Publications by New England Metal Roof

Tin Roof Basics – Traditional Tin vs. Modern Steel

Intro

The old tin roofs you may remember are not the same as the contemporary metal roofs.

Old handcrafted Tin Roof

Modern steel roofing

If you are planning on building a new house or just re-roofing your existing home then I would urge you to consider using modern steel roofing. I live in a house that has a modern version of the old corrugated tin roof and I will share with you some of the reasons why I chose this type of roofing over all the others.

Before I start let me first dispel a myth. “Tin roofs” or “iron roofs” are not made out of sheet iron coated with tin any more! They are made out of high tensile steel with modern, hi-tech, surface protection coatings that are a combination of zinc and aluminum alloys. They are manufactured around the world under license from the US Galvalume Company.

  • Strength. I live in a tropical area in Northern Australia and along with my family I experienced an intense cyclone (Tracy, 1974) that was the equal to or even stronger than hurricane Katrina, (if that is possible) .It may be that we have to go through a similar ordeal again but I honestly feel that we have learned from the past and are now building much safer houses. I have absolutely no doubt that the modern steel roofing that we use today is among the strongest of roofing materials. That is why I choose it to protect my family. A recurring story from all of the ones that I have heard from many cyclone survivors was that they were doing OK; “until the roof started lifting”, and then the house disintegrated.

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Curved Steel Roof

Curved Steel Roof - Provides Excellent Hurricane protection Source Builder Bill

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With the current concerns about extreme weather events that may be brought on by global warming, I feel that there is nowhere in the world that would not benefit from stronger modern building materials.

  • Cost Effective. I am not saying that a modern steel roof is necessarily the cheapest product, but what I am saying is that you will be getting the best value for your money with the modern steel roofing. Look at all the large industrial buildings in our cities and towns. From warehouses to sports stadiums. Many of them are roofed with metal. There is a huge and competitive manufacturing industry geared up to creating products to roof large buildings. Guess what, you the home owner can take advantage of the economies of scale that this industry provides.
  • Versatility. From vertical to almost flat; steel roofing can handle any slope of roof.
    If you want a really different look then why not try curves in the roof?
    Do you want to match a particular color scheme? No problems as there are a huge range of standard colors available.

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Steel Roof awnings over walls and windows for energy conservation.

Steel Roof awnings over walls and windows for energy conservation. Source Builder Bill

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  • Lightweight. Modern steel roofing is very light in weight, so it does not impose any extra dead weight loadings on the supporting structure.

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Standing Seam Metal Roof

Standing Seam Metal Roof

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  • Long Lasting Fixed correctly this type of roofing can be expected to last up to 50 years. In harsh environments, say within two miles of the coast or in areas prone to chemical attack then this figure will have to be reduced, but many manufacturers provide thicker sheets and special coatings for these different conditions. In my experience building beach front houses most people opt for the cheaper cost of standard sheets and coatings, and accept that after 30 years or so they may have to do a re-roofing job.

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Pergola Steel Roof

Pergola Steel Roof Source Builder Bill

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  • Fire Resistant. In some areas this would have to be the main reason to choose a metal roof. If you live in a fire prone area then resistance to fire would have to be a primary concern, and once again think about the possibility of fires due to future climatic changes.

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Steel Roof Carport

Steel Roof Carport Source Builder Bill

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  • Ease and Speed of Fixing. In re-roofing situations particularly, but also with new work, the speed of getting a metal roof fixed is second to none. There is less chance for adverse weather to affect the building. I have re-roofed classroom blocks to a high school where there was almost no interruption to the day to day activities in the school. We were able to strip off the old roofing, upgrade the structure and fix the new roofing on a daily basis. This ease of fixing steel roofing obviously has savings in labor costs to the customer.

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Steel Roof Deck

Steel Roof Deck - In Australia they call it Veranda Source Builder Bill

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2 thoughts on “Tin Roof Basics – Traditional Tin vs. Modern Steel

  1. Pingback: Benefits of Tin Roofing | Alternative Energy Blog

  2. Alex

    Great article. Thank you very much for the post. The metal roofing is the most used at the moment in Australia along with the Metal Tile roofing systems supplied by Coroofs (see more at http://www.coroofs.com.au)

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