Types of Metal Roofing: Pros, Cons, and Everything in Between

Metal roofing materials have improved significantly over the past few years. They are low maintenance, but they also have a longer lifespan. Apart from the different materials, metal roofs also have a beautiful appearance that enhances the external appearance of any home or structure. But with all the additional features a metal roof has to offer, making the right choice in terms of material isn’t going to be a walk in the park.

So, here’s everything you need to know about the different types of metal roofing materials that will help make your decision much more straightforward.

What are the Different Types of Metal Roofing?

When people hear “metal roof,” the first thing that always pops up in their mind is a steel roof. However, this phrase encompasses a large variety of materials. There are four types of metal roofing material: aluminum, copper, steel, and zinc.

Each material has different advantages and disadvantages, which help serve as a choice criteria for anyone looking to purchase roof safety metal

So, let’s dive in and look at the different types of metal roof options available on the market today.


Copper roofing is considered the grandfather of metal roofing mainly because it has been used for several centuries worldwide. People have preferred copper as the go-to roofing material all these years due to its durability. In ideal environments, copper can last for over 200+ years. 

The evidence that copper material can stand the test of time is seen in the different historic buildings worldwide, for instance, the Berlin Cathedral Church completed in 1905.


Other benefits copper as a roofing material has to offer include:

  • It is lightweight, making it easy to install compared to other roofing materials. It also puts less stress on your home over time.
  • Copper has an aesthetically-pleasing nature, and it helps enrich the exterior of any structure by adding a beautiful focal point to any building.
  • It is energy efficient.


The disadvantage of copper as a roofing material include:

  • Copper contracts and expands depending on temperature fluctuations. This thermal expansion feature can cause damage to your copper roof or, even worse, create a hole in it. However, roofers control this problem by using the right shingles or panels.
  • Due to its longevity, copper is typically the most expensive metal roofing present on the market today. 

Aluminum Roofing

Another quite popular best metal roof for residential is aluminum. Aluminum roofs are highly recommended in coastal climates because of their resistance to salt corrosion, unlike other metal roofing materials. Aluminum is a highly active metal that instantly reacts to any atmospheric condition; its rapid reaction helps protect it from corrosion.

Pros of Aluminum

The benefits that aluminum material has offer include:

  • It is recyclable, lightweight, energy-efficient, and durable, making it one of the best metal roofing types to use in a residential structure. 
  • Aluminum roofing material is malleable, which makes it easy to form into different styles that imitate the appearance and shape of clay, shingles, and stone.
  • Aluminum is readily available and pretty easy to install.
  • It never rusts, and this guarantees durability.


Some downsides of aluminum as a roofing material include:

  • It is a relatively soft material that can easily be dented
  • Its resistance to corrosion feature makes this material more expensive compared to the different metal roofing
  • As aluminum ages, it starts to lose its natural color, which causes it to look spotty and washed out. 


The cheapest roofing material today is steel. This material has three primary types: stone-coated, galvanized, and galvalume steel. Galvanized steel is steel coated with zinc, while stone-coated steel consists of metal roof panels coated with either zinc/aluminum. Galvalume is steel coated with aluminum and zinc, making it resistant to corrosion. 

Stone-coated steel also has a top layer of ceramic-coated stone granules, which gives the roof a beautiful aesthetic. 


Homeowners choose steel roofing because:

  • It is affordable
  • It is resistant to rust and dents, especially those caused by hail or other forms of impact
  • It is highly recyclable 
  • It comes in a variety of colors and materials
  • you can use it in most weather environments


The downside of having a steel metal roof are:

  • It has a shorter lifespan compared to other types of materials in the market
  • It is slightly heavier and can take time to get installed.


Zinc metal roofing has characteristics that are pretty similar to copper. It not only has a beautiful appearance, but it is also pretty durable and has also stood the test of time.


Some benefits it has to offer as a roofing material include:

  • It is readily available. Being the 23rd most abundant element on Earth makes it relatively easy to locate and use for roofing projects.
  • Zinc has a long lifespan, as it can last for at least 60 to 100 years. Also, depending on factors like your climate, building properties, and installation quality, zinc can last for over 150 years.
  • Zinc exists as a natural metal, easy to extract, making it eco-friendly. You also never have to worry about toxic run-off from your roof.
  • It is energy-efficient, as zinc doesn’t reflect the sun’s heat. This feature helps keep your home cool and reduces your energy bill significantly.


The downside of zinc metal roofing include:

  • It’s price. Just like copper, zinc is also quite expensive. However, the price considers its durability and its low maintenance features.
  • Zinc can face corrosion, especially if the roof is improperly coated.

It’s no secret that metal roofing has come a long way. And with all the different metal roof materials to choose from, getting the right one for your home and business will boil down to distinguishing between each of the advantages and disadvantages.

And if you aren’t sure, you can always get help from experts like Wegner Roofing & Solar. If you are looking for a suitable material to replace your roof, Wegner Roofing & Solar will always be available to help. We offer metal roof installation in Billings, MT, Siding, Gutter installation, and repair, among others. Please visit our website https://wegnerroofing.com/roofing/metal-roofing/ for more information.

Wegner Roofing & Solar, 

902 Central Ave Billings MT 59102, 

(406) 850-9842

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