When it comes to choosing a material for your metal roof, the options can seem overwhelming. Five of the most common materials used for metal roofing include Galvalume, aluminum, zinc, copper, and stainless steel. In this article we will go over the advantages and disadvantages of each material to help you make the best decision for your metal roof.
Galvalume Metal Roofing
This type of metal panel combines steel, aluminum, and zinc – providing the best characteristics of each metal in one panel. Compared to other metal roofing materials, Galvalume is one of the least expensive. By marrying the strength of zinc with the rust-resistance of aluminum, Galvalume can last as long as 60 years without showing signs of corrosion. Galvalume is also 100% recyclable and can be installed over existing roofs. Drawbacks of Galvalume include fading color over time and adverse reactions when in contact with other materials such as iron, concrete, bricking, and treated lumber.
Aluminum is the third most abundant metal on Earth and makes a great material for metal roofing panels. This material can withstand extremely harsh weather conditions, such as saltwater, while simultaneously being one of the most sustainable metals in the world. Aluminum sheets replicate the strength of thicker metals, yet are much more lightweight and easier to install. Aluminum also doesn’t succumb to rust and corrosion at the same rate as other metals. However, aluminum is much more prone to denting, is only available in its natural color, and will expand and contract twice as much as a steel roof.
Zinc is the perfect metal roof material if you are looking for a panel to withstand the test of time. These panels can last anywhere from 60 to 100 years, are extremely eco-friendly, and contains its own outer protective layer that corrects scratches over time without the need to intervene. Because of this, zinc panels are often easier to maintain than other available options. However, zinc is quite expensive and is susceptible to underside corrosion.
Copper roofing has been around from the times of the Romans. This lightweight material is energy efficient, nearly as durable as zinc, aesthetically pleasing, and can be soldered unlike other roofing materials. This ensures a stronger weather-tight barrier not found in other roofing materials. However, copper is extremely expensive, will undergo a color change over time, and can contribute to run-off staining of other materials around the roof/home.
Stainless steel is one of the most sturdy metals available, able to withstand corrosion for 60+ years. Steel can also withstand colder temperatures, not cracking or becoming brittle when exposed to cool air and experiencing very limited expansion and contraction. Finally, stainless steel comes in a wide variety of different finishes. Unfortunately it is also one of the more expensive materials and is not able to withstand standing water.