If you’re anything like us, you sit around and daydream about your dream roof.

No? Just us?

Well, either way, there’s no shame as a homeowner in getting curious about the different roofing structures you can have on your property. There are numerous colors of asphalt shingles that prove to consistently be a popular choice, and there are clay, slate, and even green roofing options. But what about metal?

Metal roofs are becoming some of the most popular roofing choices across the world. To satisfy your curiosity, let’s dig deeper into the 5 types of metal roofing:

  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Tin

roofer installing types of metal roofing

1) Steel: The Most Popular Type

When you hear or read about “metal roofs,” this mostly refers to steel roofs. Steel is the most popular type of metal used for roofing. It has been used on residential and commercial properties for many years thanks to its longevity and simple maintenance.

✅ Pros of Steel Roofs:

  • Low maintenance: Required upkeep is minimal. All you need to do is keep the steel roof free from debris, wash it annually, and get professional inspections after a storm.
  • Long-lasting: Steel roofs can last up to 60-70 years when installed correctly.
  • Low cost: Steel costs less than the other metal roofing types.
  • Fire-resistant: Steel roofs have a Class A fire rating, making them great in areas prone to wildfires. They’re also resistant to rot, mildew, and pests.
  • Durable: Steel roofs can withstand severe force from storms and falling debris.
  • Styles: Steel roofs are offered in standing seam and exposed fastener styles. This creates more flexibility and let’s you find a solution best for your home.

❌ Cons of Steel Roofs:

  • Heavier than aluminum: Steel roofing weighs more than aluminum and copper. This can cause stress on your home over the years.
  • Less-corrosion resistant: Most metal roofing is corrosion-resistant, but steel doesn’t hold up as well in environments with excessive moisture.
  • Doesn’t last as long as others: While steel roofs still last longer than most other materials, other metal types have a longer lifespan.

💰 Average Cost of Steel Roofing With Labor:

  • Exposed Fastener: $7 to $12 per sq. ft.
  • Standing Seam: $10 to $16 per sq. ft.

types of metal roofing steel tiles

2) Aluminum: Lightweight and Commonly Used

Aluminum is great for grilling up ribs on the barbeque. It’s also one of the most commonly used metal roofing materials. Aluminum is incredibly lightweight but also durable. When you have an aluminum roof, you get the same amount of strength (or more) without having to use a very heavy material that makes installation difficult.

✅ Pros of Aluminum Roofs:

  • Lightweight: Aluminum is the lightest roofing material, weighing as little as 5 lbs per square foot. This puts less pressure on your home over the years.
  • Corrosion-resistant: It doesn’t rust, making it great for climates that receive heavy rainfall.
  • Malleable: Aluminum can easily be configured into different designs.

❌ Cons of Aluminum Roofs:

  • Not many colors: There isn’t a huge demand for aluminum roofs, so there are fewer colors to choose from outside of very basic colors.
  • Higher price: Compared to other metal roofing systems, aluminum can be more expensive.
  • More prone to denting: Aluminum is softer than steel, so it’s more prone to hail dents. A heavier thickness will help you avoid this issue, but it will also cost you more.

💰 Average Cost of Aluminum Roofing With Labor:

  • Corrugated: $9 to $13 per sq. ft.
  • Standing Seam: $11 to $17 per sq. ft.

3) Copper: Long-Lasting and Color-Changing

You know how the Statue of Liberty is made from copper but developed a green patina over the years? The same thing happens to copper roofing. Copper roofing is very striking in appearance through all stages of its lifespan.

✅ Pros of Copper Roofs:

  • Striking appearance: Copper stands out from the crowd both from the start and as it patinas. You will have the most unique roof in your area.
  • Longevity: These roofs last forever! Well, 60 to 100 years to be exact.
  • Corrosion-resistant: As copper patinas, it becomes resistant to corrosion and rust, even near water.

❌ Cons of Copper Roofs:

  • Less availability: Since copper roofs aren’t as widely popular as steel, it can be hard to find suppliers who offer copper roofing sheets.
  • Expensive: Copper is one of the most expensive roofing materials on the market.
  • Softer material: This material is softer than others which makes it more prone to dents from hail or debris.

💰 Average Cost of Copper Roofing With Labor:

  • Corrugated: $19 to $28 per sq. ft.
  • Standing Seam: $23 to $35 per sq. ft.

Copper Roof types of metal roofing

4) Zinc: The Self-Healing “Lifetime Roof”

Zinc roofs are most commonly found in Europe but aren’t as popular in the United States due to their high cost. However, they’re incredibly long-lasting and also developed a blue/grey patina.

✅ Pros of Zinc Roofs:

  • Lifespan: Known as the “lifetime roof,” zinc will last 80 to 100 years or longer!
  • Aesthetically-pleasing: Zinc has a beautiful appearance that makes it stand out from all other materials.
  • Self-healing: Many suppliers sell pre-patinated zinc because it can self-heal and reform itself after receiving scratches or blemishes. Magical, right?

❌ Cons of Zinc Roofs:

  • Expensive: Zinc, like copper, is one of the most expensive roofing materials.
  • Limited availability: Only a handful of U.S. suppliers carry zinc roofing materials, and most import them from Europe. The limited availability is another factor that drives costs up.
  • Chalking: Once a zinc roof patinas into the blue/grey color, it can develop a chalky residue in areas where water runs.

💰 Average Cost of Zinc Roofing With Labor:

  • Corrugated: $13 to $20 per sq. ft.
  • Standing Seam: $15 to $25 per sq. ft.

5) Tin: Rarely Used on Homes Today

Are you familiar with the famous play, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” by Tennessee Williams? That’s likely the only place you’ll hear about tin roofs anymore because they’re considered to be outdated for any modern use. When people think of loud, easily-dented metal roofs, they’re usually thinking of tin.

✅ Pros of Tin Roofs:

  • Lightweight: Tin is similar in weight to aluminum.
  • Easy to install: Since tin is so lightweight, it was easy to install and didn’t weigh down the structure.

❌ Cons of Tin Roofs:

  • Tin is no longer used today, so it’s not available. Since it was loud and not very durable, other materials have replaced it.

💰 Average Cost of Tin Roofing With Labor: Tin roofs are no longer sold today, but the closest material in appearance is “Galvalume.” The prices of Galvalume are 75 cents to $1.50 per sq. ft.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Metal Roof

Hopefully, this analysis of the 5 different metal roof materials got you thinking about what type of material you want for your new roof. Many metal roof systems are fantastic choices for homeowners because they last so long and hold up to the elements.

But maybe you still want to stick with classic asphalt shingles. No matter what you choose, you need a highly-skilled roofing contractor because roof systems won’t last as long as they should if they aren’t installed correctly! This is why it is crucial to do your research to find a quality roofing contractor to handle your roof replacement.

If you happen to be located in Ohio, you can trust the roof replacement experts at Gouge Quality Roofing! Reach out to us today to schedule a free estimate!