How Long Does a Metal Roof Last?

There are over 750,000 metal roofs installed on homes in the United States, and the numbers are steadily increasing for commercial and residential projects. 

You can let the local roofers install it directly over your existing asphalt shingle roofing, saving you money on tear-off and disposal. 

On average, a metal roof can last up to over 50 years, making it a practical investment for the long term. It’s fire and rust-resistant and impenetrable to insects. 

A metal roof can last over 100 years, depending on the type of metal and how consistent you are with the maintenance. 

Learn everything you need to know about metal roofing down below!

The Different Types of Metal Roofings


Stand Seam Metal Roofing


It is the most common type of residential metal roof. Stand Seam Metal Roofing has 50 years and can withstand winds over 100mph.

Stand seam metal roofing is a popular panel for metal roofing that offers long, sleek lines and is usually installed with hidden fasteners adding to their clean appearance.

Due to their high-performing characteristics, they are the go-to option for homeowners who want to install solar or snow retention accessories on their metal roofs. It also requires less maintenance while providing a more attractive look.

Ribbed Metal Panels


Ribbed metal Panels originate from agricultural settings. These panels can perform well in extreme weather conditions, ranging from hail to high-speed winds.

The life expectancy of ribbed metal panels is normally between 40 to 70 years, making it a superior option to shingles that only have a decade or two to their name.

Stone-Coated Steel Roofing


It is usually mixed with the appearance of tile and shingle to deliver a robust, reliable roof that gives you excellent aesthetics.

Regardless of your preferred style, you can find this type of metal roofing to meet your needs. Due to its resilience and durability, residents of Florida use stone-coated steel to keep themselves safe during hurricanes.

It can last anywhere between 50-30 years, and it can endure wind speeds at incredible rates, as fast as 155mph.

Advantages of Metal Roof


1. Fire-Resistant

Metal roofs are non-combustible, meaning they have a Class A fire rating.

Flying sparks won’t set your metal roofing on fire. Keep in mind that the materials underneath the surface may light up in extreme heat, so it depends on the overall classification.


There are metal roofs that are applied over a flammable material, such as wood shingles, and these tend to have a lower rating, normally a Class C fire rating.

2. Sheds Snow & Rain

Metal roofing is impervious to rain and snow because of how the panels interlock. It also helps that the surfaces are hard and slippery.


In addition, dark tones quickly warm to the sun, which encourages snowmelt.

3. Longevity

Metal roofs can last over fifty years, depending on the material and its maintenance. The conventional asphalt roofing materials can only last a decade or two.

4. Durability

If installed properly, your metal roofing systems can endure high winds over 140mph, which is identical to an F2 tornado. The metal roof keeps you safe from impact damage from debris.


Moreover, metal roofing is hassle-free as it only requires a periodic check-up from your local technician to ensure it’s still in the best condition.

5. Energy-Efficient

A metal roof can reflect UV and infrared light rays that play a factor in radiant heat, allowing you to save 25% more on your monthly cooling costs. (1)

6. Environmentally-friendly

Metal roofs are 25% to 95% recyclable, depending on the material. On the other hand, they are 100% recyclable as soon as their life expectancy expires.

Disadvantages of Metal Roof


1. Affordability

A metal roof is a costly investment as it costs 2 to 3 times more than standard roofing materials, so you can only truly maximize its worth if you and your family intend to stay under the same roof for a long time.

2. Loud

It may be harder to fall asleep during heavy rain because of the noise it produces. How loud it can depend on the decking type used in the installation process. It’s either spaced or solid. To suppress the sound, you can install attic insulation. It does increase the overall cost, though.

3. Expansion, Contraction, and Fasteners

The metal roofing assemblies can expand and contract as they are warming and cooling. Take note that the fasteners, both hidden and exposed, have different lifespans.


Depending on how extreme the weather conditions are, the neoprene washers and screws can degrade and become dislodged as time goes by.

4. Color Inconsistency

If you’re planning on a home extension in the next few years, it can be difficult to look for the exact color of the existing metal roof. This is also the case for repairs in the future.

5. Performance

If there’s water accumulation on your roof due to its installation or repair, it can lead to serious damage, which can cost a lot.

Stay away from low-grade metals as they likely have thinner gauges, making them less durable. Some metals rust in specific climates and can dent easily in extreme weather conditions.

FAQs


Is it possible to walk on a metal roof?

Yes, you can walk on a metal roof. However, you have to make sure that it is properly installed to avoid accidents from happening.

Are metal roofs noisy?

Yes, metal roofs can be noisy. It isn’t louder than asphalt shingles, though.

If you have the metal roofs installed over your roof’s surface, they’re quieter as the sheathing reduces noise.

Can you paint a metal roof?

Yes, metal roofs can be painted. It doesn’t only help with its aesthetics, but it can prolong its lifespan as well.

Takeaway


If you’re looking for a reliable roofing option for your residential home, a metal roof is an excellent choice.

While it’s an expensive investment that can cost up to $1,200 per square, it lasts longer than any other roofing material. (2)

A metal roof has its fair share of pros and cons, so only invest when you’re sure you can stay long enough to enjoy the cost benefits!

Kenneth Wilson
October 6, 2021
Exterior, Roofing

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done.