zinc roofing * part 1

One of the things we knew going into this house purchase was that the roof was in need of a replacement. Looking back on old articles about the house, it was rumored to be copper. Someone was once quoted stating that if they could not pay their mortgage, the roof could be torn off and sold for cash. It is, in fact, stamped tin, and the homeowners would have been really sad to find that out after they ripped it off to sell.

In my dreams, I envision calling a roofer, and a few hours later they show up like Fabio, hair flowing in the breeze, brandishing a portfolio of all the materials I can choose from. In reality, most roofers can offer you the standard asphalt, and if you want to get crazy, some metal. If and when they do show up, they will take top secret measurements that they wont share with you. They will tell you that if you want to know anything other than what they offer, you will need to contact an engineer, and they don’t happen to know any off hand.


Initially I had settled on a slate with copper accents. Our city code states that you can only be permitted to replace the roof with 10% above the current roofing material weight unless you want a full report from an engineer to support (no pun intended) the new material. We finally tracked down a nice structural engineer slate, even the thin new lightweight product, was out. Copper is amazing, but in the dry high dessert climate it turns an ugly penny at best, no Lady Liberty Green here.

So, in walks zinc. A raw metal that will patina, and graces most of the buildings in Paris. How could something so timeless and beautiful be wrong? It comes in varying stages of patina and shingle options, and it is self healing! It will literally mineralize it’s own scratches. It checks all the boxes!

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