Choosing a roof for your home that will withstand various weather conditions and stand the test of time is important, as getting your roof repaired or replaced can get expensive. Many people have metal roofs installed because they are long-lasting. But how long does a metal roof last?
Metal roofing, on average, lasts between 40-70 years, with some types lasting the entire lifespan of a home for upwards to 100 years or more. With the right maintenance and care, homeowners can magnify the lifespan of their metal roofs to last nearly as long as their homes.
To learn more about metal roofs and how long they last, keep reading.
How Long Does Metal Roofing Last by Type?
|Metal roof type/material||Lifespan||Maintenance tips|
|Galvanized Steel||20-50 years||Add an extra layer coating of zinc to extend its lifespan prior to installation, inspect annually for necessary repairs, repaint, and clean up debris.|
|Galvalume Steel||40-50+ years||Yearly cleaning of dirt and moss growth (using sodium hydroxide), pressure washing, inspecting annually for necessary repairs, and repainting.|
|Weathering Steel||40-70 years||Use a solution of water and dish soap to start the weathering process (if you want it to have that rustic look sooner), inspect for damages annually and after storms, and carefully remove leaf and excess snow buildup.|
|Aluminum||50-100 years (or home lifespan)||Ensure correct installation, inspect annually for necessary repairs, repaint once the paint has faded, clean gutters thoroughly, and power wash with a water and trisodium phosphate solution once per year.|
|Copper||200+ years||Copper color transforms into greenish-blue color over time. This is normal but does not affect the durability of the metal, but many choose to replace their copper shingles once the color changes for aesthetic purposes. Annual cleanings and inspections are necessary for prolonged longevity.|
|Tin||50-75 years||More frequent repainting, annual cleanings and inspections for damages for prolonged longevity, installation with a layer of sheathing/insulation underneath to minimize sound here inside, purchase of tin shingles with elastomeric coatings to prevent rust, keep gutters free of leaves and debris.|
|Zinc||100+ years||Zinc roofs can change color, but this doesn’t affect longevity or durability. You may need to inspect every 6 months for damages. Once replaced, old zinc roof shingles can be recycled.|
If you’re talking about the lifespan of the average metal roof, you can get a life of 40 to 70 years out of it, before it will be in need of replacement. They will generally last longer than regular asphalt shingles, which generally only last 15 to 30 years before they’ll need replacement.
The climate and average weather conditions you live in, as well as the type of metal you use for your roof, will determine how durable your roof is going to be and how long it will last. More extreme weather conditions can shorten the life of your metal roof. How well the roof was installed, as well as how well it is maintained, will also increase the longevity of the roof.
Copper roofs, in general, last longer than others because they can better withstand rust. These roofs can last upwards of 200 or more years, and this is shown by the fact that many were put on homes and barns over two hundred years ago and are still holding strong.
Today, metal roofs have a special coating on them to prevent them from rusting, though weathering steel roofs do not, as many prefer the rusted look. The pressure, wear, and tear from environmental conditions that normally cause asphalt roof shingles to buckle and warp don’t have this effect on metal roofs.
The different types of metal roofs include galvanized steel, galvalume steel, weathering steel, aluminum, copper, tin, and zinc. The most common type of metal roof used today, especially for aesthetic and low-cost purposes, is steel, hence why there are so many different types of steel roofs. View the table below to find out the lifespan of each type of roof, as well as maintenance tips for each type.
|Galvanized Steel||Durable, corrosion-resistant, lightweight, quick, and easy to install|
|Galvalume Steel||Corrosion-resistant, self-healing properties, affordable, durable, reliable|
|Weathering Steel||Rusts with time, made of copper, phosphorus, and silicon; |
corrosion resistant, weather resistant, won’t rust all the way through, durable
|Aluminum||Fire-proof, wind-proof, reflects heat, durable, insect-proof, |
melts snow and ice, hail-resistant, lightweight, durable, eco-friendly, corrosion-resistant, muffled sound
|Copper||Durable and long-lasting, lightweight, very corrosion resistant, low heat conductor, lightning protection, low maintenance, recyclable, affordable|
|Tin||The oldest type of metal roof, heat reflection, energy-efficient, weather-resistant, corrosion-resistant, malleable, crack-resistant, inexpensive|
|Zinc||Very malleable, recyclable, low cost, corrosion resistant, thermally conductive, electricity conductive, high impact strength, corrosion resistant, the metal is very common and available, eco-friendly|
Benefits and Lifespan of Metal Roofing by State
Metal roofs can have various different benefits and disadvantages depending on the climate of your state. You’ll want to choose a metal roof that is best for your climate. For example, if you live in a state that rains a lot or has very snowy winters, you’ll want to find a metal roof that is rust and corrosion-resistant, can melt snow, and has an exterior coating slick enough that snow can slide right off instead of piling up.
In hotter climates, people love installing metal roofing because it reflects heat away from the house, allowing them to keep the inside of the home cool. Regardless of which type of climate you live in, metal roofing is generally very weather resistant to all kinds of weather, so you can generally get the same lifespan out of it, regardless of which state you live in.
Some of the most popular suppliers and manufacturers of metal roofs include TrueNature, TAMKO, McElroy, EDCO, Absolute Steel, and Matterhorn. Each brand will offer a variety of different types of metal roof shingles. Once you find which of these manufacturers have nearby locations or will deliver to your state, you’re sure to receive excellent quality metal roofs that will last you decades.
|State||Benefits of having a metal roof in this state|
|Arizona||Reflects heat, allowing home to cool down quickly at night, reducing power bill. Metal roofs are wildfire-resistant, and insect resistant. Withstands ferocious rains of Monsoon season.|
|Alabama||Heat and humidity resistant, and can withstand winds as high as 140 mph.|
|Alaska||Hold up to extreme weather conditions, including harsh gusts of wind, snow, and hail, and many metal roofs are lightning resistant.|
|Arkansas||Cool down quickly at night and holds up to various weather conditions, including hail and sun exposure.|
|California||Wilfire-resistant, self-cooling helps reduce energy bills and keeps your home cool in the heat|
|Colorado||Energy-efficient holds up to snow, withstands fierce hailstorms and high winds keeps warmth inside the home|
|Connecticut||Very little snow buildup keeps warmth inside the home, moss, and algae resistance holds up to various weather conditions.|
|Delaware||Safety benefits of wildfire resistance, won’t hold onto heat, no leaks, noise reduction|
|Florida||Repels moisture and rain, noise reduction, corrosion and hurricane resistant, easy to install, cools down quickly, endures tropical storms|
|Georgia||Repels moisture and rain, noise reduction, corrosion and hurricane resistant, easy to install, cools down quickly|
|Hawaii||Energy efficient (cools down), less rain noise, protects against extreme weather conditions, including lightning, impressively strong and durable to withstand wind, rain, and flying debris, insect resistant|
|Idaho||Withstands high wind speeds, snow won’t build up on top|
|Illinois||Assists roof solar panels, repels moisture and rain, noise reduction, corrosion resistant, easy to install, cools down quickly, wildfire resistant|
|Indiana||Heat and humidity resistance assists roof solar panels, holds up against rain, won’t absorb moisture or water|
|Iowa||Heat resistant, home can cool down quickly, humidity resistant, assists roof solar panels, insect resistant|
|Kansas||Insect-resistant, heat resistant, humidity resistant, cools down-home quickly|
|Kentucky||Keeps the attic and home cool, endures high winds, moisture resistant, metal roofs are great for the moderate temperatures and weather conditions of Kentucky. Lasts several years longer than in states with extreme weather conditions|
|Louisiana||Resists humidity, heat resistant, keeps attic and home cool, assists solar roof panels, insect repellant|
|Maine||Endures heavy snow, keeps warmth inside the home resists ice and snow buildup, is energy efficient, assists solar roof panels|
|Maryland||Resists heat, resists humidity, and repels rain, metal roofs are great for the moderate temperatures and weather conditions of Maryland. Lasts several years longer than in states with extreme weather conditions|
|Massachusetts||Endures heavy snow, resists ice and snow buildup, humidity resistant, corrosion resistant, assists in cooling home quickly on hot summer days|
|Michigan||Endures heavy thunderstorms and snow, keeps warmth inside the home, repels rain moisture, withstands high wind speeds|
|Minnesota||Resists heat, withstands extreme temperatures and weather conditions, keeps home cool in the summer, resists humidity|
|Mississippi||Resists humidity, won’t absorb moisture, reflects heat|
|Missouri||Pest and bug repellant, won’t absorb moisture, resists humidity, reflects heat, withstands rainstorms and snow|
|Montana||Metal roofs are great for the moderate temperatures and weather conditions of Montana. Withstands snow and heat, will last longer here than in other states|
|Nebraska||Withstands extreme weather conditions, resists humidity|
|Nevada||Reflects heat, is environmentally friendly, great for moderate temperatures, lasts several years longer than states with extreme weather conditions|
|New Hampshire||Energy efficient, won’t absorb moisture, helps prevent ice and snow buildup, keeps warmth inside the home|
|New Jersey||Keeps homes cool in the hot summer months while resisting snow and ice buildup in the winter. Keeps warmth inside the home. Withstands high winds and rainstorms.|
|New Mexico||WIthstands ferocious rains of Monsoon season, strong and durable, lightweight, and withstands heavy winds. Metal roofs reflect heat and keep the interior of the home cool|
|New York||Helps prevent ice and snow buildup, resists moisture, and withstands rain|
|North Carolina||Withstands heavy rain and resists excess moisture, keeps warmth inside the home|
|North Dakota||Resists extreme weather conditions and temperatures, keeps warmth inside the home helps prevent ice and snow buildup, reflects heat to keep home cool, wind resistant to high wind speeds of up to 140 mph|
|Ohio||Humidity resistant, doesn’t absorb moisture, reflects excess heat, keeps homes cool, is great for mild temperatures and weather conditions of Ohio, and has a longer lifespan here than in other states.|
|Oklahoma||Handles extreme wind speeds of up to 140mph, is durable, and handles dents and damages well from flying debris. Holds up to heavy rain storms.|
|Oregon||Doesn’t hold in moisture, is moss resistant, and withstands rain. Wildfire resistant and added protection against airborne sparks. Resists corrosion|
|Pennsylvania||Resists humidity, won’t absorb moisture, helps prevent heavy ice and snow buildup, keeps warmth inside the home|
|Rhode Island||Resists humidity, keeps homes cool in summer months, won’t absorb moisture, helps prevent heavy ice and snow buildup, withstands rainstorms, keeps warmth inside the home|
|South Carolina||Keeps the home cool and reduces energy costs. Reflects heat, endures fast wind, endures tropical storms|
|South Dakota||Endures extreme temperatures and weather. Resists humidity, reflects heat, and helps prevent snow and ice buildup.|
|Tennessee||Resists humidity, won’t absorb moisture, metal roofing will last long in the mild climate of Tennessee|
|Texas||Reflects heat, humid resistant (for the more humid regions of Texas), lasts long in the dry climate of Texas but can withstand the occasional snowfall.|
|Utah||Energy efficient for the fluctuating temperatures, will keep your home cool in the hot summers, withstands cold temperatures and heavy snowfall, withstands fast winds of up to 140 mph|
|Vermont||Won’t absorb water or moisture, is great for the rainy climate, withstands rainstorms and snowstorms, keeps the home cool in warm summers, helps prevent snow and ice buildup, and keeps warmth inside the home.|
|Virginia||Withstands severe weather storms and high wind speeds. Humid resistant and reflects heat in the summers. Helps prevent the buildup of ice. Long lifespan that lasts longer than other traditional roof shingles.|
|Washington||Withstands heavy rain, won’t absorb excess moisture or water, moss and algae resistant|
|West Virginia||Strong, durable, and resistant to extreme weather conditions. Keeps the home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.|
|Wisconsin||Withstands snowstorms, helps prevent the buildup of ice and snow, won’t hold moisture or water, is humid resistant, and keeps the home warm in the winter and cold weather while cooling off the home during the warm Wisconsin summers.|
|Wyoming||Keeps the home warm in the cold, repels excess moisture from rain and snow, and helps prevent excess snow and ice buildup. Repels the muggy warm humidity, while helping to keep your home cool while it’s warm outside.|
Metal Roof Maintenance
If you want to make your metal roof last for nearly as long as your home, if not your home’s entire lifespan, you will need to maintain it properly. Luckily, metal roofs are generally pretty low maintenance, so much so that you can do it yourself.
The level of required maintenance will depend on the weather conditions in your state, but by a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to inspect your roof for damages and do a thorough cleaning or power washing of your roof once every year, weather permitting. Only get up on your roof while your roof is cool and dry, as slick or hot metal roofs can be dangerous.
If you live in a very hot state such as Arizona, you’ll want to wait for the later hours of the day or wait for a cool day before climbing up on your roof for inspections and cleanings. Otherwise, your metal roof can be very hot and could burn you, especially during the summer.
If your state experiences a lot of strong winds, you’ll want to inspect the roof for damages caused by flying debris and make sure to collect fallen leaves or other debris from the rain gutter and the roof itself. You’ll want to do this once a year or after each day with extreme wind speeds. You may only need to replace one or two shingles or panels that may be dented or broken because of flying debris.
If your state gets a lot of snow, you’ll want to remove excess snow after a snowstorm piling up on the roof if it doesn’t slide off. Some metal roofs don’t have a slick exterior coating, so the snow has a harder time sliding off, especially if the snow is piled up high.
High piles of snow and thick ice can create excess weight on your roof and cause damage to more malleable types of metal roofs, so you’ll want to remove as much of the snow as possible to relieve your home of that excess weight. Otherwise, make sure that the rain gutters are clear of ice or heavily packed snow.
If your state gets a lot of rain, you’ll want to make sure that you get a metal roof installed with extra insulation. Most metal roofs are sound resistant, but without that extra soundproofing layer beneath the shingles, rainstorms can get a bit loud and the pelting of rain on the roof can be heard inside the home. The amount of sound you’ll hear from the inside will also vary by what kind of metal roof is installed.
Inspect The Roof Every 6 Months
When conducting inspections, you’ll want to look out for holes or cracks in the roof, or loose panels or shingles that may allow water to get through and leak through the home. You can patch holes with another shingle, or remove the broken shingle and replace it.
During each inspection, whether it be your yearly inspection or an inspection after a rain storm, you’ll want to remove any debris from the storm that may get stuck in the shingle crevices.
If you live in a humid climate, you won’t have to worry about algae or moss growing beneath the shingles of your metal roof like you might with asphalt shingles. As long as you make sure that there are no holes or cracks on or between your shingles where moisture can seep through during your inspection, your roof will hold up just fine to the humidity and do its job of protecting your home from moisture.
If your metal roof needs repairs, you can either do them yourself or call a metal roof installer and hire them to fix your metal roof.
Maintenance Tips By Roof Type
|Roof Type||How To Maintain|
|Galvanized Steel||Add an extra layer coating of zinc to extend its lifespan prior to installation, inspect annually for necessary repairs, repaint, and clean up debris.|
|Galvalume Steel||Yearly cleaning of dirt and moss growth (using sodium hydroxide), pressure washing, inspecting annually for necessary repairs, and repainting.|
|Weathering Steel||Use a solution of water and dish soap to start the weathering process (if you want it to have that rustic look sooner), inspect for damages annually and after storms, and carefully remove leaf and excess snow buildup.|
|Aluminum||Ensure correct installation, inspect annually for necessary repairs, repaint once the paint has faded, clean gutters thoroughly, and power wash with a water and trisodium phosphate solution once per year.|
|Copper||Copper color transforms into greenish-blue color over time. This is normal but does not affect the durability of the metal, but many choose to replace their copper shingles once the color changes for aesthetic purposes. Annual cleanings and inspections are necessary for prolonged longevity.|
|Tin||More frequent repainting, annual cleanings and inspections for damages for prolonged longevity, installation with a layer of sheathing/insulation underneath to minimize sound here inside, purchase of tin shingles with elastomeric coatings to prevent rust, keep gutters free of leaves and debris.|
|Zinc||Zinc roofs can change color, but this doesn’t affect longevity or durability. You may need to inspect every 6 months for damages. Once replaced, old zinc roof shingles can be recycled.|
Ruben has a diverse background in the home services industry, with experience running a construction company, a kitchen and bath showroom, and a moving and relocation company. This breadth of experience has provided him with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in various areas of home improvement in general and specifically in the heating and plumbing niche.