How Long Does a Metal Roof Last?

blue metal roof

Metal Roofs: A Long-Lasting Investment

From the moment that a roof is installed, it will need to cope with various challenges, including sun, wind, rain, mold, algae, and pests. Each roof will degrade with time, but much will depend on the material of choice and the quality of installation. 

If you’re faced with the prospect of replacing your current roof, you’ll want something that lasts as long as possible within your budget, and metal may be under consideration. But how long does a metal roofing system last compared to asphalt roofing, what are the different types of metal roofs, and what factors can affect their lifespan?

Exploring Metal Roofing Panels

Metal roofs are one of the most popular solutions in residential communities, as well as in agriculture and general commerce. They are stylish and can be relatively low-maintenance but will typically weather well. In fact, you can expect one of these roofs to last for around 30 years, and with some types of metal roofs, you could possibly stretch that up to 50 years.

The long life expectancy and energy efficiency of metal roofing products have made them a popular choice for eco-friendly homeowners. Metal roofs are available in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes to suit the needs of any home or business. 

Different Types of Roofs

When it comes to metal roofing, there are five different categories — copper, zinc, aluminum, steel, and tin. Your environment and location may influence your choice. For example, an aluminum roof is an excellent choice in salty coastal places, while you may want to avoid copper if you live in an area that may see frequent hailstorms.

Depending on the type of metal roofing materials you choose, you can expect different lifespans. These can range from around 20 years for the lower-quality metals up to 70 years or more for higher-quality materials. 

Copper Roofing

This is one of the oldest types of metal roofs and a very good choice if you’re worried about your green credentials. Still, it’s one of the more expensive solutions and can also be prone to extremes in temperature.

Zinc Roofing

Zinc is 100% recyclable and also an environmentally friendly choice. It requires much less energy to create but takes longer to install, which should add to its upfront cost. It will naturally weather into a gray/blue condition like most bare metals, although some may not find this appealing from an aesthetic point of view. However, this can be controlled or cleaned to a certain extent.

Aluminum Roofing

Aluminum is great in coastal areas as it is resistant to salt. It will naturally create a protective aluminum oxide layer, sealing the inner layers against future corrosion. Still, it’s strong and relatively light but somewhat vulnerable in regions that must deal with frequent windstorms. Many different aluminum roofing solutions are available, which will be reflected in the thickness of the metal.

Steel Roofing

This is certainly one of the most common solutions for roof replacements in the metal roofing industry. These panels are often made from recycled materials and can be one of the least expensive metal roofing options. There are, in turn, three different steel roofing types – weathering, galvanized, and galvalume.

Weathering is somewhat similar to aluminum in many respects, as an outer layer will degrade to protect the inner layers. In aluminum, this is known as the patina effect. In any case, this roof will require regular maintenance.

A galvanized steel roof incorporates a layer of zinc that protects the inner layer from rust.

Galvalume features a combination of zinc and aluminum as an outer protective coating. It may offer better surface protection than galvanized in some situations.

Tin Roofing

Some people refer to a metal roof as a tin roof, but technically, it’s a different type of material altogether. Today, you won’t find any pure tin options, as this material has been replaced by more effective solutions and has been broadly phased out.

Choosing Your Roofing Solution

When choosing metal roofing, consider the panel types — for example, corrugated metal roofing, which has an exposed fastener panel, or standing seam roofing, which features a concealed fastener panel. You can get metal shingles or panels that are designed to mimic the look of slate or tile.

When looking at the cost of installing a metal roof, you need to consider how it’ll be installed. There is a difference between standing seam metal roofing panels and exposed fastener alternatives. You may also need to take into account specialty paint finishes.

Generally, the overall price will be dictated by the scale of the job, the size of the individual panel, and its associated weight. Some materials may be more difficult to handle, which may elongate the time involved and, consequently, the cost. Bear in mind that there are often fluctuations in the steel market, which can affect any quotation.

Factors Affecting the Lifespan

As you narrow down your choice, remember that several factors may affect the lifespan of your metal roof. You need to consider the prevailing weather conditions, especially in areas prone to heavy snowfall or tropical storms. Metal roofs may require a degree of maintenance, but this should certainly be less onerous than with an asphalt shingle roof, for example.

Always ensure that you bring in experts to install your metal roof, as proper installation can be one of the biggest factors in longevity. Otherwise, the roof may be more prone to cracking, leakage, and other factors that could easily shorten its expected life.

Working with Expert Roofing Contractors

If you live in North Georgia, you should turn to the experts at JET Contracting. We are locally owned with a reputation for providing top-quality products and outstanding service. In fact, we have been in business for more than 20 years and believes that no job is too big or too small. 

As such, if you want to know “how long does a metal roof last on a house,” our dedicated team will be delighted to receive your call. We’ll be glad to give you more information or schedule a free estimate.

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