Metal roofs have become a popular alternative to traditional roofing materials. Metal is light weight, maintenance-free, fireproof, energy efficient, durable, and can be manufactured to give virtually any look conceivable. Furthermore, metal roofs have a life expectancy of over 30 years. Homes with metal roofs may receive a discount on the homeowner's (fire) insurance.
Metal roofing can be expensive, and may start at $100 per square and run up to $600 a square or more for coated steels and copper. They cost more to install than shingle roofs, but the difference is not as great when re-roofing. In addition, metal roofs can be applied over several layers of old shingles, so the tear-off expenses are eliminated. And most metal roof manufacturers also provide a lifetime warranty.
The two most common metal roofing materials are painted aluminum and steel. Both are durable and light weight. For those that enjoy the look of tile or slate, the lighter weight aluminum or steel can resemble the look and also be supported by your roof structure. Copper and stainless steel are also metal roofing options, but their cost is often outside of the budget of many homeowners.
Aluminum is fast-becoming a top choice because it does not rust, it deafens the sound of rain, and it is easily formed to perfectly simulate cedar shakes, tiles, and slate. Simulated cedar shakes are most popular and are difficult to distinguish from real shakes. They are available in many standard colors and in a few energy efficient paint options. Most aluminum and steel roofs are painted with tough Kynar a dense, high-purity plastic.