Aluminum Vs. Zinc Vs. Steel Vs. Copper Metal Roofing

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Aluminum Vs. Zinc Vs. Steel Vs. Copper Metal Roofing

When it comes to metal roofing, you have two main options: aluminum or steel. These are the common options you'll hear people talk about, but there are other alternatives. You can also install a copper or zinc metal roof. Which metal do you choose? 

Aluminum Roofing

Aluminum roofs have always been a popular choice for many due to their corrosion-resistant properties. It's among the top roofing materials for properties closer to the coastline. Unlike steel, aluminum can naturally resist oxidation and corrosion. 

The material is also lightweight and malleable — ideal for fast installation. It's slightly expensive compared to steel metal roofing but cheaper than copper and zinc metal roofing. 

Steel Metal Roofing

Steel roofs can last several decades, and most manufacturers will offer warranties. Most commercial properties tend to have steel metal roofs due to their energy efficiency, heat conduction, and aesthetics. However, steel metal roofing has one main problem: it's made of an iron alloy. Anything made of iron always has the rust and corrosion factor. It's a strong and durable material, but it's not ideal for coastal properties. To combat this problem, manufacturers created three types of steel metal roofing. 

You can use galvanized steel roofing which is coated with a layer of zinc. Alternatively, you can buy galvalume steel roofing, which is coated with a combination of zinc and aluminum. If you prefer metal roofing made solely of steel, you can select weathering steel roofing. Weathering steel roofing features two layers of steel. One layer protects the other layer by being exposed to the elements. The outer layer will rust and corrode but leave the inner layer intact for several decades. 

Zinc Metal Roofing

Zinc is arguably the best metal roofing for environmentally conscious homeowners. It has a low melting point; thus, it requires less energy to manufacture. It's also 100% recyclable and extremely durable. 

Zinc is fire resistant, fungus-proof, and has a little-to-no toxicity level. You can use zinc metal roofing in areas that experience high and consistent rainfall. Run-off water from its roofs is considered contaminant-free. 


Copper is another durable material that can last decades or even centuries. It has a beautiful color, but if it's exposed to the elements for too long, it forms a blue-green patina. A good example is the Statue of Liberty; it's made of copper, and decades of oxidation have left it with a greenish color. 

The metal roofing material is durable but expensive, especially if you're covering a commercial building. Reach out to a roofing professional to learn more.  

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About Me

Roofing the Day Away Can you imagine hammering away at shingles from dawn until dusk? If this sounds like fun, then you may have a future in the roofing industry. If this does not sound fun at all, then you're going to be someone who calls a roofing company and leave the work to the professionals. There's nothing wrong with that. Roofing is hard and dangerous; it's definitely not for everyone. In fact, we don't climb up on the roof ourselves. We do, however, write about roofing on this blog. We consider that to be a small service we can do for homeowners who are interested in roofing and want to know more.