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Deciding what type of metal roof to install? Steel, aluminum, zinc, and copper are all excellent roofing materials with unique benefits and drawbacks. Discover which metal roof is right for your home or building.
When you hear the term "metal roof", it's usually referring to a steel roof. However, there are more types of metal roofing besides steel panels. They are less common, but still provide all of the benefits that come with using metal as a roof material. Learn more about the different types of metal roofing below.
Steel is the most common material for metal roofing panels. Steel roofing can refer to Galvalume steel or galvanized steel. Galvalume refers a coating which consists of 55% aluminum, 43.4% zinc, and 1.6% silicone, giving it enhanced during compared to galvanized steel which has a coating of just zinc.
There are different panel options within the steel roof category. Corrugated metal panels are the most affordable type of metal roofing system, costing nearly half as much as standing seam roofing. However, a standing seam panel has maximum weathertightness from the elements, compared to an exposed fastener panel, and is many times preferred over a corrugated metal roof for its clean, contemporary appearance.
An aluminum roof is the most lightweight of the metal materials, and also has the greatest strength to weight ratio. Aluminum is a roofing material that is compatible with coastal environments as it is corrosion resistant and will not rust when exposed to the salty air environment.
A copper roof is a premium metal roofing material as it's the longest lasting and also the most expensive.
Copper is more commonly found on residential metal roofing in Europe than in the US and is also used on public buildings as it can last hundreds of years.
Copper roofing has a unique look from developing a patina layer overtime that protects the copper from rust. The patina will change the copper color from a shiny penny to a green-blue.
Zinc and copper are similar metal roof materials in both longevity and price. Zinc roofing can last hundreds of years, however, it is not a commonly used roof panel in the United States because it's hard for a roofing contractor to find due to limited availability as it's expensive for a roof supplier to keep in stock.
Zinc roofing patinas overtime and changes to a blue-gray color. The patina layer protects the zinc from rust, which makes zinc roofing a compatible roofing material for properties on and near the ocean.
When tin roofing began being used centuries ago, it quickly became a very popular roofing material since it was lightweight and easy to work with. Today, tin roofs are no longer installed. When you hear someone refer to a "tin roof", they are usually referring to galvanized steel or aluminum which can mimic the appearance of tin.
Stainless steel is a durable metal made up of 10.5% chromium. Due to it's high price, which is comparable to copper or zinc, stainless steel is not a commonly used roofing material.