Do Metal Roofs Last Longer?

Do Metal Roofs Last Longer?

5 min read

A roof is an integral part of your home. It protects you and your personal belongings. As such, homeowners should be careful when choosing the roofing they are putting over their heads. Now, the durability of a roof is an important factor that you have to consider. Roofs are not created equally.

As such, some will have a longer life span than others. You, therefore, have to determine the durability of a certain type to ensure that it’s worth your money.

Now, longevity is among the reasons why people choose metal roofs.

Metal roofs, on average, have a far longer lifespan than other traditional types of roofing. With proper maintenance and care, they can easily last over 60 years. Asphalt shingle roofs and single-ply roofs, in comparison, last roughly 20 years on average.

Of course, there are some things that you can do to expand the useful life of your metal roof. Within this article, I’ll discuss everything you’ll need to know about metal roofing:

How Long Do Metal Roofs Last?

While a metal roof is warrantied for 40 years on average, research claims that it can last longer. The Metal Construction Association says that these roofs can last for more than 60 years. Compare this to the life of an asphalt shingle roof or a single-ply roof that only lasts 23 and 20 years, respectively.

What Contributes to This Longevity?

While metal is a durable material, this alone doesn’t contribute to the long lifespan of these roofs. A metal roof is more than just steep panels. It consists of clips and framings that make it more long-lasting.

Note that, the clips present hold the panels to other structural members while leaving enough space for the panels to expand and contract as the temperature changes each day and season.

Additionally, the sealants and heavy-duty fasteners used also make these roofs last longer. We can also attribute durability to metal’s resistance to the environment. Compared to asphalt and other roofs, metal can withstand weather changes better.

Plus, it resists harsh impacts from hail storms, fire, and seismic activity. Therefore, even in case of these situations, your roof will not give in easily.

What Factors Affect the Lifespan of Your Metal Roof?

1. The Type of Metal Roof

There are different types of metals used in roofing, including;

i. Aluminum

An aluminum roof is long-lasting as it doesn’t rust easily and is highly malleable. Thus, it offers additional strength to the roof. But, the only drawback is that it is expensive and can’t resist hail. While there’s no universal lifespan for an aluminum metal roof, experts say that it can last 40-50 years.

ii. Galvalume Steel

It’s a steel material with zinc and aluminum alloy coating. The aluminum coating makes this roof resistant to corrosion. But this means that the steel can be easily scratched. However, as it’s affordable, many property owners opt for this roofing. They often last for 40 years.

But may last longer with proper maintenance.

iii. Galvanized Steel

Here, steel is coated with zinc. It’s the most common metal roofing used today. Zinc has proven effective in slowing down corrosion while protecting steel from scratches. But, this material isn’t resistant to seawater. Hence may not be suitable for those with houses in the coastal areas.

This roof can last for 50 years on average.

iv. Copper

It is an aesthetically appealing roof that lasts the longest. But, it is very expensive, which is why it is not used on the whole house. Most people use it to add elegance to windows and dormers. The roof is lightweight and easy to install. Plus, its little weight means that it won’t stress other building structures.

2. Protection of the Painted Finish

If the painted finish on the panel is starched or damaged, it’ll expose your roof to moisture, which can lead to rusting. It is why you should request your contractor to take all measures to ensure that the finish is protected during installation.

For example, cleaning has to be done every day during installation to prevent cuts or little triangles that may damage the painted finish. Additionally, the contractor should handle the metal roof system carefully, regardless of the type of metal roof it is.

It’s why you should research before hiring a contractor to confirm that he is reliable and reputable.

3. Where You Are Living

Metal roofs often undergo wear and tear. But, the weather in your area also affects the speed of wear and tear on the roof. For those living in an area that is often experiencing snow and hailstorms, their roof’s integrity and painted finish will quickly weaken.

On the other hand, if you live in high temperatures, regular expansion can shorten your roof’s lifespan. Sadly, there’s nothing much that you can do about the weather. However, you should be aware of how this factor affects the longevity of your roof.

How to Ensure Your Metal Roof Lasts Longer

While metal is generally durable, it needs some maintenance. Clean off dirt and debris regularly so that there’s no place for water to accumulate. Also, check whether the fasteners are corroded and replace them if necessary. Additionally, fix any dents and scratches by repainting.

It’s also essential that you ensure proper installation. If installed and maintained correctly, this roof will last for a long time. This will ultimately save you money.

Investing in an expensive roof that will last more than 40 years is better than buying one that will need replacement only after 20 years or sooner, especially when destroyed by a hailstorm. With a metal roof, you’ll see the return on your investment.

Additional tips to prolong your roof’s life include:

1. Trimming trees around your home

When leaves and branches from trees fall on your roof, they can cause scratches. Homeowners should trim trees close to their house to prevent this.

2. Keep different metals from each other

When metals come in contact with one another, they can become wet, which can lead to electrolytic corrosion. This ultimately can deteriorate your roof. Use the same metals for flashing, siding, and on the roof to prevent this.

You can also try keeping them from coming into contact with each other by using a sealant product free of metals.

3. Deal with rust immediately

Once you notice rust forming on your roof, act as soon as possible. You can remove rust using water or by sanding it lightly if it has already corroded. After removing it, apply metal primer to prevent rust from developing in the future, then paint the affected area.

Why Else Should I Buy a Metal Roof?

Well, of course, we all want a long-lasting roof. However, it’s not the only reason you should purchase a metal one. Here are other advantages of metal roofs:

1. Safety

These roofs won’t spark or ignite during a fire or lightning strike.

2. Save on energy

As they reflect UV rays and infrared rays from light, they reduce the radiant heat from the roof surface, thus leading to a reduction in cooling costs by 10-25%.

3. Environmentally-friendly

25-95% of their content has been recycled. However, at the end of their lifespan, these roofs are 100% recyclable.

When Is It Time to Replace My Metal Roof?

While these roofs are long-lasting, there are still circumstances that can force you to repair or replace them. Sure they have fewer issues than other roof types. But, you can still spot signs of failure even when the roof is still young.

Look out for rusts, damaged areas, and leaks. Have your roof inspected as soon as possible if you suspect that there’s a problem. The main reason why a metal roof may fail is if it was installed incorrectly. It’s why hiring the best roofing contractors is essential.

Also, note that many problems with this roof can be addressed by repairing it. However, some issues might call for a replacement, especially those caused by significant leaks, damages from severe storms, and rust that was left untreated.

Victoria Miller

I'm the founder of NTT. I live in Miami, Florida, and enjoy learning everything there is to know about tiny spaces.