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6 min read

Aluminum: A Modern Material for Durable and Elegant Roofing


6 min read

Aluminum: A Modern Material for Durable and Elegant Roofing

RoofAluminum: A Modern Material for Durable and Elegant Roofing

Aluminum is the ideal material if you’re looking to install metal roofing on your house. On one side, it has a minimum 40-year warranty offered by manufacturers, on the other, metal aluminum roofing is, long term, a cost-effective material on account of its maintenance-free factor.

Installing Aluminum Roofing

Key Steps for a Roofing Job Done Right

Step 1: Choose your roofing style 

You basically have unrestricted style options with aluminum roofing. Aluminum can be bent in whichever direction, over any length. If you have a vision, hesitate no more, chances are, it can be done.  

Step 2: Prepare your roof

You’ll undoubtedly need to remove the existing roofing to install new, aluminum roofing. However, use this time wisely to inspect your roof’s framework. Make sure there aren’t any cracks or holes that could lead to leaks, then clean it. 

Load-wise, aluminum roofing weighs a pound per square foot, roughly 2.3 to 2.6 kg per square metre. Therefore, if your framework is in decent shape, there’s no reason why it wouldn’t be able to bear the load.

Lastly, before laying your new aluminum roofing, ensure the surface onto which it’ll be installed is flat. Should it not be, make the necessary corrections.

Step 3: Install aluminum roofing 

Each aluminum roofing tile can be trimmed down to the right size using a circular saw. Once all your tiles are good to go, drill holes through each and then secure each tile to the structure using nails and screws.

From there, you’ll simply need to ensure your newly installed roofing is watertight. Once that’s done, you can reap the benefits of your newly roofed and aesthetically pleasing home. 

Precautionary Measures and Best Practices for a Safe and Efficient Installation

Before submitting your order, make sure to accurately measure your roof. If you plan on installing several rows of aluminum sheets, plan for an 8-inch (20 cm) overlap. Additionally, keep in mind that your roofing should overhang the roof's edge by 4 inches (10 cm). 

For a streamlined installation, order the screws and supports with the aluminum sheets. Also, you will need eaves to affix to the roof’s edges to offset strong winds and ridge caps to render the whole installation more aesthetic and watertight. 

If you’re planning on installing a gutter system, plan for an opening near the roof’s edges. 

If your roof is especially high, it’s best to install scaffolding rather than work from a ladder, atop the roof's framework. Equipment-wise, get yourself a hard hat, gloves, and protective goggles, as well as a harness and horizontal lifeline system. Safety first. 

When securing the first sheet, don’t use any screws on the first groove. Then, for each sheet, avoid screwing where they will overlap. 

Lastly, don’t tighten the screws too much. Doing so could put too much pressure on the waterproofing gasket, resulting in water leaks.  

The Benefits of Having Aluminum Roofing on Your House

Unique Features of Aluminum Sheets

  • Aluminum is super lightweight (≃1 lb/sq.ft)

  • Oxidizes to withstand rust

  • Resists powerful winds 

  • 100% recyclable

  • Aluminum roofing lasts at least 50 years

  • Highly customizable (colour, shape, etc.)  

Since 1880, experts estimate that 75% of the aluminum made back then is still used today on account of recycling. If materials could speak, aluminum roofing would have tons to say. 

Fun fact, did you know that Sydney’s NSW Public Works office aluminum roof was installed in 1880? It’s still, to this day, standing and in great shape, further proof that aluminum roofing has a service life that extends beyond 50 years.

Aluminum vs. Other Materials 

Weighing the Pros and Cons: Aluminum Sheets vs. Asphalt Shingles

Why not use both? You can actually have aluminum roofing installed directly onto asphalt shingles. Doing so could save you a bit of money.

If you’ve yet to choose the type of roofing you want, note that aluminum wins hands down as an eco-friendly material, whereas asphalt shingles are made from crude oil distillation. In other words, the manufacturing process of asphalt shingles relies on fossil fuels. 

As for aluminum, it’s one of the most common types of metal available since it represents 8% of the Earth’s crust, right behind silicon, which isn’t a metal but a metalloid, like boron or tellurium.

On top of that, note that it’s light, recyclable, and durable, so if anything, it’s a winner. Using aluminum, the cost of reroofing your house is more of an investment rather than an expense, like asphalt shingles would be.   

Clash of the Metals: Aluminum vs. Steel Roofing

Aluminum is three times lighter than steel. However, it doesn’t make its installation faster or easier compared to steel sheets. Everything considered, aluminum isn’t more cost-effective when factoring in labour fees. 

However, with aluminum, you don’t need to maintain your roofing. Although we’re dealing with two different types of metal roofing, the only one that’s maintenance-free is aluminum. On the other hand, steel sheet roofing doesn’t rust nor will it crack over time. 

Aluminum or Zinc Roofing

Once again, both materials fall into the metal roofing category. Therefore, they’re both resistant, especially lightweight, but share the same drawbacks: they provide no insulation.

So, between these two metal roofings, price is what really differentiates them. Aluminum is, in fact, more cost-effective than zinc. 

Nonetheless, it may be that someone else will end up deciding for you, like your municipality. Not all cities authorize zinc or aluminum roofing. You’ll come to find out swiftly after requesting a building permit. 

Costs vs. Financial Gains of Aluminum Roofing

How much does aluminum roofing cost?

Between $10 and $40 per square foot. It’s a lot more money than an asphalt shingled roof, but in terms of its minimal lifespan, this type of metal roofing is a great initial investment.

Check out our subject-specific cost guide to learn more about roof renovation costs.

What’s the average lifespan of aluminum roofing?

At least 50 years, but as we already stated, some aluminum roofing outlasts the 140-year mark. What's for sure is that it’s a product that can stand the test of time, so much so that companies will often offer a 40-year warranty.

However, while aluminum is fire-resistant, it doesn’t bear well when exposed to intense heat. In the event of a fire, chances are that it’ll warp, to be point of needing replacing. The same applies to its colour; it'll change by 5-7% over a 25-year span. And, the manufacturer's warranty is unlikely to cover such factors. 

Aluminum Roofing Guarantees Modern Appeal and Durability

Using aluminum as a roofing material is a choice that blends modernity, durability, and elegance. As made evident throughout this article, aluminum features a lightweight, resilient, and flexible combination, making it a prized choice for contemporary roofing. It's a worthwhile investment on account of its resistance to corrosion and durability, while its refined aesthetic adds a modern touch to any structure. Furthermore, aluminum’s eco-friendly factor—it’s fully recyclable—aligns with an increasingly sought-after environmentally conscious building approach. By opting for aluminum roofing, you’re essentially choosing a solution that not only will revamp your property but ensures long-lasting efficiency and reliability. Therefore, aluminum unfolds as a choice material for those looking to unite innovation, aesthetics, and environmental consciousness during their building projects.

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Last modified 2024-01-29

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