Metal Roofing Materials: 3 Types

Homeowners can benefit from the longevity and low maintenance of a metal roof. If you’re considering a metal roof for your home, you may be aware there are several different metal roof types to choose from. Each type has its own pros and cons.


Aluminum is a great material for roofing due to its light weight. This makes it cheaper and easier to work with during the installation process.And while it is a lighter material, it is also very durable. It actually has a higher ratio of strength to weight than many other types of metal that are used in roofing. In a way, this means you get more bang for your buck. 


Some of the best things about aluminum roofing include its longevity and ease of maintenance. As a bonus, it tends to come in a good assortment of colors, so you can you can choose the style that fits the character of your house or neighborhood best.

One of the reasons that aluminum is such a long lasting roofing material is because it doesn’t rust. This makes it especially ideal for homes that are built in temperate climates that receive a lot of rain (like the PNW) and also for homes built near the sea. An abundance of moisture or salinity in the air tends to rapidly rust other types of metal.

Lightweight and malleability of the aluminum makes it an excellent choice for roofing, as a lightweight material puts less stress on the structural components that support your roof. Malleability is great as it allows the aluminum to be easily formed into different configurations depending on the style of roof you have.


Aluminum is an excellent choice of roofing material for the above reasons, but it doesn’t come without its drawbacks.

While it is true that aluminum has a high strength to weight ratio, it is still not as strong as steel. This makes it more prone to sustaining dents or damages as a result of hail or falling branches, for example.

Another issue when it comes to aluminum roofing is where to buy it. Generally there are few manufacturers available for this type of metal roofing, leaving you with fewer options. This can be especially true if you live inland, or in areas that are away from the coast.

Perhaps one of the biggest disadvantages of aluminum is the price. It tends to cost more than other types of metal used for roofing. In fact, you can expect to pay about 35% more for aluminum when compared to steel.


The biggest reasons to choose a copper roof are for its longevity and aesthetic appeal. A copper roof has a unique look. 


The color of copper tends to change over time with the weathering process and will really make your building stand out. Additionally, copper is probably one of the longest lasting roofing materials available to homeowners. You can expect a copper roof to last as long as 100 years!

When copper oxidizes, it becomes resistant to rust as well changing to a unique color.


Copper is probably the most expensive roofing material available. This is one of the reasons you don’t see them all that often. It’s also not especially durable, making it more prone to dents and damages from storms or debris. Finally, it is not widely available. For these reasons, copper is not commonly used.


When people talk about metal roofing, they are most often referring to steel. Steel is the most widely used material for metal roofs. Some of the biggest factors contributing to its popularity are its low cost, low maintenance, and long life-span.


One of the biggest allures to a steel roof as opposed to other materials is its affordability. Steel is probably one of the cheapest materials for metal roofs – costing up to 66% less than copper. And while copper is the longest lasting, a steel roof still has a relatively long lifespan. It can last up to 60 years, which is up to 6 times longer than the lifespan of a roof made from traditional asphalt shingles. On top of that, steel is probably one the most durable roofing materials, so you don’t have to worry about it getting dented or damaged.

The maintenance requirements for a steel roof are quite low. Periodic washing and inspections are basically all that is required. You will also want to make sure you keep the roof clear of debris in order to prevent corrosion.


Steel is a great choice for roofing due to its low cost and durability, but it does have some downsides. These are mostly attributed to its lack of resistance to corrosion, and it’s heavy weight.

Unlike some of the other materials discussed in this guide, steel is vulnerable to rust. However, this shouldn’t be a major issue unless you live in an excessively damp climate, or a region near the coast. If you do live in one of these areas, aluminum is probably your best choice, as it is more resistant to corrosion.

Steel is also one of the heaviest types of metal used for roofing. This extra weight can bring extra stress to the structure of your roof, weakening it over time.

While these are only a few of the most common roofing materials available, they are the most widely used. Whichever type of roofing material you choose will depend on a variety of factors unique to your situation. As always, consult with a professional roofing contractor to determine which roofing options may be best for your home.