Updated: Feb 14
Whether your current roofing is falling apart or you're just looking to make a change and better protect your home, you may be considering a metal roof. One of the most common questions about this material is how long does a metal roof last.
The good news is that a metal roof life expectancy is far longer than other roofing materials. In fact, a metal roof has an even longer life expectancy than most humans. A properly installed metal roof that is well-maintained can last up to 125 years.
But there are more benefits and factors to consider than just the average lifespan when deciding if this material is right for you. Learn all about how long metal roofs last and what you can expect from your new roof.
Why Choose a Metal Roof
While asphalt has long been the traditional go-to choice for houses, so many homeowners are now looking at other options for their homes. Different materials, from asphalt to clay tiles, bring pros and cons of their own.
So let's take a look at why metal roofing pros recommend this material to homeowners so you can decide if these advantages are what you're looking for.
A metal roof's life expectancy is much longer than other materials such as an asphalt shingle roof. Even conservative estimates claim 50 years, but proper maintenance may allow a lifespan of over 100 years.
One reason they last so long is that they are highly durable. Even in extreme weather, homeowners can rely on their strong shingles.
Resistant to Common Roofing Dangers
Whatever dangers you imagine for roofs, it's often safe to assume that metal roofs are resistant.
For example, a heavy weather impact like hail could end clay tiles, but metal is far more durable. As for fire, these roofs are resistant to it. And for those who have dealt with pesky bugs like termites in the past, worry no longer — these roofs have nothing to offer these pests.
Are you blasting your air conditioner all summer long with little relief? Perhaps your roof isn't doing its fair share in keeping your home comfortable.
One of the ways metal roofing is so environmentally-friendly is that it's energy-efficient. This means it lowers your winter heating costs and summer cooling costs. You save money and the environment by using less energy to make your home's air livable.
Here's how its energy efficiency works:
• The aluminum reflects the sun in summer, resulting in a 50% reduction in heat transfer from the sun compared to an asphalt shingle roof.
• Improved ventilation means hot air escapes properly, and the air conditioner can work more efficiently than when under asphalt shingles.
In addition to being energy-efficient, metal roofing is made from recycled materials, which can then be recycled again. And because it lasts so long, you'll replace your shingles less, reducing your carbon footprint and decreasing the demand for supplies.
Learn more about All your Roofing FAQs Answered
Caring for Your Metal Roof
All roofing materials require some level of maintenance and care, including metal. But what is needed for a metal roof? Here's what you should know.
How Often Do Metal Roofs Need to Be Replaced?
Metal roofs last for a long time, but they won't last forever. The length of time they last depends on different elements, from the type of shingles you have to what severe weather your roof has endured.
Most metal roofs won't need a replacement for at least 50 years or more. However, it's still best to get your annual roof inspection. If there has been severe damage to your home that poses a risk to you, contractors will inform you of whether repairs will do the trick or if it's time to consider installing replacement shingles.
Is a Metal Roof High Maintenance?
Proper care is vital for helping your metal roof last longer. The good news is that there isn't much maintenance with metal roofs.
Even so, even low-maintenance roofs have needs. Here are some things all homeowners should do for their roofs:
• Trim branches nearby
• Clear off debris, snow, and ice
• Keep gutters clear
• Check for and repair rust spots
Metal Roofing Material Types
There are many different shingles to choose from. Before you decide on the material for your installation, talk to your local metal roofing pros for a complete list of options.
Slate is on the upper end of the price per square foot scale. With slate, you can replicate the look of traditional clay or slate, but with better durability and a lower price. It also lasts the longest at 75 - 125 years.
Copper is the most expensive option, but copper also lasts up to 100 years. A copper roof looks beautiful, but do keep in mind that this shingle type is more likely to oxidize, turning green.
Zinc roofing also lasts about a century and is one of the strongest, most flexible materials available. And at a moderate price, how can you say no to zinc?
Steel roofing has the lowest prices of all these materials. Steel roofing costs are equal to what an asphalt shingle roof would cost. However, steel only lasts about 40 years and is more vulnerable to leaks.
Standing Seam Metal Roof
Standing seam metal roofs come in on the more affordable side of the scale and last about 50 years.
Aluminum lasts about 50 years. The best perk of aluminum is that it has the best energy efficiency. Additionally, aluminum roofing is very durable. But for all these perks, aluminum has an affordable price tag.
A tin roof features a moderate price and will last about 50 - 75 years.
Frequently Asked Questions about Metal Roofing
Should I Choose a Metal Roof over Asphalt Shingles?
Traditional asphalt roofing is the most popular of all the roofing systems. However, it doesn't make it the best choice. Metal roofs have a longer lifespan than asphalt, have less care required, are better for the environment, and save you money on energy costs.
Read more about How Much Weight Can a Roof Hold?
Does a Metal Roof Lower Your Insurance?
Because metal roofs are so durable and protect your home well with low risks of fire, termites, and corrosion, insurance companies may lower your premiums for choosing such a reliable material. However, this isn't a guarantee.
For the best likelihood of lowering your insurance premium with your new roof, ensure that you work with a roofing contractor who will get you all the paperwork you need and help you through the process of showing warranty work and proper installation.
Can I Install Metal over Old Roofing?
Tearing off your old roofing system for a replacement roof is expensive and time-consuming. One of the many benefits of this roof type is installing your new roofing on top of the old.
Putting the new on over the existing roof saves you time and money while giving you the roof material with the longest lifespan.
Does a Metal Roof Cost More?
When it comes to the initial cost of installation, metal is far more expensive. However, when you consider the lifespan of this roof and the long-term costs, you could save money.
How long do asphalt shingles last? About 20 years. And how long does a metal roof last? 100+ years with proper care. Your low-maintenance roof will likely outlive your time in the house, meaning you may never need to pay for a new roof again.
If cost is most important in your decision, consider what's more important: the upfront cost to install or what you'll pay over the time you live in the home. If you need to save money now, asphalt shingles may be best. But for those looking for the wisest investment, metal roofs are the right choice.
Is My Home in More Danger of a Lightning Strike with an Aluminum Roof?
There are rumors out there about this type of roofing and lightning. However, there's absolutely no evidence that a metal roof increases the risk of a lightning strike. In fact, it decreases the risk.
The most significant risk of lightning is that it could cause a fire. But with its Class-A fire rating, the chance of a fire due to lightning is incredibly low. If you are in a lightning-prone area, this roof type is actually recommended.
Can I Paint My Metal Roofing Material?
Roofs don't have to be boring! Feel free to add a pop of color to your metal roof.
Are Steel Roofs Noisy?
You may hear more noise during very heavy rain than with an asphalt roof or clay tiles. However, there won't be more noise than you'd get with any other shingle roof when properly installed with enough insulation.
Choosing Metal for Your House
Are you wondering if a metal roof could be the right choice for your home? Speak with a local roofing contractor, and learn more about your house and metal roofs. It could be that metal roofing is the perfect investment for your home.