Metal Roofing

Are you considering installing a metal roof? If so, there are a number of considerations to take into account. In this handy guide, you will be provided with the advantages and disadvantages of metal roofing, as well as its cost, installation process and more.


A metal roof is a roof constructed entirely from metal pieces or metal tiles. It is a long-lasting, premium home product that is designed to resist rust and severe weather conditions.


To create standing seam metal roofing, the most popular type of metal roofing, a metal roofing coil is fed into a roll former. As the roll former performs a series of rolls, bends and curves are formed in the metal. The desired width of the panel can be entered into the machine. Most panels measure 12, 16 or 20 inches.

After the coil has been galvanized and fully cleaned, it will be placed into a painting machine, where primer is applied and baked on, and then paint is applied.

Besides the panels, metal roofs require a number of additional components, including the roof’s flashing, trim, drip edge, valley pans and ridge caps. These components are crafted in a sheet metal shop, using computerized sheet metal brakes. Additional machines used during this process include an automated hydraulic shear to cut the metal and a forklift to unload heavy materials.


The first known example of metal roofing was in 970 B.C., when a copper roof was erected atop the temple in Jerusalem. Later, Europeans seized upon the material in constructing the roofs of such architectural landmarks as the Notre Dame Cathedral and Rome’s Pantheon.

With the advances in metal manufacturing for construction purposes, particularly the introduction of steel at the birth of the 20th century, the use of metal roofing is expected to continue to grow in the years to come.


One advantage of metal roofing is that it is noncombustible.
This means that it will help prevent your home from catching on fire. A metal roof is also able to dissipate the electrical charge caused by a lightning strike.

In fact, metal roofing is resistant to many harsh climate conditions, and can remain undamaged from impacts and wind uplift. Their light weights and portability also make metal roofs attractive to consumers.

Metal roofing is extremely energy efficient.

During the summer, it will reflect heat to reduce your cooling costs. During the winter, it will keep your home insulated to lower your heating costs.

Purchasing a metal roof is good for the environment.

While other roofing materials generate a lot of waste, metal roofs are constructed from at least 25% recycled metal and are completely recyclable.

Another advantage of a metal roof is its long life.
While other roofing materials come with limited life expectancies, metal roofing is built to last. Many metal roofs come with a 30 to 50 year manufacturer warranty, and your installer may also include a warranty for workmanship.


One disadvantage of metal roofing is that snow will slide right off of it, possibly injuring people or property below. Fortunately, this can be avoided with the installation of a snow guard.

Another disadvantage of metal roofing is that the process of refining the metal, producing and transporting the roof’s components is more energy-intensive than other types of roofing materials.


As metal is both durable and versatile, metal roofing can be designed to fit nearly every type of building. This includes agricultural, industrial, commercial and residential structures. The material used for a building’s roof can also be used for metal siding, and different metals can be utilized to create visually appealing color combinations.


Most metal roofs are constructed from aluminum or steel. Titanium, copper and zinc are also used at times.
There are a number of panel options available for metal roofing.
Vertical seam panels are panels with long lengths, and involve ribs that run from the eaves of your roof to its ridge. Press-formed panels are designed in standard dimensions and are either thru-fastened or attached to your roof with hidden fasteners.

Metal roofing can be constructed to look like any common roofing material, including asphalt, slate, wood shake or clay tile.


When you buy metal roofing, you purchase a product with a metallic coating designed specifically to prevent corrosion of metal. This coating will keep rust from forming on your roof, and has been bonded to the metal by the manufacturer. A galvanized coating is made only from zinc, while galvalume and zincalume coatings involve mixtures of zinc and aluminum. A premium paint coating will also be applied to the metal to help prevent fading and chalking.

If you want to increase your roof’s heat reflecting abilities, you may want to consider a ceramic coating or nanotechnology solar reflective coating.


When you adorn your home with a premium metal roof, you will be paying more than you would for other roofing materials. But that is only in the short run. When you consider the long life expectancy associated with metal roofing, your long run saving will prove quite substantial. While non-metal roofs come with an average lifespan of 17 years, a metal roof can last up to three times that long.

The national average cost for installing metal roofing is $16,453. But the average resale value for a metal roof is $14,141, meaning that you can recoup nearly 86% of your roofing costs.
Additionally, some insurance companies offer discounts of 30% of higher when you install a weather-resistant metal roof.


When installing a metal roof, it is important that you use only compatible materials. If you utilize dissimilar metals in your roof, rapid corrosion can take place.

When ordering your metal roofing, it is a good idea to utilize proper estimating, as this can reduce waste and result in fewer modifications during the installation process.

To properly install a metal roof, first you need the right tools. These include metal cutting snips, measuring tape, an extension ladder, a stepladder, a chalk line, and a drill. The drill should have a Phillip’s bit, a 5/16 inch screw head bit, and a ¼ inch screw head bit readily available.

Unless you already have two roofs atop your building, you can install your metal roof on top of your current roof. For your roof’s base, you should put down 30-pound tarpaper.

  • Your eave trim edging should be installed at your roof’s eaves using 1 ¼ inch roofing nails. Next, your valleys should be installed, running from your roof’s peak to slightly over the eave.
  • You can then use the eave to align your metal roof panels with a 3-4-5 triangle measurement. These panels will run from top to bottom, and you should leave a trough of four to six inches in the valley through which water can run.
  • Next, you will install trim. It should cover your roof’s gable, as well as its top peak. Once this is complete, you can begin cleanup.

Click here to learn more about how to install a metal roofing.


When you purchase a metal roof, you are purchasing a product with a long lifetime. The maintenance required for this roofing is minor, and will cost you very little.
“AG” and “Utility” graded metal roofs require recoating after the factory finish has worn off, in order to prevent corrosion.

With their long lives and durability, metal roofs continue to gain popularity amongst consumers. If you are considering installing a metal roof, take care to evaluate the different options and find one that best compliments your property, as your roof will be with you for many decades to come.

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