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Types of Metal Roofing Materials: Pros, Cons, and Cost

December 30, 2021

commercial Metal Roofing project

A roof is a significant investment, regardless of whether you’re building a new one or replacing it. You want it to be durable and last as long as possible, so you need to take into account different factors when you’re installing one.

If you’re looking for a resilient roof, consider a metal roof since they generally last from 30 to more than 50 years. It’s also low-maintenance and energy-efficient. However, there are more types of metal roofs than you may realize.

Here are some common metal roof types and their advantages and disadvantages, listed from most expensive to least expensive.

Copper Metal Roofing

Copper has been used for centuries and is nicknamed the grandfather of metal roofing. In ideal environments, it can last for more than 200 years. However, copper is typically the most expensive material, ranging from $14 to $22 per square foot, since it’s the longest-lasting metal.

Copper is also known for its striking appearance. When oxygen interacts with copper, it forms a greenish coating called patina. Some people find this aesthetically pleasing, while others consider it unappealing.

It’s important to note that copper is a softer metal, and hail or falling debris can dent it. It also expands and contracts with fluctuating temperatures, but you can control this using the right panels and shingles.

Aluminum Roofing

Contractors are always ready to install aluminum roofs since this material is Earth’s third most abundant metal. This material is recommended for properties in coastal climates as it has a higher resistance to salt corrosion.

Aluminum is lightweight yet durable, with its strength-to-weight ratio higher than other metal roof types. But this may be more expensive than other metal types, costing about $4 to $11 per square foot.

You can easily configure this material, so there are many designs available. It can even be molded to look like shingles, stone, and clay. If you’re mindful of making green choices, aluminum can also be a good choice because 90% to 95% of it can be recycled.

Steel

When people mention “metal roofs,” steel is what usually comes to people’s minds. It is a popular choice since it’s one of the cheapest roofing materials. However, it has a shorter lifespan compared to other metal roofs, lasting around 40-60 years.

Its longevity is shorter because it’s more prone to corrosion, but you can remedy this with coatings, which has three primary types:

  • Galvanized – Made from steel coated with zinc
  • Galvalume – Coated with aluminum and comes painted with a wide range of color options
  • Stone-Coated Steel – Coated with aluminum/zinc and topped with a layer of ceramic-coated stone granules

Depending on which type of steel roof you choose, costs can range from $4 to $16 per square foot. People also go for steel roofs because of their strength. When installed correctly, a steel roof can resist fire and rot as well as withstand hail and other elements. If you’re still unsure which metal roof to get for your property, get in touch with WaterTight  Roofing. We serve clients from more than 14 regions and know what it takes to properly install a roof that can withstand all types of weather.