Types of Metal Roofing and the Advantages and Disadvantages

When it comes to selecting the right metal roofing for your commercial or industrial building, you are spoilt for choice. To help you make a well-informed decision, here’s a guide on the four most popular metal roofing materials.

Steel roofing

Steel is one of the most popular roofing materials due to its high strength and low prices. It comes in a variety of panels, all of which affect its cost and appearance.

Advantage of steel roofing

• Low maintenance

Once installed, steel roofing requires very minimal maintenance. All you have to do is remove leaves and debris and clean the gutters to avoid blockage and corrosion problems. Washing the roof at least once a year and inspecting it after a significant weather event is also recommended.

• Longevity

When installed correctly, steel roofing can last up to 30 years. It is resistant to shrinking, corrosion, and erosion and can withstand force winds of up to 140mph.

• Resistance to fire

Steel is one of the few fire fire-resistant roofing materials in the market. It is Assembly-Rated Class A, which means that the underlying and covering material provide additional fire protection. If you live in an area prone to wildfires, steel roofing is the best option for you.

Disadvantages of steel roofing

The only disadvantage of steel roofing is that it is more prone to corrosion. However, to prevent rusting, manufacturers cover it with an anti-corrosive coating made of zinc or zinc aluminium.

Copper roofing

Copper’s unique appearance makes it one of the most attractive metal roofing options. Over time the roof changes colour from a shiny new penny to a brown or blue-green patina depending on the climate that it has been exposed to.

Advantages of copper roofing

• Unique appearance

One of the biggest reasons why people choose copper roofing is its striking and diverse appearance. It patinas over time to a beautiful brown or blue colour depending on the climate in your area.

• Long lifespan

Copper roofing will outlast any other roofing material in the market. It is naturally resistant to corrosion and can last for more than 50 years. Some of the most famous historical buildings have copper roofing, further proving that this type of roofing will stand the test of time.

• It’s lightweight

Being a lightweight material, copper puts less stress on the structure of your house.

Disadvantages of copper roofing

• Expensive

Copper roofing is the most expensive metal roofing material. So, if you are on a tight budget, copper may not be the best option for you. However, if you want to incorporate it into your roof, you can use it in small accents.

• It can be dented

While beautiful, copper is a soft metal. As a result, it scratches and dents more easily.

Zinc roofing

Zinc is another great roofing material. Like copper, it has a beautiful appearance that patinas and changes colour over time. If you want to use zinc roofing materials, here are a few things you should know.

Advantages of zinc roofing

• Attractiveness

Zinc roofing has a striking aesthetic that makes it stand out. Once exposed to moisture and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it patinas to a beautiful blue or grey colour.

• Corrosion resistant

The layer of zinc carbonate protects your roof corrosion. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone who lives near the coastline, with high moisture content in the air. That said, zinc roofing does have some corrosion from the underside, so consider this in this your architectural design.

• Long lifespan

Zinc has a remarkably long lifespan and needs less repair and replacement. With proper installation and maintenance, zinc roofing can last up to a hundred years.

Disadvantages of zinc roofing

• High costs

While the high cost is justified by its long lifespan, zinc is still one of the most expensive metal roofing materials.

Lead roofing

Lead roofing has equal pros and cons, so let’s get right into it.

Advantages of lead roofing

• Durability

Lead roofing can last hundreds of years without needing replacement. However, to ensure that your lead roofing lives out its full life, you must ensure it’s well installed and properly maintained.

• Easy to mould

Being a highly flexible material, lead can be easily moulded to suit different building designs, including the more protruding areas.

• Corrosion-resistant

Lead offers strong resistance against temperature changes, UV-rays, and water, protecting your roof against corrosion. It is also resistant to radiation and sound, which is essential to the structural integrity of a building.

Disadvantages of lead roofing

• Very expensive

Lead is used in the consumer electronics and automotive industry to make phone and car batteries. As a result, its price has drastically increased, making it one of the most expensive roofing materials.

• Toxicity

When lead roofing breaks down many years later, it could cause water poisoning, causing disastrous effects on human beings and the environment.

• Weight

Lead’s heavyweight and density could widen cracks in the foundation of a building.

For more advice on metal roofing materials, contact us today to speak to our team of experts.