tin roof

scrynOctober 10, 2005

Hi, does anyone have a tin metal roof? Our old farmhouse used to have one but now we have shingles (blah)

I was just wondering, how much does a tin roof cost now a days? In a few years we need a new roof and we were thinking about replacing it with a tin one.

Anyone have one ? What do you like/dislike about it? I know they used to cost more than a shingle roof, but now I wonder how different the price is really. (because of the increase in oil-products) We would have to totally remove all our roof layers anyways (we know we have at least two layers and according to state law we can't have more than that, nor would we want to).


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First, what we always called "tin roofs" were almost never tin, but terne, a metal (usually steel) coated with terne, an alloy of mostly lead with a little tin added.

I've had such roofs before. They are about as durable, if not more so, than composite shingle roofs. If the ceiling is not well insulated, it's a nice sensation to listen to rain or sleet hitting the roof.

Prices for metal roofs will vary by location. Most modern "tin roofs" are standing seam steel roofs, though corrugated and metal shingle roofs are available. To more accurately estimate your price, use the online calculator below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Roofing estimate calculator

    Bookmark   October 10, 2005 at 5:35PM
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We do they say they last a lifetime.I like mine.When youre in bed early morning when its raining is soo peaceful,I was told firemen dont like them because they cant pull off like a regular roof to get to fire.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2005 at 7:12PM
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I heard that they can last 80 years. Doesn't that make them much better than shingle roof (30yrs about) ?
We have an insulated attic so I am not sure if we would hear the rain.
The thing that I am most interested in with the metal roof is the snow shedding. We get so much snow where I live and we always have to be concerned with removing the snow or ice dams. Our roof is very pitched however when we get alot of snow that stays on there for a while. We go out and roof rake it off.
bulldinkie: I think the firemen wouldn't like our roof anyways. It has so many layers right now that they wouldn't be able to get through it!
I would think that metal roofs would be safer because they are not flammable.
Mmmmm I wonder if houses with metal roofing get hit by lighting more often?!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 9:34AM
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The problem with the metal and fires is a usual roof burns ,falls away the metal doesnt.It keeps fire in to do more damage they said.
We put standing seam on barn old and new barn,house.We have lightening rods on barns but OI dont think they would getstruck just because theyre metal.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 12:49PM
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I live in a 1880 Victorian Italianate home. It has the ORIGINAL metal (used to call them tin) roof on it. It was a MAJOR consideration when purchasing the house because I thought there was NO WAY IN H--- that this roof was still good. Well, guess what? It's still on and we've had many people come look at it and say it has been well-maintained and is in good shape. No need to replace. We do have it coated with a sealer every few years, but other than that, it has been better than shingles which was put on an addition we have at the back of the house.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 12:52PM
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Aloha Renee,

Well, we have the the new tin roof which is made of thinner gauge metal and will probably only last twenty years or so. The old heavy gauge galvanized tin metal roofs lasted for a lot longer, but they are hard to find now. They are also a lot heavier when you are pulling the tin up to the roof, too. Harder to get the screws started in, too. But once it is done, it will stay done for three times longer.

They sell the tin roofing by so much per foot and each length will cover a strip two feet wide (the tin is wider, but with the overlaps, the covered area is two feet). Most of the strips go from the peak of the roof to the eaves, so there isn't much overlapping along the length direction.

Our neighbors house burned last weekend and they had a tin roof. The fire fighters never went up on the roof and the roof bent and sagged after the rafters below it burned. It might slow the fire down if it doesn't get holes to let air through? It probably doesn't really matter - there are many and much better ways to fireproof your house than what type of roofing you select.

As far as choosing tin over shingles, nobody thinks about it around here. All the roofs are tin. I think mostly because houses used to be built with rafters four feet apart, purlins at twenty four inches on center then the tin on top. There was a ceiling below that, usually made of a weird fiberboard called "canak" and that was it. Shingles have to have some sort of support under them which would weigh more and you'd need bigger rafters than two by fours. This was up until the fifties or so, now roofs are built differently, but everyone still uses the tin roofs so they will fit in with the neighborhood.

A hui hou,

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 4:43AM
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I grew up in a house where the original slate roof was replaced with a tin roof around 1920.

It was still in excellent condition when my parents moved out, but did need a little resealing in the one valley.

I drove past the place a few months ago, and the house is now wearing composite shingles.

I can only imagine what line of absolute BS the roofing company fed the new owners to get them to reroof that house.

It was a huge house, nearly 6K square feet, so I can only imagine what that roofing job cost.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 11:14AM
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The problem with the metal and fires is a usual roof burns ,falls away the metal doesnt.

Modern composition shingles are supposed to be fireproof in order to meet codes. Old shingles and shakes might burn, but modern ones aren't supposed to.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 3:10PM
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We are looking for the old corrugated metal type roofs to put on our rustic maple sugar house. We cant seem to find anyone who sells this anymore. Does anyone know where we could get this? The nice metal roofs they sell now are a bit more expensive than we would like and the corrugate plastic/fiberglass stuff probably isnt a good idea with the ashes that come down from the stove pipe.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 9:34PM
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I would try a farmer's supply type place. Or, talk to a tractor dealereship, they may know who sells the corrugated galvanized metal roofing.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 11:18PM
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Hardware stores still sell that stuff in our area. They are not selling it there by you?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 8:29AM
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I am in Massachusetts i had one installed. it looks great but it was certainly more costly than your epdm roofing system or asphalt but the material last a lot longer this roofing company out of Boston did ours. The name is David Ness and did a great job and i would recommend them - thanks, tommy

Here is a link that might be useful: roofing

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 8:40PM
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Modern asphalt shingles are not "fireproof" nor do they contribute to the fire-resistance rating of a structural element, but they are manufactured with different mineral granule surfaces that resist external fire exposure to differing degrees. They carry a Class A, B or C fire rating, with Class A providing the greatest fire resistance. These fire ratings are determined by test methods described in ASTM E108. Asphalt shingles and other roofing systems are not rated for fire exposure from inside a building.

The original early 19th century "tin" roofs were made of sheets of iron dipped in hot tin. This kind of roofing was often referred to as "bright tin" to distinguish it from the lead-tin coated version called "terne" (which means "dull"in French). One of the important qualities of terne was that it was an excellent base for paint.

I don't know if anyone still makes terne coated steel roofing but there would be little reason to use it because the modern more environmentally friendly higher performance substitute is a 50% Tin/50% Zinc (TZ Alloy) coating applied to carbon steel, stainless steel, or copper. Follansbee calls its steel version Terne II and their s.s. version TCS II. Revere calls its copper version Freedom Grey. Of course, these roofing systems are generally well beyond the budgets of most homeowners.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 8:34PM
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"ZT Alloy" is a trademark of Follansbee. They license the process to Revere and others.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 7:26AM
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my suggestion is that you be sure to put 5" eavestrough on, though. The rain comes off the roof more quickly than from a shingle roof, and will over-shoot the 4" trough that contractors put on unless you know better.
Too late, I know better.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 10:11PM
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The metal roof is much preferred in hurricane country. My insurance company will give a discount on homeowners if we put a metal roof on our house. So far, this roof is holding up okay, but if it gets damaged by wind, we will change to metal.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 2:36PM
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