How Long Does a Metal Roof Last?

close-up of a metal corrugated roof

Choosing a Metal Roof

A commercial structure has different needs and setup requirements, particularly with the roofing.  The roofing needs to withstand the environment and the ever-changing weather patterns here in Texas. Therefore, commercial metal roofing has become a go-to for more commercial building owners. 

What are metal roofs made of?

Aluminum or steel is the more common commercial metal roofing, with many of the steel panels having galvanized or galvalume steel so they can be color coated. To give a commercial metal roofing a weathered appearance, some steel panels are left in a raw state. 

Aluminum commercial metal roofing is recommended for structures in coastal regions, and where budget is a concern, steel is the more popular choice. Other types of metal used for commercial metal roofing are copper and zinc.  

What type of metal roofing is best for commercial buildings?

Commercial metal roofing systems have been used since biblical times, but in the last 50 years, this has become the preference. Today, it is dominating the commercial roofing industry because it has proven to be durable and more economical. 

Popular choices in metal material for commercial structures is: 

  • Corrugated galvanized steel
  • Aluminum, silicon-coated steel, and zinc all blended
  • Standing Seam Metal 
  • Metal Sheets 
  • Stainless steel 
  • Copper

Of all the different types of metal material available though, aluminum would be ruled as the most popular modern commercial metal roofing system. With a life expectancy of 30 years, this lightweight metal roofing is corrosion resistant and is highly reflective.

What do you put under metal roofing?

Open frame commercial buildings typically have vinyl-backed insulation installed above the roof purlins and under the roof metal. Rigid foam insulation is used on some buildings, but with metal contracting and expanding with the temperature, there should be something that will move with that thermal expansion. 

A commercial roofing contractor installing commercial metal roofing may recommend having an underlayment that is a high heat ice and water shield made of cotton-like fibers. This doesn’t stick to the metal roofing which keeps it from being damaged but still provides protection to the roof decking. 

Are metal roofs expensive?

Metal roofing offers property owners a lot of benefits that make it a practical choice, can withstand weather issues like hail, ice, rain, and snow. The cost of commercial metal roofing will depend on the size of the structure and the type of metal chosen. In 2021, commercial metal roofing costs between $9.00 and $18.00 per square foot with installation included. 

Is a metal roof worth the cost?

When replacing a metal commercial roofing, the upfront expense typically scares an owner away. Here are the key benefits to consider about a new commercial metal roofing installation:

1. Tear Off Expenses Saved

With a commercial metal roofing retrofit, there are no tear-off and disposal fees to be paid, which lessens the cost of the installation. 

2. Minimal Downtime

With some commercial roofing installations, the job must be done during off-hours, or the business needs to close while the installation is going on. With commercial metal roofing installation, there is no downtime or off-hour scheduling. 

3. Shorter Construction Time

A commercial metal roofing installation is done in less time because it is installed over the existing roof. 

4. Reduced Energy Costs

A long-term benefit of commercial metal roofing is the reduction in energy costs, especially with additional insulation. Studies by the Department of Energy have stated that metal roofing will save over 30% in energy costs.

5. Longer Life

With Galvalume-coated steel used on a commercial metal roofing project, the roofing can last up to 60 years with little maintenance.  This is a money and time saver for the building owner. 

6. Impact Resistance

A commercial metal roofing has a rating of Class 4 for impact resistance, the highest rating possible. This means it can withstand debris, hailstones, and high winds, which can help lower the insurance costs for the building. 

7. Curb Appeal

Commercial metal roofing is available in several colors and styles, even specialized options to mimic cedar, shingles, slate, or tile, ideal for roofing that is visible from the ground. If visibility isn’t a concern, bare, unpainted metal is available or all white for more UV resistance are options too. 

8. Fire Resistance

A commercial metal roofing is a fire-resistant material. 

How long does a commercial metal roof last?

Commercial metal roofing systems can have a lifespan expectancy of up to 40 years. In comparison, a TPO roof system’s lifespan expectancy is up 30 years, and an EPDM roofing system’s lifespan expectancy is up to 35 years. 

How To Fix a Leaking Metal Roof

A leaking commercial metal roofing can create a lot of damage in a short time if not repaired. Using a high-solid polyether or silicone sealant is best way to stop a metal roof leak. These materials are available in matching pigmented colors to blend in with the existing roof. 

standing seam metal roofing system

And Topping Things Off …. 

Can you paint a metal roof?  Yes, metal roofing can be repainted after 6 months of weathering. It is important to prep the roofing first clean the roof and remove any dirt, loose paint, or mildew that has accumulated. paint job. 

Knowing how to clean a metal roof is important so that it cleaned thoroughly without damaging it. This can be done with a jet power washer and basic detergent and clear water rinse. To remove any existing paint, use a water and vinegar solution to remove the old paint oils and other residue.