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How Long Does a Metal Roof Last? Discover the Pros & Cons.

01/18/24 | Roofing

Metal roofs have many advantages over traditional asphalt shingles, such as durability, energy efficiency, and environmental friendliness. They can withstand harsh weather and fire and lower your cooling bills.

However, they also come with some drawbacks, such as higher initial cost, more noise, and more maintenance. In this article, we will look at the pros and cons of metal roofs, and answer the question: how long does a metal roof last?

Types of Metal Roofs.

Different types of metal roofs have different features and performance. The most common types are:

  • Standing seam roofs: These are made of metal panels that join together with hidden fasteners. They have a sleek and modern appearance, and a longer lifespan than other options. Depending on how well they are installed and what material they use, they can last up to 50 years or more. They also withstand wind, hail, fire, and corrosion. However, they are more expensive and require more expertise and care to install and maintain.
  • Screw-down panel roofs: These are made of metal panels that attach to the roof deck with visible screws or nails. They have a traditional and rustic look, and a lower cost and easier installation than standing seam roofs. However, they have a shorter lifespan and wear out faster than standing seam roofs. Depending on how well they are installed and what material they use, they can last up to 20-30 years. They are more prone to leaking, rusting, and damaging from weather and thermal changes.
  • Metal shingles: These are made of metal tiles that mimic the appearance of asphalt shingles, slate, tile, or wood shakes. They have a varied and attractive look, and a lighter weight and easier installation than metal panels. Depending on how well they are installed and what material they use, they can last up to 40-70 years. They also withstand wind, hail, fire, and corrosion. However, they are more expensive and require more maintenance and repair than screw-down panel roofs.

Factors Affecting the Lifespan.

Several factors affect how long a metal roof lasts, such as:

  • The type of metal: Different metals have different durability and properties. The most common metals for roofing are steel, aluminum, copper, zinc, and tin. Steel is strong and economical, but heavy and rust-prone. Aluminum is light and corrosion-resistant, but soft and expensive. Copper is expensive and attractive, but oxidizes and stains. Zinc and tin are less common and have their own pros and cons.
  • The quality of the coating and finish: Metal roofs usually have a coating or paint to protect them from corrosion, fading, and damage. The type and quality of the coating and finish affect the lifespan and performance. The most common types are galvanized, galvalume, weathering, and painted.
  • The quality of the installation: The installation of a metal roof is crucial for its lifespan and performance. A poor installation can cause leaks, damage, and failure. A good installation can ensure a secure fit, ventilation, and insulation. A professional and experienced roofer can install a metal roof correctly and efficiently, following the manufacturer’s guidelines and the local building codes.
  • The climate and weather conditions: The location of the metal roof affects its lifespan and performance. Extreme temperatures, humidity, precipitation, wind, and sunlight can wear and tear them, causing fading, cracking, warping, and corrosion. A metal roof that suits the climate and weather conditions of the area can last longer and perform better than a generic one. For example, a metal roof in Florida may need to handle high heat, humidity, and hurricanes, while a metal roof in Alaska may need to handle low temperatures, snow, and ice.

Conclusion.

Metal roofs are a great option for homeowners who want a durable, energy-efficient, and eco-friendly. They have many benefits, such as long lifespan, weather and fire resistance, and low cooling costs.

But they also have some drawbacks, such as high initial cost, more noise, and more maintenance. Several factors affect how long they lasts, such as the metal type, the coating and finish quality, the installation quality, and the climate and weather conditions.

They can last 20 to 80 years, depending on these factors. A well-chosen, well-installed, and well-maintained roof can last a lifetime and give a high return on investment.

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