When you hear the word “metal roof,” your mind automatically goes to steel, but the term applies to a much wider selection of materials. The type of material would be a key first step in determining the way to go, depending on your position and environment.

Types of Metal Roofing Materials

  1. Copper. Long-lasting, extremely fragile, and with a low melting temperature.
  2. Aluminum. Long-lasting and corrosion-resistant in saltwater.
  3. Zinc. Very long-lasting, corrosion-resistant, and with the lowest melting point.
  4. Steel. There are three different types of steel: galvanized, galvalume, and weathering steel.
  5. Tin. Was commonly used before World War II. This term is no longer generally used.

If you’re searching for a new metal roof, a dealer trying to sell metal coils or sheets to consumers, or a contractor working directly with a homeowner or business owner, understanding the advantages and disadvantages of various metal roofing materials is important.

Copper Roofing Pros & Cons

Copper roofing, known as the “grandfather” of metal roofing, has been used for decades all over the world. Copper is a very long-lasting metal that can last for over 200 years under perfect conditions. These roofs are also 100 percent recyclable, making them ideal choices for green roofs.

Copper roofing is incredibly costly, and depending on the requirements, it could be more than you need. Copper’s ability to expand and contract with temperature changes is another disadvantage.

Aluminum Roofing Pros & Cons

In coastal climates, aluminum metal roofs are commonly recommended. This is due to aluminum’s superior salt corrosion resistance as compared to other metal roofing materials. Although it’s a common misconception that aluminum is immune to corrosion, the fact is that it’s a highly active metal that responds rapidly to changes in the setting.

Although it provides better corrosion resistance, it is also more costly than alternatives that use aluminum as a coating.

Zinc Roofing Pros & Cons

Zinc is a remarkable metal, capable of healing scratches with its patina over time and staying solid for over a century. Zinc’s natural properties make it a popular choice for commercial projects because it can be easily shaped and manipulated into amazing shapes.

The key drawbacks of Zinc are its aesthetic chalking effect and its high price. Zinc is not a cheap metal. Zinc is often compared to copper. Zinc, like Copper, requires skilled installation to completely benefit from its advantages as a building material.

Steel Roofing Pros & Cons

Steel is also the least costly metal as compared to other metals. Steel is indeed priced much lower than Aluminum, Zinc, or Copper, even though it is also a commodity. Steel is thus both more economical and more readily available than the other metals on this list.

Steel is the most commonly used material, making it a less costly and accessible metal roofing choice for both homeowners and businesses.

Tin Roofing Pros & Cons

When other materials aren’t usable, you can use them as a shingle.

Metal roofing materials such as galvalume, aluminum, zinc, copper, and stainless steel are all excellent choices. When it comes to selecting the right metal roofing material, recognizing the basic and specific aspects of a building, whether residential or commercial, is the best place to start.

Each of these metals has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. The installer you select, the position of your construction and the stresses and strains it will be subjected to all play a role in determining the best metal to use for roofing.

Just hire experienced metal roof contractors who have experience not only with metal roofing but with the particular metal you want to use on your next project.