Not all metal roofs are made of the same material, or even from the same manufacturing techniques. There are many metal options, but the two most popular options are steel and aluminum. We install both steel and aluminum standing seam metal roofs, so we frequently advise customers as to which material is best for them.
Here’s our breakdown on steel vs. aluminum roofs.
Galvalume Steel Roofing
Though there are many types of steel roofing, we only carry Galvalume steel roofing. Not only are these panels easy for us to form into roofing panels over any unusual roof shapes, they offer several benefits to you, including:
- Price: They’re inexpensively priced for a metal roof and come in a wide range of colors. These roofs can also be installed over your existing roof, which can save you more money.
- Color: We get our Galvalume steel from Sheffield Metals, who offer a wide range of colors.
- Durability: Galvalume steel resists corrosion well for decades.
Still, Galvalume steel roofing isn’t right for every homeowner, as it has some drawbacks, including:
- Interactions: Galvalume can suffer chemical effects if it is contact with other metals or materials. It can’t contact aluminum gutters, treated wooden decking, or stone/brick chimneys. We can work around most of these constraints, but it may not be worth your trouble.
You may also hear that Galvalume steel is likely to suffer from oil canning, which can cause bumps or waves on a metal roof. We avoid oil canning by buying our metal straight from Sheffield Metals and forming it ourselves. We make sure it is thick enough to avoid oil canning. Plus, we install proper underlayment and take other precautions to avoid oil canning.
We also carry aluminum roofing. It’s also lightweight and easy to form on our end, and even more recyclable than Galvalume steel, which appeals to the environmentally conscious. It’s main benefits for homeowners are:
- Price: While more expensive than Galvalume, aluminum roofing is still at a medium price point for metal roofing.
- Durability: Aluminum will not rust or corrode for a very long time, even if you’re right on the coast.
However, aluminum also has its downsides, mostly from our point of view as the roofers. It needs to be made thick, to avoid denting. We also need to coat it, to keep its natural color intact as it ages. Lastly, aluminum needs to be installed without double pins, as it expands and contracts more than steel.
What is the Best Type of Metal Roof?
That depends on your priorities.
If you want lots of color options, or want to reduce your price point, Galvalume is the best metal roof for you.
If you want durability, live right on the coast, or are concerned about your environmental impact, aluminum is generally a better choice.
Ultimately, it’s best to speak with a dependable roofer in your local area about the best choices for your specific building.
Manufacturing Process Matters
No matter which metal you choose, there are many different options for each, including standing seam, seamless and metal shingles. We prefer standing seam as it offers better performance while also looking great.