According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, the popularity of metal roofing products has increased dramatically over the past decade, a clear sign that homeowners and builders are growing more and more aware of this product’s benefits. In fact, during the last 20 years, a whole new genre of metal roofing materials has hit the market. These are a far cry from the corrugated “tin” barn roofs that leap to mind at the mention of metal. They are high-tech answers to the need for durable, fire-resistant, lightweight roofing that looks at home on a house.Metal roofs are favored for their fire-resistant qualities, longevity, and speed of installation—in most cases, by a qualified metal roofing contractor. They are also surprisingly lightweight and are great at reflecting heat from the sun, a characteristic that helps homeowners save energy on cooling bills and may even qualify for tax credits.
Metal roofing materials are made primarily from aluminum and steel, but other materials, such as copper and alloys, are also used but can be very expensive.
Steel and aluminum are by far the most common and sensible of available roofing materials because they are economical, hold paint finishes well (steel can be galvanized), and are durable. Aluminum is a relatively soft metal, so it is more prone to denting and damage and it is also more expensive than steel. On the flip side, aluminum won’t corrode the way steel can if the finish is compromised. For more about materials, see