In the US, the percentage of residential Zinc Roof is relatively low compared to its prevalence in Europe. While 70% of Europe’s residential roofs are made of zinc, it’s not nearly as popular as its prevalence in the United States. As roofing manufacturers in the US, we at EBA Roofing Inc. keep a close eye on architectural design trends.


While we specialize in metal roofing and do not carry zinc panels, we have seen that there is a growing awareness about zinc’s many benefits that are making it slowly becoming more recognizable in the US for roofing and wall panels.


While some of the other panel materials are impressive in appearance, zinc has a few features that makes it the most expensive of the panel types.

In this article, we will discuss:


Zinc Roof Advantages

If you are a consumer that value’s quality, installing a zinc roof is a great idea, especially if you are a consumer that value standards. Zinc is a long lasting, sustainable material (such as galvanized steel, copper, or zinc) that does not require much attention after installation.


Zinc Roof Lifespan

“Zinc during the roofing and plastering industry extends its lifespan up to 80 to 100 years, and for many years longer than copper using plaster boards’, Zinc is one of the most environmentally friendly materials known to man.


Zinc is highly resistant to fire, insect-proof, and preferable to fungistat on the components of the machine that produces the plastic machine parts.


Zinc Roof Patina

Similar to Copper, the zinc’s surface will be oxided for much the same reason as the copper and zinc, so if the surface is scratched, rogue drops of corrosion will be removed gradually.


Highly Desirable Appearance

Zinc starts out as a dark gray or almost black, then changes over time to a light gray, and finally to a blue or silver color after going through the patination process.


Zinc Roofs Are Low Maintenance

Once you put on the Zinc Roof Systems or the Bonded Zinc Wall Panels, there is never a reason to perform extensive cosmetic or aesthetic maintenance. As long as the zinc panels are placed in a way that the patina continuously renews itself, there is no need to perform maintenance, ever.


Zinc Roofs Are Eco-Friendly

If you are looking for a product which is environmentally friendly, look no further. Zinc is 100% recyclable and can be reused over and over again. It is also uses less fuel to be created compared to other popular roofing products like asphalt shingles and steel roofing.


Disadvantages Of A Zinc Roof

Zinc Roof Cost

If you’re only familiar with the cost of plain roofing material such as asphalt shingles, prepare for some sticker shock. Zinc roofing materials can range anywhere from $5 to $8 per square foot in materials cost, $10 to $20 per square foot installed. The roofing material that is more expensive than zinc is copper.


The Variables With Patina

Some people are particularly interested in investing in zinc for its patina appearance. While they will eventually patina, there is no definite timeline on when they will begin. It can be up to 2 or up to 30 years.


The length of time of patina depends mostly on climate, humidity, and the mineral abundances of the locale. Good patina can be achieved by passive zinc cream during the lifetime of the zinc. However, too much patina is potentially unacceptable and can lead to the roofing material becoming brittle and less durable over time.


Zinc Roof Problems From Poor Installation

There’s a good chance of corrosion on the backside of the zinc panels if you’re only putting them away the following reasons: It’s time, you’ve poured concrete the whole time and everything’s been standing for a while. Moisture can get trapped between the roof and the roofing deck if the synthetic underlayment is made with non-breathable sealants that do not allow for sufficient air exchange to the foam vents. This ultimately results in mold and leaks from the roofing deck down to the crawlspace and crawlspace to the basement.
It is always recommended to hire a trained professional to ensure that roof is installed properly.
Eba Roofing-Standing Seam metal roof in Zinc Patina

Alternatives To Zinc Roofing

If you’ve been discouraged by the price of a Zinc roof, or aren’t certain you want your roof to approach the color of the rainbow, there is another option.

Metal roofing systems have finished the paint job. Even at the extremely high pricing they are able to add more value to the building.


Metal Panels Have A Consistent Appearance

The panels are painted in colors that represent the various stages of a certain event of Zinc: before, during, and after a certain event. By going this route you are choosing the color that your roof will be (painted panels do not change color) and you will not have to worry about the finish not being consistent throughout.


Metal Is More Affordable Than Zinc Roof Panels

Metal panels can save you hundreds of dollars each. However, the cost varies depending on which type of metal panel you choose. If you go with a more affordable metal panel such as corrugated, you can save as much as 50% by eliminating the need to prime the metal surface with primer.


Shared Advantages Of A Zinc Roof And Metal Roof

Since Zinc is technically a type of metal, painting panels share similar qualities to Zinc panels.
Just like Zinc, metal panels are:

While metal roofs are not as popular as zinc roofs, they do have their advantages. One advantage is that they are fire resistant. Since metal roofs are not made out of organic materials, they will not catch on fire like a zinc roof might. Metal roofs are also less expensive to maintain than a zinc roof.


While a metal roof does not have quite as long of a life expectancy as a Zinc roof (80- 100 years or more), it does provide value when it comes to longevity. A metal roof can last anywhere from 40-60 years with little maintenance, and will also include a warranty.


When To Use An Alternative To Zinc Roofing

Not only is zinc an excellent roofing choice for those with a larger budget that are looking for a product that will never have to be replaced, but zinc is also an excellent choice for those with a larger budget.


If your budget isn’t as large as it might appear, then a metal roof that simply looks like zinc might be a better option.