7 Reasons to Consider Zinc Roofing for Your Next Project

7 Reasons to Consider Zinc Roofing for Your Next Project

When it comes to protecting the value of a building and its contents, the roof is one of the most important components. A roof that is damaged or leaking can cause considerable amounts of structural damage, property damage or even health problems, and a damaged roof can be difficult, expensive and time-consuming to repair. That is why it is extremely important to use quality materials when designing and installing a roof system, reducing the amount of repairs and maintenance required in the future as well as maximizing the life of the roof.

When it comes to longevity and flexibility, few materials can outperform zinc roofing. Like other metals, it is extremely durable, malleable and attractive, but it is less prone to corrosion than steel and it requires little maintenance.

Here are a few reasons to use zinc roofing for your next construction project:

1) Zinc is Durable

A roof can be expensive and labor-intensive to repair or replace, especially on larger and taller buildings. By investing in long-lasting, low-maintenance materials from the beginning, the long-term costs of maintaining the roof can be significantly reduced. Materials such as asphalt shingles or built-up roofs must be replaced every 10 to 30 years because the materials will eventually break down due to heat, sun damage, natural expansion and contraction. Steel and other metals can last for many decades, but steel will eventually corrode and materials like copper and aluminum may be cost prohibitive compared to their expected lifespans.

Zinc roofing, however, is naturally corrosion resistant, extremely strong and, when installed correctly, it can last for 50-100 years. Zinc’s durability and resilience are attributable to a natural chemical reaction that occurs in the presence of carbon dioxide. A thin protective coating, or patina, of zinc hydroxicarbonate is formed when the metal is exposed to the air, inhibiting corrosion and granting the metal self-healing properties if it is scratched. This patina protects the zinc from corrosion, which greatly reduces the lifespan of steel and other metals, and it gives it a unique appearance that is highly sought after.

2) Zinc Can Be Curved or Formed

Most roofing materials, like shingles or steel sheets, are designed to be installed on flat surfaces, and will not perform properly on curved or rounded roof structures. This can severely limit the design of a building, forcing it to use conventional construction techniques and denying it a unique appearance.

With zinc roofing, however, the design possibilities are far less limited. Zinc is an extremely malleable material, allowing it to easily be shaped or formed to fit around curves, angles or other structural details. This makes it easy to create buildings with complex roof lines, adding visual appeal with multiple layers, curves, and other architectural features.

3) Zinc is Easy to Install

Many conventional roofing systems, like asphalt shingles, rubber or built-up roofs, require significant preparation and labor to install. This significantly increases the costs and the time required to complete the project, and exposes it to possible delays from weather or other unforeseen events.

Zinc roofing is available in a variety of pre-formed sheets and panels that can cover large areas quickly, and with the necessary hardware, the installation process is simple. The hardware allows the sheets to be quickly mounted to the roof while allowing for the natural expansion and contraction of the metal using specially-designed clips and other components. By minimizing the time and labor required for the installation, the costs are significantly reduced.

4) Zinc Roofing is Available in Many Colors and Finishes

Zinc roofing panels are manufactured in several distinct shades that can be used to give a building a fresh, modern appearance or to add a distinguished, weathered look that mimics the natural aging process of zinc.

Highlighting the existing texture and grain of the original material, the standard light gray finish preserves the natural beauty and color of zinc while long-lasting durability. With a slightly darker shade that mimics the patina formed by age and the elements, the medium-gray shade offers a distinct weathered look, while the darkest shade, nearly black, produces a deep multi-dimensional surface with a subtle shine that provides a perfect contrast to lighter materials.

Zinc roofing is available in several styles, from shingle-like diamond panels to long, standing seam panels with optional surface textures and several ridge styles. A durable and versatile, roofing solution, zinc panels can be used for nearly any style of commercial, industrial or residential building, and they are equally at home in both urban and rural areas.

5) Zinc is Lightweight

Compared to other materials like steel or asphalt shingles, zinc is very light for its strength and durability. This means that the underling roof structure can be lighter and less complex, reducing material and labor costs, and it reduces the cost of shipping the materials to the site. It also makes moving and handling the materials easier during installation, reducing worker fatigue and minimizing lifting-related injuries.

6) Zinc Is Sustainable

Materials like asphalt shingles are extremely energy-intensive to produce, using significant amounts of petroleum products, and at the end of their usable life, more often than not, they end up in a landfill. Not only does this waste energy, especially when their short lifespan is considered, but it can also lead to significant amounts of pollution and environmental damage.

Like other metals, zinc is extremely recyclable. At the end of its useful life, zinc roofing can be removed and brought to an appropriate recycling facility, where it can be broken down and reprocessed into the raw materials for other zinc-based products, such as new roofing materials, batteries, plumbing fixtures or guardrails. The energy required to recycle zinc is only about a fifth of that required to mine and process new zinc deposits, and recycling creates far less pollution than mining.

7) Runoff from Zinc Roofing is Non-Toxic

Clean, fresh water is a limited resource, and roofing materials like asphalt tend to leech potentially-dangerous chemicals into the groundwater. Such roofs are not suitable for rainwater collection systems, which are becoming more popular in arid areas like the Southwest.

Most zinc roofing materials are safe to use for rainwater collection because they do not produce toxic runoff, making zinc an environmentally-friendly choice.

With a long lifespan, reduced maintenance, simple installation and plenty of versatility, zinc roofing is a great choice for just about any building project, commercial or residential, rural or urban. It offers a unique appearance, with built-in corrosion and damage resistance, and it is both sustainable and environmentally friendly.