The Complete History of Metal Roofing
- On October 5, 2021
The practical importance of a roof on any building cannot be overstated. The roof protects the integrity of the structure, be it a home, commercial, industrial, or public building, and protects the inhabitants and their belongings. In addition to its practical purpose, the metal roofing profile also adds an aesthetic look that completes and complements any design.
Metal roofing is a true product of the industrial revolution and has significantly impacted the roofing and construction industries at key points throughout history. Many architects who helped shape early Canadian and American architecture preferred metal roofs, so it is not uncommon to come across many historic buildings that feature them. Understanding how metal roofing has evolved from then until now can help you decide if one is right for you.
How Has Metal Roofing Evolved Over the Years?
The first instances of the use of metal in roofing date back to the 1700s, when copper and lead were the main choices. Throughout the years, the available metals and preferences have evolved.
Copper roofing with standing seams was used on notable architectural projects like the Christ Church in Philadelphia, built in 1727. Copper roofing with flat seams was used to create many cupolas and domes. All the copper sheeting used in North America was initially imported from England until rolling facilities were built in America.
Developed during the American Revolutionary War by Robert Morris for use in his mansion in Philadelphia, sheet metal roofing gained popularity in the 19th century. It was the first metal to be made in American rolling facilities. It grew in popularity after being used to replace the roof of Princeton’s Nassau Hall in 1802. This metal was used for roofs with gentle inclines or domes, where tiles or clay would not maintain the correct shape or stay in place.
In 1829, corrugated iron was patented in England. The corrugation gave stiffness to the metal sheets used in sheet metal roofing and allowed them to cover a greater area and use lighter frames. This helped to reduce the time needed for installation and lowered labour costs.
More commonly known as tin roofing, this was used throughout Canada in the 18th century. Later, Thomas Jefferson became an advocate of tin roofing in the United States. He used tin for the roof of the Monticello in Virginia. Since tinplate was lightweight, low-maintenance, and relatively inexpensive, it remained popular throughout the 19th century.
This roofing material was first developed in France in 1837. By galvanizing metal with zinc, it offered protection from rust. Zinc was later used for train sheds, post offices, government buildings, and factories. In 1857, one of the first metal roofs in the south was installed on the U.S Mint in New Orleans. The galvanized and corrugated iron sheets added a ‘fireproof’ element to the structures they were used on.
Current Trends in Metal Roofing Preferences
The early applications of metal in roofing primarily used tin, copper, and lead. Today, most metal roof panels are made of steel and are put through a meticulous and rigorous series of paint coating tests, weather durability tests and more. These scientific evaluations help metal roofing experts improve the system to make it even better for generations to come. This continued pursuit of improvement has propelled metal roof panels to be a popular choice for homeowners.
Benefits of Using Metal Roofing for Your Home
Metal roofing is an alternative to traditional asphalt shingles. Although steel roof panels are the most popular, metal roof panels can be made from tin, zinc, aluminum, and hybrid metal mixtures. Installing a metal roof also provides many advantages for your home:
Metal Roofs are Cost-Effective
While the initial cost of a metal roof is higher than that of an asphalt shingle roof, a metal roof provides a better long-term value. In addition to having a lifespan 3 to 4 times longer than a shingled roof, it also has very minimal maintenance requirements or repair needs, making it a more cost-effective option.
They are Resistant to Hail, Wind, Mould & Fire
Most asphalt roofs offer very little fire resistance and can be easily damaged during high winds and hail. In contrast, metal roofs can remain intact during strong winds and withstand damage from fire and hail. Your metal roof will not become the point of ignition or add fuel to a fire and will still look good and function perfectly after a hailstorm.
Most metal roofing systems have the highest hail resistance certification of UL Class 4 impact resistance. This means that it can withstand even the most severe hailstorms with only minor aesthetic damage. Metal roofs are also wind resistant up to 190 kph and are not susceptible to mould, mildew, rot, or other damaging natural factors.
They’re Energy Efficient
Metal roofing offers as much as a 40% reduction in energy costs during the summer and up to 15% reduction in the winter. This is due to the roof’s ability to reflect the sun’s heat during the hot months, keeping the home’s interior more comfortable. They also are excellent at keeping heat inside during the winter.
They Boost Your Home’s Value
Installing a metal roof is an investment into your property and has been shown to increase a home’s value by up to 6%. On top of that, many homeowners can expect to recoup between 85% and 95% of the cost of the metal roof when selling.
Metal Roofing Systems are Long Lasting
Your roof is the home’s first line of defence against the elements. As a petroleum product, asphalt begins to deteriorate once installed due to heat and weather damage and thus needs to be replaced every 10-20 years. In contrast, metal roof panels are considered lifetime systems and can last for decades.
They Offer Excellent Protection
The primary objective of any roof is to protect the structure. Metal roofs are perfect for this for a few reasons. Metal roofs are approximately 50% lighter than shingles which improves the structural integrity of the home. They also have a class A fire rating, ensuring they protect your home in case of an accident. This is particularly beneficial in wildfire-prone areas. It is also great for subdivisions where homes are often close to one another, as the risk of fire spreading is decreased with metal roofing.
They are Aesthetically Pleasing
In addition to offering protection, reliability, and durability, the metal roofing profile adds an aesthetic appeal to any home. A metal roof can complement your home’s exterior in a way that enhances the appearance of your property without compromising its structural integrity.
They Can Be Installed Over an Existing Roof
If you are replacing an asphalt shingle roof, you can save some money by installing the new metal roof over the existing one. This is assessed on a case-by-case basis, and your roof will need to be inspected to be sure it is a good option for you. By installing over the existing roof, you will save money on the labour of removing the shingles and disposing of them. In addition, you will avert the shingles from landfills.
Get Affordable & Reliable Metal Roofing Solutions from Us
Ironclad offers high-quality, reliable steel roofing solutions and services suitable for your unique needs and location. We take great pride in the thousands of projects we have completed over the years, and our clients are the first to vouch for our products and services. Give your home a timeless elegance and protection to last a lifetime by installing a steel roof from Ironclad Roofing. Get in touch with us today and let us discuss the metal roofing profile that is ideal for your project.
What We Can Offer
In addition to the high-quality metal roofing products we offer, we also take extra steps to ensure that the service adheres to the benchmark we have set for ourselves over our 25 years of operation. Every team member is extensively trained and certified in all technical areas as well as soft skills like customer service, ensuring any customer interaction is friendly, professional, and respectful.
Comprehensive Warranty Coverage
Our word is our bond, and we fully stand behind our work when we say that ours is a lifetime roof solution. For this reason, we provide an industry-benchmark 50-year fully transferable warranty.
Reliable Solution & Free Estimates
Steel roofing has proved to be a leading roofing solution, and when properly installed, it will be the only roof you will ever need. At Ironclad, we take great personal pride and responsibility in every project we undertake and would personally recommend our products and services to our closest friends and family. You do not just get a lifetime roofing solution from us but also a lifetime roofing partner, so you never have to worry about your roof again. Get a free estimate for your project today.