Types of Metal Roofs

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What Are The Different Types Of Metal Roofing?

aluminum corrugated metal roofing type Highland Home Services

Metal roofing can be categorized in a number of ways. These factors include the kinds of fasteners used to install the roofing panels, the various kinds of metal, the weight, its panel profile and the finishes.

Fastening System

Standing Seam and Exposed fastener roofing types Highland Home Services

You can pick between standing seam and screw down panel metal roofing systems.

A standing seam metal roof is the best option for residential purposes, although both types of metal roof systems have their place in the roofing industry.

The two different types of metal roofs’ capacity for expansion is the primary cause of this.

For instance, the panels of a standing seam metal roof system are mechanically or physically joined together at the seams (ribs). A clip that holds the panels together and permits them to move back and forth freely when the metal expands and contracts due to heat is located under each rib.

On the other hand, screws that are screwed straight through the panel are used to install a screw-down panel metal roof system (also known as an exposed fastener). There is no room for expansion or contraction as a result.

The screws ultimately wallow out the holes in the metal panels since they have no room to expand and contract, and you will occasionally have to pay to replace the screws with another bigger size.

Can you put a metal roof on your house that screws down? Yes. However, it will cost more to maintain and have a higher risk of roof leaks.

There are three additional benefits of a standing seam metal roof over one with screw-down panels.

You now know that the best option for residential roofing is a standing seam metal roof. It can expand and contract easily, but it also has other benefits over a screw-down metal roof.

  1. The standing seam metal roof’s panels’ painted finish

The metal panels of a standing seam metal roof have a painted finish known as Kynar 500.

To guarantee you achieve the intended lifetime from a metal roof, this painted finish shields your metal panels from the wear and tear a roof experiences over the course of its life.

But Kynar 500 also prevents the paint color from fading as your roof ages, safeguarding both the metal panels and the paint. This is particularly crucial because you selected a certain color to give your metal roof the desired aesthetic and curb appeal.

Only standing seam metal roofs are given the painted Kynar 500 finish. You still have color choices if you’re considering a screw-down metal roof, but the painted finish is different and fades much more quickly and has a shorter lifespan.

  1. Standing seam metal roof maintenance is minimal.

Every roof requires upkeep to keep it in good condition for the duration of its useful life. However, the kind of roofing material you select will affect how much upkeep your roof requires.

The fact that standing seam metal roofs require less maintenance than other roof types is a real advantage.

The only maintenance necessary after installation is at the penetrations, which include vent pipes, gas pipes, etc.

The only additional general maintenance required, which is entirely up to each customer’s discretion, is cleaning. On the other hand, to stop leaks or before a severe storm rips the entire metal roof off, the screws in a screw-down metal panel must be replaced every five years.

  1. A standing seam metal roof’s lifespan

How long your roof lasts is called its lifespan and it consists of how many years you get from the roof.  Consider it a return on the investment you invested on your roof.

Standing seam metal roofs are extremely durable and long-lasting compared to other roof types. A 30-year paint warranty on the painted Kynar 500 finish on the metal panels is included with your new standing seam metal roof.

There is no reason why your standing seam metal roof shouldn’t outlast the paint warranty and last 30 years if it is installed correctly.

However, just because the paint’s warranty has run out does not automatically mean that the painted finish will be gone after 30 years.

Your new standing seam metal roof could last up to 50 years under perfect circumstances. On the other hand, a metal roof with screw-down panels can last for twenty years.

You might extend it to 30 years with routine maintenance. However, if you want to get the most out of it, you’ll need to pay someone to replace the screws every 5 years.

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Metal Roof Material Types


Aluminum is lightweight, resistant to corrosion, and appropriate for coastal areas.

Aluminum is renowned for its toughness, lifespan, quick installation, energy efficiency, and resistance to pests and fire. In addition, it is more adaptable and lighter than steel. Aluminum is perfect for coastal regions because it naturally resists oxidation and rust. Special coatings can increase protection even more.

Additional advantages of aluminum include:

  • Aluminum is more malleable than steel and can be shaped into intricate designs, giving it the look of shake shingles or composite roofing in a more durable, protective product.
  • Aluminum is not Class-A rated for fire resistance on its own, but it can be with the addition of a fire barrier.
  • Heat conduction: After heating up, aluminum cools down quickly.

Both steel and aluminum are good roofing materials for homes. Before choosing between the two metals, homeowners should think about the merits and downsides of each material as well as the location of their house.

Copper Roofing

Copper is a very durable roof that will create a layer of protection and change color. It is  the priciest type of roofing material.

 Copper is measured in ounces rather than gauges like steel (16, 20, 30, 60, 90).

16-ounce copper is most frequently used in residential roofing. A standing seam metal roof system can be entirely made of copper, but it might easily cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Because of this, copper is utilized more as an accent material for cedar shake, slate, and premium shingles. It can be used for covered porches, bay windows, chimney tops, roof flashing, etc.

Although copper is an excellent roof solution, it is also a lifelong roofing material. You won’t need to worry about it after it is put on your roof.

Tin Roofing

The use of tin roofing has become less and less common. Steel is now commonly referred to as a “tin roof.”


Zinc is a costly, highly durable roofing material that will patina and change color.

Zinc resists fire, repels insects, and acts as a fungistat, preventing the growth of mold, mildew, and fungi. When used in roofing, zinc can last 80 to 100 years, and it can survive even longer when utilized as a wall system. After installation, there is no need for aesthetic repairs because the patina continuously renews itself. Zinc is completely recyclable and has an infinite number of uses. Additionally, it requires less fuel to produce than other common roofing materials like asphalt shingles.

There is no set timeframe for when a patina will finally form on zinc, but it will. It could happen in as little as two years or up to thirty.


The most popular kind of metal roofing with various finishes is steel.

Steel is the metal that is most frequently used for residential roofing (both as accents and as whole roof systems). The gauge of steel used in standing seam metal roof panels is 24 or 26.

The gauge of steel panels varies depending on how thick they are; the greater the number, the thinner it is. The likelihood of oil canning is higher for 26 gauge steel metal roof panels since they are thinner.

Because of this, the standing seam metal roof that is most frequently seen is made of 24 gauge steel with a Kynar 500 painted finish. This painted finish can be applied to both gauges of steel, although some roofing contractors offer homeowners 26 gauge steel without the Kynar 500 and use a different type of painted finish to reduce costs.

You won’t achieve the standing seam metal roof’s longevity you were hoping for without the Kynar 500 painted finish. Both steel roofing gauges are utilized for residential buildings, however 26 gauge steel has a difficulty with oil canning.

The Kynar 500 painted coating on the metal roof panels is crucial, regardless of the type of steel utilized.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is an additional alternative for residential metal roofing, although being less popular. Stainless steel is available in gauges just like steel.

It will have the same appearance as galvanized metal, but (depending on the environment in your area) it won’t rust. Because of this, the metal roof panels won’t have the Kynar 500 or any other form of painted finish.

Like copper, stainless steel is a lifetime roofing material. However, the strength and more durable nature of stainless steel sets it apart from copper and 24-gauge steel.

The metal roof panels are less prone to sustain damage from hailstorms or other dents. Although a complete stainless steel metal roof system is available, it will cost significantly more than a copper roof.

For accent reasons, stainless steel is preferable over copper. But ultimately, it depends on you and your spending plan.

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Types of Metal Roofs: Benefits and Drawbacks

Consider a roof. You presumably have in mind a standard shingle roof, don’t you? It wouldn’t be just you. Despite the numerous advantages that various types of metal roofs offer, the majority of homeowners today still naturally connect residential roofs with asphalt shingles.

A broad word that encompasses a vast range of diverse materials, sizes, colors, and styles is metal roofing. With so many different kinds of metal roofing available, let’s examine their advantages so you can decide which one would be best for your upcoming roof replacement.

Standing Seam

Due to its slick design, long lifespan, and waterproof construction, standing seam metal roofing is a popular option. Standing seam metal roofing offers a wide range of advantages that you cannot get with asphalt shingles or other natural roofing materials, despite being a more expensive roofing alternative. Standing seam metal roofs can be completely customized to fit the desires of each homeowner.


For generations, roofs all around the world have been covered with roofing shakes, commonly referred to as hardwood shingles. Since it offers a more traditional appearance as opposed to the contemporary aesthetic of a standing seam metal roof, many people are drawn to this type.

Fortunately, shake-inspired metal roofing panels now allow homeowners to combine the classic appearance of hardwood shakes with the advantages of metal roofing. A correctly and expertly built metal shake roof can help protect your property for decades even though it isn’t as watertight as standing seam metal roofing.


Tile roofing is another well-liked roofing design, particularly in warmer areas. There are currently metal roof solutions inspired by the style of tile roofing that are far more durable and simpler to maintain than the traditional tile roofing, which was only made of natural materials like clay or concrete. Metal can be manufactured to resemble tile, similar to the artificial thatch roofing that is now on the market and has a natural appearance.

Even though all varieties of metal roofing are more expensive than conventional asphalt shingle roofing, tile-inspired metal roofing is often more affordable than some other types of metal roofs for homes.

Metal roofing with a tile-inspired design is renowned for its durability, even when exposed to wind, fire, rain, and hail. Consider tile-inspired metal roofing as one of the most cost-effective roofing alternatives available when comparing various types of metal roofs.


Traditional slate roofs frequently have a high price tag compared to other roofing materials since natural stone is a pricey resource. Due to the weight of slate, which may put a lot of strain on roofs, strengthened rafters are needed to increase roof longevity.

Instead of adding weight and pressure to the structure of your home, slate-inspired metal roofing gives homeowners the opulent beauty of natural slate roofing.


Hot-dipped galvanized steel that has been cold-rolled to produce a corrugated pattern on the panels is the material used to make corrugated metal roofing.

The finished product is made stronger, more rust-resistant, and more aesthetically pleasing thanks to the processes of galvanization (dipping it in zinc) and corrugation (basically bending the sheets to produce grooves and ridges). You next use screws to secure these roll-formed panels to your roof, giving you a lovely, long-lasting roof.

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You might not be familiar with zinc as a long-lasting metal roof material if you reside in the United States. In contrast to the vast majority of residential roofs in Europe, zinc is not commonly used to construct roofs in the United States. Zinc is a very expensive metal roofing material, but it has a long lifespan and is therefore a wise choice.

Zinc is resilient, long-lasting, and low-maintenance once it is installed. Additionally, it resists fire and naturally inhibits the development of mold, fungus, and mildew. Zinc is a fantastic alternative if you’re seeking for a highly durable material and are willing to invest in longevity.


Another extremely resilient metal roof material is aluminum. While providing excellent longevity advantages, energy efficiency, fire resistance, and insect control, it also allows a quick installation. Compared to steel, aluminum is a relatively lightweight metal that also naturally resists rust.

This characteristic makes it suitable for residences in many climates, including those near coasts. Because of its flexibility and adaptability, aluminum works well with a variety of home designs and homeowner preferences.


Copper is your best option if you want a metal roof that will last for a very long time. If you want a roof that will endure a century or longer, this is a fantastic alternative.

Despite this, copper has a significant drawback compared to its vast list of benefits: it is the most expensive roofing material, with zinc coming in second place in terms of price. However, you get what you pay for with this material. A copper roof will be resistant to damage from fire, hail, mildew, animals, and many other frequent offenders. Copper is also rather lightweight, so it won’t put too much strain on your home’s framework.

Galvanized Steel 

A galvanized steel roof, often known as a galvanized roof or just a galvanized roof, is a steel roof that has had a protective zinc layer coated to it. To help preserve the steel roof against rust and enhance its appearance, the base metal of steel is essentially hot-dipped into zinc—either for a thick or a thin coat, depending on the homeowner’s preferences.



worker installing a stone coated metal roof panel Highland Home Services

Due to the frequent exposure of metal roofing and siding panels to the weather, you should choose a coating solution that meets both your performance and aesthetic requirements.

Coatings provide the best performance and dependability thanks to coatings manufacturers. These coatings’ fundamental components are as follows:

Resins serve as binders for the pigment and shield coatings from damaging UV deterioration. The most popular resins used in metal siding and roofing are polyester, silicone-modified polyester, and PVDF. The three of them are appropriately graded as good, better, and best because they all have impressive performance ratings and offer protection from panel chalk and fade.

Solvents – Solvents are essential for ensuring that the paint has the proper viscosity and can be applied correctly. After the coating is placed, solvents that distribute the pigment evaporate. The resin and pigment can dry and form the ideal coating layer as a result of the solvent evaporation. Solvents evaporatr during coil coating on metal siding and roofing.

Without pigments, coatings would be devoid of all color. The paint’s color is produced by mixing pigment with the binder or resin. There are numerous color options for pigments.

Stone-coated metal roofing is one illustration.

It is offered in rolled sheets of 24 or 26-gauge with a rust-preventative coating and a thick stone layer on top.

An appealing alternative to bare metal is the final layer, which adheres to the metal surface permanently and gives the metal roof the impression of stone.

Metal roofs will be shielded and have their lifespan extended for many years by waterproof coatings like rubber.

On galvanized, aluminum, and steel roofing, rubber can be utilized to produce a seamless, monolithic roof coating system.

A rubberized, acrylic, elastomeric coating can be used to repair even old, rusted, and damaged roofs.

Aluminum, zinc, and silicon are used to create the steel roof covering known as galvalume.

Print Coatings

Print coatings produce multi-layered effects that lead in unique color combinations. These mixtures have the appearance of camouflage, slate, wood shake,  steel, and wood grains.

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Factors That Affect The Price Of All Types Of Metal Roofing Materials

The price of metal roofing panels varies according on a number of factors.

Fastener Type

There are two types of metal roofing system panel profiles.  Either concealed fastener panels, like a standing seam panel, or exposed fastener panels, like a corrugated metal roof with waves. In comparison to standing seam metal roofing panels, exposed fastener panels will cost around half as much.

In comparison to standing seam metal roofing panels, exposed fastener panels will cost around half as much.

Steel gauge or thickness varies from as low as 29 gauge to as hefty as 20 gauge for metal roofing panels. It would not be essential to purchase a heavy gauge steel, such as 20 or 22 gauge, if your normal home metal roof is on a wood substrate. On the other hand, installing a weak 29 gauge roof that offers poor performance and only marginal cost savings isn’t the best option either.

Steel in the most part will be either 26 gauge or 24 gauge. Compared to 26 gauge steel, heavier 24 gauge steel will cost between 25 and 40 percent more.

Finish and Paint System

A metal roof typically has a galvalume substrate, followed by a paint finish. SMP or PVDF are the two available paint finishes.

Lighter gauge steel, such as 29 or 26 gauge, is frequently available in SMP paint finishes. Panels’ colors will deteriorate more quickly than PVDF paint does. The most economical paint system is this one.

The industry standard for metal roofing paint finishes is PVDF paint. Bright and colorful colors are frequently manufactured exclusively in a PVDF paint finish since PVDF colors fade more slowly than other paint finishes. Typically, you’ll need to buy light gauge steel and use a minimum of 24 gauge.

Because you are purchasing superior paint and a heavier gauge steel, PVDF costs 30 to 40% more than SMP painted roofing panels.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Metal Roofs

What are solar metal roofs?

Solar metal roofs are building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) construction elements made of solar roof modules take the place of traditional roofing materials. A thin photovoltaic film that covers the metal sheet generates electricity. Under the roof sheeting, between the battens, the series connection of modules is created. It is just as simple to install as a typical standing seam metal roof.

What is an Oxford metal roof?

A metal roof panel known as a “oxford metal shingle” offers the appearance of composition shingles while yet offering the advantages of metal roofing.