What is the Best Type of Metal Roof?

With the continuous growth of the metal roof business, deciding which type of metal roof for your property can be difficult. To assist you to choose the best type of metal roof, it is important to understand more about metal roofing systems and learn about the different types of metal roofs.

Metal roofs for residential and commercial buildings are now popular because of their qualities such as being fire-resistant, extended lifespan, and easy installation. Additionally, metal roof material is surprisingly lightweight yet very effective at reflecting heat from the sun, a feature that saves energy and may qualify homeowners for tax benefits.

According to Global Market Insight, the Metal Roofing Market is expected to rise significantly from 2021 to 2027. In 2018, the U.S. manufacturing sector increased by over 7%, reaching USD 2.4 billion, accounting for around 11% of the total gross domestic product (GDP) of the US. The market is growing due to significant expansion in the residential and commercial construction sectors, as well as increasing demands from the industrial sector for more value from their roofing construction investments.

This is an image of a well installed metal roof on a commercial building.

What Is a Metal Roof?

A metal roof is a roofing system that consists of metal pieces, tiles, or panels. A metal roof is a component of the roofing envelope, which serves as a physical barrier between the inside and outside of a structure and is designed to resist air, water, heat, and sound.

Who Are Metal Roofs Made For?

Metal roofs are an excellent choice for homeowners and business owners who are looking to optimize their property’s use of energy. According to a study about next-generation roofs, metal roofs offer a 40% decrease in energy expenses in the summer and a 15% reduction in energy costs in the winter.

Metal roofing is also ideal for those property owners who desire a roof that is durable and fire-resistant while being customized in terms of color, finish, and texture. Lastly, a metal roof is perfect for property owners who want a recyclable roof.

What People Are Saying About Metal Roofs?

“Every year, we’re more pleased with the beauty and reliability of this fine Classic Metal Roof.” – David from Sarasota, FL

“A metal roof is a huge upgrade over asphalt. Yes, it’s more expensive, but the advantages far exceed anything an asphalt roof could ever hope to provide, not to mention a 60 plus year lifespan. UV protection is also a huge benefit.” – Homeowner

“Our Classic metal roof looks fantastic and instantly made our old and modest home look great. In the long run, it’s clear to me that an aluminum installation is the least expensive way to go.” – Santiago

What Is a Metal Roof Made Of?

The most common materials used in metal roofing are:

  • Galvalume
  • Aluminum
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Stainless steel

Metal roofs are occasionally built of corrugated galvanized steel, which is created by coating a wrought iron–steel sheet with zinc and then rolling it into corrugated sheets. Some metal roofing uses a combination of zinc, aluminum, and silicon-coated steel.

What is the Installation Process for a Metal Roof?

A metal roof can be installed on your own with the right tools, knowledge, and assistance. However, the installation can be difficult and can vary slightly depending on the type of panels or shingles you choose. It is always advisable that metal roof installation should be done by experienced roofing contractors. 

Here’s a generalized and quick step for installing a metal roof.

  1. Prepare your roof surface: Clean and dry the roof surface and measure the length, width, and rise of the roof.
  2. Install the edging: The edging, also known as eave flashing, is made up of metal strips that run around the edge of the roof.
  3. Install the metal panels: Always start with the peak-to-eave distance that is the longest. Place the first sheet of metal on the roof so that it hangs over the edge.
  4. Add the flashing: This is a metal trim that looks similar to eave flashing but is used to cover roof joints where different sections meet. This should be utilized as end caps over the tops of two sides that meet and in valleys.
  5. Finish the roof: Ensure that the metal has completely covered the roof, that all edges are smooth and finished, and that no loose parts remain.

Pros and Cons of Metal Roofs

It’s no wonder that metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners and builders. A metal roof offers great advantages to residential and commercial buildings. However, there are several downsides to using it as a building material. 

Learn about the benefits and drawbacks of a metal roof before making your decision.

Financial

Pros: Good Investment

Investing in a metal roof could result in a roof that lasts a lifetime. With a high-quality metal roof, you won’t have to spend money on renewing it every few years. A good metal roof, unlike regular-quality roofing materials, can resist the elements for well over 50 years or more.

Metal roofing will help you save electricity costs. Metal roofing will reflect the heat from the sun during hot summer days, keeping your house naturally cool. Your HVAC system is working less, which saves you money on your electrical bill. Additionally, it helps the HVAC’s lifespan to extend, saving you money from replacement and repairs.

Lastly, metal roofing can help you save money on your taxes. The federal energy-efficient tax credit allows residential homeowners to claim a tax credit for installing an energy-efficient metal roof. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 made the tax deductions permanent for energy-efficient commercial buildings authorized under Section 179D of the Internal Revenue Code.

Cons: Expensive

Metal roofs are often 2 to 3 times more expensive than regular asphalt shingles, making them prohibitively expensive for some homeowners and business owners.

Maintenance

Pros: Low Maintenance

Metal roofing is low-maintenance and requires little to no attention. To properly maintain a metal roof, you’ll just have to perform typical roof maintenance which is preventing leaves, branches, and debris from accumulating in the gutters.

Cons: Difficult to Repair

While a metal roof is long-lasting and low-maintenance, it is not 100% that a metal roof cannot be damaged. If there is a particularly heavy hailstorm or large branches fall on the house, metal roofs are prone to denting. Metal roof repair can be difficult if they become damaged. Metal roofing is put in large panels, making replacement more difficult.

Longevity

Pros: Long Lasting

Metal roofs have been shown to survive two to three times longer than regular asphalt shingles and can endure any weather conditions. When properly installed, metal roofs keep water out, endure high winds, and keep snow and ice from accumulating. Metal roofs can last for more than 50 years without needing to be repaired or replaced.

Cons: Fading and Staining

Metal roofs are vulnerable to fading and discoloration over time. If ever a portion of the roofing system needs to be repaired, it may be difficult to obtain an identical match to the existing metal color.

In this image, there is a well-installed, residential metal roof

Types of Metal Roofs

Depending on your needs, there are various types of metal roofs to choose from. 

Aluminum Roofs

The following are some of the most important features of an aluminum metal roof:

  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight
  • Heat Reflector
  • Eco-Friendly Material

Aluminum roofs are a great fit for standing seam roofs compared to other materials since it’s simple to work with, doesn’t corrode, and doesn’t require any maintenance. Additionally, aluminum metal roofs are frequently recommended in coastal climates due to their superior salt corrosion resistance.

Copper Roofing

Copper is one of the oldest and most durable metals used in human history. Many medieval buildings and churches had copper roofs, and some of them are still standing today. Copper roofing is significantly more durable than other roofing materials such as asphalt and slate in terms of long-term endurance. 

Copper roofing is quickly becoming a tremendously popular metal roofing option for both commercial and domestic premises, with lifespan and energy efficiency being key objectives when developing and remodeling buildings.

Metal Tile Roofs

Metal tile roofs are attractive and durable at the same time. These roofs provide houses a traditional appearance while still performing their protective role as a roof. 

Metal tile roofing is considered the most fire-resistant material available. Metal tile roofing is perfect for properties in wildfire-prone areas.

Metal Shingle Roofs

Metal shingles are ideal for homeowners who desire a shingle appearance for their roofs. However, a metal shingle roof will endure 50 years or more, compared to ordinary shingle roofs, which only last approximately 25 years. Metal shingle roofs will require less maintenance and will be less prone to leaks and damage from severe weather such as hailstorms, snow, and heavy rain.

Metal shingle is also very effective in reflecting UV rays. Your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard, which saves you money in the form of cheaper monthly energy costs and less wear and tear.

Standing Seam Metal Roofs

Standing seam metal roofing is becoming increasingly popular for property owners who seek roofing products that will endure a long time, look modern, and protect their structures from harsh weather. A standing seam metal roofing is a concealed fastener metal panel system with vertical legs and a broad, flat region between the two legs. 

Because of its design, you’ll have fewer issues with corrosion, leaks, and loose panels with this sort of roofing.

This image shows a standing seam metal roof, which is one of a few options for homeowners.

Tin Roofing

Tin roofing is made of rolled steel. As a result, the material is extremely tough and unlikely to crack. Steel is a fire-resistant material that reduces the risk of a house fire. Additionally, tin roofing effectively locks out moisture and keeps mold and mildew less likely to grow, which can pose major health problems.

Tin Roofing can be a very energy-efficient roofing material during the summer since it reflects solar heat. It also shields you from the sun’s dangerous UV rays. 

Types of Paint for Metal Roofs

If you want to ensure you have the best type of metal roof, you also need to consider what is the best coating for a metal roof. Here are the different types of paint that you can choose from to match your metal roof:

PVDF

PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride) is a paint that is a non-reactive thermoplastic fluoropolymer with many coating benefits. It’s a chemically resistant, thick-film barrier coating that’s commonly used on metal roofs. PVDF coatings are made with the best pigmentation and have one of the strongest bonds known, the carbon-fluorine bond, which adds to their longevity.

SMP

Silicone Modified Polyester (SMP) is made up of polyester and silicone intermediates. Silicone improves the coatings’ gloss retention and weather resilience, which is ideal for metal roofs. SMP paint also helps prevent fading and chalking of the metal roof.

Kynar

Kynar, which is considered the best paint type for a metal roof, is a resin-based coating for aluminum, galvanized steel, and aluminized steel. Kynar paint will protect your metal panels from the wear and tear that a roof endures over time. Kynar paint will help ensure the lifetime that you expect from a metal roof.

Acrylic

Acrylic paint works effectively for bare metal roofs or to cover up old paint layers. It is one of the most long-lasting and effective paints for terraces and roofs, protecting all pH levels of water. Because of its elasticity, it can contract to allow water to expel from its surface. 

This image shows the process of roof coating on a metal roof.

Types of Metal Roof Underlayment

Choosing the best type of metal roof also necessitates selecting the best metal roof underlayment. Underlayment is designed to be installed beneath metal roofs and provide thermal and waterproofing protection for your property. 

Here are 3 types of metal roof underlayment you can choose from:

Felt Paper

Felt is a water-resistant roofing material made of a natural foundation such as wood cellulose and natural fibers that are saturated in asphalt. It is the most affordable underlayment option for metal roofs. It is water-resistant, which prevents water from accessing the surface of the roof structure leaks.

Synthetic

Synthetic underlayment for metal roofing is a relatively new product that has just dominated the market and is now considered the best type of metal roof underlayment. It’s manufactured by weaving and spinning polyethylene or polypropylene and a polymer together to provide a protective barrier between the roof deck and the metal roof material.

Additional key features include:

  • Longer lifespan
  • Durable
  • Resistant to tearing, moving, and other types of damage
  • High temperatures tolerant

High Temperature Synthetic

High-Temperature Synthetic is a roofing underlayment that is engineered to withstand extreme temperatures and deliver great performance. It’s made to be applied directly to roof decks or certain insulation panels before applying final roof coverings like architectural metal, shingles, or tile.

Additional Features:

  • Suitable in all geographic regions under metal roof.
  • Excellent sealing capability.
  • A textured blue film surface that is highly skid-resistant.