Making a Statement with Zinc Roofing

If the goal is to have your home or buildings make an architectural impact, then moving beyond ordinary roofing materials and practices is a must. In areas where traditional asphalt shingles dominate the roofing market, switching to a metal roof can often make a statement. To take metal roofing to the next level, zinc roofing is the clear choice.

Metals can be broken down into two categories: natural and painted. In this article, I’ll be highlighting natural metals – specifically zinc. Natural metals are either pure or alloyed and weather according to the environment in which they’re exposed. Often considered a “living” material, zinc forms a protective outer layer, or crust, called the ‘patina’. An interesting fact about zinc is that it’s a ‘self-healing’ material – that’s right – it heals itself when scratched by forming (or re-forming) the patina through wetting and drying cycle, so that the scratch blends, and eventually disappears.

What contributes to zinc’s overall appeal?

  • It’s (very) long-lasting; when properly installed, a zinc roof can last 80 years.
  • It’s low-to-no-maintenance.
  • It’s environmentally friendly; and infinitely recyclable – without loss of properties and, unlike other roofing materials, zinc will not end up in a landfill.
  • Its unique ability to look great on any type of architecture: from Traditional to Modern and everything in between.

Zinc roofing can provide an architectural aesthetic that few other materials can achieve.

the zinc patination process 

This image above shows the patination process under 30 times magnification. It can take 5 months to 5 years for a roof to patina and will depend on the micro-climate that it resides.

church reutlingen germany zinc roof 

This church above, in Reutlingen, Germany only needed a partial re-roof after 120-years of service.

zinc prePATINA blue-grey 

Both images are homes with standing seam roofs in prePATINA blue-grey – same application; very different looks.

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Charles McGowan

About Charles McGowan

Charles “Chip” McGowan has been the President of RHEINZINK America, Inc. since 2010. Having been involved with the distribution of natural metals for over 30 years, Chip’s specialty is in manufacturing, sales, and technical advisement. As an advocate for metal building, Chip is a member of the Metal Construction Association (MCA). Connect with Chip on LinkedIn and to learn more about RHEINZINK, please visit:

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