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9 Types of Metal Roofs: The Pros & Cons

Published on Wednesday May 27, 2020
Types of Metal Roofing

Imagine a roof. You probably pictured a typical, shingle roof, right? You wouldn’t be alone. Most homeowners today automatically associate residential roofs with asphalt shingles, despite the many benefits that different types of metal roofs bring to the table.

Metal roofing is a broad term that covers a wide variety of different colors, sizes, styles and materials. With so many types of metal roofs to choose from, let’s break down the benefits of each, so you know which one would be best for your next roof replacement.

Metal Roof

1. Standing Seam

Standing seam metal roofing is a popular choice due to its sleek appearance, life expectancy and weatherproof construction. While it is more of a premium roofing option, standing seam metal roofing provides a long list of benefits that you can’t get with asphalt shingles or other natural roofing materials. Standing seam metal roofs are also very customizable to match each homeowner’s specific preferences.

metal roofing shake style

2. Shake-Inspired

Roofing shakes, also known as wooden shingles, are a common roofing style that has been used on homes across the globe for centuries. Many are drawn to this style since it offers a more classic look compared to the modern aesthetic of a standing seam metal roof. 

Luckily, homeowners can now achieve the traditional look of wooden shakes with the added benefits of metal roofing thanks to shake-inspired metal roofing panels. Although this style of metal roofing isn’t as watertight as standing seam metal roofing, a properly and professionally installed metal shake roof can help protect your home for decades.

Metal roofing

3. Tile-Inspired

Another popular roofing style, especially in warmer climates, is tile roofing. While tile roofing used to be composed solely of natural materials like clay or concrete, there are now metal roof options inspired by the design of tile roofing that is far more durable and easier to maintain.

While any metal roofing option is going to be more expensive than traditional asphalt shingle roofing, tile-inspired metal roofing tends to be fairly cost-effective compared to some other types of metal roofs for homes. 

Tile-inspired metal roofing is known for its resistance, even when put up against wind, fire, rain and hail. When looking at different types of metal roofs, keep in mind that tile-inspired metal roofing is one of the most economically friendly roofing options on the market.

Slate-inspired metal roof

4. Slate-Inspired

Natural stone is a costly material, so traditional slate roofs often come at a high price point compared to other roofing materials. Slate tends to be very heavy, which can put a lot of stress on a roof and require reinforced rafters in order to extend the roof’s lifespan.

Slate-inspired metal roofing, however, allows homeowners to achieve the luxurious appearance of natural slate roofing without the added weight and strain on your home’s structure.

5. Corrugated

Corrugated metal roofing is made from hot-dipped galvanized steel that’s been cold-rolled to create a corrugated pattern on the panels.

This process of galvanization (dipping it in zinc) and corrugation (essentially folding the sheets to make grooves and ridges) help the final material be stronger, more resistant against rust, and have an improved appearance. These roll-formed panels are then attached to your roof using screws, giving you a beautiful, durable roof.

6. Zinc

If you live in the United States, then you might not be familiar with the material zinc as a durable metal roof option. Not a lot of roofs are made with zinc in the United States, though a great many European residential roofs use this material. Zinc is a highly expensive metal roof material, but that’s for good reason since it can last up to a century.

Zinc is long-lasting, durable, and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance after installation. It is also fire resistant and naturally prevents the growth of mold, fungus, and mildew. If you’re looking for a highly durable material option and are willing to invest, zinc is a great option.

7. Aluminum

Aluminum is another highly durable metal roof option. It allows for a fast installation all while offering great longevity benefits, energy efficiency, fire resistance, and pest prevention. Aluminum is a relatively lightweight metal, much more so than steel, and it naturally resists rust.

This feature helps it suit homes in many climates, even those near coasts. Aluminum is very flexible and versatile and matches well with different home designs and homeowner preferences.

8. Copper

If you’re looking for the longest-lasting option of metal roofing, look no further than copper. This is an amazing roofing option if you’re wanting something to last a century or more.

That being said, copper has a big con to its long list of pros: it is the most expensive roofing option—rivaled only by zinc, which has a similar price point—but you will get what you pay for. A copper roof will be resistant to fire, hail damage, mildew, pets, and many other common culprits of damages. Copper is also fairly lightweight, so it won’t put a lot of stress on the structure of your home.

9. Galvanized Steel

A galvanized steel roof (which is often simply referred to as a galvanized roof) is a steel roof that’s been coated in a protective layer of zinc. Essentially, the base metal of steel is hot-dipped into zinc—either for a thick or a thin coat, depending on the homeowner’s preference—to help protect the steel roof against rust while also improving its appearance.

Ready to Make the Switch?

If you’re interested in learning more about which type of metal roof makes the most sense for your budget and home style, contact the pros at Long Roofing. Our metal roofs have earned a Class 4 distinction in impact resistance and a Class A fire rating, making them more durable than wood, slate and asphalt shingle roofs. 

Visit us online today to get a quote, schedule a free, in-home consultation or find answers to any of your roofing questions.

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