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A brief history of metal roofing: Part one

May 31, 2023

A brief history of metal roofing: Part one

Metal roofing may be all the rage with eco-friendly and design-conscious homeowners in today’s world, but it also has a rich and varied history. While thoroughly modern, your local metal roofing company borrows some of its tips and tricks from several millennia ago. Just consider some of these examples stretching out over the ages.

B.C. beginnings
One of the oldest known metal roofs, according to MetalWebNews, adorned a Jerusalem temple in 970 B.C.

and was made of copper. Hundreds of years later, metal roofing was used in the territories that would become the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well. Here it provided resistance against strong tropical winds that other roofing materials of the day couldn’t match.

According to the news source, in 1892, Robert L. Merwin & Co. was founded on the island of St. Croix. The business made premium corrugated metal roofing an affordable option for more residents than ever, who chose this alternative to fragile clay tiles. At the dawn of the 20th century, steel and new advances in factory automation allowed the popularity of metal roofing to spread even further beyond hurricane zones. However, these early metal roofs had their drawbacks. Metal expanded and contracted in climates with temperature fluctuations, and leaking could be a regular problem. Corrosion and rust also set in with time, and the noise of rain on metal could be deafening to homeowners of this earlier era.

Today, metal roofing has come a long way, however. Not only are they more economical purchases than ever before, advances in coating processes, design and manufacturing have done away with design faults in those turn of the century models. Furthermore, metal roofing has embraced the green movement, thanks to being 100 percent recyclable and having been shown to potentially reduce utilities costs. As a result, premium products like standing seam metal roofing continue to grow in popularity.

One of the most heralded features of metal roofing from ancient times remains true to this day, though. These roofs last a long, long time. Reports indicate that some early American metal roofs are still around today, having survived 120 years or more! So if some corrugated steel from the 19th century can pull off that kind of lifetime warranty, just imagine what the standing seam roofs of today are capable of!

Curious to hear about some more metal roofing examples beyond St. Croix and Jerusalem? Don’t miss part two of the history of metal roofing.

Metal Roofing News brought to you by Global Home Improvement, the Tri-State’s Leading Home Remodeler. For your Free Estimate call 1-215-953-5151 today!

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