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How Long Does a Metal Roof Last? [2022 Roof Guide]

Modern metal roof example

A metal roof? Aren’t those for pole barns and sheds? Not anymore.

Metal roofing has exploded in recent years as the design, aesthetics, and color options have grown to suit standard residential homes. And for a fraction of the cost of a premium roof like slate or clay, you can get the same durability and style with a metal roof.

A metal roof is an excellent investment for your home. Not only does it look beautiful, but it also lasts a long time. How long does a metal roof last? That depends on the type of metal roof you have and the climate and environment where you live.

To help you finally take the plunge on installing a metal roof, we will provide a standard guide on how long it should last and some of the factors that can affect its lifespan. That way, you can make an educated decision on your biggest investment to date.

how long does a metal roof last

What Are the Benefits of a Metal Roof?

There are many reasons people would install a metal roof on their residential (and commercial) property.

Some of the benefits of metal roofs include:

  • Longevity: A metal roof can last anywhere from 40 to 70 years, making it a great investment for your home.
  • Durability: Metal roofs are resistant to weathering and wind damage, meaning they are less likely to need repairs or replacements over their lifetime.
  • Value: Metal roofs can increase the value of your home, making it a wise investment if you are planning on selling in the future.
  • Style: Metal roofs come in various colors and styles to suit any taste. Whether you want a classic look or something more modern, there is a metal roof to match.
  • Environment: Metal roofs are made of recycled materials and can be installed in green building projects. They are also 100% recyclable at the end of their lifespan.

Now that we’ve gone over some of the benefits of metal roofs let’s answer the question on everyone’s mind: how long does a metal roof last?

The Average Lifespan of a Metal Roof

On average, metal roofs last 40-70 years. However, there are at least five different types of metal roofing materials, each with its own expected lifespan.

Aluminum (50 years)

Aluminum roofing is the lightest weight of all of them, making installation a breeze for both hauling and adhering in place. It is also a great insulator and reflects sunlight, saving you a ton of money on energy bills.

Lastly, aluminum roofs resist corrosion more than other options (such as steel) and can be coated to be waterproof as well. It’s an ideal option for coastal cities but can last for years just about anywhere in the country.

Restoration of old sopper roof of old gothic curch

Copper (50-100 years)

Copper roofing has been used since the early 1700s! They last so long because as it ages, it gets a greenish patina due to corrosion, making the material even stronger and more water-resistant. It would be no surprise for a copper roof to last longer than 100 years. The one downfall is that they can be quite costly to install, but the long-term benefits are great.

Steel (40 years)

Steel is probably one of the more commonly used metal roofing materials due to its versatility and accessibility. It’s an excellent choice for those looking to install a metal roof on a budget.

Although steel is one of the more affordable options, it doesn’t sacrifice quality or durability. Steel roofs can withstand high winds and are fire-resistant, making them a safe investment for your home.

Blue metallic roof tiles background with drops of water

Tin (50 years)

Tin roofs aren’t used in regular practice as much anymore, now that there are better, less noisy options. When you think of a tin roof, you probably envision a rusted old barn—and you’d be right.

Tin roofs can still be very effectively used on shelters like that; they still last a long time but aren’t ideal for residential roofs as they can be pretty loud during a rain or hail storm. Insulation can help with that, but overall most homeowners choose aluminum over tin.

Zinc (60-100 years)

Zinc roofs can heal themselves. Yes, you heard that right—they can heal themselves. If this roofing material is scratched, it can repair itself via galvanic action. Zinc roofs are actually coated steel, which makes them galvanized steel, and they are also resistant to corrosion and are almost entirely recyclable.

Factors That Can Affect Your Roof’s Lifespan

The material of your metal roof sets the first expectation for its lifespan, but there are a lot of outside factors that can cause your roof to age faster. As a homeowner, it’s up to you to ensure you maintain and look out for your roof. It’s also vital for your contractor to install it correctly at the time of installation.

Here are all the factors that can negatively affect your roof’s lifespan:

Improper Installation

If your roof isn’t installed correctly, it can void the warranty and cause many problems down the road. Ensure you find a reputable contractor who has experience installing metal roofs to avoid any issues.

Poor Maintenance

Like anything else in your home, if you don’t take care of your roof, it will deteriorate faster. Regular inspections and maintenance (including cleaning) are key to keeping your roof looking good and lasting as long as possible.

Failed Repairs

If you don’t make timely repairs or attempt to do repairs yourself, you risk experiencing far more damage than you started with. You should call a professional roofer to handle it right away at the first sign of a leak or issue.

Climate & Weather

Extreme weather conditions can be a roof’s worst nightmare. Hail, wind, and rain can all take their toll on your roofing material and shorten its lifespan. Make sure you are prepared for the types of weather in your area and have a plan in place to address any damage that may occur.

Climate can also aid in deteriorating your metal roofing. Extreme cold or extreme heat over time can wear away your roof. Darker colors also absorb more heat and sunlight, which can raise energy bills and wear away your roof quicker.

A lighter-colored roof can reflect that sunlight, which is ideal for hotter climates with round-the-clock sun and warm weather.

Wear and Tear

Like any roofing material, metal can experience wear and tear over time. This is all the more reason to ensure proper and regular maintenance of your roof to make it last.

What Can Make Your Roof Last Longer?

While there are many things at play that diminish your roof’s lifespan, there are just as many that you can do to extend the life of your metal roof. And there are also reasons why metal roofing just lasts longer.

Durability of Materials

Obviously, the better the material, the better your roof will be. While metal roofs are one of the most durable, it’s vital to ensure they are time-tested and are proven to stand up against hail, wind, water, sun, and rust.

Proper Insulation

Proper insulation protects all roofing types. Without insulation in your attic underneath your roof decking, your roof is at risk of moisture or water damage. When an attic is poorly ventilated or insulated, it can trap moisture and temperatures and wreak havoc on your entire roofing system.

During your regular inspections, make sure to check your insulation in the attic. Look for gaps or anything that looks wet or flat. Your roofer can help re-insulate your attic. You should also pay attention to unusual spikes in energy bills as this could be caused by your roof as well.

texture of metal corrugated wall like background surface

Quality Roofing Components

The roofing material isn’t the only thing that ensures your roof stands the test of time. Your roof decking, underlayment, fasteners, clips, and more, need to also be of high quality to match the durability of your panels or shingles. A reputable contractor will ensure every single roofing component will stand up to the elements for years to come.

Maintenance Plans

Signing up for a regular maintenance plan or coming up with one on your own is vital to catching issues early. Homeowners don’t need to be professional roofers to catch signs of leaks, dents, or other issues that might be going on with their roofs. The sooner you catch something, the better.

Also, regularly keeping your roof and gutters free of debris and water will uphold the integrity of your roof for the length of your metal roof’s lifespan or longer.

Installing a Metal Roof That Lasts

Lastly, one of the most important things you can do to ensure your metal roof lasts is to hire a contractor that will install it right, maintain it with you, and be quick to remedy any problems down the line. And that contractor is Apple Roofing.

Whether you want a metal roof for your home or business, our expertise in all things roofing ensures you get the roof of your dreams. And you can rest easy knowing your roof is protected under our fantastic manufacture and workmanship warranties. Reach out today to learn more about how a metal roof can be your long-lasting investment.

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