Tin Metal Roofing: Four reasons to keep the old panels

Tin metal roofing represents an heirloom from our American heritage. Whatever your style– standing seam panels, embossed tin shingles, copper sheets–these metal roofs remind us of our past.

A notable founding father, Thomas Jefferson, is credited with influencing the early use of metal roofing. Due to the durability, availabilityl and improved transportation, metal roofs established a strong hold on the home building field. Then came World War II using metal products.

Inexpensive asphalt-based shingles, and increasing manpower wages appeared–all which ended tin metal roofing’s reign.

Today, when an existing metal roof rusts and starts to leak, owners of vintage homes face a decision:


Most owners would prefer to save a visible tin roof. There are FOUR excellent reasons:

1. “This residence belongs to someone saving our heritage,” says an old tin roof. Beginning in the 1990s, the release of modern coating materials improved this possibility. These modern coatings do not flake, last over ten years, and weatherproof against leaks. Plus these coatings are available in most colors.

March 2015 update: Dramatic advances in coating technology now allows longer lasting application, maintaining the original sheen.

2. Work in progress by Roof Menders crew”Sound of rain drops:” Almost without exception, owners of tin roofing enjoy the rain falling on the roof panels.

3. “Modern renewable spirit:” In this age where conserving and reusing is growing, a metal roofing has surpassed interest in asphalt shingles.Asphalt shingles cause an unwanted landfill deposits. Plus petroleum based products have increased in cost. A metal roof requires only periodic recoating, lasting generations.

4. Finally “the reasonable expense of maintaining a 100 year old roof” compares favorably to new asphalt shingles and modern metal panels.

For the above reasons, tin roof owners are seeking and finding solutions to weatherproof older panels, protect the old metal integrity and improve the appearance of their residences. If the coating on the top side of the panels/shingles is maintained, then that roof will probably outlast the present tin metal roof owner….and his/her children.

Update: customer feedback

One of the ladies who owns a Roof Menders’ preserved roof called me about this list of four reasons to keep the old tin panels. Her reaction: move #2 to #1 position. In other words, the rain pelting the tin panels should rank first!