How long does a metal roof last

How Long Does A Metal Roof Last?

by

James
February 10, 2022
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Metal roofing offers various benefits, such as being easy to maintain and highly durable. It’s resistant to hail, mold, mildew, rodents and other pests, and snow.

What is a metal roofing actually made out of?

Metal roofs can be made out of a variety of metals, such as galvanized steel, zinc, copper, and aluminum.

If you need to install a roof on your new house, or replace your current one, you might be considering one that’s made out of metal for a modern look. Here’s what to know about metal roofs and how long they last. 

How Long Is A Metal Roof’s Lifespan?

How long does a metal roof last

A metal roof can last between 50 to 75 years. This is much more than what you’ll get with other types of roofs, such as asphalt shingle roofs which only last for between 15 and 25 years. 

Installing a metal roof in your home is therefore a smart move if you want greater longevity, but there is a lot to know about the different types of metal roofing. 

There Are 4 Types Of Metal Roof Materials 

How long does a metal roof last

There are different types of metal that can be used to produce metal roofs. Let’s explore some of the most popular ones.

Aluminum

This is a highly popular type of metal roofing material because it’s lightweight and it doesn’t corrode. This also makes it suitable for homes built in coastal regions.

Aluminum can be shaped into different styles to imitate the appearance of other roof materials, such as stone or shingles. Aluminum roofs can last for up to 50 years, so they are a good investment. 

However, aluminum roofs do have some drawbacks. Since it’s malleable, aluminum can become dented easily. As it gets older, aluminum loses its natural color and could look stained or washed out. 

Copper

While it might sound strange that your metal roof can be made out of copper, this is a long-lasting metal that’s durable while being lightweight so it won’t put too much weight on your home’s structure. Copper roofs can last for up to 100 years!

Copper changes color and develops a protective layer over time, which makes your roof look unique. However, a drawback associated with this is that it can start to become greenish in color as a result of how the copper interacts with oxygen. In addition, copper can be expensive. 

Steel 

Steel is a popular type of metal roofing because it’s cheap to purchase. It comes in three main types: galvanized steel, galvalume, and stone-coated steel.

  • Galvanized steel is basically steel that’s coated with zinc, so it’s resistant to corrosion and damage. It can last for between 30 and 50 years.
  • Galvalume is coated with aluminum, which is also corrosion-resistant and can be painted so you can choose the color you want for your home. These roofs can last for up to 60 years.
  • As for stone-coated steel, it is basically panels that are constructed out of steel and can be coated with zinc or aluminum before having a top layer of ceramic-coated granules of stone. This type of roof can last for between 40 and 70 years.

Some drawbacks of steel include that it can have a shorter lifespan as compared to other types of metal roofing, but this can be prevented by ensuring you install and maintain it properly. 

Zinc

Zinc metal roofing is easy to use and resistant to damage. It’s readily available and easy to source, and it can last for between 60 and 100 years. Zinc is a natural metal, which makes it eco-friendly. It reflects the sun’s heat, so it can help you save money on your household’s energy usage. 

However, zinc is an expensive type of metal to use. It can also experience corrosion underneath it if it hasn’t been coated properly. 

Do You Need To Repaint Your Metal Roof?

How long does a metal roof last

When it comes to maintaining your metal roof, it’s important to paint it regularly so that you keep it in good condition. There are many other good reasons why you should repaint your metal roof. 

  • Applying a special product every few years, whether oil-based or acrylic, can help you to keep the metal in excellent condition while protecting your home against the elements. 
  • Repainting or recoating your metal roof is usually less expensive than replacing it. 
  • Metal roof coatings reflect the sun’s energy back into the atmosphere, which helps your home to remain cooler during the hot months. 

How To Maintain A Metal Roof

Besides repainting your metal roof every few years, you’ll have to maintain your metal roof in other ways. Let’s explore them and why they’re important.

  • Remove snow and ice. Make sure you use a roof rake to remove snow from your metal roof so it doesn’t accumulate on it, causing the metal to corrode. Just make sure that you don’t scrape off the protective coating on the roof. 
  • Trim branches of trees that are in close proximity to your metal roof. Low-hanging branches can scratch the metal of your roof.
  • Repair loose panel seams. If you can see that the metal panels have become loose, moisture can sneak into the gaps and end up in your home. So, repair any cracks or loose panels right away to prevent problems. 
  • Check for rust. If you can see any parts of your metal roof rusting, you should use a gentle cleanser and cloth to scrub them. Rinse off the debris with a garden hose. Never clean your metal roof with a wire brush as this can cause corrosion. If the rust has caused corrosion, sand it and then apply a metal primer to prevent it from rusting again in future. 

How Often Should You Replace Screws On A Metal Roof?

How long does a metal roof last

The panels of a metal roof are usually connected with screws. These can become loose over time as a result of various factors, such as thermal expansion, heavy snow that crushes the roof and causes it to sink lower than its screws, and water damage.

It’s important to use the right screws and screw gun for your specific roof, and when sealing the screws to the metal panels it’s important not to use too much pressure.

These screws can have a long lifespan, but that depends on how they were installed as well as what the weather conditions are like in your location during the year. Check the screws regularly for any signs of wear and tear. 

Can You Install A Metal Roof Over Your Current Roof? 

You can install a metal roof over an existing roof without damaging your shingles. However, you have to ensure that there’s no trapped water vapor.

If moisture has become trapped between your existing and metal roofing, it can accumulate and lead to issues such as rot and mold. Sometimes a vented metal roof can be installed to prevent this problem.  

How Much Does A Metal Roof Cost To Maintain? 

How long does a metal roof last

The amount of money you need to install a metal roof will range from around $5 to $14 per square foot, but the amount will depend on the type of metal that’s being used.

For example, aluminum roofs cost between $3.25 and $5.75, a steel roof will cost between $3.35 and $4.50, a zinc metal roof can cost between $5.65 and $11, and a copper roof can cost between $14 and $22. 

When it comes to repairing a metal roof, this varies depending on what needs to be repaired and how long the repairs take.

  • Generally, repairing metal roofs can cost between $1 and $5 per square foot. 
  • Minor repairs for leaks can cost between $200 and $500. 
  • If your metal roof has corrosion, this will require sections of it being replaced, which will set you back about $5 per square feet.
  • If you’re recoating metal roof panels, you can expect to pay between $1,500 to $2,500. 
  • If your fasteners have to be repaired and replaced, these repairs can cost between $40 to $60. 

Are metal roofs noisy?

Metal roofs are not noisier than other types of roofs. As long as your metal roof has been properly installed, it will be quiet. In addition to this, a metal roof usually gets installed over a solid substrate, which further prevents it from making a noise. 

Is metal roofing dangerous when there’s lightning? 

Metal roofing doesn’t increase the risk of a lightning strike hitting it. If it happens that the metal roofing is struck, it’s non-combustible so it won’t ignite any sparks that land on it. This is not the case with cedar shakes or asphalt shingles. 

Conclusion 

If you want to change the roof of your home or you need to decide on a roofing material for a new house you’re building, you should consider installing a metal roof.

We’ve looked at the different types of metal roofs, featuring their pros and cons, and provided you with information about how long a metal roof can last so you know you’re making the right choice for your home.

Reference Articles:

James

James Weldon is a professional roofing contractor with many years of experience on the job. He does not only handle large projects and provide excellent services for his company’s many clients; James Weldon also dedicates his spare time to teaching others useful tricks of the trade. Using BuildCampus as an avenue to reach many roofers and aspiring roofing contractors, James Weldon continues to provide high-quality educational posts and buying recommendations for anyone who visits the website.