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A Guide to Stainless Steel Roofing

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When you’re renovating your roof, choosing which material to use can often be quite tricky, but one very popular material used across many construction areas, including roofing, is stainless steel.

In this article, we’re going to reveal the benefits of a stainless steel roof, outlining the most important factors to consider as well as highlighting examples of successful, historical stainless steel roofs.
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Benefits

  • If sustainability is an important factor to you, then you should definitely consider a stainless steel roof as it is durable and low maintenance, so will last well.
  • Admittedly, stainless steel is not the cheapest option but in the long-run it will save you money. You will be exempt from repair and replacement costs in the future, so it’s important to think of the bigger picture before discounting a stainless steel roof due to expensive set-up costs.
  • Generally speaking, most metals rely heavily on a protective layer of patina. Stainless steel is exempt from this as it already has a passive layer that does not rely on a patina layer to act as a defence.
  • For those eco-friendly individuals out there, stainless steel itself is 100% recyclable and approximately 75% of the initial roof can be made from scrap iron and steel. Stainless steel has no contaminating bi-products or corrosive products forming on its surface, so any rainwater that runs from the roof can be reused, all making it a great investment for the future!
  • Terne coated steel can also be an excellent choice of roofing material. Its matte grey colour gives a natural weathered appearance and its lightweight, hardwearing and durable qualities make it an ideal material in the roofing industry.

Things to consider

  • Stainless steel can sometimes cause an issue with glare from the shiny surface. If this is something you’d need to avoid then make sure you use a low glare stainless steel finish. This will help soften the glare and cover any oil canning and shape deviations, improving the aesthetics.
  • It is important to make sure your roof drains well. Stainless steel is great in moist conditions but it is still crucial to have good water and vapour management in order to preserve the roofs quality and increase longevity.
  • Any fasteners should also be stainless steel, rather than any other material regardless of however similar they may be.
  • Never rely on soldering to strengthen the roofs structure. Stainless steel roofs can be soldered but should only be soldered for small connections.
  • Constantly exposed to the harsh elements your roof will need occasional cleaning. You should only use a mild detergent and never use an abrasive solution as this will be too aggressive against the stainless steel.

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Historic examples

Stainless steel roofs have been used in some of the most iconic buildings worldwide, sporting their magnificence and excellent qualities that makes it so great for the job!

Designed by William Van Allen and completed in 1929, New York’s Chrysler building was of the earliest buildings to use stainless steel cladding as part of its structure. And right here in Britain, the Thames Flood Barrier is one of London’s infamous landmarks perfectly exhibiting the benefits of stainless steel with its durable and low maintenance qualities.

Considering the long lifetime of a stainless steel roof, although the initial set up costs can be pricey, you will undoubtedly end up saving money by avoiding any costly repairs or replacements that you could incur with other roofing materials.

Additionally, due to the large increase in theft over the last 20 years of lead roofing on mainly church buildings, terne coated stainless steel has been employed as a good alternative. JTC Roofing Contractors can provide an almost exact replica of a lead roof by using rounded batten capping details. From a distance this seems to be a lead roof but at close quarters – to the would-be thief – it is obviously not lead to the touch.

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