Zinc: characteristics, advantages, disadvantages, price


Zinc is a malleable non-ferrous metal that is relatively easy to work with. In the construction industry, it is mainly used – and recently – for making roofs. Elegant, aesthetic, practical, light, durable and resistant, it is indeed an interesting material for the realization of this type of equipment. Let’s take stock of the characteristics of this metal as well as its advantages and disadvantages.

What are the characteristics of zinc?

Zinc is a non-ferrous metal extracted from ores containing blende (zinc sulfate). This heavy metal is malleable at high temperature and ideal for making alloys. Excellent electrical and thermal conductor, it is also known for its high resistance to corrosion and easy maintenance.

Recently, zinc has been used as a material in roof design, which to date has proven to be its main use in the construction industry. If this possibility is so recent, it is because zinc in its pure state does not tolerate contact with air and tarnishes very quickly. Nevertheless, manufacturers have managed to find a formula that allows the realization of durable and very aesthetic roofs. Indeed, in addition to being ecological, a zinc roof has an average lifespan of between 50 and 100 years.

However, affording a zinc roof has a cost, since it takes 50 to 150 euros per square meter. Natural zinc is the cheapest, but pre-weathered zinc and lacquered zinc are significantly more expensive.

What are the advantages of this material?

Zinc is a metal with many qualities.

  • Zinc is easy to work with : it is relatively light and very malleable, which makes it easy to work with. It can be placed anywhere and easily adapted to particular shapes and architectures.
  • Zinc is easy to maintain : zinc does not absorb water and resists corrosion. It is therefore easy to maintain.
  • Zinc is aesthetic : its anthracite gray color with bluish reflections gives it a beautiful appearance, ideal for making a pretty roof and elegant gutters for your home.
  • Zinc is waterproof : an ideal criterion for the design of roofs, provided that it is properly installed.
  • Zinc is durable : this material has a long lifespan (allow 50 to 100 years for your roof and your zinc equipment).
  • Zinc is environmentally friendly : this mineral extract is fully recyclable and environmentally friendly.

It should also be noted that if you want to install a zinc roof on your house, it will be compatible with the installation of photovoltaic panels.

What are the disadvantages of zinc?

if zinc has advantages, this material can also have disadvantages:

  • Zinc can only be installed by a professional : whether you opt for a zinc roof or any other equipment made of this material, you will need to call in a professional, because it cannot be worked without the proper tools and techniques.
  • Zinc is expensive : this material is expensive to purchase. If it takes 80 euros per square meter on average for a standard zinc sheet, you will be forced to call a pro and pay the labor, which often causes the amount of the invoice to skyrocket. .
  • Zinc is a bad insulator : being an excellent thermal and electrical conductor, it is a poor thermal and acoustic insulator. It is therefore essential to add a suitable and compatible insulation when installing zinc at home, for a roof or any other equipment. Otherwise, the energy losses will not be negligible and you will strongly hear the lapping of the rain as soon as it falls on your pretty roof.
  • Zinc is not compatible with all frames : if you want to install a zinc roof on your house, be aware that this will not be recommended on a carbon steel, plaster, lime, cement and oak, larch and chestnut wood frame.
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