New Content Updates
Educational Webcast Alerts
Building Products/Technology Notices
Access Exclusive Member Content
By Wade L. Vorley and David A. Deress
Roofing Article Use Policy
For a more recent article on metal roofs, go to
Tighter budgets have maintenance and engineering managers looking for roofing systems that require fewer repairs and last longer, extending the period between replacements.
By better understanding styles and types of sheet metal roofing, managers can provide recommendations for new metal roof installations and for conversions of existing roofs to sheet metal.
Benefits of Metal
Basic galvanized steel sheet metal roofing has proven to last more than 40 years on existing buildings. Current coatings and galvanic-protection techniques allow new sheet metal panels to last even longer. Analysis of life-cycle costs has proven that combining more durable construction products with lower maintenance costs is better for the environment and makes good business sense.
Sheet metal roofing also contributes to sustainability. The green movement advocates re-use, recycling, using recyclable materials, and minimizing waste, which includes reducing the waste commonly associated with conventional roofing replacements.
Sheet metal used in roofing systems often is made from recycled steel, and managers can recycle it at the end of its performance life. Its installation also creates less construction waste, and the longer lives of sheet metal roofing means less waste goes into landfills than with more conventional roofing replacements.
Sheet metal systems coated with highly reflective surfaces and designed with insulation and ventilation also can provide considerable cost savings for heating and cooling. Roof surfaces also should have high emissivity ratings to allow solar energy and heat to dissipate quickly.
Innovative cool roof coatings for metal roofs have moderate to highly reflective surfaces over a range of colors — not just white — and some engineered coatings can increase the emissivity of the metal roof surface.
Benefits of Metal Roofing
Metal Roofs: Compare the Different Systems
Design and Installation of Metal Roofs
Maintenance Best Practices for Metal Roofing