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    4 Types of Metal Roofing Materials

    Reviewed by Tomas Kalkys. President.
    Qualifications: More than 20 years of experience in residential and commercial exterior remodeling.
    Founding farther of Legacy Service.
    Written by LegacyUSA Team

    posted on Mar 10, 2020

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    Metal Roof

    Long gone are the days of metal roofing being found only on high-end, architect-designed homes. Now, metal for roofing is becoming more and more popular for residential houses of all types. Not only are metal roofing materials designed to be more durable and last much longer than asphalt roofs, but they’re also beautiful, with the ability to enhance the appearance of any home. In some cases, there are even metal roofs that look like shingles.

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    Legacy Service is a roofing contractor that has decades of experience when it comes to installing and replacing metal for roofs. In this article, we’ll compare four of the most common materials used for this type of project. This will provide you with a better idea of what you want for your house. It’s always best to consult an expert, though. To schedule an appointment, contact us at 215-798-9790.

    Four of the Most Common Materials Used in Metal Roofing

    You have plenty of options when it comes to choosing a roofing metal material, including aluminum, copper, stainless steel, and zinc. Certain types are more popular than others, and in the section below, we’re going to discuss four of the most common metal roofing types. They include:



    Aluminum is the third most abundant metal on Earth, which makes it a great material for houses and the roofing industry.


    Homeowners choose aluminum for their roof because:

    • As a highly active metal that reacts almost instantly to atmospheric conditions, aluminum is highly resistant to corrosion and perfect for coastal climates.
    • It’s lightweight, durable, recyclable, and energy-efficient, which makes it a good option for residential use.
    • Typically, about 90-95% of aluminum can be recycled.
    • Aluminum is also malleable, so it can be formed into various styles that imitate the look of shingles, stone, or clay.
    • It will never rust, so it has a very long lifespan.
    • It’s readily available for roofing contractors that know how to install it.


    Aluminum also has its downsides. They include:

    • Aluminum is a fairly soft material, so it can dent pretty easily.
    • While it does offer better protection from corrosion, it also tends to be more expensive than different types of metal roofing.
    • As it ages, it may lose its natural color and become washed out and spotty. However, you can overcome this by purchasing resin-coated roofing coils or panels.


    The price of aluminum metal roofing tends to fluctuate depending on the market, but it usually lies somewhere between steel and copper.



    Copper is considered the grandfather of metal roofing since it’s been used around the world for centuries. In ideal environments, copper can sometimes last over 200 years! It’s often used on church buildings, large architectural structures, commercial buildings, and even some residential homes as accents.


    Homeowners choose copper for their roof because:

    • It’s durable and can withstand numerous decades as a building’s roof. In some cases, it can even last multiple centuries.
    • It’s lightweight compared to the other types of metal products. This not only makes it easier for installers to work with but also puts less stress on the structure of the home over time.
    • All types of metal roofing are energy efficient and can help save money on energy bills.
    • Copper is aesthetically-pleasing since it enriches the outside of the building and adds a beautiful focal point to a structure


    The disadvantages of copper include:

    • Copper is one of the most expensive of the metal roofing types.
    • When copper interacts with oxygen, it forms a greenish coating (called patina) that many people find unappealing.
    • It can also expand and contract with fluctuating temperatures, but that can be controlled with the proper panels or shingles.


    Since copper tends to last the longest, it’s typically the most expensive material.



    Steel is popular since it’s one of the cheapest metal roofing materials. It has three primary types: galvanized, galvalume, and stone-coated steel. Galvanized is made from steel coated with zinc, which makes it more resistant to corrosion. Galvalume is coated with aluminum, which also increases its resistance to corrosion. It also usually comes painted and has a wide variety of color choices for homeowners to choose from. Stone-coated steel consists of metal roofing panels; these are made from steel that’s coated with aluminum/zinc and has a top layer of ceramic-coated stone granules.

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    Homeowners choose steel for their roof because:

    • It’s one of the most affordable types compared to the other metals.
    • It’s strong and also resistant to rust as well as dents that are caused by hail and other types of impact.
    • It comes in a wide variety of colors.
    • It’s a green solution because it’s both highly recyclable and easily accessible.


    The disadvantages of steel include:

    • It can be vulnerable to corrosion but covering it with special metal roofing paint will offer better protection.
    • It may have a shorter lifespan than the other types without the proper installation and maintenance.


    Steel is typically the cheapest and most affordable type of metal roofing.



    Zinc is another type of metal roof sheeting that’s made to stand the test of time. It has been steadily increasing in popularity in the United States over recent years because it’s easy to use, immune to corrosion, and has other sustainable features.


    Homeowners choose zinc for their roof because:

    • Since zinc is the 23rd most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, it’s readily available for roofing projects.
    • It has a long lifespan, typically lasting between 60-100 years. Some can even last 150 years depending on the climate, quality of installation, and building properties.
    • It’s eco-friendly! Zinc is a natural metal that’s extracted from the ground, so its toxicity levels are low, meaning you won’t have to worry about toxic run-off surrounding your roofing.
    • It can help save energy because it reflects the sun’s heat that would typically be absorbed by tile or shingles.


    Here are the reasons why homeowners may decide to go with a different type of metal:

    • It’s one of the most expensive types to install. However, it does last longer and requires less maintenance than others.
    • It may face underside corrosion if it’s improperly coated on the underside of the panel.


    Zinc is one of the more expensive types of metal roofing. It can cost anywhere between $600-$900 per square.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Metal Roofing

    If you’ve never had a metal roof before, then you probably want to know everything you possibly can about them. In this section, we’ve answered the questions that people most frequently ask us. They include:

    Will my metal roof sound loud when it rains?

    Metal roofs are often misjudged to be loud when it rains, but that’s actually not the case. When a metal roof is installed on a residential home, a strong sheathing is placed between the roof and the existing surface. You may not even notice that it’s raining unless you look outside.

    Can skylights be installed on a metal roof?

    Yes! Almost any kind of roof can have skylights installed, including metal. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you choose to install them:

    • Think about when you want the skylights installed. It’s much easier to add skylights while installing or replacing your roof rather than on a roof that’s already in place.
    • While you can prevent a metal roof from being noisy when it rains, it’s more difficult to soundproof a skylight. If your area tends to get plenty of rain, you might want to skip the skylight.
    • Skylights can impact your building’s energy efficiency since it can alter the heat entering and escaping your home.

    Will my roof fit in with the rest of the neighborhood?

    Metal roofing is a beautiful choice for roofing. However, it can stand out if the rest of the homes in your neighborhood use asphalt shingles. Fortunately today, you’ll have the option to make yours look like another type such as asphalt shingles, slate, cedar, and more.

    Type of Metal Roofs

    What are the Different Types of Metal Roofs?

    Once you decide to install a metal roof on your home, you’ll have to determine which type of metal would work best for you.

    Four types are most commonly used among homeowners. They include aluminum, copper, steel, and zinc. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. The trick is to find which one would go best with your tastes and preferences. For example, if you’d prefer the cheapest type, then you might want to choose steel. But if you’re looking for one that can stand the test of time, then you’ll probably prefer copper or zinc.

    For more detailed information, we’ve discussed the most popular types of metal roofs in the sections above. You can find their pros, cons, and relative prices. Then, give us a call at Legacy Service to schedule a free consultation for a roofing installation or replacement. We’ll also help you determine what you want regarding the colors and styles of metal roofing, from standing seam to corrugated metal.

    Which is Better: Steel or Aluminum Roofing?

    Neither type is better than the other; it’s all about your preferences. However, if you’re trying to choose between steel and aluminum roofing, do as much research as possible before you make your decision. In the previous sections, you can read about the pros, cons, and costs compared to the other types.

    To make the most informed decision, contact your local roofing experts to schedule a consultation. Our team at Legacy Service will guide you throughout the process, from helping you determine the best choice during the inital consultation to communicating with you every step of the way if you decide to go through with the project.

    What is the Best Metal for Roofing?

    While there isn’t one best type, you can find the one that works best for you by conducting your research and consulting with the experts. Each one has its own advantages, but they’re all fantastic choices, so for many people, it simply comes down to cost.

    We can give you a better answer when you speak to one of our crew members in person. Your home exterior is a personal thing, which is why it’s so much fun to build something so unique. Give it your own personality and your own personal touch!

    est Metal for Roofing

    Contact Us to Learn More!

    You might not think about it unless you need to, but your roofing system is one of the most important components of your home. It’s up to you to make sure it’s properly taken care of!

    Metal is one of the best roofing materials you can choose. It’s not only durable with a long lifespan, but it’s also beautiful to look at.

    If you’re considering a roofing replacement or installation, whether you live in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or Delaware, please feel free to contact us here at Legacy Service. You can give us a call at 215-798-9790 or fill out a form here. Take the first step in improving your home today!

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    Posted on Mar 10, 2020 in Roof

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