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Preserving Historic Buildings – The Role of Metal Roof Tiles and Shingles

As an architect, you want to preserve the beauty and character of your historic building. At first, metal roofs may seem like a stretch for pre-modern buildings. However, there is a historical precedent for metal roofing dating back to the 1800s. Additionally, you can now purchase metal roofing that looks like shingles. 

Metal shingles and tiles make an excellent replacement for cedar shakes and shingles. Unlike these wooden materials, a new metal roof would make the building more fire-resistant. Plus, it's lightweight and rot-proof, so it can protect the underlying structure without placing stress on load-bearing walls.

From steep-pitched roofs in colder climates to flat roofs in sunny locales, metal shingles can last from 50 to 100 years and breathe new life into your historic remodel.

Want to make metal roofs even safer?

Need inspiration for your new roof? 

Consider these examples of historic public buildings that still have metal shingles and tiles:

What Are Metal Shingles and Tiles for Historic Buildings?

Sheet metal roofs come in a variety of materials with characteristic styles, textures, and colours. The most popular metal shingles include those made of zinc, copper, galvanized iron, and terne metal made of tin (15%) and lead (85%).

Metal roofs date back to the Victorian era when metal shingles became very elaborate to impress the growing populations of Europe and North America.

There are three ways you can use metal roofing to preserve, protect, and beautify a historic building:

Benefits of Metal Roofs on Historical Buildings or Replications

With modern advances in roofing material, it's possible to purchase metal roofing that looks like shingles made of asphalt, wood, or other roofing materials. This gives you the look you want with the benefits of metal roofs, including the following:

Plus, you can add a protective coating to prevent rust which can damage your metal roof and all the precious things beneath it.

I Love the Concept, But My Historic Building Never Had a Metal Roof

If your heritage building comes with a wood or asphalt roof, you may not want to make any dramatic changes. However, chances are metal shingles can imitate the look and character of your original roofing system.

Interested to know more? Have questions about metal roof tiles and metal roof shingles? Feel free to contact us online or call us toll-free at 1.866.674.3153.

Preservation Consulting

And if you are looking for a second opinion on your project or have a particularly complex issue that needs a fresh eye, we’re here for that too. Tackling tricky challenges is our specialty and we welcome the opportunity to provide consulting advice, with the same exacting attention to detail we bring to all our commissions.
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