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What Is Reclaimed Metal Roofing? Buyers Guide For Rusty Tin Roofing
Paul Rubio

By: Paul Rubio on February 19th, 2020

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What Is Reclaimed Metal Roofing? Buyers Guide For Rusty Tin Roofing

Roofing | Homeowner Education | Roofing Contractor Education | Reclaimed Metal

You’ve decided to use reclaimed corrugated metal roofing on your home or business. You love the look of an old galvanized roof that has weathered and now has orange rust streaks throughout the panel. Used corrugated metal will be the perfect finish for your metal siding or roofing project. Everything is going great until you go online and try to purchase reclaimed metal roofing.

You then realize that you cannot find it, it’s too expensive, the sheets are the wrong size, or it is too weathered with a boatload of holes. Recently, I was looking for some reclaimed metal and I was just as frustrated as you are. That is why I wrote an article which will help you find a solution to your problem and maybe even save some money.

At Western States Metal Roofing we specialize in rusted metal roofing. In fact, we sell more Corten® roofing than anyone else in the country. We talk to people every day that are looking for rusted tin roofing. Some of them want orange and brown rusted roofing and some of them want galvanized that has begun to rust. We understand that finding used corrugated metal or salvaged metal roofing is nearly impossible and extremely expensive. This is why we developed new steel that looks 100 years old.

Our goal in this article is to educate and help you find real reclaimed metal roofing. In addition, we will discuss rusted roofing and painted products that look old and rusted. These are both easier and cheaper alternatives that will give you the same look without any of the problems. This article will cover the following:

  • What is reclaimed metal roofing?
  • How much does reclaimed metal roofing cost?
  • Where can you purchase reclaimed metal roofing?
  • Real rusted tin roofing, a cheaper alternative to reclaimed metal roofing
  • Painted products that look old and rusted

What Is Reclaimed Metal Roofing?

Reclaimed steel roofing is made of salvaged and used sheet metal that was removed from an existing structure. Instead of recycling or throwing away the used corrugated roofing, it is removed from the building and then resold. The salvaged corrugated tin roofing is sold “as is” and it will have screw or nail holes, rust, and mismatched lengths.

Because this is sold “as is”, some problems exist. Reclaimed roofing sheets are rarely weather tight because it’s full of holes and areas of corrosion that have rusted through the tin roofing. Finally, the color of the reclaimed roofing sheets are never the same. They range in color from orange and brown rust, galvanized with reddish rust streaks, and even weathered and dull galvanized.

How Much Does Salvaged Metal Cost?

You would think that used metal roofing sheets would be cheap. Unfortunately, reclaimed metal roofing cost more than brand new metal roofing. The average price of corrugated reclaimed roofing is $1.75 to $4.00 per square foot plus freight charges.

Reclaimed metal roofing metal sheets are difficult to find. Even if you get lucky and find some reclaimed corrugated roofing it will likely be located in the middle of nowhere. This means the shipping cost can get incredibly expensive. The cost of the freight can easily cost more than the price of the reclaimed metal roofing. Furthermore, you cannot order the sheeting to size. You have to buy what is available. You can have a lot of waste and have to purchase additional material which results in further cost increases.

Click here to request a free metal roofing sample in your favorite color!


Where Can I Buy Reclaimed Metal Roofing?

There are not many places that sell reclaimed metal siding and roofing. In addition, when you find a company that specializes in reclaimed steel they are out of stock quite often or can be located a long distance away from your project.

Here are some companies that supply reclaimed tin roofing:

  • Timeless Lumber Company is located in Byron, MI. They normally have the most diverse selection of rusty tin barn tin roofing and old rusty metal roof sheets. You can also find reclaimed barnwood at their facility.
  • Elmwood Reclaimed Timber is located in Peculiar, MO and specializes in reclaimed timber and reclaimed metal sheeting
  • Reclaimed Lumber Products is located in Nampa, ID. They carry rusty and galvanized corrugated roofing or reclaimed lumber products.
  • Craigslist, Ebay, or Etsy are also places where you can find used or salvaged metal roofing

Alternatives To Reclaimed Metal Roofing

Do you still want the look of a reclaimed metal roof, but not all of the problems? You're in luck, there are four great options that look like an old and salvaged metal roof, but are readily available and less expensive.

Rusted Tin Roofing

Rusted tin roofing is new steel that looks 100 years old. It's inexpensive, does not have screw holes, and is readily available. If you want an orange or brown rusted metal finish this will be a much better and cheaper option than used or salvaged roofing sheets.

What Is Rusted Tin Roofing?

Rusted tin roofing is new steel that arrives unrusted and will develop a rusted finish after it is exposed to the weather. The substrate of the steel is either Corten® or bare steel. Rusted metal roofing will start as a dull gray and then it will turn orange or brownish orange.

Rusted metal roofing will work best in an exterior application as it needs to be exposed to the elements to develop a patina.


How Do You Make Metal Rust?

Rusted metal roofing will not have a galvanized or Galvalume® substrate. Instead, it will be a bare steel or a Corten®/A606-4 finish. It's designed to rust naturally. You do not need to add chemicals or do anything special. Just expose it to the weather.

If you have an interior application then you will either have to pre-rust the steel prior to installation or use a painted product that looks rusted. The two finishes that are available for rusted roofing are bare steel or A606-4 (aka Corten).


How Much Does Rusted Tin Roofing Cost?

Rusted tin roofing is inexpensive when compared to reclaimed metal roofing. At, we have rusted metal roofing for sale. The average price of rusted corrugated roofing is $1.00 to $1.85 per square foot. It is also readily available so shipping costs are minimal. It can also be ordered to whatever sheet lengths that you need. This means not having to order longer sheets then you need which will be wasted money and metal.

Corrugated Corten Roofing Cost

Corten corrugated roofing will cost $1.35 to $1.85 per square foot. There are different alloys in this steel that cost more than bare steel. In addition, it will have a longer lifespan than bare steel.

Corrugated Bare Steel Roofing Cost

Corrugated roofing in a bare steel finish will cost $1.00 to $1.50 per square foot. Bare steel is simply uncoated steel and you will get a lesser lifespan when compared to Corten roofing.


Rusted Tin Roofing vs. Reclaimed Metal Roofing

Here are the three main questions that will help you determine which product is right for you.

1. Are you looking for an orange and brown rusted finish?

If that is the look that you are trying to replicate then rusted roofing will absolutely be the best and cheapest product for outdoor applications.

    • There are no screw or nail holes which makes it more weather tight
    • Rusted roofing cost less than reclaimed metal roofing
    • Shipping cost will be substantially less
    • Readily available
    • There are more panel profiles to choose from
  1. Are you looking for an old galvanized steel that has begun to rust?
  2. Interior or Exterior Installation?

You will not get the look of an old galvanized roof with rusted roofing. It will not look like a dull galvanized roof that has started to rust. If that is the look that you are trying to replicate then rusted roofing is not the correct product. Instead, we recommend either a painted product as shown below that is designed to look like a galvanized and rusted roofing panel or real reclaimed metal roofing.barnyard-rust-corrugated

Pre-Painted Corrugated Roofing In Reclaimed Metal Rust®

Real rusted roofing does NOT arrive pre-rusted. It needs to be exposed to the weather in order for it to develop a patina. If you have an interior application it either will not rust or it will take an exceptionally long time. There are three options for interior installations.

To learn more about rusted roofing we suggest that you read: Rusted Roofing FAQ’s

If you would like to see these products in person we recommend that you request a free sample. We have samples that are both pre-rusted and rusted.


Painted Rusted Roofing

These are referred to as designer colors or specialty paint prints. The process involves applying a base coat of solid color and then it is painted again with a different color using an engraved paint roller which creates a rusted pattern. Specialty paint prints are available in colors that resemble: orange and brown rust, old galvanized with orange or white rust streaks, weathered gray, patina’d copper, or blackened steel.

Specialty paint prints will solve all of the problems that are associated with reclaimed metal and will save you money. The only disadvantage to using this product is the authenticity of the product. Honestly, nothing looks as good as the real thing. However, these colors have been painted repeatedly which gives it depth and it does look authentic.

Because the color and look is the primary disadvantage to painted products, we always suggest that you request a free color chip. This way you can see these colors in person and decide for yourself if it may be the right product for you.

Whether you have a metal roof or a wall there will be numerous panel profiles to choose from. The most popular metal roofing panels a ⅞” corrugated, standing seam, PBR/R Panel, or Western Rib/7.2 Panel®. If you need a metal siding or metal wall panels than you should look at these profiles: Western Wave®, T-Groove®, Western Reveal®, ⅞” corrugated, PBR/R Panel, and Western Rib/7.2 Panel®.

As long as you are satisfied with the appearance of the painted product then it will be a better product. Here are the advantages of using painted products that look rusted instead of reclaimed metal roofing panels.

  • There are no rust stains to the surrounding areas. Anything that has rust on it will create rust stains when it gets wet. If the rain runs off and it’s near a white driveway then your driveway will end up with orange rust stains with reclaimed metal or rusted roofing. You could have the same issue on a wall.
  • There are no screw or nail holes. Pre-painted panels that look rusted are made from new steel. It is designed to be a weather tight system. Reclaimed metal has screw holes and areas where the panel has rusted through. Salvaged metal roofing is for aesthetics only as it is likely to leak.
  • There is a standard PVDF paint warranty for pre-painted metal roofing panels. The warranties are different depending upon the color, but they are typically a 20-30 year limited warranty.
  • Pre-painted panels have a consistent finish. Once you have viewed a color chip then you know exactly what you will be receiving. There is no variance from panel to panel.
  • You will normally save money when you purchase pre-painted panels that look old and weathered. The cost of a corrugated panel in a specialty paint finish is $2.40 to $2.75 per square foot. The price per square foot will be similar to reclaimed corrugated metal roofing. However, the freight cost for the pre-painted panels will be significantly less. In addition, the sheet lengths are made to size. If you need panels at 10’-9” that is what you get. If you buy reclaimed metal you buy what they have and that could mean purchasing lengths that are longer than you need. You will not have any wasted square footage with the painted product. When you combine both of these factors the overall cost of the painted panels will be cheaper.

Painted Panels That Look Like Rusty Galvanized

Reclaimed Metal Rust®

The look that most people want when they are looking for reclaimed metal is a rusty galvanized metal.  Rusted galvanized roofing is a combination of faded silver with orange and white rust. This is an extremely difficult look to mimic in a paint finish. The picture above is our color that is called “Reclaimed Metal Rust®. It is a true to life representation of what real reclaimed metal looks like.

reclaimed-metal-rust-corruagted-barnMetal Siding in Reclaimed Metal Rust®


Streaked Galvanized Rust®

The other finish that is popular is a rusty galvanized corrugated roofing and siding panel. It's mainly dull galvanized, but has orange rust streaks in the lows of the panel corrugations. Used corrugated metal typically has a different shade of rust in the lows of the panels than in the highs. Streaked Galvanized Rust® replicates this real world condition.

Speckled Galvanized Rust®

This finish replicates a faded galvanized and rusted metal that has orange rust spots throughout the panel. Speckled Galvanized Rust® is used more often on flat panels such as standing seam or flush wall panels.


Standing Seam Roofing In Speckled Galvanized Rust®


Painted Panels That Look Like Zinc or Weathered Galvanized

Galv-Ten Robust®

This color is designed to look like really old weathered galvanized steel that has white rust streaks throughout the panel. Galv-Ten Robust® is a great alternative if you want an old looking panel without any orange or red in it.


Zinc Patina®

Zinc Patina® is designed to look like a weathered zinc roofing or dull galvanized. Real zinc roofing is extremely expensive and you will save a lot of money by using this color when compared to real zinc.



Take The Next Step And Download A Color Chart Or Request A Sample

Painted rusted roofing is designed to look like a real rusted roof. It’s our most popular line of rusted paint prints and has the largest selection of colors.

These colors are intended to give you an alternative to real rusted roofing. They would be a better fit if you were concerned about rust stains, had an interior installation, wanted a warranty, or needed something that arrived already looking rusted. If you are not concerned about rust stains, lack of a warranty, or do not have an interior application then real rusted roofing is cheaper and will look more authentic.


Request A Free Color Chip

If you are considering using real rusted roofing or a pre-painted panel that looks weathered then the next step is to request a color chip. Metal color chips, panel samples, and color cards are simple to request on our website.

Viewing products on a computer screen is not the same as holding a metal color chip or panel sample in your hand and actually viewing the color. The only way you will know if this is a viable alternative to real reclaimed metal roofing is to see these colors in person.

If you need additional help choosing a color for your metal roof than we suggest that you read: Metal Roofing Colors: 5 Tips To Pick The Best Metal Roofing Color


Click here to request a free metal roofing sample in your favorite color!

Metal Roofing Learning Cener

About Paul Rubio

Paul Rubio is the Vice President and one of the owners of Western States Metal Roofing. He has been in the metal roofing industry for 25 years. WSMR is a manufacturer of metal roofing, wall panels, and metal siding. We have colors and finishes that nobody else has with nearly 100 different colors in stock. Our selection of color options and finishes is likely the largest in the industry.