Is Metal Roofing Galvanized? (The Pros, Cons, and Differences)

Metal roofing is a great choice for your home or business. It can add value to your property, and it’s durable, weather-resistant, and customizable.

But what is metal roofing? Is it galvanized? If not, what is it made of? And how does it work? We’ll answer all these questions and more in this article!

Is metal roofing galvanized?

Metal roofing can be made from different types of metal, like steel or aluminum, but some metal roofs are indeed galvanized.

Galvanized metal is a popular choice for roofing because it is strong, durable, and can withstand harsh weather conditions. It is also relatively inexpensive compared to other roofing materials, which makes it an attractive option for homeowners and businesses looking to save money on their roof.

In fact, many metal roofs are made from galvanized steel, which is steel that has been coated with a layer of zinc to protect it from rust and corrosion.

This makes the metal roof more durable and longer-lasting, which is a good thing!

What does metal being galvanized do?

Galvanized metal is metal that has been coated with a layer of zinc.

This is done to protect the metal from rusting and corrosion, which can happen when metal is exposed to moisture and air.

The zinc acts as a barrier between the metal and the outside elements, keeping the metal from rusting and wearing away.

What are the advantages of galvanized metal for roofing?

1. Durability and longevity

Galvanized metal is extremely durable and long-lasting.

The zinc coating on the metal provides a protective barrier against rust and corrosion, which can cause other types of metal to weaken and break down over time.

This means that a galvanized metal roof can last for many years without needing to be replaced, saving you money in the long run.

2. Low maintenance

Because galvanized metal is so resistant to rust and corrosion, it requires very little maintenance.

Unlike other roofing materials, such as wood or asphalt, which can rot or crack over time, a galvanized metal roof will stay strong and intact for years to come with very little upkeep.

This can save you time, money, and hassle over the life of your roof.

3. Fire resistance

Galvanized metal is highly resistant to fire, which is an important consideration when it comes to roofing.

Unlike some other materials, such as wood, which can ignite easily and spread flames quickly, galvanized metal is not flammable and can help prevent fires from spreading to the roof and other parts of the building.

4. Energy efficiency

Galvanized metal can be painted in a light color that reflects heat from the sun, which can help keep the building cooler and reduce energy costs.

This is especially beneficial in hot climates, where air conditioning costs can be high.

Galvanized metal’s ability to reflect light can also help the roof last longer by reducing how much heat the metal absorbs.

5. Lightweight and easy to install

When compared to other roofing materials, galvanized metal isn’t as heavy. This can make it easier to install and work with during construction.

This can save time and money during the installation process, as well as reduce the structural load on the building.

What are the cons of using galvanized metal for roofing?

1. Cost

Galvanized metal roofing can be more expensive than other roofing materials, such as asphalt or wood.

This can be a pain point for homeowners or businesses that are looking for a cost-effective roofing solution.

Galvanized metal may help make up for this initial cost in the long run because it is strong and lasts a long time.

2. Noisy in rainy weather

Galvanized metal roofs can be noisy in rainy weather, which may be a drawback for some people.

The sound of rain hitting the metal can be loud and may disturb the occupants of the building.

But keep in mind that this can be mitigated by using soundproofing materials or insulation during the installation process.

3. Expansion and contraction

Galvanized metal roofing can expand and contract with temperature changes, which can cause the fasteners and seams to loosen over time.

This can result in leaks and other issues, which may require maintenance or repair.

Proper installation techniques and regular maintenance can help prevent these problems from occurring.

4. Susceptible to scratches and dents

Galvanized metal roofing can get scratches and dents, which can make the roof look bad.

Homeowners or businesses are sometimes concerned about the appearance of their building.

Proper care and maintenance can help reduce the likelihood of scratches and dents.

5. Not suitable for flat roofs

Galvanized metal roofing might not be a good choice for flat roofs because water can sit on it and cause rust and corrosion over time.

This can result in leaks and other issues that may be difficult to repair.

Galvanized metal can be used on roofs with a slope, which can help make sure water drains properly and keep water from pooling up.

How do I know if my roof is galvanized?

It can be difficult to tell if your roof is galvanized just by looking at it. However, there are a few ways you can determine if your roof is galvanized:

  1. Look for a shiny, metallic appearance: Galvanized metal has a shiny, metallic appearance that can be distinguished from other types of roofing materials. If your roof looks like it is made of metal and has a shiny appearance, it could be galvanized.
  2. Check for a zinc coating: Galvanized metal is coated with a layer of zinc, which gives it its characteristic resistance to rust and corrosion. If you can see a layer of zinc on your roof, it is likely galvanized.
  3. Look for corrosion resistance: If your roof is several years old and has not developed rust or corrosion, it may be galvanized. Galvanized metal is highly resistant to rust and corrosion, which can help it last for many years.
  4. Look for spangle patterns: Galvanized metal typically has a distinctive spangle pattern, which is caused by the crystallization of the zinc coating during the galvanization process. The spangle pattern can vary in size and shape, but it generally appears as small, bright, metallic flakes on the surface of the metal.
  5. Check for a stamped coating: Galvanized metal may have a stamp or label indicating that it is galvanized. This stamp may be located on the underside of the metal, so you may need to climb into the attic or crawl space to look for it.
  6. Look for a grey blueish tint: If your roof has a grey blueish tint, it may be a sign that it is galvanized. This tint is caused by the layer of zinc on the metal, and is a common characteristic of galvanized metal.

If you are still unsure whether your roof is galvanized, you may want to consult a roofing professional or contractor who can help you identify the type of metal used in your roof.

What’s the alternative to galvanized steel?

Galvanized steel is often used for roofing because it is strong, lasts a long time, and doesn’t rust or corrode. However, there are also other types of metal roofing materials available, including galvalume.

Galvalume is a type of steel that is coated with a mixture of aluminum and zinc. This coating protects against rust and corrosion in the same way that galvanized steel does, but there are a few key differences.

Here are some pros and cons of galvalume compared to galvanized steel:

Pros of Galvalume:

  • Galvalume has a higher resistance to corrosion and rust than galvanized steel due to the inclusion of aluminum in the coating.
  • Galvalume can be more cost-effective than galvanized steel in certain situations, as it may last longer and require less maintenance.
  • Galvalume has a more subtle, matte finish than galvanized steel, which some homeowners may find more visually appealing.

Cons of Galvalume:

  • Galvalume is generally more expensive than galvanized steel. However, the price of galvalume has since seen to drop and you’ll often find Galvalume costing just as much or even less than galvanized metals.
  • The aluminum in the coating can make galvalume more prone to scratches and dents than galvanized steel.
  • If galvalume is used in an area with high levels of pollution or salt exposure, it may not provide as much protection against corrosion as galvanized steel.

Which should you get, galvanized or galvalume?

Whether you use galvanized steel or galvalume for your roof depends on your budget, the weather in your area, and the needs of your project.

Because it has aluminum in the coating, galvalume can protect against rust and corrosion just as well as galvanized steel, if not better.

Galvalume costs about the same as galvanized steel, which is a good thing. However, it may be more likely to get scratches and dents.

Galvanized steel can be a good choice for a roof because it is cheap and lasts a long time, especially in places where there isn’t a lot of pollution or salt.

Galvanized steel is a good choice for some uses, such as in agricultural buildings, industrial buildings, and homes.

In the end, you should choose between galvanized steel and galvalume for your roof after carefully thinking about your project’s needs and requirements and talking to a roofing professional who can help you make an informed choice.

How long does galvanized metal roofing last compared to non-galvanized?

Galvanized metal roofing can last for several decades, usually between 40 and 70 years, depending on a number of factors, such as the thickness of the metal, the quality of the galvanizing coating, and the weather conditions in the area. 

Non-galvanized metal roofing, on the other hand, may have a shorter lifespan of 20 to 50 years due to the lack of protection against rust and corrosion.

The exact lifespan of a galvanized metal roof will depend on a number of things, such as the local climate and weather, the quality of the installation and maintenance, and the thickness and grade of the galvanized steel used.

For example, a galvanized metal roof in a coastal area with high humidity and salt exposure may not last as long as one in a drier, less corrosive environment.

Overall, a well-maintained galvanized metal roof can protect your home or building for a long time and keep it in good shape. It may even outlast non-galvanized metal roofing by a large amount.

Can you galvanize metal roofs?

It is not possible to galvanize metal roofs after they have been installed. Galvanization is a process that involves applying a layer of zinc to the surface of the metal before it is formed into a roofing panel or other shape.

The zinc coating helps to protect the underlying metal from corrosion and rust.

Metal roofing panels that haven’t been galvanized can be protected from rust and corrosion with other materials, like a fluoropolymer-based paint or sealant.

However, this type of coating may not be as durable or long-lasting as galvanization.

How much do galvanized metal roofs cost?

The cost of a galvanized metal roof depends on a number of things, such as the size and complexity of the roof, the type and grade of galvanized steel used, and the local market conditions.

On average, the cost of galvanized steel roofing materials can range from $3.35 to $4.25 per square foot. When factoring in installation costs, the total cost of a galvanized steel roof can be around $10 per square foot. For a typical residential home, the total cost of a galvanized metal roof can range from $17,000 to $25,000, depending on the size and complexity of the roof.

It’s important to remember that the cost of a galvanized metal roof is just one part of figuring out how much a roofing project will cost as a whole. Other things that could affect the price are the cost of installation, the cost of taking off and getting rid of the old roof, and any repairs or changes that may need to be made to the roof structure.

It’s always a good idea to get multiple quotes from reputable roofing contractors in your area so you can get a better idea of how much your roofing project will cost in total and make sure you’re paying a fair price.

What should you do if you don’t have galvanized metal on your roof?

If you don’t have a galvanized metal roof, there are still steps you can take to protect your roof from rust and corrosion.

One option is to apply a protective coating to your existing roof. There are many different types of roof coatings available, including those specifically designed for metal roofs.

These coatings can provide a layer of protection against rust, UV damage, and other types of wear and tear.

You could also replace your current roof with a galvanized metal roof or another type of metal roof that protects against rust and corrosion as well as or better than your current roof.

Galvalume, for example, is a popular alternative to galvanized steel that is made with a combination of zinc and aluminum and provides similar corrosion resistance.

Will galvanized metal roofing rust?

Even though galvanized metal roofing is very resistant to rust and corrosion, it can still happen. Over time, exposure to the elements, including moisture and UV rays, can cause galvanized metal roofing to rust or corrode.

However, compared to non-galvanized metal roofing, galvanized metal is much less likely to rust. This is because the galvanizing process involves coating the metal with a layer of zinc, which acts as a barrier between the metal and the environment.

The durability of galvanized metal roofing is also affected by things like the quality of the materials used, how they are put together, and how well they are maintained over time.

Rust and corrosion can be stopped by cleaning and inspecting things regularly and using the right coatings and sealants.

Overall, galvanized metal roofing is not completely rust-proof, but it is a very strong, long-lasting material that can provide adequate weather protection.

What happens when the protective coating wears off?

When the protective coating on galvanized metal roofing wears off, the metal underneath is exposed to the elements, which can cause rust and corrosion.

The most common cause of coating wear on galvanized metal roofing is exposure to UV radiation from the sun, which can cause the zinc coating to break down over time.

Coating wear can also be caused by things like abrasion, exposure to chemicals, and moisture.

Once the protective coating wears off, the metal underneath is exposed to the environment and can start to rust.

This can weaken the roof and compromise its ability to protect your home from the elements. Rust can also cause unsightly stains on the surface of the roof, which can detract from the overall appearance of your home.

If you notice that the coating on your galvanized metal roofing is starting to wear off, it’s important to take action to prevent rust and corrosion from taking hold.

This could mean putting on a new coating or sealant or, in some cases, getting a whole new roof.

A professional roofer can help you figure out what to do next based on the condition of your roof and your personal situation.

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Author: Logan

I help people connect with businesses