Types of Metal Roofing – Analyze Your Choices

types of metal roofing

Popular Types of Metal Roofing Materials

Only a few decades ago, when a person heard the term ‘metal roofing’, he or she was imagining a rusty tin roof installed on a barn or another type of industrial facility. Nowadays, things have changed. When we hear or read the words ‘metal roofing’, we imagine something entirely different: a durable, elegant and modern-looking roof made of quality metal and painted in a bright, shining color.

Because of the latest developments in the field of metal roofing, this system has become the most functional and attractive choice on the market.

Modern metal roofing is not only durable, versatile and stylish. It is also available in a multitude of materials, designs, styles and colors. We install metal roofing in Birmingham, Raleigh and Indianapolis as well as all surrounding areas.

Best Types of Metal Roofs for Your Home or Business

So, which are the types of metal roofing and how to be sure that you’re choosing the best one for your residence, commercial or industrial building? In order to have a better understanding of this subject, let’s make an analysis of the available metal roofing products, at the same time highlighting the pros and cons of each one.

1. Tin – Many years ago, a lot of industrial buildings were covered with tin roofs. Affordable, easy to install and suitable for storage purposes, tin was still susceptible to rust, corrosion, dents and increased noise, being totally inappropriate for residential construction.

2. Iron – Affordable as well, roofs made from iron are still being used in some industrial facilities. These are two main types of iron metal roofs:

Inverted Box Rib – This type of metal roofing is inexpensive, it comes in corrugated squares and has a low quality. It’s mostly used on small storage structures that do not need special insulation.

Corrugated galvanized iron – The iron panels are coated with steel, for increased durability. It’s appropriate for barns and sheds as well, being cheap and durable. The main drawback of these roofs is their vulnerability to rust, especially under exposure to acidic rains.

3. Steel – Stainless steel is probably the most common metal roofing material, being also the most affordable one – of course, in comparison to other modern quality roofing materials. The above-mentioned steel and iron are inexpensive as well, but they are not suitable for residential use or for large commercial buildings that require good insulation and increased protection against harmful elements. Steel is very strong and resistant to rust and dents caused by hails and impact. However, if left unprotected it is vulnerable to corrosion, that’s why it needs to be covered with special metal roofing paint and coatings. Stainless steel comes in a wide variety of colors, being suitable for homes as well.

  • Galvanized steel – This roofing material is made from steel (or iron) coated with zinc. This combination makes the roof more resistant to corrosion, also improving its aspect.
  • Galvalume steel – Coated with aluminum (zinc can also be added to the alloy) – also for increased resistance against corrosion and rust. It is considered one of the best metal roofing materials because of its longevity and strength. Galvalume usually comes painted from the factory – the professional paint application creates even more protection, also offering the clients a wide range of attractive colors to choose from.
  • Stone coated steel – These roofing panels are made from steel coated with aluminum/zinc with a top layer of ceramic-coated stone granules. This alloy is extremely stylish and strong, being also available in different colors and designs. This type of metal roofing is also appropriate for homes or buildings that try to mimic or recreate a historic architectural style – for example, a Victorian look.

2. Aluminum – More expensive than steel, but it offers more benefits. It is lightweight, durable, resistant to corrosion, totally recyclable, malleable and energy efficient, being a good choice for residential use. Because of its malleability, aluminum can be formed into various stylish designs that imitate the look of traditional clay, stone or wooden shingles. The downside of aluminum is its softness – this material can dent easily.

3. Copper – This is the most expensive roofing material. It is extremely durable (copper roofs can last up to 100 years with minimum maintenance) and stylish. It has an increased resistance against fire, also favoring snow shedding. Its only drawback is the fact that in interaction with oxygen copper forms a specific greenish coating (patina) that looks unappealing to many people.

4. Zinc –  Also used in metal roofing because of its resistance to corrosion, malleability and stylish look. However, it is mostly employed as a component in various alloys such as zincalume – a combination of steel, aluminum and zinc.

Metal Roof Coatings

Most metal roofing materials should be covered with one or several layers of special paint/finish/coating in order to be protected from corrosion and other detrimental effects of the environment. However, tin, aluminum and copper can maintain their durability even when left unfinished.

In order to be ready for installation, metal roofing materials have to be molded into specific shapes. Here are the most common ones:

1. Sheets. Sheet metal roofing consists of long stripes of metal which can be connected in various ways, depending on the specific needs of the owner.

2. Panels. Metal roofing panels can have a square or rectangular shape, being available in corrugated or standing seam versions.

3. Look-a-likes. These are metal strips which look like tiles or shingles, being mostly used in residential metal roofing. They mimic traditional styles such as cedar shakes, slate or clay tiles. Such metal shingles are usually custom made to meet the specific needs of the client. Even if they look like individual tiles, these metal strips are still installed as bigger panels – this way reducing the risk of damages and leakages.

What is the Difference Between Standing Seem and Corrugated Metal Roofing?

People that are only beginning to learn the basics of metal roofing are also probably wondering what is the difference between standing seem and corrugated metal roofing.

Standing Seam Metal Roofs

Standing seam metal roofing is a formation of roofing panels/sheets which are connected side by side vertically, by using concealed fasteners in an interlocking technique. The clean, straight vertical look of this roofing product is preferred by many households and commercial institutions, being frequently used on residences and various industrial/public buildings.

Corrugated Metal Roofing

Corrugated metal roofing, on the other hand, consists of metal panels with a wavy pattern, designed to increase the overall resistance of a specific small area. Corrugated panels tend to be heavier than other types of metal roofing because there is more metal used in a given area. However, if a lighter material like aluminum is used for making these panels, this roofing system becomes lightweight as well. Corrugated roofing has been used in industrial facilities for a long time. Due to its improved features, though, it began to be demanded in residential construction as well. You can find corrugated metal roofs made from stainless steel, aluminum and copper.

Lastly, metal roofing can be classifies according to its connector system. There are two main types – concealed fastener systems (for example, the standing seam system described above) and exposed fastener systems (which are generally cheaper).

Armed with this information on the main types of metal roofing, it’s time to decide which one is more appropriate for your home or commercial building. Before choosing, though, consider several factors: the style of the building, the needed appearance, the local climate and the ratio between the cost and the lifespan of the roof. Contact Authentic Restoration for a free quote, call (844) 528-0808!