A metal roof’s lifespan varies by its type. For example, standing seam metal roofs last between 50 and 75 years. In contrast, a screw-down panel metal roof lasts only 20-30 years. Of course, you can’t predict exactly how long any roof will last because dozens of variables influence its longevity.
Metal Roof Life Expectancy by Type
The first thing you should know is that there are different types of metal roofs. Secondly, each type has a different life expectancy because of how they are built and withstand conditions. So let’s take a brief look at each one and their average life expectancy:
Standing Seam Metal Roofs
A standing seam metal roof consists of metal roofing panels joined at an underlying seam. They feature vertical, trapezoidal legs that conceal the seam underneath, which gives this type of roofing its name. The design also offers this type of metal roofing its incredible durability.
You can expect a standing seam metal roof to last for at least 30 years. Most standing seam metal roofs last for much longer than that, though. Under the right conditions, expecting your standing seam metal roof to last between 50 and 75 years is not outrageous.
Screw-Down Panel Metal Roofs
Screw-down panel metal roofs are usually made of corrugated steel or aluminum and feature a series of exposed screws. It’s the screws that hold the metal panels to the roof decking. Because the screws are exposed, screw-down panel metal roofs aren’t as durable or reliable.
Panel metal roofs also don’t perform as well as standing seam roofs because the metal panels aren’t allowed to expand and contract. Generally, you can expect 20-30 years from a screw-down panel metal roof.
Screw-down panel metal roofs also don’t look as clean, modern, or nice as standing seam metal roofs. So, while installing a standing seam metal roof may cost you a bit more, it’s the better way to go if you can afford it.
Why Choose A Metal Roof?
You may have thought that metal roofs were just for barns, silos, and commercial buildings. And if this were 1990, you would have been right. But in 2022, metal roofs are a viable option for residential buildings. There are many benefits to metal roofing, including:
Some metal roofing products contain as much as 95% recycled metal. And once a metal roof needs to be replaced, 100% of the materials can be recycled.
As a result, metal roofing is one of the most environmentally responsible roofing materials you can choose, making it an excellent choice for anyone conscious or concerned about their impact on the environment.
You may want to consider metal roofing if you live in an area pounded by high winds. On average, a metal roof can withstand winds up to 140 mph. However, some types of metal roof systems and materials can withstand winds as fast as 180 mph!
Metal roofing can withstand not only wind; but fire and hail as well. In addition, metal is flame-retardant, so it won’t spread flames in a fire. This can have a beneficial impact on your insurance as well.
It is estimated that a metal roof in some regions of the country will save you up to 30% on your homeowner’s insurance policy a year.
Other Factors That Contribute to the Lifespan of A Metal Roof
We touched on it a bit in the previous section, but now it’s time to take a detailed look at what can affect the lifespan of a metal roof:
The installation is the most critical contribution to the lifespan of your metal roof – whether that lifespan is long or short. Standing seam metal roofs especially need to be installed very carefully and meticulously.
You should always work with a licensed and experienced roofing contractor for standing seam metal roof installation. Furthermore, you should make sure that the contractor you are considering hiring has specific experience with standing seam metal roofs.
Some metal roofs can be coated with a Kynar 500 finish. In layman’s terms, it’s pretty much just paint. But it can significantly increase the lifespan of your metal roof. Usually, Kynar 500 is only used on standing seam metal roofs, yet another reason to choose this roofing over screw-down panel metal roofing.
Even the application of the finish is essential, though. While applying, the contractor should clean the paneling at the end of each day to prevent rusting.
The ventilation in your attic will significantly affect any roof you have on top of it – including metal roofing. If your attic is improperly ventilated, it can strain the roofing materials much more. As a result, it may expand and contract more than usual, develop ice dams, or be exposed to moisture.
You should take a look in your attic regularly and ensure that the insulation strips are intact, that there are no signs of moisture damage, and check for leaks of any kind.
The weather will significantly impact how long your metal roof lasts. If you live in an area with mild weather (no high winds, little to no hail, moderate rain, little to no snow, and moderate heat), your metal roof can last well over 50 years.
On the other hand, if your area experiences extreme weather, you should expect to repair or replace your metal roof after about 30 years or so.
Most experts agree that you should have your roof inspected once a year. Does this apply to standing metal seam roofs too? Yes, it does. There are certain things you can’t see that a professional inspector will notice.
Regular maintenance will ensure that your metal roof (if installed correctly) will go the distance – even if you live in an area that experiences extreme weather.
Conclusion on Metal Roof Lifespan
Metal roofing can last up to 75 years when installing a standing seam metal roof. Other types of metal roofs, like screw-down panel roofs, age faster and last only 20-30 years. Ultimately, your roof’s longevity will depend on variables like installation, ventilation, climate, and weather.