Metal roofing is a popular choice among homeowners because of its durability and low maintenance requirements. It also has reflective qualities, which help with the energy costs of the home. There are four metals that are most commonly used for this type of roof; aluminum, steel, copper and tin. Each type has advantages and disadvantages, and some are better suited for a particular job than others.
Aluminum and steel metal roofing; advantages and disadvantages
Aluminum and steel are the two most popular metal roofing materials. Aluminum is popular because it is lightweight and resists rust and corrosion. It can be painted or clear-coated to make it even more durable. A disadvantage of aluminum is the price; it is the most expensive option. Steel is the next most used metal roofing material. Though it is heavier than aluminum, it is still a good choice, and can be painted to the homeowner's specifications. It's main disadvantage that it is more prone to rust, but if repainted every five to ten years or so, it should have a long life. Another disadvantage of both materials is that they tend to echo in rain or hail, but they resist damage, so it's kind of a trade-off.
Metal roofs are often seen in rural areas, where trees are scare and winds are high.
Copper and tin metal roofing; advantages and disadvantages
These two types of metal roofing materials are much more job-specific than the first two. Copper is infrequently chosen as a roofing material, not only because of the price, but because of the specific equipment required to install it. Also, the color changing properties of copper, though they may be appealing on other structures, are not something most homeowners appreciate on their own home.
The last type of metal used for roofing is tin. Once a common sight on roofs, tin is rarely used for anything but sheds and storage buildings anymore. It is the softest of these four metals and tends to dent and rust easily. But it is also very inexpensive and fairly easy to replace, so sheds and outbuildings are a good choice for tin; they are smaller than a house, and the look of the roof isn't as important as the function.