Site Overlay

Aluminum Roofing vs Steel Roofing

If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably decided on a metal roof for your home, or at least you’re considering it. But once you’ve made that decision, another key decision must be made, regarding material. Do you get an aluminum roof, or go with a steel one? Read on to learn about the pros and cons of each type.

Steel roofing has a protective barrier placed on both sides of it. This is to protect it from rusting. One type of coating that some professionals use is called galvanized coating, which is made entirely from zinc. Another is Galvalume, which has a mix of zinc and aluminum. As your roof will obviously be exposed to air and water, a coating is necessary to protect it from oxidization.

Steel can succumb to damage from seawater over time, which is something to be aware of if you live in a coastal area. This isn’t an issue with aluminum. While both materials are significantly lighter than asphalt shingles,  aluminum is also lighter than steel.   Aluminum stores very little heat, so once the sun stops shining on it, it becomes cool again very quickly. 

Steel is stronger than aluminum, and it’s typically less expensive. It’s also more fire resistant, although aluminum’s fire resistance can be upgraded with underlayment and sheathing.

With either material, lifespan isn’t an issue, as either type will likely be the last roof you need to install. They both offer a lifespan, level of eco-friendliness, durability, and overall value that can’t be matched by other materials. Both materials can be coated in a wide variety of different colors.

You might think that a metal roof would result in more noise from rain or hail. But actually, on any roof, the sheathing and underlayment below the roof are responsible for keeping the noise out, so the roof material is rather inconsequential in this regard.

In the end, the choice of material will depend on your individual needs. If you live in a coastal area, you might go with aluminum. If you’re in an area prone to hurricanes, however, or you are really concerned about fire resistance, you might consider steel.  Either way, your metal roof will likely be the last one you ever need to install on your home.