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A Comprehensive Guide to the Different Types of Metal Roofing

types of metal roofs


Metal roofing has been revolutionizing the roofing industry for decades, with its durability, sustainability, and aesthetic appeal. It is known for providing robust protection against various weather elements and metal roof can last up to twice as long as traditional roofing materials on the market. This guide will delve into the different types of metal roofing, and the factors that make each type unique.

Understanding Metal Roofing: The Basics

Before we dive into the different types of metal roofing materials, it’s important to understand what metal roofing is. This type of roof system is made from metal panels or shingles, which are then installed onto the roof structure. Metal roofing comes in various styles and types, and can be made from several different types of metal.

Metal roofing isn’t just for industrial buildings anymore, it’s also becoming popular for residential metal roofing due to its numerous benefits. It is an excellent choice if you’re interested in a roof that is durable, fire-resistant, and energy-efficient.

Metal Roof Types: Exploring the Options

There are many types of metal roofing, each offering unique benefits. The best roof types for your project will depend on your budget, aesthetic preferences, and the specific needs of your building.

Steel Roof

Steel is one of the most popular roofing materials used for roofing due to its strength and affordability. It’s often coated with zinc to prevent rusting and painted for aesthetic appeal. Steel roof panels are also made from recycled materials, making them an eco-friendly choice.

Aluminum Roof

Aluminum roofing systems are lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and excellent for coastal areas where salt spray is common. Though aluminum is a more expensive metal, its longevity, and durability make it a worthwhile investment.

Corrugated Metal Roof

Corrugated roofing, often made from galvanized steel, is known for its traditional, rippled appearance. This type of metal roof is typically used on barns and industrial buildings, but it’s also gaining popularity in residential applications for its rustic charm.

Zinc Roof

Zinc is an expensive roofing material, but it’s known for its incredibly long lifespan and self-healing properties. It’s a softer metal, which makes it easy to shape, but it’s also durable and requires little maintenance.

Copper Roof

Copper is the most expensive metal roofing option, but it’s also one of the most beautiful. Over time, copper roofs develop a distinctive green patina, which can add character and value to a building.

Key Metal Roofing Styles: Panels and Shingles

Metal roofing comes in two main styles: metal panels and metal shingles.

Metal Panels

Standing seam metal roofs are made from large metal panels. Each panel has two seams that stand up vertically, and these seams are fastened and sealed to prevent water penetration. This style of roof is known for its sleek, modern appearance.

Metal Shingles

If you prefer a more traditional look, metal shingles might be your best choice. These mimic the look of traditional asphalt shingle roofs but with the durability and longevity of metal. There are different types roof shingles which comes in a variety of styles, including those that resemble wood shakes, slate, and tile roofing.

Decoding Metal Roofing: Exposed Fasteners vs. Hidden Fasteners

When choosing a metal roof, one important consideration is whether to opt for exposed fastener roofing or a standing seam roof with hidden fasteners.

Exposed fastener panel roofs are more common in residential metal roofing. These are easier to install and are generally more affordable roofing options. However, the exposed fasteners can be a potential source of leaks over time.

Standing seam metal roofs, on the other hand, have concealed fasteners, providing a smoother look. While this option can be more expensive, it also tends to be more durable and less prone to leaks due to the hidden fastener design.

The Cost of Metal Roofing: Investment and Longevity

While the metal roofing cost may be higher upfront than traditional asphalt shingle and Cedar shake, it’s important to consider long-term savings. Metal roofs last two to three times longer than a typical asphalt shingle roof, requiring less maintenance and fewer replacements. The energy efficiency of metal roofing also provides savings in heating and cooling costs.

The Environmental Impact of Metal Roofing

One of the benefits of metal roofing is its environmental friendliness. Many types of metal roofing are made from recycled materials and are fully recyclable at the end of their lifespan. This is a significant advantage over traditional roofing materials like asphalt shingles, which contribute to millions of tons of waste each year.

How to Choose the Right Metal Roofing

When considering the different types of metal roofing, keep in mind the architectural style of your building, the local climate, and your budget. It’s always a good idea to consult with roofing contractors who specialize in metal roofing. They can help you determine which metal roof is right for your needs and provide a professional roofing installation.

The metal roofing industry offers a broad range of roofing products to suit any style or budget. Whether you prefer the rustic charm of a corrugated metal roof, the modern look of a standing seam roof, or the traditional aesthetic of metal shingles, there is a metal roofing choice that is perfect for you.

The Verdict: Is Metal Roofing Right for You?

Deciding on a roofing material is a significant decision. Though metal might be more expensive initially compared to traditional roofing options, it offers benefits like durability, eco-friendliness, and low maintenance. By understanding the different types of metal roofing materials, you can make an informed decision that suits your needs and preferences.

Installing a new metal roof is a substantial investment, but it’s one that will pay off in the long run. It’s essential to do your research, consider all the factors, and consult with professionals in the roofing industry. If you’re looking for a long-lasting, durable, and aesthetically pleasing option, metal is an excellent choice.

Metal roofing is one of the most versatile and durable roofing materials on the market, providing a wide range of options to choose from. Whether you’re renovating a historic home or building a new modern house, there’s a metal roofing system that’s perfect for you.

In the world of roofing, the saying “You get what you pay for” often holds true. While metal roofing might be an expensive upfront cost, the long-term savings and benefits could make it a worthwhile investment. Consider your long-term goals for your property, consult with a professional, and make the choice that best fits your needs and lifestyle.

In conclusion, metal roofing provides a unique combination of durability, beauty, and sustainability. With a variety of types and styles to choose from, it’s no surprise that metal has become a popular choice for both residential and commercial buildings. Whether you’re interested in a metal roof for its longevity, aesthetic appeal, or environmental benefits, there’s a type of metal roof out there that’s perfect for you.

Cedar Shake Roof Cleaning in Des Moines Iowa
Cedar Shake Roof before & after cleaning

Meet Bruce

50 Years of Experience &
Over 2,000 Shake Roofs Cleaned

Bruce Sullivan has over 50 years of experience in maintaining, cleaning, and restoring cedar shake roofs. Making him one of the top authorities on cedar shake roofs in the US.

Watch the Cedar Shakes Cleaning Process in Action in this video

Play Video about Roof Cleaning How to Remove Moss, Lichen, Fungi from a Cedar Roof Sullivan Roof


What can I say? Bruce and Keith provided an exceptional service, and they are really nice guys too. Found out at the last minute they were in Minneapolis, and they fit me in for a cedar shake roof cleaning the next evening after their regular job was done. Even cleaned up my gutters, small fence, and small deck at no charge. The place looks outstanding! Highly recommended.

Mike Richards

I highly recommend this business. Due to the work performed we are going to get another 10-14 years out of our cedar shake roof. We were told by some roofing companies that the roof should be replaced in 2 years. I lucked out and found Sullivan Roof Cleaning while researching companies that perform this service, and was pleased to learn that the company does work outside of Iowa. If you need your cedar shakes cleaned, go with Sullivan Roof Cleaning.

Eric Oelrich, 
St Cloud, MN

Bruce did a great job cleaning the whole exterior of my house. The roof has new life! It looks practically brand new. All the mold and moss on the roof, on the gutters, under the eaves, completely gone. He exceeded all our expectations. When he tells you what he can do for your house, you can believe and trust him. Great guy, great service.

Stuart Malone
Kansas City, MO


Cedar shakes are organic. Though a resilient material. Being organic they need to be maintained. Over time, like any organic material that are subjected to weather elements, they reach a stage of deterioration. Like UV exposure, moisture and seasonal changes. Which results in moss, mold, mildew, lichen and brown rot fungi. These infestations need to be removed to further preserve the integrity of the cedar shake.
The proper way to clean a cedar shake roof is from a ladder. By spraying a special formulated solution onto the shakes and then rinsed with a garden hose pressure. Best done by a professional cedar shake roof cleaner. Not DIY recommended.
No. Pressure washer will require walking on the shakes, which will harm them, and even at its lowest setting will also damage the shakes.
On average, cedar shakes should be cleaned every 10 ten years. Subjective to the grade of the shakes and the amount of surrounding tree cover.
Avoiding walking on a cedar shake roof, other than for repairs.
Never seal a cedar shake roof. Cedar shakes need to breathe. They expand and contract in rain conditions. Seal will shorten the lifespan, to the point of premature replacement.
Staining has no real preserve value and can also harm the integrity of shakes, as stated, they need to be able to breathe. Also, if the shakes are not properly cleaned staining can seal the deteriorating infestation within the shakes.
Depending on the grade of the shakes and installation, and if maintained properly, 40 to 60 years.


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