Types of Metal Roofing Materials Types of Metal Roofing Materials
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Types of Metal Roofing Materials

Metal roofing materials include steel, aluminum, copper, and more. This metal roofing materials buying guide helps you choose the right metal for your roof.

Blue steel roofing in a tile pattern, is sold in linear panels. Baked-on finishes carry long-term warranties.Isak55 / Shutterstock.com

Blue steel roofing in a tile pattern, is sold in linear panels. Baked-on finishes carry long-term warranties.

Steel metal roof takes advantage of a broad color range. Photo: Met-Tile (McElroy Metal, Inc.)

Steel metal roof takes advantage of a broad color range. Photo: Met-Tile (McElroy Metal, Inc.)

The word “metal” covers a lot of ground when it comes to metal roofing materials. Steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc alloys are all materials used for metal roofing. Each has different properties that affect durability, price, and appearance.

Conventional Metal Roofing Materials

By far, the most common materials used for metal roofs are steel and aluminum.

Steel, used for most metal roofing, is heavier and sturdier than aluminum. Manufacturers have settled on a number of durable coatings and finishes that protect steel from rust and corrosion. Steel is usually zinc-coated for corrosion protection and then sealed. A coating of epoxy primer offers adhesion and a baked-on acrylic top coating adds color and protection. Because sheet systems are designed for commercial applications, they generally are given highly durable paint finishes. One popular fluorocarbon coating used on many products is called Kynar.

Aluminum, extremely lightweight, is used for some residential metal roofing. It won’t rust, but it must be painted or coated for appearance. Coatings are similar to those used on steel. Aluminum is a very soft metal, so it dents and mars easily and isn’t nearly as rigid as steel. Environmentalists have expressed concerns about using this precious resource for purposes such as roofing.

High-End Metal Roofing Materials

Other forms of metal roofing are also available, but can be very expensive. They provide stunning roofs on high-end homes.

Copper metal roofing, rooted in centuries of use, will not rust, has no “finish” to scratch or peel, is soft enough to easily tool, and weathers naturally to a beautiful verdigris patina. Unfortunately, it’s extremely expensive.

Alloy roofing products are formulated for strength, graceful weathering, and durability. Cost depends on the specific material, but, as a group, they are pricey.

Stainless-steel roofing, a very expensive roofing material, won’t rust or corrode. Terne coating can give it a natural matte-gray finish.

NEXT SEE:

• Metal Roofing Buying Guide
Pros & Cons of Metal Roofing
• Metal Roofing Repairs
• How to Hire a Metal Roofing Contractor

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About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort developed his expertise more than 30 years ago as Building Editor for both Sunset Books and Home Magazine. He has written more than 30 home improvement books and countless magazine articles. He appeared regularly on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.
Metal Roofing

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