The durability of a roof is a critical consideration when choosing materials for a new construction or renovation project. Metal roofing has become a popular choice due to its longevity, but not all metal roofs are created equal; some are more resilient than others. Which type of metal roofing will last the longest?
Copper is one of the oldest metal roofing materials, and it is renowned for its durability. A well-maintained copper roof can last for over a century. Copper is a soft and malleable metal, so it can be formed into a variety of shapes for decorative roofs, but it will also dent easily. If you’re in a location that is prone to hailstorms, copper might not be the best choice. This roofing choice is also very expensive and requires expert installation. However, despite its high initial cost, the long lifespan of copper roofing makes it an economical choice in the long run.
Aluminum: Light and Corrosion Resistant
Aluminum is another durable metal roofing material. It is especially suitable for coastal areas because it is highly resistant to salt corrosion. While the lifespan of an aluminum roof varies based on the quality of the material and installation, this roofing option can easily last 50 years with proper maintenance. However, aluminum is also softer than other metals, making it more susceptible to dents and damage from heavy impact.
Steel: Strong but Requires Rustproofing
Steel is a robust and popular choice for metal roofing. Galvanized steel, which is coated with a layer of zinc for added protection, can last up to 60 years. Moreover, Galvalume steel, which is coated with aluminum and zinc, offers better corrosion resistance and can last up to 70 years.
Zinc: Durable but Streaky
Zinc is an exceptional metal roofing material due to its ability to self-heal from scratches and blemishes. Over time, it forms a protective patina that shields the metal from weathering and corrosion. However, this patina can manifest as uneven streaks of blue or white. But with proper care, a zinc roof can last between 80 and 100 years.
Corrugated: Wavy and Noisy
Corrugated metal roofs, typically made of galvanized steel, are known for their strength and durability. They have a unique wave-like pattern that adds structural stability. A corrugated metal roof can last up to 45 years, sometimes even longer.
The metal roof that lasts the longest is made of copper, with zinc a close second, followed by steel, aluminum, and corrugated metal. All metal roofs offer impressive longevity compared to traditional roofing materials like asphalt shingles. Copper is extremely expensive, while aluminum is easier on the budget. All metal roofs require expert fabrication, often using Stefa long sheet metal folding machines to bend the metal into roof panels. Metal roofs also require expert professional installation to ensure the roof lasts as long as it should.