Metal roofs are becoming the material of choice for many homeowners, replacing asphalt shingles. Metal roofs offer aesthetic and functional advantages over other materials, including options in design, durability, and versatility. These roofs are available in a number of different styles and materials, and can easily last for decades with little maintenance.
Steel is the most common material used on metal roofs. It is also one of the most affordable. Aluminum roofs are much more expensive, but may also be more durable in some applications. Copper is the most expensive metal roofing option, and is mainly chosen for its intense color and visual appeal. Tin roofs can be used in barns and sheds. This material is more durable, less expensive and used more often to create metal roofs.
Metal roofs can be used both in steep structures and low-slope roofs. Smooth or embossed panels are installed using a locking technique that creates a standing seam design. Some metal roofing tiles, shakes or tiles, can be used to mimic the look of wood or clay roofing. The metal can be fixed with wooden nails or in patterns to give an authentic look.
While metal roofs usually offered many benefits to homeowners, each type of metal roofing material has its own advantages. Steel is one of the most durable types of roofs, and is resistant to dents caused by wind, hail and strong impact. Aluminum is highly resistant to oxidation and corrosion, and is often the best choice in coastal areas. Copper, tin and aluminum are usually left unfinished and require little maintenance to maintain their appearance.
Each of these materials also has some disadvantages that must be considered. Steel can rust or corrode, and should not be used near salt water or very humid areas. Aluminum is a relatively soft metal and tends to dent easily. Copper interacts with atmospheric oxygen to form a greenish coating known as “patina”. While some buyers like this effect, others consider it a disadvantage. The steel must be repainted every few years to maintain its appearance.
When choosing between different types of metal roofs, note the desired look and style of your home. The visual appeal is particularly important when the housing parts are visible from inside the house or from the outside. It also helps to consider the cost of housing compared with its useful life and maintenance requirements. Finally, note the local climate, including levels of wind, rain and snow.