Roofing is part of the architectural character of any structure. The roof creates an immediate impression. There’s nothing like a home with a dilapidated room to make you immediately suspect of the quality of that home and fear its impending collapse. A beautiful sleek metal roof is the darling of the roofing industry. Thanks to advances in material, today’s roofs offer a much more secure shelf life than they did in the past. During the days of wooden shingles, there was not much security. The last few decades have seen a renewed interest in metal roofing for residential homes. These roofs come with inherent value because of so many great qualities and characteristics. So what makes a home desirable?
A Little Metal History — The Beginnings of Metal Roofs
You may remember the name Paul Revere from history class: the famous patriot and message carrier that was part of an elaborate warning system to announce the incoming British troops. And just like many early American patriots, he was skilled in many crafts. Most people hear the name and think about that famous midnight ride and the oft quoted Longfellow poem that romanticized the moment. Yet, not many people will know that Paul Revere was also a master blacksmith and had a copper business called Revere Copper. The famous messenger had 13 children that he needed to care for after the war and this kept him quite busy. His company lasted through many generations and furnished notable buildings like the White House, United Nations building and the Statue of Liberty.
So what does all this have to do with metal roofs?
Well, it’s really just fun history, but Revere Copper was one of the only companies that, in early American history, was able to provide metal—in this case, copper—roofs. Revere’s company continued producing roofs far after he was gone. Copper roofs installed in the 1700s, like the one on Christ Church in Philadelphia, lasted up to 200 years. It is in Christ Church, it is interesting to note, where most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence are laid to rest. This tells a little bit about the durability of metal as a roof material.
A lot of early metal roofs in America were, in fact, made of copper and lead. They were often used more readily for roofs that were slanted or whose shape was difficult to fit with other materials. As with any war, during the Revolutionary War, there was a lot of innovation happening on many fronts, especially in the area of metal work, as this provided important war front materials. Sheet iron was manufactured in America during this time. Not long after, corrugated metal was patented in England. Corrugation is a process that stiffens the metal sheets and makes it easier to install.
People might be surprised to know that many buildings and structures that are considered historic buildings are constructed with copper, tin, or terne roofing. Thomas Jefferson’s house had a tinplate roof from its initial building in 1770.
Advances in the Use of Metal and Roofing
While there have been advances in material and process, much of the hand tools remain the same today. Improvements in the process include galvanization, which is a process where metal is treated with zinc to prevent rusting. This also made the metal fireproof.
The Composition of Today’s Modern Metal Roofs
For many years, metal roofs meant corrugated panels, which were reminiscent—and not always in the most flattering way—of barn roofs or sheds. Today, the metal roofing industry has materials reminiscent of wood, stone, or clay with a sheer texture of metal. This has completely reinvigorated the metal roof industry.
Generally speaking, metal roofing is made of steel, aluminum, or copper. They are composed of rolls of 24- or 26-gauge steel sheets, which are given a metallic coating to prevent rust. If it’s copper, this means it doesn’t require painting or coating, as it is considered a natural metal product that weathers without corrosion. Steel roofs will be coated with galvanized zinc or a mix of aluminum and zinc. Metal roofing material can be stamped in many shapes and are made in interlocking panels.
The Benefits of Metal Roofing — Everlasting Beauty and Performance
These roofs have made quite a splash in recent decades for various reasons. The benefits of a metal roof are not only aesthetic but practical and performance-related. In a nutshell, a metal roofing is:
- Long-lasting. Longevity is the often cited reason for installing a metal roof. Imagine you have purchased a family home that you hope will be your legacy to your children. Installing a metal roof today means that roof will keep on giving for generations of your family.
- Lightweight. This often makes them easy to install and maintain.
- Very fireproof. They are so fireproof that some insurance companies will even give you a discount for installing one!
- Energy-efficient. The materials make the roof very good at maintaining temperature control and even reflecting sun rays much more effectively.
Thinking About a Metal Roof? Call Us Today.
Here at Smith and Ramirez Roofing, we believe in the positive outcome of investing in metal roofs. Proper installation and quality material will guarantee you many years of loyal service. Want to know more? Call us today!