Five Types Of Metal Roofing: Pros & Cons

Metal roofing

Metal is a popular and favourite choice of roofing material, but there are more options to this material than meets the eye. Generally, people think that there’s only one type of metal roofing, and that’s steel. There are many options to choose from, including aluminium, zinc, copper and more. Which metal you decide to use on your roof can be a personal preference, but it can also depend on your location. Here are the different types that you can use for your roofing, and the pros and cons that come with each type so you can make the right decision for your needs.

Copper Roofing – Pros And Cons

Copper has been used in construction all around the world for decades, especially in plumbing systems. The reason why copper has been in use for so long is that it’s incredibly long-lasting and ideal for different environments, it can last over 200 years. As a roofing material, copper is eco-friendly and recyclable, which means that it can be reused for other applications if the roof is deconstructed.

As far as metals go, copper is very soft and pliable. When you install a copper roof, you’ll find that it’s one of the quietest metal roofing materials, especially during rain or hailstorms. This also means that if you live in a location that gets a lot of hailstorms, you should prepare to replace your roof often or watch out for damage, because copper is so soft, hailstones might dent it. Denting might take away its shine, but it will still perform better with hail than its more sturdy counterparts. This is because copper is pliable, meaning that it will warp under damage instead of breaking apart completely.

Copper is a costly material and might cost more than you can afford for a job depending on your requirements. If you live in an area that swings back and forth between temperatures, copper also might not be the roofing material for you, because copper tends to stretch and contract as the temperatures outside rise and fall, which would shorten its lifespan.

Aluminium Roofing – Pros And Cons

Aluminium is one of the most durable and corrosive-resistant metals around. It resists salt corrosion better than other types of metals, so if you live by the coast, an aluminium roof should be your top choice. In reality, aluminium is a highly active metal, which means it reacts to atmospheric conditions, which is what protects it against rust and corrosion. The outermost layer of aluminium reacts with the oxygen surrounding it and seals the inner layers inside.

Because the inner layers have been sealed, the aluminium is protected against corrosion. It’s a natural, long-lasting reaction which happens quickly and is effective.

Over time, aluminium tends to discolour naturally, which most people find unattractive. When this happens, it’s often painted over. Like copper, it can also be expensive to use.

Zinc Roofing – Pros And Cons

Zinc is a very impressive metal. It uses its patina to repair scratches on its surface over time and will stay strong and durable for at least a century after being fitted. Zinc is easy to form and manipulate into different shapes, meaning that less energy is going to be spent in shaping it for roofs.

Zinc is considered to be one of the most environmentally friendly metals used for roofing. It has a melting point lower than other metal roofing materials, which means that it uses up to a quarter of the energy needed to process it in comparison to steel or copper. It’s also recyclable and found locally, so it costs less to source.

On the downside, Zinc is an unattractive metal and is also expensive. Its price can be comparable to the cost of copper, and it’s not easy to install. An expert is required to install a zinc roof in a way that makes use of all its natural advantages as a building material. If left unpainted, the colouration of zinc changes to a blue/grey colour, and leaves a chalky residue behind if it meets water – which some find very unattractive. It’s also a very soft metal, making it easily damaged by strong winds, blowing debris or falling hailstones.

Steel Roofing – Pros And Cons

Steel is made from a mixture of iron and other elements, making it an alloy. Used in every aspect of building and construction work, steel has become one of the most common materials found on a construction site. When it is initially manufactured, the process consumes a large amount of energy. However, steel can be recycled over and over again, without limit and the recycling process will not alter the quality of the steel. This means that most of the steel that is worked with today has already been recycled and can be recycled again, making it an environmentally friendly material. Another plus is that it’s one of the more affordable metals, compared to copper and aluminium.

There are three primary types of roofs made from steel – galvanised, weathering and galvalume steel. It’s now being used in place of copper, zinc and other more expensive roofing materials. As steel is more flexible, it can be used in many more applications, making it a primary solution for metal roofing before other options are considered.

Tin Roofing – Pros And Cons

Tin is an interesting metal to consider. It’s an incredibly rare metal and isn’t used for roofing at all. However, it’s used as a term for metal roofing, even though it’s an element like copper and zinc that’s used mainly to can goods and food items. These days, when you hear mention of a tin roof, it isn’t actually made of tin, but more likely out of aluminium or galvanised steel. With regards to roofing, tin is used purely in the vernacular. Although it has its uses, it isn’t used as a building material any longer, let alone as roofing.

Each of the five types of metal has its uses and advantages, and each has its disadvantages. The choice comes down to your personal preference and cost of the material. The choice you decide on will also depend on the roofing contractor you hire, your location and what you’d like to the result to look like. If you want to install metal roofing of any kind, ensure that the contractor you choose has experience with working with metal roofing and the metal you have selected. JP Franklin Roofing Services is your roofing solution, situated in Auckland. Call us today if you need a metal roof installed.