Metal has always been a great choice for roofs. It is lightweight, durable, and easier to maintain than some other roofing choices. Metal roofing is resistant to fire, wind, hail and can be installed on new roofs or added onto existing ones.
Below are the most popular types of metal roofing materials:
If you live in areas prone to hurricanes and high winds such as Florida, steel should be your choice of roofing material since it’s a higher-strength metal. In addition, steel can retain heat (great for cold climates), and it is fire-resistant. On top of that, being one of the most recycled materials in the world, steel is considered a very green material.
Steel roofs are very popular in commercial buildings, warehouses, and factories. This is because they are extremely durable and capable of withstanding heavy winds. Additionally, they look modern and sleek.
However, a disadvantage of steel roofs is they are pricey, but it’s a worthy investment considering how long-lasting they are. In addition, steel roofs have to be replaced if damage occurs because fixing even the smallest scratch can compromise their strength.
These are some of the benefits of steel roofing:
- Highly Durable – Steel roofs are very durable and can withstand heavy winds.
- Fire-Retardant – Because steel doesn’t conduct heat, it is resistant to fire and will not spread flames when hot.
- Good for Areas with High Winds – Steel roofs are perfect for areas that experience heavy winds since they’re extremely strong and rigid.
- Resistant to Weather and Rusting – Due to their protective oxide layer, steel roofs don’t require much maintenance and can last for many years without rusting or corroding.
- Green Material – Being one of the most recycled metals, steel is considered a green material.
- Strength – One major benefit steel has over other metal roofing materials is its strength. It can withstand high winds easily. Hence, it makes an ideal choice for areas that are prone to hurricanes.
Used for centuries in all parts of the world, copper remains one of the most utilized materials in metal roofing to this day. It is exceptionally durable — in ideal environments, we can expect it to last more than a hundred years. Plus, copper is 100% recyclable, which makes it a great eco-friendly option.
Many business owners choose copper roofs for their buildings because they are not only long-lasting but also aesthetically pleasing. Plus, they age well over time. The green patina appearance that copper develops adds character and beauty to any building it is installed on. For these reasons, copper roofs are used for a variety of applications from commercial buildings like hotels and restaurants to residential homes.
These are some of the benefits of copper roofing:
- Fire Resistant – Copper oxidizes when exposed to high temperatures. This reaction creates a protective layer that prevents the roof from catching fire.
- Waterproof – Copper roofs are waterproof because the metal is able to form a tight seal around itself when it’s heated and cooled during installation.
- Aesthetic Appeal – A unique green patina color develops with time on a copper roof, which gives the building a distinct character and appeal.
- Commercial Uses – Copper roofs are primarily used in commercial buildings like hotels, restaurants, and other structures where safety from fire and weather is important.
Zinc is another extremely long-lasting metal roofing material. It can heal its own scratches over time and stay strong for more than a century. Its natural properties make it one of the most favored materials for all sorts of commercial projects. Zinc can be easily manipulated and formed into amazing shapes. Just like copper, most zinc roofing materials are also 100% recyclable. It is also able to withstand extreme weather and is highly resistant to fire. It also stands up to wind and other elements without breaking a sweat, making it an excellent choice for all climates.
These are some of the benefits of zinc roofing:
- Fire Resistant – Just like copper roofs, zinc roofs resist fires because when a fire breaks out, the zinc roof oxidizes. This oxidation protects the metal from being burned and corroded.
- As Durable as It is Beautiful – The majority of zinc roofs are coated in powder which enhances their durability over time making them last for many decades.
- Beauty Meets Function – Zinc roofs are not only beautiful but rust-resistant too. This is especially helpful for commercial buildings where the roof endures a lot of wear and tear from weather and wind.
- Versatility – Zinc roofs can be installed on top of existing shingled roofs as well as flat surfaces like concrete pools and decks.
Aluminum is the right material to use if you are aiming for creativity when creating roofing designs. It is very malleable and lightweight, which allows for unique designs. Also, aluminum is ideal for those living in coastal areas since it is very resistant to corrosion (which can be caused by sea salt and moisture). Another advantage of aluminum roofing is its durability; when it gets exposed to oxygen, aluminum creates a protective barrier, thus preventing rusting and/or oxidization.
Aluminum roofs come in panels and tiles, but the most common material is aluminum shingles. Like zinc roofs, they also reflect heat; this causes them to stay cool during the summer months and allows for reduced energy costs.
However, the downside of using aluminum roofing is that it can be susceptible to dents and cracks if not installed correctly. This, along with its price tag, keeps it from being the most popular metal roofing material.
These are some of the benefits of aluminum roofing:
- Lower Energy Bills – Aluminum roofing reflects heat so it keeps roofs cool in the summer and reduces energy costs.
- Extremely Lightweight – Aluminum is a lightweight metal that makes it easy to install on most forms of rooftops, including sloped ones. This makes it a good choice for those living in windy areas.
- Attractive Appearance – One of aluminum’s best qualities is that it can be formed into hundreds of different designs and styles to meet any homeowner’s or business owner’s needs.
- Resistant to Weather and Dents – Aluminum roofs are extremely resistant to the elements, especially the sun. This allows them to last for many years with little care and maintenance.
Tin is a metal that was rarely used for roofing. It was mainly used for canning materials. However, when people realized that they could flatten tin for shingling, it became another option for making roofs.
Still, since there are many more durable materials such as steel, aluminum, zinc, and copper available, people rarely opt for tin as a standard roofing material. It is mainly used for decorative purposes today.
These are some of the benefits of tin roofing:
- Resists Corrosion – Tin roofs are resistant to corrosion and rusting. They last for a long time without any maintenance because of this lotus effect.
- Recyclable – Being one of the first metals used as roofing, tin is recyclable and reusable. Since it’s made from scrap metal, it can be melted.
- Mainly decorative – One benefit of a tin roof is that it doesn’t require much maintenance. It can easily be repainted when damaged or corroded. In addition, its high resistance to rust makes it a great idea for coastal areas.
What Else to Consider When Choosing Your Metal Roof
There are many different metal roofing options to choose from, but not all of them are well suited for your business or home. The best type of metal roofing will depend on your personal needs and preferences. That’s why it’s important to think about the following criteria before making a final decision:
As with any other purchase, the cost is a major factor many people consider first. Metal roofs are not cheap, but they last longer and require little maintenance. The best metal roofing should have an excellent warranty as well if you’re going to opt for pricier options.
When choosing the best type of metal roofing, one of your main considerations should be the material itself. Some materials are more durable than others, while some offer more resistance to corrosion. Zinc is one of the most popular options because it offers both strength and durability. It can last up to 70 years without significant damage.
Among the 5 types of metal roofing materials, depending on where you live, some will be more durable than others. For example, if you live in a coastal area that is prone to hurricanes and winds, then steel roofing would be a better choice because it can withstand these natural disasters. On the other hand, if you live inland without harsh weather conditions, tin might suffice as a low-maintenance option.
Up-Front Cost vs Lifetime Cost
Another thing to consider when choosing a new metal roof is its up-front cost vs lifetime cost. While some options are more expensive than others, their overall cost will depend on where you live and how often they need to be repaired or replaced.
The functionality factor is also an important consideration when choosing between the different types of metal roofing. The best roofing should have a sleek and modern look, but it should also provide insulation from the heat so that your energy bills don’t skyrocket come summertime. These are just some of the things you need to think about when choosing between various metals for roofing.
Style and Appearance
The appearance of your roof is also a major factor to consider when choosing the best roofing material. Some materials look better than others and may suit the style you want for your business or home. Are you looking for a modern or classic look? Are you more of a traditional person? You should think about the visual style of your business and home before making a final decision.
Of course, one last thing to take into account is the environmental impact. If you want to leave as small a carbon footprint as possible, then you should think about choosing a metal roofing material that is recyclable. These are all important factors to consider when determining the best type of metal roof.
All five roofing metals have their advantages, but in the end, choosing the right metal for your roof comes down to the roofing contractor you choose, your budget, location, and overall roofing requirements.
In order to avoid complications, be sure to hire experienced and professional roofing contractors who have previously worked with the type of metal you decide to use for your new roofing project.