Zinc is practical roofing material. But every honest metal supplier would attest that this material not as accessible in the United States as it is in Europe.
The French, in particular, are enamored of zinc roofing. It’s the secret behind the world-famous Parisian rooftops. The “zinc horizon” is so typical of Paris’s iconic skyline the city wants it to receive UNESCO status.
Back in America, few homeowners know what zinc roofs are. And even fewer own them. If you’re planning to buy a new roofing system, zinc is worth your consideration. Below are some of its top advantages.
1. It Can Heal Itself
What separates zinc from most, if not all, metals is its inherent self-healing properties. If scratched, it can correct the damage and restore its structural integrity.
It does sound too good to be true, but it is true. That’s why it practically needs no maintenance.
Don’t take our word for it; you’ve probably heard of zinc’s “regenerative” ability in action before. If you’re familiar with galvanized steel but don’t know what makes it different from regular steel, it’s zinc.
In galvanized steel, a coating of zinc is applied to shield the substrate from the elements and effectively prolong its life.
Zinc is also a component of galvalume. Along with aluminum and silicon, zinc provides a sacrificial layer of protection and prevents the base metal from undergoing oxidation, a chemical reaction that can lead to rust formation.
2. It Doesn’t Pose Any Health Hazard
Zinc has little to no toxicity. Run-off water from this material can contain virtually no contaminants; no wonder why it’s a popular choice for rainwater collection and flashing installation.
Moreover, zinc is proof against mildew and fungus. It could stay damp without increasing your chances of allergen exposure.
Compared to popular but hazardous roofing materials like lead, zinc shares the same level of strength and durability, minus the life-threatening characteristics.
3. It Ages With Grace
Do you know why Paris’s architectural gems also look breathtaking even from a higher vantage point? It’s because of zinc’s patina.
Like copper, zinc changes its color with time. It begins as dark-grayish and then become bluish as it years go by. The metal lends itself to painting if you wish to delay the patination process and manipulate its appearance for some time.
4. Your Great Grandchildren Can inherit it
Zinc’s resilience can translate to more than 100 years of service. It can outgrow you and be one of the things you leave behind to your heirs.
Of course, no roof could last that long without flawless installation and proper maintenance. You ought to hire the most competent crew to make the most out of zinc roofing.
Expert zinc roofers can be hard to come by in the USA. But hopefully, they increase in number sooner rather than later as the demand for metal roofing continues its upward trend.
Zinc is a premium roofing option. It’s not as expensive as copper, but expect to pay more than usual, by metal roof standards. Despite its high cost, zinc’s an excellent choice if you want a “forever” roof that needs minimal upkeep.