June 19, 2019

Metal Roofing: Everything You Need to Know

Metal roofing has always been a staple in the roofing industry! Durability combined with the classic look has made these materials some of the most popular to date.

Time to read:
5 Minutes
Written by
Nicholas Capobianco

Metal roofing has always been a staple in the roofing industry. Drive through any neighborhood in the U.S. or Canada and you are very likely to see a metal roof in use. Durability combined with the classic look has made these materials some of the most popular to date. Whether you’re starting a new roofing project or considering an upgrade, read on to learn everything you need to know about metal roofing!

The different types of metal roofs

Not all metal roofing materials are the same. There are many different types of metals used in roofing, including:

  • aluminum,
  • steel,
  • corrugated metal,
  • tin,
  • copper, and
  • individual metal shingles.

There are other materials used, but these are some of the most common. The range of metal roofing available extends beyond just the types of metal being used. It also encompasses styles and fits that can impact the cost and the effectiveness of the roof overall. Some of the most popular metal roof styles include:

Standing seam metal roofs

These are the metal roofs that you might see on the homes of your friends and neighbors. They are, by far, the most popular type of metal roofing systems in the U.S. and Canada. This has a lot to do with the ease of installation, and the durability and longevity associated with the standing seam panels. A metal roof can easily outlast asphalt shingles by a decade or more. A standing seam metal roof is installed using large panels and concealed fasteners. The roof itself is propped up on supports that allow it to create a watertight seal over the top of the home or commercial building.

Aluminum shingles

While metal roofing shingles can be made out of steel or other metals, aluminum provides excellent lightweight protection. The shingles themselves don’t rust or rot over time. The primary need to replace them has to do with extended aging, exterior damage, or erosion of the structure itself. The installation process can be tedious but is well worth the cost when you consider the longevity and durability of the finished product.

Corrugated steel metal roofs

Corrugated metal roofs provide an alternative for more expensive standing seam roofs. These are generally made from aluminum or steel, and are manufactured in large pleated sheets. Many people living in agricultural areas have seen these steel roofs used on commercial buildings, and for homes that require a durable roofing alternative.

Copper zinc roofs

These roofing systems are relatively rare and not usually installed by contractors or even larger roofing companies. This is partially due to the cost of copper and zinc roofing materials, and the customized nature of these projects. This particular metal is known for extreme durability and often costs 2 to 4 times as much as other metal roofing. Copper roofs only made this list because they are known for historic applications, and are used in architectural projects and high-end buildings.

The pros of metal roofing and metal shingles

Making the decision to install metal roofing requires careful weighing of the pros and cons. Read on to learn about some of the advantages of using these materials.

Energy efficiency

Metal roofs reflect the energy of the sun. This means that they prevent the heat exchange that can cause your utility bills to go up. A properly installed metal roofing system can help to maintain the temperature inside of your home, and reduce your carbon footprint.

Also ensure that you have proper ventilation that can help with your roofing carbon footprint. Ask your Roofr representative today!

Green materials

In addition to energy efficiency, many metal materials are made primarily from recycled aluminum. This combined with the longevity of a metal roof (meaning less waste) has a positive lasting impact on the environment.

Longevity and durability

Metal has a reputation for being extremely durable. Metal roofing is no different, and can last anywhere from 40 to 70 years. The key is proper installation and regular maintenance. With that kind of longevity, metal roofs can pay for themselves several times over.

Fire safety

One of the more appealing advantages of metal roofing for people living in particularly dry areas is that metal panels are largely fire resistant. Metal roofs don’t catch fire, and can keep a home safe from sparks coming from nearby structures.

The cons of metal roofing

As with any material, metal roofing also comes with some disadvantages when compared to other options. These are all things that need to be considered carefully before making your final roofing decision.

The cost

A metal roof can easily cost twice as much as a lower-end asphalt roof. Many homeowners see this as an investment. However, it can also be a financial burden if you’re not able to shell out the money up front. Making the decision to install a metal roof can require years of financial planning.

Installation techniques

Not every contractor or roofing company understands how to properly install metal roofing. If a metal roof isn’t installed correctly, then it can experience leaks and problems with the materials contracting or expanding in adverse weather. Always make sure that you’re working with an experienced installation team.

Noise can be a factor

If you’ve ever thrown a handful of rocks off of the metal surface, you can understand just how loud and disruptive the sound can be. Most metal roof owners don’t complain too much about the sound, but a smaller home with a metal roof may experience some noise interference from debris or rain.


The cost of maintenance for a metal roof also exceeds the cost of maintenance for asphalt or more common materials. Again, this is why it’s so important to make sure that your metal roof is installed properly the first time. Replacing a panel can be an involved process, and it can be difficult to get the colors right the second time around. If a manufacturer goes out of business, you may end up with a patchwork roof that doesn’t look anything like the one you envisioned.

Are you considering a metal roof?

Many people agree that choosing a metal roof is an excellent investment in your home or property. If you still have questions or you’re looking for an installation pro, contact Roofr today for more information!

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a close up view of a metal roof