s schlesinger
3/9/2013
Hi folks, I am looking for some straightforward advice on replacing the porch roof of my farmhouse. The porch was built in 1890. I have found no evidence that it has been re-roofed, so I must assume that it is the original materials. The roof has a 26 degree pitch and is covered with 16X22 inch solder-seamed metal panels. I have had some contractors tell me that they are tin panels and others tell me they are galvanized. There are multiple coatings on top of the shingles that include several layers of different color paints, asphalt patch, and even tar. These coatings are beginning to crack, separate, and in some cases peel back. The cracking is most common over the soldered seams. I've attached a photo. I have spent hours researching the best replacement for these panels, and am more confused now than when I started. Every roofing contractor I've spoken to has a different solution. I want to maintain the historic appearance of the roof, but would like to balance that with cost, durability (i.e. something that's strong enough that if I could put a ladder on it, or shovel snow off it if I had to), low maintenance (but it doesn't have to be no maintenance) and lifespan. So far, copper, aluminum, and galvanized metal have all been suggested, but I am having a hard time making a cost-value comparison. Which gets the best bang for the buck? Also, a few contractors have tried to talk me out of soldered-seam because it's so labor intensive. Is there a technique that can produce the effect of soldered-seam that is less labor intensive yet still effective? Thanks, in advance, for the advice.
Dick Bus
3/11/2013
Dear Mr. Schlesinger, I am not able to tell from the picture if it is a standing seam product or a flat lock (no raised seam). A flat lock panel would need to be field soldered. The best and longest lasting product would be a zinc product from VM Zinc. They make a standing seam that does not need to be soldered and a flat lock panel that does. An alternative is an aluminum panel from my company called the standing seam shingle that will give a look similar to a 100 year old roof. What ever product you select make sure it is a manufacturer that is part of the Metal Roofing Alliance. The metal roofing industry does not recommend putting ladders on a metal roof or shoveling snow off.

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