All metal roofing offers distinct advantages over other roofing types. Metal is fire-resistant, has a very long life expectancy, and reflects the sun's light, reducing air conditioning costs in the summer. It also sheds snow, which eliminates the worry of ice dams in a cold climate. If you've decided that metal roofing is right for your home, then you've made a wise choice -- but you have another choice to make. Which type of metal do you want? The most common choices are aluminum, steel, and copper. Here's a closer look at each one.


Aluminum has the lightest weight of all three roofing metals. This makes it a good choice if you have an older home that you're worried can't support a heavy roof. It also makes the roof easier to install, which may keep costs affordable if you have a large or oddly shaped roof that will present challenges for the roofing company. They'll have an easier time maneuvering lightweight aluminum panels into place.

Aluminum roofing won't rust, so it's a good choice for coastal areas where salty air can cause steel roofing to rust. However, it will need to be coated with paint or a special finish in order to improve its appearance. If you do not keep up with aluminum roof maintenance, the only consequence will be looks. The roof won't break down quickly.

The downfall of aluminum roofing is its softness. It is a softer metal than steel or copper, so it is more likely to be dinged or scraped when there is a hailstorm or tree branches blown into the roof.


Steel is sturdier than aluminum and will stand up better in areas where hail is common. It is also a pretty heavy metal, which has its advantages and disadvantages. Its heavy weight means it can be time-consuming to install, but it also makes it unlikely to blow off in a heavy storm. Wind can sometimes catch under the edge of a metal roofing panel, and the heavier that panel is, the less likely it is to be lifted up.

Most steel roofing is coated in zinc to prevent corrosion. However, cheaper steel roofs may not be zinc-coated and may be susceptible to rust and corrosion if not regularly coated with enamel or a rust guard. Thus, it is important to make sure you understand the maintenance required for a specific steel roof before you have it placed on your home.

Copper Roofing

Copper roofing is a bit different than both steel and aluminum roofing. It is not typically coated with paint or enamel but is rather left to weather on its own. The roof starts off a shiny, copper color, like a newly minted penny. Over time, it develops a green patina. Most people who choose copper roofing do so because they want this unique appearance.

Noise is a common concern among homeowners who are considering metal roofs. Copper is the least resonant of all common roofing metals, so your home will stay quieter during storms. Its major downfall is that it is very heavy. Before you have a copper roof put into place, you will need to have your home examined by a structural engineer to ensure it is strong enough to support the roof. The installation costs also tend to be higher with copper than with other metals because of this increased weight.

Whether you're looking for a low of no-maintenance roof, one that will give your home a unique look, or just one you won't have to replace for decades, metal is the answer. To learn more about your choices, speak with a metal roofing contractor in your area.