin. In Europe metal roofs have been around for centuries, originating in ancient Rome, and were made from copper, lead, and zinc.
Metal panels were produced by heating and hand hammering the metal to a thin sheet. In the 17th century, tin was first used in Bohemia as a coating for rolled steel to prevent rust.
Just before 1800s, “tin” plates, or shingles began to be imported into the US from Wales, where tin was mined. Since initially tin shingles were expensive, and imported, they were not used in residential construction.
However, after the Civil War, tin roofs became more widely used on homes when tin became available as shingles that could be installed with nails.
Tin’s popularity continued to grow due to declining prices, which resulted from replacing pure tin coatings with 65:35 lead to tin alloys. This newly created dull finish became known as “terne” plate. Tin roofs were highly esteemed for their durability in inclement weather, fire resistance, and longevity.
Metals Used in Modern Tin Roofing
Today, home and business owners can enjoy a wide variety of options when it comes to choosing a type of metal they would like to install on their roof. Tin is still available as a coating (combined with lead) on one of several soft metal options, such as steel.
One of the most popular and economical metals is galvanized (G-90) steel, made from alloyed steel with a protective coating of zinc to prevent corrosion. A step up from steel, is aluminum, which naturally resists corrosion and tends to reflect solar radiant heat better than steel.
Homeowners who want to the most durable and long-lasting protection for their roof, can choose to install a copper, or zinc roof. Both are premium metals that cost significantly more than others, but for the price, they offer great curb appeal, superior durability, and can easily last well over 100 years.
Versatile and Attractive
Taking a look at various profiles of modern metal roofs, it becomes clear that there is nothing outdated about them. In fact, contemporary metal roofs are ultra-modern, stylish, and appealing.
Discerning buyers will find a wide variety of designs, colors, and textures that will compliment any type of architecture. Also, metal roofing can be manufactured in traditional vertical/standing seam profiles, or can be made to resemble shingles, cedar shakes, slate, or clay tiles.
Durable and Maintenance Free
Metal roofing systems are highly valued for their durability. They are resistant to cracking, shrinking, warping, curling, splitting, flaking, peeling, breaking, and being damaged by termites.
A metal roof provides superior protection in all types of climates, and is most resistant to freezing and thawing cycles, inclement weather, and natural disasters. It will keep your property safe from fire, hail, wind, heavy rains, snow, and iced dams.
This exceptional durability lends itself to a long, maintenance-free service life of at least 40-50 years. Given that your new metal roof is installed properly to begin with, you will not need to spend any extra money, time and energy on roof maintenance, and costly repairs that are common with asphalt shingle roofs.
Energy and Cost Efficient
While a metal roof initially costs more than asphalt, it is a highly cost-effective investment. Metal roof’s reflective properties allow home and building owners to save between 20% and 40% in annual cooling energy costs, depending on the geographical location.
A metal roof increases the resale value of a residential property, adding about $1.45 per square foot to a home’s overall value. Moreover, recognizing a metal roof’s superior durability, many insurance companies give discounts of up to 35% to homeowners whose homes are protected with metal roofing.
For people looking for a “green” roofing material, metal is one of the most environmentally – friendly options. Metal roofs not only add to the home’s overall energy efficiency during their lifetime, they can also be recycled. Residential metal roofing systems are made from at least 30-60% recycled material.
Moreover, being lightweight, metal shingle roofs can often be installed over an existing roof, omitting the need to tear-off and send the old roof as waste to a landfill.
Disadvantages of Metal Roofs
In comparison to other roofing materials, there are relatively few drawbacks to metal roofs. One of the main disadvantages of metal roofs is their relatively high upfront cost.
For people who are not planning to stay in their home for decades, installing a metal roof may not be the most economical option, as they will not realize a quick return on their investment. Another drawback is that dark colors will tend to fade over time, so it is better to go for lighter colors, which will not have this issue.
Additionally, metal roofs tend to expand and contract more than other roofing materials during the thermal cycle. However, properly installed metal roofs have built-in design features to counter this issue. Lastly, it is critical to take extra care when walking on a wet metal roof, as it will get very slippery.
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