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What is a Tin Roof?


The term tin roof can conjure up visions of old sheds, factory roofs or grandpa’s ancient barn. Tin roofs are made of any soft metal that is coated in tin and lead, including aluminum.

While tin is no longer a commonly used roofing material, the term tin roof is still used to describe metal roofing, steel roofing and galvanized steel roofing.

Tin roofs were, and still are, a very cost-effective, low-maintenance solution as long as protection from the elements and durability take priority over appearance. Before the rise of asphalt shingles early in the 20th Century, tin roofs were quite popular in both residential and commercial applications.

Here’s a brief rundown of the history of tin roofing, why it surged then fell in popularity, and the difference between tin roofing and metal roofing.

Roofing through the Ages: History of Tin Roofs

Before the rise of asphalt shingles in the early 1900s, tin roofs were one of the most popular roofing materials. In fact, Thomas Jefferson was one of the first to use innovative tin plate roofing on his Monticello home.

Since tin was imported and expensive, tin roofs weren’t adopted by the masses until after the Civil War. Once rolling mills were established in the U.S. and the durable, low-maintenance tin-plate shingle was introduced, tin roofing soared in popularity for the latter half of the 1800’s.

When cheaper and easier-to-install asphalt roofing was introduced in 1901, tin roofs began to fall out of favor. The introduction of modern metal roofing products, such as stone-coated steel in 1957, also caused the popularity of tin roofs to plummet.

While metal roofing products have evolved substantially since the tin-plate shingle of the 1800s, the terms tin roofing and metal roofing are used interchangeably to this day.

Are Tin Roofing and Metal Roofing the Same Thing?

A tin roof is a type of metal roof, but the terms aren’t interchangeable and mean different things. Metal roofing can be made from a variety of different metals, including copper, aluminum, steel and tin.

Metal roofing is the second most popular roofing material in the U.S., thanks to its durability and longevity.

All metal roofing products, including tin roofs, boast an impressive list of benefits, such as:

There are a few drawbacks to metal roofing, mostly related to its industrial appearance–and tin roofs are no exception. Tin roofing, as well as other metal roofing products such as standing seam or aluminum, are extremely difficult to incorporate into the design themes of most residential properties. It’s rare to find a commercial or residential property that calls for an industrial warehouse roof these days.

Fortunately, stone-coated steel provides all of the industrial-strength benefits of metal roofing, as well as the design versatility to suit any style of home.

What is Stone-Coated Metal Roofing?

Stone-coated metal roofing is a type of metal roofing that provides the durability of industrial metal roofing products, as well as the aesthetic appeal of traditional roofing materials such as asphalt shingles, clay tile or wood shakes.

Made from steel sheets and coated with natural stone granules, stone-coated metal roofing can withstand nearly anything Mother Nature has to offer–without sacrificing on style.

Steel sheets make the ideal roofing material because they can be easily “stamped” or “roll-formed” into a variety of textures and shapes. Combined with the stone-coating manufacturing process, which provides a wide range of vivid colors, stone-coated metal roofing products, like DECRA Metal Roofing, effortlessly provide the aesthetics of traditional roofing backed by the strength of steel.

>>>Related Resource: Learn more about stone-coated metal roofing.

DECRA Stone-Coated Metal Roofing

As the innovator of stone-coated metal roofing products since 1957, DECRA Metal Roofing has set the industry standard for longevity and durability. Manufactured at our state-of-the-art facility in California, DECRA roofs are tested above and beyond the requirements to ensure the quality DECRA is known for is present in every stone-coated metal roofing panel we produce.

Ready to see and feel the quality of our products? Click here to order a free sample.

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