Photograph of  really worn out asphalt roof shingles Terne Metal Roofing Types, Product Sources, Installation, Defects, Repairs

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This article describes types of terne metal roofing and other terne metal products used on buildings.

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Terne Metal Use on Building Roofs & Exteriors

TERNE METAL ROOFING, or Terne II coated metal roofing are used where copper roof runoff or corrosion are special concerns.

Terne coated stainless steel roof panels (Terne coating is a a zinc-tin alloy metal coating process that gives extra corrosion resistance. Other terne coatings using lead can present an environmental contamination worry from lead leachate found in roof runoff.)[1]

According to the US NPS, "Terneplate was first produced in United States in New York in 1825. Joseph Truman of Philadelphia patented the lead coating of tinplate in 1831. Later production combined the lead and tin into a single coating.

Called variously "leaded plate," "roofing tin", and "roofing plate," terne was cheaper than a pure tin coating, but its properties were very similar. Domestic production of terne was twice that of tin when it was chosen to roof the buildings of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. In the next few decades terne replaced tin completely in American production as steel replaced iron as the base metal. "

According to The Metal Intitative,

Terne metals are produced by coating carbon steel, stainless and other select metals with a specially formulated alloy consisting of zinc, tin and trace amounts of other elements in order to dramatically increase a metal’s corrosion resistance as much as ten times.

When terne was first used, during the colonial era, it contained roughly 80 percent lead and 20 percent tin. However, in the latter half of the 20th century, as lead was found to have potentially detrimental health effects, the lead/tin alloy had to be replaced. Seven years of metallurgic research and development produced a new and superior zinc/tin alloy in the mid-1990s. This new alloy, proven through ASTM corrosion resistance testing, provides improved performance and aesthetics over the original, minus potential risk to health.

Besides stainless and carbon steel, the zinc/tin alloy may also be applied to other metals such as copper, bronze, tin and titanium.

Available in a variety of gauges and widths, today terne metals are used on industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential structures for roofing, gutters and downspouts, siding, soffits, fascias and numerous other architectural applications.

A terne roof using a carbon steel substrate can easily last more than 100 years with very little maintenance required.

According to Follansbee, a West Virginia roofing company

Terne II roofing (also coated with zinc and tin), offering enhanced corrosion resistance, can be used in flatlock, standing seam, and vertical metal wall covering designs in any application where original Terne was used.

The company adds that with Terne II roofing the material should be painted as soon as conditions permit.

Oxide formation is slower than with the original Terne and the wait for proper painting conditions provides substantially less risk.

Tin plated iron and Terne Roofs - according to the US NPS, on early U.S. buildings, "Rolled sheet zinc appeared in the United States in 1816, as roofing in New York and as downspouts and gutters in Baltimore. Though more than seventy houses in New York had zinc roofs by 1837, it was out of favor by 1840. The popularity of the material was cyclical in the next decades, never matching iron and steel with their various coatings."

Terne Metal Roofing Sources, Products, & Manufacturers

Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction lists these producers and sources of metal roofing, metal roof fastening systems, and related metal roofing products

  • Classic Products, website:
    Modular metal shingle panels and standing seam panels
  • Decra Roofing Systems, website:
    Modular metal shingle, tile, and shake panels
  • Dura-Lok Roofing Systems, website:
    Modular metal roofing shingles with granular coating
  • Fabral, website:
    Exposed fastener and concealed clip metal roofing panels
  • Follansbee Roofing, Follansbee WV 26037, Tel: 800-624-6906, website: - Terne II discussed at [1]
  • Gerard Roofing Technologies, website:
    Modular metal shake and tile panels with granular coating
  • Met-Tile, website:
    Modular metal roof-tile panels
  • Atas International, website:
    Modular metal shingle, tile, and standing-seam panels
  • Custom-Bilt Metals, website:
    Modular metal shakes and standing seam panels


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