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Zinc Roofing – a Green Building Material

In Europe zinc roofing enjoys tremendous popularity, protecting well over 60% of residential roofs. In United States zinc roofing was first used in the early 1800s, but it hasn’t gained the same level of popularity as in Europe, where zinc roofing is by far the most popular residential roofing material. In fact, in Paris buildings’ rooftops are still over 80% zinc.

Zinc rooftops in Paris

Zinc as a green building material

Zinc is one of the most environmentally friendly building materials; zinc is 100% recyclable and ecologically friendly throughout its life cycle. This along with its long-term durability qualifies this metal as a green building material. Roofs made with zinc are expected to last 80 to 100 years and even longer, while zinc walls can last anywhere from 200 to 300 years. The unmatched durability of zinc even in harsh climates contributes to its widespread use in Europe. A zinc material requires very little to no maintenance over its life. Its patina constantly renews itself as it weathers and ages, it doesn’t require coating to protect it from corrosion and it does not need to be painted. It will never fade, chip, discolorate or crack. Its color will always be uniform, even as it ages.

Zinc is an environmentally safe building material, and it can be used even for the rainwater collection. Zinc requires only 1/4 of the energy required to produce aluminum, and 33% of the energy to produce the same amount of copper or stainless steel. Zinc contains as much as 45% of post-consumer recycled content. It is 100% recyclable at the end of its service life architectural zinc can be recycled for use on another building.

In the U.S and Canada zinc roofing is predominantly a high-end roofing product. Zinc is beautiful and unique, but it is also more expensive. Zinc offers a look that stands out. It is noninvasive, and its colors blend in beautifully with the building and its surroundings. The beauty of zinc resides in its unique look that makes a statement of unpretentious and undisputed style, and unmatched durability.

Clearly, zinc roofing presents an attractive and stylish roofing option for the owners of high-end homes, as well as anybody who aspires to have a great roof. In fact, high-end homes make up over 80% of the zinc roofing market in the United States, and Canada. But prices of zinc roofing fluctuate constantly and just like with copper, it is important to monitor them.

Financially, zinc roofs fall in the same category as copper roofs. Zinc costs more than aluminum and steel, but it is comparable to the cost of stainless steel and copper roofing. The cost of installing zinc roofing is even higher than that of copper; zinc is a brittle metal that may require preheating the metal before forming. But with all the expense that goes into purchasing the materials and installation, zinc roofing benefits far outweigh the cost of initial investment, and its long life cycle requiring virtually no roof maintenance, makes it a rather attractive high-end roofing option for retrofits, re-roofing, and new construction applications.

In the United States, zinc roofing products are manufactured by Rheinzink – roof coverings.

Rheinzink offers double lock standing-seam system, interlocking tiles systems, Roll Cap system, and stepped roof, an industrial roofing system. Rheinzink is a member of U.S. green building council. Rheinzink zinc building products contain a minimum of 30% post consumer recycled content; contributing to LEED credit.

7 thoughts on “Zinc Roofing – a Green Building Material

  1. Pingback: The Sietch Blog » What is so cool about Metal Roofing?

  2. Pingback: Metal Roofing Blog » Blog Archive » Roofs and common roof types

  3. Stainless Steel Sheet

    Well, for me, it is very nice to use a roofing material that develops a patina with time. Zinc roofing usually starts off shiny, but can be installed with a patina already created. Some sources suggest that this can enhance the longevity of the material by preventing early accelerated corrosion.

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  5. Stainless Steel Metal Sheet

    Zinc moss killers are roof strips used as flashings which also have a decorative function. Zinc is a high quality product which has a very long life, with low or no maintenance, low weight, and easy working. Rolled zinc is the type used for roofing and buildings and it has long been popular in Europe, and many of the old roofs are still in use 150 years later, as zinc was first helped to use for roofing in the 19th century. It is also common government buildings, which are built to last.

  6. Pingback: Residential Metal Roofing Prices - Materials Plus Installation Cost MetalRoof.US - Residential Metal Roofing Alternative for Your Home!

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