Zinc – A popular choice for a modern, sleek roof

Want to know a bit about the materials we use and the options available for your new hard metal roof? Below we’ll tell you about Zinc, one of the most popular materials used today.

If you’re looking for a new metal roof, or to replace your current roof with a new hard metal roof and you’d like a bit more guidance from us about it then feel free to get in touch for a chat.


Zinc is among the most sustainable metals used in the construction industry today. A natural material that is 100% recyclable makes it a eco friendly choice for any commercial or residential project.  Zinc has an average life span of 60 to 80 years in a marine environment or over 100 years in an unpolluted environment making zinc a cost effective option.


Zinc is virtually maintenance free, the rinsing effect of the rain water is sufficient enough that no cleaning is necessary.  Attention should be given to gutters to ensure no leaves are blocking the outlet causing standing water shortening the lifespan of the zinc.


Zinc can be formed into complex shapes and curved into a small radius. Zinc can be edged, role-formed, rounded, curved, stretched, expanded, compressed and soft soldered.  Zinc comes in a wide variety of width and thickness for standing seam roofing, 0.70 or 0.80mm in thickness and 430, 530 or 600 mm in standing seam centres. Standing seam roofing will not give a 100% flat finish. However by reducing panel width and increasing zinc thickness, unevenness will be reduced.

Primary benefit

Zinc is the ideal material to bridge the gap between heritage buildings and more modern projects. It’s sleek timeless styling and traditional techniques dating back over 200 years make it an appealing option for architects building contemporary architecture in a historical environment.

Cost comparisons

There are not many roofing materials that can match the longevity, durability, malleability, flexibility, resiliency, and cost-effectiveness of zinc. Out of all the metal roofing materials zinc is by far the most cost-effective, lasting up to 100 years zinc is considerable cheaper than copper, lead and even stainless steel.


Zinc is a extremely versatile roofing material. However zinc is not always compatible with every building project. In marine environments on non rinsed surfaces such as soffits and facades, salty water can stagnate causing superficial stains. Although purely aesthetic, zinc manufacturers have released products such as VM ANTHRA-ZINC STRAT and RHEINZINK-PROTECT LINE which will maintain its finish for longer. In severe coastal areas copper or stainless steel should be considered.

Incompatible products with Zinc and water run off

These are products or materials that, if water were to run off from these to your Zinc roof material, could cause damage and/or discolouration.

  • Copper
  • Steel (non-galvanised)
  • Gypsum dust/ Limestone dust
  • Larch
  • Oak
  • Chestnut
  • Red cedar
  • Douglas fir
  • White cedar

Although these products are incompatible with Zinc roofing, certain materials such as stainless steel can be introduced to prevent run of from wood cladding contacting Zinc roof.


Zinc is a roofing material with a promising future in the UK, sustainable construction and environmental compatibility of building products give great significance and influences the decisions making on selecting materials. The longevity and the low environmental impact makes Zinc a material that will be used long into the future.