What type of new metal roofing has an aged, rusty finish?

Answered by Brett Kulina ~ November 3, 2012 ~ No Comments

I saw a mountain cabin that had a (new) rusty metal roof on it. How do they make this happen? It looks good and I want to have a rusty roof on a greenhouse that I am going to build. What do you know about his type of metal roof? thank you.

Brett Kulina

Two of the most popular types of metal roofing that have a rust-colored finish are cold rolled steel panels and Cor-Ten roofing products. Often used to simulate an aged rustic roof on a newly-built structure, these types of metal roofing are widely used on both residential and commercial projects. I really like the look of this type of metal roofing, especially when installed next to recycled timbers or re-purposed barn wood siding and trim, and they should make a nice addition to your new greenhouse.

Cold rolled steel roofing panels are manufactured from unfinished raw steel, which rusts and patinas with age when left exposed to the weather. Cold rolled steel roofing is usually manufactured from 22 gauge material (or thicker), which can give the product a 30-40 year lifespan regardless of the fact that the surface of the panel is constantly rusting and degrading. If you choose to use this type of roofing for your greenhouse, just keep in mind that the aging process does not always produce a consistent rusty surface, as some portions of the roof that face the prevailing weather may rust faster than those areas which are protected from the sun and rain. Some roofing contractors try to accelerate the rusting process by wetting the panels with "secret formulas" prior to installing them on the roof( I've heard of everything from vinegar to urine, but have never actually tried this myself, so do some more research!).

Cor-ten brand roofing panels are different than cold rolled steel roofing, as the Cor-ten panels are manufactured from a steel alloy that is specifically designed to form a rusty protective surface coating over time. Although Cor-ten roofing may eventually yield a more consistent-looking finish than the cold rolled steel panels, keep in mind that the color of the rust can vary from a dark brown to a reddish-orange color. Another issue to be aware of is that rain water shedding off of the rusty surface can leave stains on nearby wood and concrete.

You should definitely get your hands on some samples before purchasing either brand of rusty metal roofing because the eventual finish can vary for all sorts of reasons. Also make sure to follow the manufacturer's installation instructions carefully so that you know the product will perform as designed and last a long time. Good luck with your greenhouse project!

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