There’s a few good reasons as to why metal roofing is popular for industrial buildings. One is economy. Another one is longevity. A third one is the amount of recyclable material. Should a metal roofing installation need replacement, the metal can be recycled. Fourthly, its flexibility. Not only pitched roofs, but also barrel roofs, flat roofs, gambrel roofs… the possibilities are endless.
Metal roofing was first used in 27 BC with the first version of the Rome Pantheon being decked with a copper roof. In 3 BC, copper roof shingles were used on the Lovamahapaya Temple in Sri Lanka.
Today, copper is chosen for its lightweight yet sturdy nature. Its longevity is exceptional, thanks to a patina that is formed by the copper. It is low maintenance, has low thermal movement, protects against lightning and is excellent for radio frequency shielding.
Since the industrial revolution, metal roofing rose in popularity. As well as the copper domes and spires seen on cotton mill water towers and church spires, the ‘tin roof’ rose in popularity. Sheds, factory buildings, football stands, barns, and warehouses. Corrugated galvanised steel was an early material of choice. At one time, such roofs were insulated with asbestos. Today you can now get profiles for asbestos insulated roofs.
The corrugated roof of 2016 is a far cry from the one of 1946. ‘Tin roofs’ are associated with prefabricated post-war housing, but today’s tin roofs are sleek. The corrugated metal spacing has shied away from the crinkly tin look (though you can still go for that look anyway). You also see them used on many public buildings – even schools, police stations, and bus stations – as well as industrial units.
Metal roofing has a long shelf life. Typically, roofs are guaranteed for 50 years, though have been known to last for 100 years or more. They are also low maintenance and, if you can forgive the noise they create on a rainy day, offer good protection against the elements.
KC Smith Industrial Roofing and Cladding, 21 November 2016.