What Are The Pros and Cons of Steel vs. Aluminum Metal Roofing?


Choosing between steel and aluminum for your new roof frequently boils down to a simple question: Where is your house?

Metal roofs in general have many benefits over asphalt shingles, tile, and wood shake. They are more robust and can withstand strong winds, wind-driven rain, severe temperatures, fire, mildew, and termites. A properly fitted metal roof should last the life of the home. The thing that matters most for a worthy roof fitting is a worthy roof fitting company, take a look at http://www.londonecometal.com/.

Compare thick aluminum pans to steel or cast iron pans of even close to comparable thickness and see for yourself. Thin steel pans develop “hot patches” owing to a lack of heat conduction. Aluminum roofs are around one-third the weight of steel roofs and corrode relatively little.

It does not retain paint as well. And screws/nails should be stainless or aluminum to minimize galvanic corrosion of the aluminum where different metals contact or are near to each other. Quality metal roofs have numerous layers of coatings that function effectively to prevent corrosion of steel roofs as long as they are not significantly damaged or cuts are not sealed. 

Here are some of the qualities that homeowners should consider while shopping for steel and aluminum roofs. 

What You Need to Know About Steel Roofs

Steel roofs are strong, safe, and ecologically beneficial due to their 100 percent recyclable nature. Steel roofing panels, which are common in older structures in Europe, are becoming more popular in North America.

Many steel roofing materials come with 40- to 50-year “lifetime” guarantees and often outlast a half-century. Consider the following factors while looking at steel roofs:

  • Durability/gauge – The lower the number, the more durable the metal. Roofing panels vary in thickness from 22 gauge (the thickest) to 29 gauge (the thinnest).
  • Solar reflectivity improves energy efficiency since it allows less heat to enter the dwelling.
  • Aesthetics – Steel may be colored or customized to match the decor.
  • Heat conduction – A Galvalume (also known as Mill Coating) finish offers extra UV radiation protection.

Steel roofs provide a variety of advantages, including: 

  • Value – Although initial installation costs may be greater than for other kinds of roofing, steel lasts longer and cuts energy expenses by reflecting radiant heat away from the home.
  • Steel may be customized to appear like wood, tile, slate, or shingles.
  • Steel roofs are lightweight and can be built rapidly, even over an existing roof.
  • Moss and fungus resistance – Steel is entirely impenetrable to algae and fungus, which may reduce the lifetime of asphalt or wood shingles.
  • Animal-proof — Steel is inhospitable to termites and other species that may seek sanctuary under roofs, such as raccoons and rats.


  • Steel roofs are pretty expensive and can rust in the long run with contact with moisture. 

Steel roofs have a Class-A rating

Steel, on the other hand, does not do well in seawater. Moisture from the ocean oxidizes the iron component of steel over time, resulting in ferric oxide, often known as rust. Manufacturers combat rust by coating the roofing panels with zinc or Galvalume, an aluminum-zinc alloy, to produce a protective barrier. 

Aluminum Roof Fundamentals

Aluminum, like steel, is well-known for its durability, lifespan, ease of installation, energy efficiency, and resistance to fire and pests. It is also lighter and more adaptable than steel. Aluminum is inherently resistant to oxidation and corrosion, making it perfect for coastal settings. Special coatings may provide considerably greater protection.

Because aluminum is a good conductor of heat, it is often employed as a heat sink. That is, it absorbs and loses heat at a rapid pace.

The finest heatsinks are constructed of 70% silver and 30% copper, but they are so costly and scarce that they are not worth discussing.

Aluminum is more corrosion-resistant than steel. Aluminum is lighter than steel but softer, so it puts less strain on the construction of your home but will not withstand the pounding of a violent hailstorm as well as steel. Aluminum also “holds heat” better than steel; it warms up rapidly in the day and does not cool down as rapidly at night. This (together with its weight) is why it is widely used for culinary tools like frying pans. Steel is the polar opposite of all of these characteristics; it is stronger at a given thickness but heavier, and even stainless steel (which is quite costly) may rust. Either of these metals will often have a few liberal coats of very strong paint; for steel, it is critical that the paint layer not be pierced. 

Aluminum also has the following advantages: 

  • Malleability — Aluminum is more malleable than steel and can be built into complicated forms, giving the appearance of shaking shingles in a longer-lasting, more protective product.
  • Fire resistance — Aluminum alone is not Class-A certified, but it may be with the addition of a fire barrier.

Heat conduction – Aluminum cools quickly after it has been heated.

  • Aluminum roofs are very lightweight and strong winds can easily lower their durability.

Steel and aluminum are both good materials for residential roofing. Before making a selection, homeowners should evaluate the properties of both metals as well as the location of their property.

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