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How Long does a Metal Roof Last?

When you choose what kind of roofing will be installed for your home, one of the most important factors is the duration of the material’s lifespan. Metal roofs have the longest operating period.

The average service life of a high-quality metal roof is 50 – 70 years. The lifespan of the roof is influenced by the type of metal you choose and how you care for it. 

When we hear the question of how long does a metal roof lasts, the first thing we hear from people is what kind of metal we want to use. To understand how much the choice of metal can affect the life of the roof, let’s look at the table below.

How Long does a Metal Roof Last on Average

MaterialPoor LifespanAverage LifespanBest Lifespan
Steel40 years60 years70 years
Aluminum35 years55 years65 years
Multilayer Tin40 years55 years75 years
Zinc60 years75 years90 years
Copper50 years75 years100 years

As you can see, all metal roofs have a colossal lifespan, unlike other types of roofing. However, the choice of metal also has a significant impact on increasing the lifespan of the roof.

The poor, average and best lifespan depends on quality of supplies, material installation technique and factors affecting conditions of materials.

Metal roof lifespan

How Service Life of a Metal Roof Depends on Selected Material

Metal roofs differ not only in shape but also in the type of metal used. Each of the metals has its natural properties that can affect the life of the roof of the house.

Steel roofs are currently the most common type of metal roof. This is due to the ease of use of this material, to give it the required shape. They also earned their popularity due to their lower price, to other metal roofs.

Steel is a very tough material, which has a positive effect on how long does a metal roof lasts. Nevertheless, such roofs have an average service life of 40-60 years. This is primarily because steel roofs can corrode over time.

To prevent such a roof from rusting, it is covered with a protective layer of zinc and polymers. For the quality service of such a roof, it is very important to avoid damage to this layer.

Aluminum is considered the second most popular metal for roofing. As you may have noticed in the table, the average service life of aluminum roofs is higher than that of steel ones and is 50-60 years.

This difference is due to several advantages of aluminum. Firstly, aluminum offers a more superior performance against corrosion. This is a very important property for roofing, especially if you live in a humid area.

The second important factor affecting the lifespan of aluminum roofs is their ability to reflect solar energy. Because of its silvery colour, aluminum reflects solar energy and does not heat much.

Due to maintaining the temperature within the normal range, the roof material does not expand and the chance of damage to the roof at the attachment points is low. This ability allows the roof material to last longer without requiring a repair.

When it comes to tin roofs, many people immediately think of corrugated roofs, which in most cases are used for industrial buildings. The modern look of tin roofing is completely different, it is a multi-layer soft metal coating with an outer layer of tin.

In the case of corrugated tin roofs, the service life will be approximately 50-60 years. If you are worried about how long does a metal roof lasts from a multi-layer coating, then the numbers will vary from 40 to 70 years.

The decisive factor in the life of such roofs will be the composition of the metals from which the coating will be made. The quality of roof maintenance is also an important factor. Since the tin layer does not cover the entire coating, if it is damaged, the inner metals can corrode.

If you want to choose the material for the roof with the longest service life, then you should pay attention to the metal roofs made of zinc. Zinc is another material that does not corrode, which plays an important role in service life.

Zinc is a fairly hard and durable metal that allows it to be resistant to physical damage. At the same time, this metal is quite elastic because roofs from it can be of different shapes.

Zinc also has a unique property that allows such a roof to last from 60 to 90 years. Since zinc is resistant to corrosion, even deep scratches will not affect your roof. The coating material will not lose its properties and you will not need to immediately contact a roof repair company.

Because of this property, zinc is often used as a coating for other types of metal roofs. This protects them from corrosion and extends their service life for many years.

Copper was one of the first metals used for roofing. Even in our time, you can find houses with copper roofs built at the beginning of the 20th century. This is a clear indication that copper roofs are a very durable material that can last for over 100 years.

Nowadays, the installation of copper roofs is very rare. This is largely due to their cost, but this material can last a very long time. Because of this, copper roofs can be considered the most durable.

Over time, copper roofs develop a patina. It is the natural oxidation of the material that changes the color of the roof and serves as a protective layer against corrosion and microorganisms such as mosses and fungi. If you can afford to install an expensive copper roof, then it will serve you as long as the house is in use.

How Does Quality of Material Effect Roof Lasting Time?

Each type of metal that is used for metal roofs has a colossal lifespan. However, it should be understood that the data indicated in the table above are applicable only if the coating materials are of the highest level.

There are many manufacturers of metal roofing systems and unfortunately, there are cases of low quality of the metal used. This can lead to the metal roof lifespan being significantly reduced.

To avoid such problems, Monarchy Roofing uses metal roofing products from the best manufacturers. Ruukki is such a supplier and it was in this company that the principle of tiled metal roof sheets was invented. Ruukki is one of the most trusted and reputable steel roofing manufacturers in the world and has been on the marker for over 60 years.

The use of high-quality steel with polymer coatings allows you to achieve maximum roof life. The proof of this is the warranty period for the provided materials from 30 to 50 years, depending on the applied polymer coating.

Monarchy Roofing has been the official distributor of Ruukki in Canada since 2017 and has been installing high-quality roofs that will last for many decades.

What Factors Can Affect the Lifespan of a Metal Roof

The choice of material is only one of the criteria influencing how long does a metal roof lasts. Many factors can accelerate roof wear.

1. Quality of Roof Installation

2. Regular Roof Maintenance

3. Climate and Weather

4. Moss on the Roof

5. Roof Pitch

On the other hand, when you are aware of possible roofing problems, you can try to avoid them. A detailed analysis of each of them will help you understand how to properly take care of the condition of the roof and thereby increase its service life.

Quality of Roof Installation

Even the highest quality roofing systems can quickly deteriorate if not properly installed. Installation of metal roofs is a very complex process that requires adherence to certain technologies and work experience.

If the installation of a metal roof would be doing inexperienced specialists, there is a chance that there will be problems with it after 5-7 years. Installation of a metal roof is a whole complex of sequential works. If mistakes are made at any of the stages, the roof may not be complete.

This can lead to leaks, loss of insulation, and rapid corrosion of the coating metal. A negligent installation of a metal roof can cut its lifespan in half, which can be frustrating.

Regular Roof Maintenance

For the roof of your house to be in excellent condition for decades, it needs special care. Timely roof coating inspections can prevent serious damage requiring costly repairs.

If you conduct an annual inspection of the condition of the roof and remove all debris from it, you can extend its life by 10 to 20 years. Also, remember that a timely inspection is much cheaper than a major roof repair.

Climate and Weather

Interaction with the environment greatly affects the condition of the roof covering. If you live in a humid climate, wear and tear on materials can increase significantly. The best operating time for metal roofs is shown in temperate climates with average temperatures and humidity.

Moss on the Roof

Metal roofs are not very susceptible to biological organisms. However, if there is a lot of moss or fungus on the roof, over time this can be harmful and reduce the life of the coating.

It takes a very long time for the moss to damage the metal coating. Do not worry if you see the smallest manifestations of it on the roof. Just remember to remove it from the roof along with all other debris the next time you inspect it.

Roof Pitch

The roof pitch can also affect how long does a metal roof lasts. With a low slope of the roof, rainwater can accumulate on the surface for a long time.

Most metals, with prolonged and continuous contact with water, can begin to rust, which over time will lead to the material. Special polymer coatings are used to protect the metal roof from the rust.

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Metal Roofing Maintenance that Increase Lifespan

Carrying out minor repairs on time can significantly increase the lifespan of your home’s roof. Damage can be of completely different types, for example, there may be missing fastening bolts, an insulating layer, or even whole shingles of roof covering.

To determine what kind of roof repair is needed, the repair company first assesses the condition of the roof. After that, the following types of repairs can be assigned:

The places where the joining of the metal roof sheets is carried out are the weakest and most susceptible to damage. Due to the expansion and movement of the metal, the clamping bolts can be damaged or even lost.

Replacing damaged mounting bolts will keep your metal roof intact. If this is not done, there will be holes in the places where the bolts are missing and the roof may begin to leak, thereby damaging the internal materials of the coating.

Insulation of the metal coating is carried out using different types of sealants. Over time, the sealants strips can dry out and create gaps through which rainwater can enter. The restoration of insulating materials has a profound effect on the service life of a metal roof.

Metal roofs are considered to be very durable, but even they cannot be protected from serious damage. The fall of large tree branches onto the roof of the house can create punctures and cracks.

To repair such damage, a special metal glue is used. In the case of very small cracks, special rubberized bands can be used.

Paint on a metal roof is necessary not only for beauty, but it is also a protective layer that prevents metal corrosion. Over time, the paint cab begin to peel off and loses its properties.

When replacing the paint, the metal roof is sanded and the remaining paint is removed under strong pressure of water. Timely replacement of the paint can prevent serious damage to the roof covering and extend its life without major repairs for ten years.

If the metal roof covering is severely damaged or corroded, the damaged shingles are replaced. This is a complex and costly renovation.

When replacing parts of the roof, the insulation and fasteners are also replaced. To prevent the need for such a serious repair as long as possible, it is worthwhile to identify possible problems on time.

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