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Raleigh, N.C. — March 31, 2016 — VMZINC-US, the international brand name of rolled zinc products, has joined the National Slate Association (NSA) and Vermont Slate Quarry Association to highlight zinc as a natural option to use with slate as a building material in the United States.
First established in 1922 by producers of slate material, the NSA is dedicated to promoting excellence in slate roofing practices and serving as a resource for roofing professionals, architects, builders, and property owners. The Vermont Slate Quarry Association is dedicated to providing education and support for the people of the Slate Valley region of Vermont.
Zinc is a common material choice for flashings, ornamentation, gutters, and pipes, as well as other areas not steep enough for the application of slate, such as dormers. In recent years, the use of zinc flashings for slate roofs has gained popularity in the U.S., particularly in the Northeast for historical preservation, residential, institutional, and religious buildings that incorporate slate. For example, zinc and slate were recently installed on multiple buildings at Princeton University. Zinc is a popular choice among many architects and homeowners because it is fully recyclable, requires little maintenance, and creates a natural, aesthetically pleasing blend when combined with slate.
VMZINC offers 0.7mm and 0.8mm zinc sheets in QUARTZ-ZINC Plus, an elegant, pre-weathered gray that mimics the natural patina developed by zinc over time. Zinc installation is different than the installation procedure for other metals. Even though zinc will form a natural protective barrier, precautions should be taken when installing zinc next to slate to ensure that no damage, deformities, or color variations occur to either material. Because of this, VMZINC requires that all installers attend one of its VMZ Pro-zinc training courses to help them understand the basic properties of zinc and ensure long-term success of the material. A working knowledge in other materials is a prerequisite for all VMZ Pro-zinc seminars, which speaks to the high level of craftsmanship inherent in every zinc project.
There is a rich, long history of combining slate and zinc. In the 14th century, wealthy French merchants and nobles living along the Loire River began using slate for intricate architectural details on their castles, mansions. and hotels due to the building material’s high versatility. Beginning in the early 19th century, zinc became a widely popular building material for roofs and facades across Paris and surrounding areas of France. VMZINC, the world’s oldest architectural zinc company, started producing zinc sheets and accessories to complement the country’s preexisting architecture, including the slate roofs on prestigious buildings. Today, slate and zinc remain commonly used building materials in Paris, as well as Brittany and Normandy.