beautiful metal roofing shingles

5 Types of Metal Roofing Compared

While standard asphalt shingle roofs remain the most common type of roofing material on homes, today, metal roofing continues to climb that ladder. Metal roofing isn’t just meant for barns anymore—residents across the country utilize metal roofing on their homes for its durability, long lifespan, and beautiful aesthetic.

To help you decide which metal roof is best for your home, we’ll compare the various types of metal roofing plus the pros and cons of each.

The Benefits of Metal Roofing

First, it’s important to know why homeowners continue to choose a premium metal roof as their #1 choice. Benefits of a metal roof for your home include:

  • Longevity. Metal roofs can last 40-70 years with proper installation and maintenance.
  • Durable. Metal roofs are hail resistant and can withstand high winds, making them a good choice for areas that experience severe weather.
  • Energy Efficiency. Metal roofs reflect the sun’s rays and help keep your home cooler in the summer months, saving you energy costs on air conditioning.
  • Fire-Resistance. Metal roofs are non-combustible and can help prevent flames from spreading to your home.
  • Aesthetics. There are many different styles of metal roofing to choose from that can complement any home’s style.
  • Maximum Snow Shedding. Metal roofs quickly and easily shed snow and ice with their smooth surface and ability to absorb sunlight, warming it up to melt the snow.

5 Common Types of Metal Roofing Materials (Pros and Cons)

There are 5 commonly used types of metal for roofs. Each can differ in cost, installation, durability, and style, but all are great options depending on your specific needs.

Aluminum

Aluminum roofs are very lightweight, but that doesn’t take away from their extreme durability. This material is probably the most common material used in metal roofing because it is highly malleable and can be formed or shaped easily

Pros of Aluminum Roofs:

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Easy to install
  • Resistant to corrosion

Cons of Aluminum Roofs:

  • Less variety of color options
  • Costly

aluminum metal roofing on garage

Copper

Copper roofs are stunning and make any home look more luxurious. They can increase the value of your home, but they also come with a heavy price tag. Copper roofing will cost you more than aluminum or steel options but will age gracefully into a gorgeous green color.

Pros of Copper Roofs:

  • Highly durable—lasting up to 100 years!
  • Very low maintenance
  • Resistance to insects, fire, and mold
  • Can be made into tiles, shingles, sheets, or panels
  • Lightweight
  • Resistant to corrosion

Cons of Copper Roofs:

  • Costly
  • Some homeowners don’t like the green patina it turns into

copper roof restoration

Steel

When you think of metal roofing, you probably envision steel. Steel is most commonly used for most types of metal roofing. From shingles to galvanized steel panels, steel is a great option for manufacturing a variety of styles and colors of metal roofing.

Pros of Steel Roofing:

  • Wide variety of colors and styles to choose from
  • Inexpensive compared to other metal roofing materials
  • Environmentally-friendly (recyclable)
  • Durable
  • Fire and rot-resistant
  • High ROI

Cons of Steel Roofs:

  • Not as resistant to corrosion as other metal materials
  • Heavier weight (may require reinforcement before installation)
  • Doesn’t last as long as aluminum, copper, or zinc

steel roof metal roof

Tin

Tin roofs used to be a more popular choice for metal roofing, but have since been replaced by aluminum and steel. Tin is still a great option, especially if you are looking for an antique look.

Pros of Tin Roofing:

  • Beautiful antique appearance
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to install

Cons of Tin Roofs:

  • Tin can rust if not properly painted or coated
  • Not as durable or long-lasting as other metal roofing materials
  • Not as popular and can be hard to fine

old zinc roofing material rusted over time

Zinc

Zinc is often used to create galvanized steel which is zinc-coated steel roofing. But it can also be used as its own roofing material. Zinc is commonly compared to copper in that it also has a patina appearance. However, zinc roofs are often pre-patinated, which protects them from the elements and gives them their signature appeal.

Pros of Zinc Roofs:

  • Patina appearance—impervious to corrosion and rust damage
  • Long-lasting (up to 100 years!)
  • Durable
  • Fire, rot, and insect-resistant

Cons of Zinc Roofs:

  • Expensive
  • Not as available as other roofing materials

Common Types of Metal Roofing

Now that we know the materials that can make up a metal roof, it’s also important to know which styles of metal roofing you can use. There was once a time when standing seam metal panels were the only type of metal roofing. But with advancements in manufacturing and competition with other roofing materials, metal shingles have grown in popularity.

While corrugated and standing seam panels remain a very viable and legitimate option for residential roofing, metal shingles are another great option and can blend with certain styles of homes better than the latter.

corrugated metal roofing panels

Standing Seam Metal Panels

Standing seam metal panels are commonly seen on barns, sheds, and other rural structures. But they are also becoming more popular as a roofing material for residential homes. They consist of two parallel metal sheets that overlap each other and are sealed at the seams to create a watertight seal. Benefits of standing seam roofs include:

  • Seamless design that is watertight and prevents leaks
  • Contemporary design
  • Many color and style options to choose from
  • Very durable and long-lasting
  • Low maintenance

Corrugated Metal Panels

Corrugated metal roofing, on the other hand, has exposed fasteners. They are manufactured in a wavy design with fasteners secured throughout the rows of waves. Corrugated panels are one of the fastest and easiest to install and are very DIY-friendly.

  • Inexpensive
  • Fast and easy to install
  • Many color and style options to choose from
  • Durable and lightweight

Metal Shingles

Metal shingles most closely resemble a standard shingle roof which is why they are a common choice among today’s homeowners. Metal shingles are manufactured using a mold of a shingle shape and create a great option for both aesthetics and durability. The benefits of a metal shingle roof include:

  • Traditional appearance
  • Many color options
  • Longer lifespan than asphalt shingles
  • Great long-term investment

beautiful metal roofing shingles

Your #1 Metal Roof Installer

Metal roofs require a bit more expertise to install properly, and without correct installation, they won’t last nearly as long as they should. So choosing the right contractor for the job is vital for your home’s longevity and getting the most out of your investment.

The DuraShield team of roofing contractors is well-versed in the installation and maintenance of metal roofing (among other premium options). Our team is vetted and trained to handle any metal roofing job you may desire. We will make sure your roof is installed quickly and correctly and that you get the roof you deserve.

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