Metal Roofing FAQs: Everything You Need to Know

metal roofing information

If you're just starting to research metal roofing, you've come to the right place. Our FAQs lay out the most common metal roofing questions and answers, including... 


How much does a metal roof cost?

Metal Roof Installation Costs

Metal roofing typically costs $7 - $10 per square foot, but can be as low as $5.50 or as high as $12 per square foot.

Metal roofing systems typically cost 2 - 3x more than the price of traditional asphalt shingles, although prices will vary depending on your location and the complexity of the installation.

Cost to Install Metal Roofing
Roof Square Footage Low-End Cost Average Cost High-End Cost
1,000 sq. ft. $5,500 $10,000 $12,000
1,500 sq. ft. $8,250 $15,000 $18,000
2,000 sq. ft. $11,000 $20,000 $24,000
2,500 sq. ft. $13,750 $25,000 $30,000

One of the primary reasons metal roofing is more expensive than traditional roofing materials is the specialized training, knowledge, and equipment that is needed to install them properly.

However, a metal roof does not need nearly as much maintenance as other roofing materials; so when properly installed, it can easily last for 50 years.

Metal Roof Repair Costs

As with any roofing repair, the cost is directly related to the amount of work involved, material costs, your location, and the overall time involved in the fix.

A small leak repair on a metal roof may cost as little as $100 and reach more than $1,000.

Fixing an isolated leak in a metal roof with some localized 'patchwork' (rather than replacing the entire thing) can save you thousands of dollars.


What are the pros and cons of metal roofing?

Advantages

  • Durability — Installed correctly, a metal roof will outlast most roofing materials.
  • Long term warranties — Many manufacturers warranty their metal roofing for up to 50 years. That compares favorably to asphalt shingles, which may need to be replaced every 15 to 20 years.
  • Lower energy bills — Metal reflects heat from the sun, helping your roof and home stay cooler while using less energy.
  • Eco-friendly — In addition to being a "cool roof" option, metal roofs often are made from recycled metals, like steel and aluminum.
  • Non-combustible and fire resistant - Residential metal roofing has a Class A fire rating, which means it receives the designation of "most resistant" to fires.
  • Lightweight - Metal weighs much less than asphalt shingles and can withstand extremely high winds and climate changes. You can also install a metal roof over the old roof in most situations.

Disadvantages

  • Upfront costs - The upfront cost of installing a new metal roof is significantly more expensive than other common roofing products.
  • Possible denting - Many new metal roofs are guaranteed against denting and marring, but some are prone to damage in the right conditions.


Find a metal roofing contractor near you


What are the different types of metal roofing?

Most of the metal roofing products available today are made of steel or aluminum, but specialty materials including copper, titanium, and zinc.

Steel Roofing

Steel roofing is a lightweight roofing material and is covered by a protective coating to prevent it from rusting. Metallic coatings on steel roofing are either 100% zinc ("galvanized") or a mixture of zinc and aluminum ("Galvalume" or "Zincalume"). The mixed coating is the most effective way to prevent rust.

Aluminum Roofing

Aluminum roofs are typically a bit more expensive than steel because it is even lighter than steel and does not need to go through the metallic coating process.

If your home is near the ocean, aluminum is the metal roofing route to take because it is more resistant to corrosion caused by seawater salt spray.

Depending on the exact product chosen, aluminum roofs are often about 20% more expensive than steel roofing.

KEEP READING: The Complete Metal Roofing Guide


What styles of metal roofing are available?

metal roofing styles

Today’s metal roofing systems are available in more styles and colors than ever. Since metal can be formed into virtually any shape, you can get any style or color you'd like.

Metal roofs come in a variety of colors to match the shades of your siding, windows, and doors. A metal roof will keep its original color for years, so be sure to choose a color you can live with for a long time.

To prevent premature fading, peeling, rust, water infiltration, and more, be sure to use high-quality paint. Acrylic resin-treated paint is a popular choice.


How do you maintain a metal roof?

metal roofs come in many different colors

Metal roofing products are coated with protective paints and enamels designed to prevent corrosion. However, corrosion is still possible without proper maintenance.

Certain chemicals, like fertilizers, animal waste, and acid rain, can damage metal roofing over time.

Luckily, it's easy to maintain a metal roof. Here are a couple simple tips to follow when maintaining yours:

  • Wash the metal roof with water using a garden hose or low-pressure power washer to rinse off any harmful chemicals.
  • If there are any loose nails, pull them and securely re-nail them into place.

KEEP READING: Metal Roof Repair 101


Find a metal roofing contractor near you


How long do metal roofs last?

Metal roofing can last 2 - 3x longer than traditional asphalt shingle roofs. So while common shingle roofs need to be replaced every 10 - 20 years, metal roofing can last longer than 50 years when installed and maintained properly.

Although asphalt shingles carry a more affordable upfront cost, the increased durability of a metal roof makes it a more cost-effective choice over the long term.

KEEP READING: 


metal roof sheds rain and snow easily

Does metal roofing stand up to weather well?

  • Wind: Most metal roofs are rated to withstand 140 mph winds.
  • Snow & Ice: Metal sheds snow better than asphalt shingles, helping to reduce the risk of ice damming, which causes excessive stress on your roof.
  • Rain: Like snow, metal is also great at shedding rain. The panels interlock, making your roof impenetrable. And when installed correctly, a metal roof is as quiet as (if not quieter than) other roofing materials.
  • Lightning: According to the Metal Roofing Alliance, metal roofing does not attract lightning more than other types of roofing material and may actually help distribute the electrical charge in the rare case lightning does strike the roof.
  • Heat & Fire: On average, metal roofs reflect 70% of the sun's rays, helping to keep your home cooler. It also is fire-resistant, protecting your home from burning embers in the event of a house fire or wildfire.
  • Rust: The potential for rust is possible, but metal roofing systems typically have a special paint or protective coating to prevent rust from developing. 
Be sure to check the warranty of your particular roofing product to see what is covered as part of the warranty.
 


    Are metal roofs heavy?

    No. Metal roofs are surprisingly lightweight.

    On average, a metal roof is 50% lighter than a traditional shingle roof and 75% lighter than concrete or slate tile roofing.

    Due to metal roofing's surprisingly lightweight nature, one of its great advantages is its ability to be installed over an existing shingle roof. However, before you move forward, it’s important to make sure the underlayment or plywood is in good shape and not rotten. If the underlayment isn't in good condition, the metal roof won’t be secure and problems will arise.

    KEEP READING: 5 Metal Roofing Myths Debunked


    Find a metal roofing contractor near you


    Why does the gauge of the metal roofing product matter?

    The gauge of the metal is a measurement of its thickness—the thicker the metal, the lower the number.

    For instance, a 29 gauge metal roofing product is thinner than one that is 24 gauge. Lower gauge metal roofing products are more durable in extreme weather conditions compared to higher gauge choices.

    Since they are more durable, lower gauge products also cost more. For residential applications, 29 gauge metal roofing or thicker (lower gauge) is recommended.


    metal is great for low slope roofs

    Can metal roofing be used for low-slope applications?

    If your roof has a slope greater than 1:12 (one-inch drop every 12 inches in length), metal roofing is a durable and low-maintenance option.

    According to the National Institute of Building Sciences, a roof having a slope less than 1:12 should use a metal roofing system.


    If you have additional questions, contact a qualified metal roofing contractor for answers. Keep in mind, it's particularly important to choose a roofer that is experienced working with metal because metal roof installation requires expertise and tools that are different than shingle roofing.