Origin, Decline, and Revival of Metal Roofs

Brown metal roof in Rhode Island

Contrary to popular belief, at least in southern New England, metal roofs are as old as time. You may think of them as the newest products on the market, but they’ve actually dominated the global architectural landscape for centuries.

To appreciate the advantages of having a metal roof, Classic Metal Roofs shares a glimpse of its long, decorated history:

First Love of Ancient Architects

Metal, particularly copper, has been the roofing material of choice for the most iconic structures ever built. Copper was utilized as a roof covering for Sri Lanka’s Lovamahapaya Temple in the 3rd-century B.C., while the Romans crowned the Pantheon with the same material in 27 B.C.

Copper, along with its alloys, remained influential in global architectural trends, becoming integral in European medieval structures. Kronbog and Hildesheim Cathedral are two of the more popular sites that famously boast head-turning copper roofs.

Ancient Egyptians and Babylonians used the earliest forms of aluminum. In Israel, a gold-leafed aluminum metal roof protects its world-renowned religious site, the Dome of the Rock. Zinc, although relatively new, was utilized by European architects for nearly 300 years. Actually, many historical buildings, especially in Germany, sport zinc roofing systems.

Despite not having the benefit of cutting-edge manufacturing techniques and advanced coatings, metal roofs of the Classical Age have proven to last for centuries.

Slight Dip in Popularity

Over time, newer roofing materials challenged metal’s dominance. Experienced metal roofers wouldn’t deny that asphalt shingles have been covering the most homes in America for decades. The relatively economical price of asphalt roofing products won many homeowners over. Metal, like other premium products, lost some of its market share to less costly options.

Back to the Limelight

The 21st-century saw metal roofing systems regaining their mainstream status. Recent research shows that the market share of metal roofing jumped to 14% between 2015 and 2016, inching closer to asphalt shingles’ spot, and has become the fastest growing segment in the residential market.

Thanks to the growing awareness of the virtues of improved energy efficiency, metal currently enjoys the renewed interest in it. Homeowners are beginning to appreciate the all-around advantage of the three architectural metals used in residential roofing, aluminum, copper and zinc.

The standing seam metal roof is one of the many kinds that has taken America by storm with its modern look and excellent weather resistance. Also, many metal roofing shingle products take the form of shakes and slates to emulate the appearance of the real materials.  These products are far more realistic than their asphalt counterparts.

Metal offers a unique set of advantages as a roofing material, and history has shown that it indeed stands the test of time. To learn about the best metal roofing solutions, call Classic Metal Roofs at (866) (866) 660-6668 today. We’ll be happy to set up an appointment and provide you with a free estimate we have 4 offices to better serve our regional market in CT, RI, MA, and southern NH. We are now servicing the nearby areas of Westchester County NY and Coastal ME.

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