Metal Roofing Materials

There are a variety of options available, and it can be difficult to choose the right metal roof for you. Each type of metal roofing material offers its advantages, from traditional copper to innovative steel. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each type of metal roofing material.

Metal Roof Types

Metal roofs are often associated with steel roofing, but there are many other materials. The type of material you choose will depend on where you live and what your environment is. Aluminum roofs are a great option to resist rust in coastal areas, but their durability factor can be lower than other materials. There are pros and cons to steel, copper, and zinc metal roofing material.

Copper Roofing

Copper has been in use for centuries all over the globe. Copper roofs are extremely durable and can last for more than 200 years in the right environment. It can be 100% recycled, making them great green roofing options.

Copper is a very soft metal which makes it one of the quietest types of metal roofing. Modern installation techniques now require that all metal roofing use proper substrates and insulation to minimize hail or rain noise. The copper Roof is soft and can be easily damaged in hail-prone areas. Hailstones can easily damage copper because it is soft metal. Although this reduces the aesthetic value of the copper, it performs better than harder metals that can puncture the roof with enough hailstone.

Copper roofs, on the other hand, are the Range Rovers for roofing. Metal roofs are like SUVs. Copper has its downsides. Copper is expensive, just like the Range Rover. It may cost more depending on what you need. Copper’s tendency to shrink and expand with temperature swings is another negative. This can be managed with the right panel or shingle but it is something that should be carefully considered when selecting this metal.

Aluminum Roofing

Copper is the Range Rover for roofing. Aluminum Roofing Materials can be easily considered the Dune Buggy for roofing. Keep reading. Pull off all unnecessary features and doors from your Volkswagen Beetle. You can seal off salt spray and add a roll cage to the suspension. You now have the car that best describes the strength of an aluminum roof.

For coastal climates, metal aluminum roofs are highly recommended. Aluminum’s resistance against salt corrosion is what makes it a preferred choice over different metal roofing materials. Although it is commonly believed that aluminum roofs are corrosion-proof, they react almost immediately to changes in the atmosphere.

It is this rapid reaction that protects it. This rapid reaction creates an aluminum oxide layer that reacts with oxygen in the surrounding environment. This effectively seals the metal’s inner layers from future corrosion. The process works in the same way as Weathering Steel, but it takes much less time and provides longer-lasting protection. Because aluminum roofs have a natural patina, they are often coated with paint.

Aluminum’s disadvantage is often the cost. Aluminum roofs offer better corrosion protection, but they are more expensive than similar solutions that utilize aluminum coatings. Aluminum roofs are a commodity and their prices fluctuate depending on what market conditions are. The price of this metal is usually somewhere between copper and steel. Aluminum is used in thinner thicknesses due to its high price than steel.

Aluminum roofing materials are stronger than steel in strength-to-weight ratio, but panels often end up being too thin for the environment. The roofing material can be damaged by strong environmental stresses such as hail and high winds. It is crucial to identify the environmental stresses that your aluminum roof will encounter before choosing the right design.

Zinc Roofing

The original Humvee is still in use. It was a sturdy, reliable machine that could go anywhere you wanted it to. But at a very affordable price. This is Zinc, in a nutshell.

As a remarkable metal, Zinc can be used to repair scratches and last for more than 100 years. Zinc’s properties make it a common choice for commercial projects due to its ability to easily be formed and manipulated to create amazing shapes. Although chalking Zinc isn’t considered a desirable aspect of the metal over time, it can be controlled and cleaned to a certain extent.

Zinc, while not a “green vehicle”, could be considered one of the most environmentally-friendly metals for roofing. Zinc is a less melting metal than other roofing materials. Zinc can be used as a building material with only 1/4 the energy required to make steel or copper. Because of this, it requires a lower melting point. Zinc can also be recycled 100% and is readily available in most local markets. This makes it a very green material even when compared to Steel or Copper.

Zinc’s main drawbacks are its effect of chalking and being expensive. Zinc often corresponds to Copper. Zinc, like Copper, requires the adept installation to fully gain from its benefits as a material.

Zinc can patina, as with most bare metals. If left unpainted, it will turn a blue/grey color. Many people find chalk residue unappealing in areas where water flows. Zinc, which is a soft metal, can also be damaged by hail and high winds depending on how the panel or shingle is designed.

Steel Roofing

Steel is an alloy made from iron and other elements. Steel roofing is used in all aspects of building construction. It has been used on many commercial construction sites and is often used in residential homes. Although the process of creating steel is more energy-intensive than that of Zinc, most steel we use today comes from recycled materials. Steel is the most recycled material on Earth, making it an excellent building material.

Tin Roofing

Tin roofing is a popular item in the United States and Canada. Tin roofing is often used interchangeably with steel roofing, metal roofing, and galvanized steel. Tin is a rare type of metal that is used for roofing. Tin is an element like copper and zinc. Tin was first introduced to canning materials. Rural DIYers then modified the material and used it for shingles when there was no other material.

The use of aluminum as a DIY building material was discontinued when Aluminum became the standard container material. When you hear the term “tin roofing”, it is usually referring to either a galvanized or aluminum material, rather than actual Tin roof sheets.

Tin Roofing is often referred to as Willy’s Jeep for its DIY usage in the 19th century and its ability not only to be a part of our daily lives but also because of its longevity. Tin roofing is almost extinct. Tin has been replaced by tin roof sheets, which are no longer used for building materials.


Each of the five metal roofing materials has its advantages. However, ultimately, it comes down to price. Copper is visually the most attractive of all the metals but it can also be the most costly. Zinc is one of the most environmentally friendly metals due to its low melting points, but it is also the most expensive. Aluminum roofing is a great option for coastal areas and is more affordable than Zinc or Copper. Steel is the most widely used material, so it’s both more affordable and easier to use as a metal roofing option. Tin was a popular choice for roofing but nowadays galvanized steel is more commonly used.

Each metal has its strengths and weaknesses. The choice of the right metal for roofing depends on the type of roof you want, where it is located, and what strains and stresses it will face. Hire only experienced roofing contractors for metal roofing installation.

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