Types of Metal Roofing Panels


Metal roofing is one of the most durable and longest lasting roofing products on the market. While metal roofs have been used in commercial applications for many years, they are also becoming a popular option for homeowners. Buyers can choose from a wide variety of metal roofing materials to complement any type of home design.


  • Metal roofing panels are traditionally available in smooth or standing seam varieties. Smooth metal roof panels butt together to form a weather-tight seal, while standing seam roof panels interlock using a "C-channel" configuration. Both of these styles can also be embossed to mimic the look of shingles or tiles. Embossing can also be used to give texture and create unique designs and patterns. Some tin metal roofing is corrugated, creating a distinctive wavy or grooved texture.


  • Homeowners can choose from several different materials when selecting metal roof panels. Steel is the most common and is also one of the most affordable. Most steel roofs are painted to create the desired finish. Aluminum roofing is more expensive than steel but has a higher level of resistance against rust and corrosion. It can be painted or finished with a clear protective coating. Copper roof panels are the most expensive and are left unfinished to reveal copper's natural beauty and color. Tin roofing is primarily used on sheds and outbuildings because of its relative softness compared with other metals.


  • One of the primary benefits to metal roofing is its strength and durability. This material is resistant to wind, hail, heavy storms and even fire. It may also contribute to greater energy efficiency in the home by reflecting sunlight and keeping the house cooler during the summer. Metal roofs require little to no maintenance and can be expected to last for decades. They also have a natural beauty that works well with many different housing styles and decors.


  • While metal roofs are fairly expensive compared with other roofing options, this higher cost must be considered with the lifespan and maintenance requirements of each material. Both aluminum and copper roofs require little maintenance, though steel and tin may need repainting every few years and may be subject to rust. A metal roof can also be loud and subject to echoes from rain, wind or hail.


  • Metal roofing panels tend to expand and contract over time due to changes in temperature and humidity. When properly installed the roof is designed to accommodate these shifts and size changes. It can be very difficult for homeowners to successfully install metal roofing themselves to accommodate future expansions, so this project is best left to professional installers. These panels can be installed over almost any existing roof surface, including shingles and some types of tiles. While structural metal roof panels can be installed directly to roof framing systems most metal roofs are fastened to plywood or OSB sheathing to add an extra layer of support and protection.

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  • Photo Credit "Roof Workers at Risk" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: NIOSH - Nat Inst for Occupational Safety & Health (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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