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Pros and cons of sheet metal roofing

Last modified: 2019-07-08 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

Sheet metal roofing is a durable and long-lasting material that offers excellent protection for your home, no matter how young or old of a structure! Of course, a sheet metal roof isn’t for everyone. This unique aesthetic choice may only suit some, and as with any roofing material, there are pros and cons to owning and taking care of sheet metal.

If you’ve been considering updating the material of your roof, but aren’t sure if sheet metal is right for you, then look no further. We are here to break down the advantages and disadvantages of sheet metal roofing, from characteristics to the installation process as well as maintenance tips.

Read on to find the pros and cons of sheet metal roofing. 

Pros of sheet metal roofing


metal roof side

source: Flickr

Metal roofs come in a variety of materials and there is a lot of versatility on the market. Steel is the most frequently used material in both residential and commercial roofing applications, due to its low cost. Aluminium is the second most popular material, as it is more durable and lasts longer than steel at only a fraction of the price of more premium metals such as copper or zinc. Copper roofing materials are generally reserved for architectural details or accents.

Although metal roofing generally only comes in two application types, vertical panels and interlocking shingles, many modern styles are designed to mimic the look of other materials. This includes clay tile, slate and in some cases even traditional asphalt shingles. Further, modern sheet metal comes in assorted colours.


Sheet metal roofing is said to last a lifetime, literally. One of the standout pros of sheet metal roofing is its longevity, as experts suggest that the lifespan of a sheet metal roof is up to 50 years. The longevity of your sheet metal roof will come down to its proper installation, but if done correctly, there will be no reason to install another roof on your home again. Although you will spend money upfront, in the long run, you will save money since metal roofing does not require much repair or replacement during its lifespan.

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Weather protection

Sheet metal roofing has some of the best protection against ice, snow, as well as ice dams, and this material is ice and snow-resistant or ice and snow “shedding.” What this means is that homeowners will never have to worry about roof leaks and water building up underneath the surface. Another perk of installing sheet metal roofing is the fact that it is non-combustible, meaning it will never catch fire as a cedar or asphalt roof might.  

Although many believe that sheet metal roofing actually attracts lightning, the opposite is true. Rather, it repels lightning, keeping everyone inside safe. Further, if you live in a region with incredibly high winds, metal roofs will protect against hurricane-level winds, keeping your loved ones out of harm's way during those intense storms.


As we’ve mentioned, sheet metal roofing is exceptionally durable. Unlike most roofing materials, sheet metal will not rot, split or crack as well as warp, chip or leak. Further, sheet metal roofs are not susceptible to termite, rodent or other pest infestations. However, if this roofing material is installed incorrectly, pests can find their way underneath it and burrow in the under-layers. For this reason, the utmost care and attention should be taken when installing sheet metal roofing.

Energy Efficiency

blue metal

source: Flickr

You might not realize this but a sheet metal roof can save up to 25% off your annual energy bill, as well as helping your buildings overall energy waste. Since a metal roof has a reflective surface, solar heat is reflected off the roof and into the atmosphere instead of being absorbed by your home.

However, bear in mind that certain metals, such as copper and zinc, are not considered energy-efficient, as they trap heat. Also worth mentioning is the fact that sheet metal roofing uses the least amount of resources during the manufacturing process, making it a green material that can be recycled. Some newer sheet metal may even already contain recycled metal! So, if you're interested in green living and sustainability, this could definitely be the material for you. 

Cons of sheet metal roofing

Location, location, location

Unfortunately, even if you are in love with the benefits of metal roofing, you should not install them if you live in a seaside or coastal region as salt from the ocean will create build-up on sheet metal roofing, and can be quite difficult to rid of.

If you really can’t live without a sheet metal roof, you can still install one. Just know that constant and proper maintenance will be necessary to remove the salt buildup and keep this material in good working order. If salt is left, it can cause the material to corrode, leading to holes and various other problems that come along with them.

Installation Difficulty

Working with sheet metal is not always the easiest, and the roofing installation process itself can be quite challenging. If you are placing sheet metal over an existing roof, it is important to remember that certain metals, when placed in contact with others, can generate an electrolytic reaction that will cause the metals to corrode.

For this reason, when working with sheet metal be certain that the base material is always the same: copper with copper, tin with tin and so on. Further, the installation process itself is not the easiest. You’re welcome to try and tackle it with our step-by-step guide to installing a sheet metal roof or consider hiring a professional to be certain that the performance and longevity of this material will not be compromised. 

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