Picture this: it’s the middle of the summer. The sun is shining, the bees are buzzing, and the breeze is blowing. You’re out in your yard, working on your landscaping and enjoying the weather. You look up to see if you can identify the songbird sitting on the edge of your gutter and singing lovely tunes when you see them: curling shingles.
If your asphalt roof is more than 25 years old, it may be time to start looking for a replacement. You’ve probably heard stories of the low maintenance and long lifespans of metal roofs, but are they truly worth the initial cost? How long does a metal roof last?
Keep reading to learn the average lifespan of metal roofing and the different factors that can affect the longevity of a metal roof.
Metal Roofs: The Basics
Metal roofs first became popular in the United States in the mid-1800s, and they’ve gone in and out of fashion several times since then. Today, metal roofs can be made from a variety of materials:
While tin has historically been used in roofing, this material is no longer used to replace and repair roofs. Metal roofs also come in many different styles, including some styles meant to imitate the look of shingles.
Homeowners may choose to install metal roofs for increased energy efficiency in their homes, to make an environmentally-friendly roofing choice, to have a durable roof on their home, or because they like the look of a metal roof more than shingles.
How Long Does a Metal Roof Last? 5 Considerations
On average, metal roofs last anywhere from 40 to 70 years. Various conditions factor into the life expectancy of your roof in particular.
1) Lack of Maintenance
Just because metal roofs are “low maintenance,” that doesn’t make them “no maintenance.” You should still be visually checking your roof at least once a year to identify any obvious signs of decay or damage.
Damaged metal and steel roofing could lead to water leaks, increased cooling costs, and other long-term problems if left unchecked. Performing routine maintenance ensures that your roof is in tip-top shape, and it gives you the opportunity to perform small repairs before they become full replacement jobs.
2) Proper (or Improper) Installation
It’s hard for a metal roof to stay in place when it hasn’t been properly installed. Your roofer is responsible for installing your roof to the manufacturer’s specifications. Working with a roofing expert with experience in metal roof replacement helps you make sure you’re getting the best quality for the price.
3) Exposure to the Elements
Metal roofing material is made to withstand extreme weather conditions better than wood shingles and asphalt. However, Mother Nature can still take down even the most durable of metal roofs under the proper conditions. Make sure you work with a roofing expert when you decide on your roofing system to ensure you have the proper kind of metal and panel design for your climate.
4) Type of Materials and Panel Style
The type of metal roofing materials you choose for your home plays a huge role in how long your roof will last. For example, steel, aluminum, and tin roofs tend to last 40-50 years. In contrast, copper roofing can last up to 100 years!
The kind of panel you choose can also affect the lifespan of your roof. For example, styles with exposed fasteners will be easier to install and, therefore, less expensive upfront, but the areas around these fasteners are then susceptible to rusting and other forms of corrosion. Conversely, styles with concealed fasteners will be more expensive in the beginning but will be less susceptible to water damage in the long run, even in geographic areas that experience heavy rain.
5) Roof Pitch and Color
So many homeowners focus only on the materials their roofs are made of without thinking about the actual shape of their roofs. A steeper pitch to your roof will encourage rain and snow to slide off your roof, while a flatter pitch can lead to pooling water and ice. Left over time, pooling water contributes to the wearing of your roofing materials and may even encourage moss and other plants to grow on your roof, accelerating their deterioration.
Even the color of your roof can impact its lifespan. While faded colors may not impact the function of your roof, they can be unsightly or just plain not the color that you pictured having on top of your home for the next several decades. Make sure your roof is covered with a protective coating during installation to keep the color from fading over time.
Choose the Best New Roof for Your Home
As you can see, metal roofs have many advantages over shingle roofs. Their long lifespans and incredible durability mean that you can get by with virtually no maintenance for many years. However, metal roofing panels are still susceptible to damage in the wrong weather conditions or from other factors, making many homeowners wary of the high cost of these roofing materials. Only you know the right decision for you and your home.
If you do decide to install a metal roof on your home, you need a roofing contractor you can trust to install it right. A properly installed metal roof could make or break the long-term well-being of both your roof and your entire home. That’s why the team at Position Level Edge takes pride in being one of the few roofing contractors in the state of Minnesota to have experience installing metal roofs.