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How Long Does a Metal Roof Last? (Average Lifespan)

Written by

Leroy Whitt

There are some things in life that last a really, really long time, like Nokia flip-phones, that one can of tomatoes in your pantry, TSA lines— oh, and metal roofs! When you invest a decent amount of money into something (like your home), you want it to last as long as possible before you have to shell out money again.

Homeowners across the country are turning to metal roofs in droves when they need a roof replacement. So, just how long does a metal roof last? You’ll be impressed!

How Long Does a Metal Roof Last: A Comparison

Metal roofs last 40-70 years on average. For comparison, asphalt shingles, the most popular roofing material in America, only last 15-25 years.

Think about it: if you invest in a metal roof, you likely won’t have to replace it again while you own your home, which offers a ton of money savings and peace of mind. Plus, if you’re thinking of selling your home in the future, prospective buyers love the idea of a sturdy roof they likely won’t have to replace for a very long time— so a metal roof can increase your home value, too!

While metal roofs aren’t the longest-lasting material on the market, they offer impressive durability for an equally impressive price. While materials like clay tiles or natural slate can last upwards of 100 years, they also come with a hefty price tag. Metal offers the best of both worlds for property owners looking for a reliable solution that doesn’t break the bank.

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What Can Affect a Metal Roof’s Lifespan?

Metal roofs are typically incredibly reliable. They put up a great fight against storms and are generally low-maintenance. However, there are a few factors that can cause your metal roof to deteriorate quicker than others:

1) Roof Slope 🧗

Metal roofs are lauded for being great at shedding snow in regions with more intense winters. While we don’t get too much snow here in Georgia, your roof slope can still have an impact on how water drains off.

A steeper roof pitch allows water to drain off easily, but a low slope can take longer. Sometimes, ponding water collects on low slope roofs, which can expedite wear and tear.

2) Sun Exposure ☀️

Mother Nature can impact your metal roof in more ways than one. One way is through sun exposure. The UV radiation that results from sun exposure can degrade roofing materials over time. If you live in a region that receives a lot of direct sunlight, your metal roof may experience some UV deterioration over the years.

3) Roof Color 🎨

Believe it or not, the color of your roof can affect its longevity! Metal roofs in darker colors tend to absorb more heat, while a lighter color reflects heat and decreases indoor temperatures in summer. Dark roofs can be protected with acrylic elastomeric roof coatings.

Aerial top view of building steep shingle roof, brick chimneys and small attic window on house top with metal tile roof. Roofing, repair and renovation work.

4) Faulty Installation 🏚️

Even the most durable metal roof is useless without a proper installation. If your contractor doesn’t follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation, you’ll quickly run into issues. Avoid this problem by hiring a highly-rated local roofing company over a neighborhood handyman.

5) Moss and Algae Growth 🌱

Moss and algae growth is more common on asphalt shingles and can be rare on metal roofs. However, this doesn’t mean that metal roofs are incapable of developing moss.

If your roof is in a shady area and surrounded by trees, it can be more susceptible to moss growth. This can speed up deterioration, so be sure to call a roofing contractor for maintenance if you notice any moss or algae on your roof.

6) Neglecting Maintenance 🙅

One of the biggest advantages of metal roofs is that they’re quite low maintenance. However, they aren’t maintenance-free. It’s important to still schedule annual roof inspections to ensure everything is in working order. If you neglect your maintenance responsibilities, your roof can begin to deteriorate, and it may be too damaged by the time you realize it.

7) Intense Storms ⛈️

Metal roofs are known for standing up to inclement weather. However, sometimes an incredibly intense storm rolls through that surprises everyone. Your roof can get affected if it’s been bombarded with a lot of impact from weather conditions like:

  • Hail
  • High winds
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Flying debris
  • Intense rain

It’s a good idea to schedule a storm damage inspection with your preferred local roofer after any major storm. They’ll be able to identify damage and help you file an insurance claim to get the cost of repairs or a replacement covered.

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Pros and Cons of Metal Roofs

By now, you’ve likely picked up on some hints of why so many homeowners love metal roofs. There are numerous advantages to metal roofs but also a few disadvantages to consider before taking the plunge.

✅ Metal Roof Pros

  • Longevity: Lasting up to 70 years, metal roofs are a long-lasting investment.
  • Durability: This material can withstand extreme wind gusts, and some products can be impact resistant.
  • Environmentally-friendly: Metal roofs are made up of 25-95% recycled materials, are 100% recyclable at the end of their lifespan, and don’t require frequent replacement due to their longevity.
  • Fire resistant: With a class A fire rating, they are great options for wildfire-prone regions. Metal roofs won’t spark or ignite during a wildfire or if struck by lightning.
  • Energy-efficient: Metal roofs reflect UV rays, which help reduce cooling costs.

❌ Metal Roof Cons

  • Affordability: A metal roof can cost up to twice as much as an asphalt shingle roof. Since they last so long, the investment is often worth it, but it may not be feasible for some homeowners.
  • Color matching: If you need a part of your roof repaired or you add a home expansion at a later date, then it can be difficult to find an exact color match.
  • Lifespan of fasteners: Exposed fastener metal roofs are large panels attached with fasteners that expand and contract in the heat. However, metal roof fasteners have varying lifespans and can degrade over time. Be sure to schedule regular roof inspections to catch any issues early.
close up view of hand mounting old rapezoidal metal roof using a power drill and screws with clear caps.

It’s Hard to Go Wrong With a Metal Roof

With a lifespan lasting up to 70 years, impressive durability, and a low maintenance nature, it’s no surprise why metal roofs are gaining in popularity each year. At the end of the day, it’s vital to choose a qualified roofing contractor so you can reap the benefits of your metal roof instead of dealing with frustrating issues.

Whitt’s Quality Roofing is one of the few skilled metal roof installers in Georgia. Our knowledgeable team follows the best industry standards for all metal roof installations. Plus, we offer impressive workmanship warranties for your peace of mind. Reach out to Whitt’s today to schedule a free metal roof estimate!

Leroy Whitt

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