The 9 Types of Metal Roofs

Ravindra Ambegaonkar
5 Minutes Read

    Choosing the right type of metal roof can transform the aesthetic and performance of a building. The 9 types of metal roofs offer varied benefits such as durability, energy efficiency, and minimal maintenance. Understanding these options can help property owners make informed decisions that meet their specific needs.

    Metal roofing options include materials like steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc, each with unique advantages. They range from the common and economically friendly corrugated steel to the luxurious and long-lasting copper.

    Each type has its characteristics, suited for different climates, aesthetic preferences, and budgets. For instance, aluminum is known for its resistance to saltwater corrosion, making it ideal for coastal areas.

    Metal Roofing Materials

    Different types of metal roofing materials offer varying benefits in terms of durability, aesthetics, and cost. Some materials resist corrosion more effectively, while others are known for their distinctive appearance or strength.

    Aluminum Roofing

    Aluminum roofing is a popular choice due to its lightweight nature and resistance to rust. This metal is ideal for environments with high humidity or salt exposure.

    It is also easy to work with and provides excellent reflectivity, helping to improve energy efficiency. Aluminum roofing often comes with a pre-painted finish to enhance its appearance and protect it from the elements.

    For those with budget considerations, it’s worth getting quotes from several roof replacement companies to compare prices.

    Steel Roofing

    Steel roofing is renowned for its strength and versatility. It is available in three main types: galvanized, galvalume, and weathering steel. Galvanized steel is coated with a layer of zinc to protect against corrosion.

    Galvalume steel has an alloy coating of aluminum and zinc, offering superior protection. Weathering steel, commonly known as Corten steel, develops a rusted appearance for aesthetic purposes but is designed to withstand further corrosion.

    Steel roofing is a cost-effective option with high durability. Be sure to get quotes from several roof replacement companies to find the best deal.

    Copper Roofing

    Copper roofing is prized for its longevity and distinctive appearance. Over time, copper develops a patina that adds aesthetic value while providing additional corrosion resistance.

    This material is highly durable and can last several decades, even over a century. It is also malleable, making it easy to form into various shapes and designs.

    Though copper roofing can be more expensive, it requires minimal maintenance and offers exceptional durability. Considering the costs, getting quotes from several roof replacement companies is advisable.

    Zinc Roofing

    Zinc Roofing

    Zinc roofing is known for its self-healing properties. When scratched, a protective coating naturally forms to seal the area and prevent corrosion. This makes zinc an excellent choice for durability.

    Zinc is also malleable, allowing for creative architectural designs. It has a lower melting point, reducing the energy required for production, thus making it a sustainable option.

    Its initial cost may be higher, but the long-term investment is justified due to its longevity and low maintenance requirements.

    Tin Roofing

    Tin roofing, although not as common as it once was, is known for its rust resistance when coated and maintained properly. Traditional tin roofs used sheets of "terne" – tin-coated steel – which provided benefits of both metals.

    Modern tin roofing is valued for its lightweight and easy installation. Its classic appearance suits historic or rustic homes.

    Given its climbing material rarity, it is crucial to get quotes from several roof replacement companies to ensure competitive pricing and availability.

    Metal Roofing Styles

    Different metal roofing styles cater to varied aesthetic preferences and functional needs. From the sleek lines of standing seam to the classic look of metal shakes, each type offers distinct benefits in terms of durability, appearance, and installation methods.

    Standing Seam Roofing

    Standing seam roofing features vertical panels with raised seams that interlock to keep moisture out.

    Key Features:

    • Durability: Known for its strength and longevity, typically lasting 50 years or more.
    • Appearance: Provides a modern, clean look with straight lines.
    • Installation: Requires professional installation due to its complexity.
    • Maintenance: Minimal maintenance needed due to its design and material.
    Metal Shingles Roofing

    Metal shingles offer the appearance of traditional shingles but with enhanced durability.

    Key Features:

    • Aesthetic Variety: Available in various styles, textures, and colors.
    • Durability: Resistant to extreme weather conditions.
    • Energy Efficiency: Reflective properties help reduce cooling costs.
    • Installation: Can be installed over existing roofs, saving time and cost.
    Metal Tile Roofing

    Metal tiles mimic the appearance of traditional clay or concrete tiles without their weight.

    Key Features:

    • Weight: Lighter than traditional tiles, reducing structural load.
    • Durability: Resistant to cracking and warping.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: Comes in various colors and styles.
    • Maintenance: Low maintenance requirements compared to traditional tiles.
    Metal Shake Roofing

    Metal shakes resemble the look of wooden shakes but with added benefits.

    Key Features:

    • Longevity: Far more durable than wood, often lasting 40-70 years.
    • Fire Resistance: Non-combustible, offering better fire protection.
    • Aesthetic Versatility: Offers a rustic look without the drawbacks of wood.
    • Maintenance: Requires less upkeep than traditional wooden shakes.
    Corrugated Metal Roofing

    Corrugated metal roofing is known for its wavy pattern and is commonly used in agricultural and industrial buildings.

    Key Features:

    • Strength: Highly durable and withstands extreme weather.
    • Cost-Effective: One of the more affordable metal roofing options.
    • Installation Ease: Easier to install than more complex metal roofing styles.
    • Versatility: Suitable for both residential and commercial applications.

    Benefits of Metal Roofs

    Metal roofs offer a range of advantages, including extended lifespan, energy savings, eco-friendly attributes, and minimal maintenance requirements. These benefits can make them an attractive option for both residential and commercial properties.

    Durability and Longevity

    Metal roofs are known for their impressive durability and long lifespan. They can withstand extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain, strong winds, and even hail. Unlike traditional asphalt shingles, which may need replacement every 15-20 years, metal roofs can last 40-70 years, depending on the material.

    Homeowners might also benefit from the robust nature of metal roofs which provide resistance to fire, rot, and insect damage. When considering quotes from several roof replacement companies, be sure to compare the warranties offered, as longer warranties typically indicate higher confidence in the roof's durability.

    Energy Efficiency

    Metal roofs can significantly contribute to energy savings by reflecting solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs by 10-25%. Some metal roofing materials are coated with special reflective surfaces to enhance their energy efficiency. This high reflectivity can help maintain a cooler home environment during hot months.

    Additionally, metal roofs can be installed with insulation that further improves thermal performance. When researching roof replacement options, consider energy-efficient metals like aluminum or copper, which can provide further energy savings.


    Metal roofs are often made from recycled materials and are 100% recyclable at the end of their life. This makes them a sustainable roofing choice. Using recycled metals such as steel or aluminum reduces the environmental impact compared to traditional roofing materials.

    Moreover, metal roofs can be an ideal base for integrating renewable energy solutions like solar panels. Many roof replacement companies offer options that pair metal roofs with solar panel installations, providing a seamless integration that enhances the overall sustainability of the property.

    Maintenance and Upkeep

    Metal roofs generally require less maintenance than other types of roofing. They are designed to be resistant to cracking, shrinking, and erosion. This results in fewer repairs over the life of the roof. Basic maintenance typically involves checking for loose fasteners and ensuring that debris does not accumulate in gutters.

    It's essential to hire a professional for regular inspections to prolong the life of the metal roof. When getting quotes from roof replacement companies, ask about maintenance services they offer to ensure you have a comprehensive care plan.

    Contact Us

    Tags : roofing solar roof Metal Roof

    Join 15,000+ Fellow Architects and Contractors

    Get expert engineering tips straight to your inbox. Subscribe to the NY Engineers Blog below.

    Have a project in mind?
    Request a proposal