Metal roofing has surged in popularity as homeowners and commercial business owners opt for sustainable construction options. The metal architecture design and construction has a century-old history. This roofing replaced traditional wood and slate starting in the 1800s.
Early Metal Roofing Construction
Roofs traditionally made of slate and wood suffered from deterioration and fire damage. Metal architecture design and construction did not start until the early 1800s. Occasionally builders would use copper or lead to cover traditional wood surfaces.
American Robert Morris manufactured sheet iron in the 1790s. England followed up by corrugating iron in 1829, developed by British architect and engineer Henry Palmer. The corrugation allowed for more malleability and design potential. The London Dock Company developed strong material. It exhibited strength, corrosion resistance, and was relatively transportable.
From there, the French developed galvanized materials, treating the metal with zinc to prevent rusting. Soon the new metal roofing covered factories and post offices throughout Europe, India, New Zealand, Australia, and North America.
By the 1900s industry had adopted metal roofing panels for construction. Primarily used for industrial and commercial purposes, metal roofing took a few decades before residential use gained popularity.
Canadian builders adopted tinplate iron roofing throughout the 1900s. Lightweight, low-maintenance, and low-cost, tinplate roofing remained popular. Terne plate, a similar material that was dipped in tin and lead, was used at the same time. Often the two types of construction seemed similar.
Today metal construction has proven sustainability. Builders use it in residential, commercial, institutional, and architectural construction. Metal roofing last for over fifty years with little maintenance or corrosion. Sustainable metal construction technology is the future.
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