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What Types of Metals are Used for Roofing Metal roofing has been a popular choice for many years.

What Types of Metals are Used for Roofing?

Metal roofing has been a popular choice for many years because of its durability, versatility and eco-friendliness. However, there is more than just one type of metal used for roofing and each has its own unique properties. Here we will be looking at the different types of metal roofs and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

1. Aluminium

Aluminium is a particularly popular roofing choice for properties in coastal areas because of its resilience to salt water and harsh weather conditions. Aluminium is highly sustainable as most aluminium roofs are made from recycled aluminium and can be recycled again.

Aluminium is a lightweight metal, making it easier to install than some other metal roofs, and it is more affordable than many roofing types. It also doesn’t tend to rust or corrode much as it ages. The downsides of aluminium are that it can dent when hit by falling debris, and it is also susceptible to thermal movement, expanding and contracting more than a steel roof.

2. Zinc

Zinc is often used for roofing where a strong, durable and long-lasting metal is needed. Zinc roofs are immune to corrosion and have been known to last between 60 and 100 years, and sometimes even more in the right climate. It also has low toxicity levels, even after fabrication, and requires less energy to manufacture than ferrous metals.

Zinc is also easy to maintain and easy to form into rolls, gutters and seams. The trade-off for zinc’s many positive attributes is that it can be expensive to buy and install. Find out more

3. Copper

Copper has been used as a type of metal roofing for hundreds of years. It is lightweight, which makes it easier for installers to work with and also puts minimal stress on the structure of the home. If properly installed, copper can be one of the most durable roofing materials as it's known to last over 100 years in some situations and can easily handle inclement weather conditions.

Copper has a unique appearance and will develop an aesthetically-pleasing patina over time. Like most other metal roofs, copper can also be recycled. Like zinc, the main downside of copper roofs is that they are very expensive. Find out more - copper

4. Stainless steel

Stainless steel is prized for its strength and can also be used for roofing. This metal is incredibly durable, able to withstand corrosion for over 60 years and endure extreme weather and temperatures.

Stainless steel also has lower thermal expansion properties than aluminium, meaning it won’t expand and contract as much. It is usually available in a range of finishes.

The main drawback of stainless steel is its high price point, but it can also begin to corrode if there is not adequate drainage on the roof and water is allowed to pool. Find out more

5. Galvalume

Galvalume is a combination of three different common metal roofing metals - steel, aluminium, and zinc. It is created by hot-dipping a carbon steel base sheet in aluminium and zinc alloys with a silicone coat over the base metal. Galvalume is thought to contain the best characteristics of each of the metals that it is made from.

Galvalume is available in a range of different colours, is usually cost-effective, and is easy to form into either rolls or panels. This type of metal roofing is also recyclable and resistant to corrosion thanks to the rust-resistance of aluminium and the toughness of zinc. Find out more.

6. Lead

Lead is one of the oldest metals used for roofing and can often be found on historic buildings such as churches because of its incredible longevity. It has the benefit of being very flexible when it is installed, making it a good choice for roofs that have an awkward shape. Lead also has excellent sealant properties, is resistant to corrosion, and is endlessly recyclable.

The downsides of lead roofing are that it is expensive and can be very heavy, putting a lot of strain on a building’s structure.

Metals make great roofing materials because of their strength, durability and sustainability, but each type of metal used for roofing has its own benefits and drawbacks which need to be weighed up before deciding the right choice for your roof.

If you are looking to choose a new roofing material for your house or property, you are welcome to get in touch with us.


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