When you’re in the Northland region, facing the whims of nature, the roof over your head isn’t just a metaphor for security—it’s a tangible, essential layer of protection for your home. That’s where metal roofing comes into play—known for its durability, longevity, and aesthetic appeal. Here’s what you need to know right off the bat:

  • Durability: Metal roofs can withstand harsh weather, from blistering sun to snowstorms, without faltering.
  • Longevity: Expect a metal roof to last 40-70 years, significantly longer than traditional materials.
  • Aesthetics: Available in various colors and styles, metal roofing can enhance your home’s appearance.

For our homeowner in the Northland, who values quality and seeks a trustworthy contractor for a hassle-free experience, understanding the basics of metal roofing is the first step towards a solid, long-lasting, and beautiful roof.

Infographic detailing Metal Roofing Durability highlighting points on weather resistance, lifespan, and aesthetic versatility with icons for sun, snow, rain, and a house with a stylish metal roof - metal roofing infographic 3_stage_pyramid

In just these few points, you can grasp why metal roofing has become a top choice for homeowners seeking a balance between performance and curb appeal. As we delve further, we’ll explore the types of metal used, different systems available, and the pros and cons, ensuring you have all the information to make the best decision for your home.

Understanding Metal Roofing Materials

When it comes to choosing metal roofing, understand the different materials available. Each type of metal offers unique benefits and potential drawbacks. Let’s break down the options: Aluminum, Copper, Zinc, Stone-Coated Steel, and Tin.


  • Lightweight & Corrosion-Resistant: Aluminum is the lightest among metal roofing materials, making it easier to handle and install. Its natural resistance to corrosion makes it an ideal choice for coastal homes exposed to salty air.
  • Energy Efficient: Reflects sunlight, helping to reduce cooling costs during hot months.
  • Cost: Generally more expensive than steel but offers long-term savings through durability and energy efficiency.


  • Longevity: Copper roofs can last hundreds of years. It’s not unusual for a copper roof to outlive the building it covers.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Copper develops a greenish patina over time, giving it a unique, distinguished look.
  • Price: The most expensive metal roofing material due to its durability and aesthetic qualities.


  • Durable & Flexible: Like copper, zinc can last hundreds of years and has the ability to ‘heal’ scratches over time due to its patination.
  • Eco-Friendly: Zinc has a lower melting point than other metals, requiring less energy to manufacture. It’s also 100% recyclable.
  • Cost: High initial cost, similar to copper, but with minimal maintenance and long lifespan.

Stone-Coated Steel

  • Versatile Looks: Stone-coated steel can mimic the look of traditional asphalt shingles, wood shakes, or even clay tiles.
  • Durability: Offers the strength of metal with a layer of stone coating that enhances its resistance to weather and UV light.
  • Price: Mid-range cost. More expensive than plain metal sheets but offers additional aesthetic appeal.


  • Historical Material: Tin was a popular roofing material in the past due to its ease of installation and lightweight nature.
  • Modern Usage: Today, ‘tin’ roofs are actually made from steel or aluminum with a coating to protect against corrosion. The term “tin roof” is more about the style rather than the material.
  • Cost: Affordable, though not as commonly used or available as other metal roofing options.


Each material has its place, depending on the homeowner’s priorities such as longevity, aesthetic, and budget. For example, if you live near the coast, aluminum might be your best bet due to its resistance to saltwater corrosion. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a roof that adds a unique character to your home and you’re prepared for the investment, copper could be the right choice.

The best metal roofing material for your home depends on various factors including climate, architectural style, and personal preference. Consulting with a professional, like those at Empire Roofing, can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and budget.

We’ll dive into the different types of metal roofing systems available, helping you understand the options for installing these materials on your home.

Types of Metal Roofing Systems

When you’re considering metal roofing for your home, you have a variety of systems to choose from. Each has its own benefits and potential drawbacks. Let’s break them down in simple terms.

Exposed Fastener Panels

These are the most budget-friendly option in the metal roofing world. Exposed fastener panels are named for the way they are installed: with fasteners (like screws) that you can see. They’re straightforward to install, which can mean lower labor costs. However, those visible screws will need checking and possibly tightening over time to prevent leaks.

Concealed Fastener Panels

Concealed fastener panels offer a sleeker look because, as the name suggests, the fasteners are hidden. This not only gives your roof a clean, smooth appearance but also reduces the risk of leaks. These panels are more costly than exposed fastener panels, but many find the extra expense worth it for the aesthetic and reduced maintenance.

Corrugated Metal

Corrugated metal roofing is easily recognizable by its wavy pattern. It’s sturdy, thanks to the shape, and can be a more affordable metal roofing option. However, like with exposed fastener panels, the screws go through the metal and are visible, requiring periodic maintenance.

Standing Seam

Standing seam systems are the premium choice for many homeowners. The panels connect over the fasteners, hiding them and providing excellent protection against the elements. This type of roofing is known for its durability and minimal maintenance. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a long-term solution and are willing to invest upfront.

Metal Shingles, Tiles, Slate

If you love the look of traditional shingles, tiles, or slate but want the benefits of metal roofing, there are options for you. Metal shingles, tiles, and slate mimic these materials but are lighter, more durable, and often come with a longer lifespan. They can be more expensive than simple metal panels, but they offer a unique aesthetic and the same great metal roofing benefits.

Choosing the right system depends on several factors:

  • Budget: How much are you willing to spend upfront?
  • Aesthetic: What look are you going for?
  • Maintenance: How much upkeep are you okay with?
  • Longevity: How long do you want your roof to last?

Metal roofing systems offer a range of options to fit nearly any homeowner’s needs. Whether you prioritize cost, appearance, durability, or a mix of factors, there’s a metal roofing system that can work for you. Consulting with professionals like those at Empire Roofing can provide you with the guidance needed to make the best choice for your home.

As we explore further, keep these systems in mind. They each offer unique advantages that can influence your decision on the best metal roof for your home.

metal roofing

Pros and Cons of Metal Roofs

When considering metal roofing for your home, weigh both the advantages and disadvantages. Let’s dive into some key areas: durability, energy efficiency, noise, rust & corrosion, thermal expansion, and maintenance.


Pros: Metal roofs are known for their exceptional durability. They can withstand harsh weather conditions, from heavy snow to strong winds, without suffering significant damage. Many metal roofing materials are impact-resistant and can last 40-70 years, making them a long-term investment for your home.

Cons: While metal roofs are durable, they can dent when hit with large hailstones or under the pressure of someone walking on them incorrectly. The degree of dent resistance varies by material, with some metals being more susceptible than others.

Energy Efficiency

Pros: Metal roofs excel in reflecting solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs by 10-25%. This makes them an energy-efficient option, particularly in hot climates or during the summer months.

Cons: Without proper insulation, metal roofs might not offer the same level of energy efficiency during colder months. However, this can be mitigated with the right underlayment and insulation techniques.


Pros: With proper insulation and solid decking, metal roofs can be as quiet as other roofing materials, even during heavy rain or hail.

Cons: Without these noise-dampening measures, metal roofs can be noisier than traditional roofing materials, which might be a consideration for homes in rainy or hail-prone areas.

Rust & Corrosion

Pros: Most metal roofing materials are treated with protective layers to resist rust and corrosion. For example, galvanized steel has a zinc coating, while Galvalume steel is coated with an alloy of zinc and aluminum, offering enhanced protection.

Cons: If the protective coating is damaged or wears off over time, the exposed metal can rust. This is more of a concern in coastal areas where salt spray accelerates corrosion.

Thermal Expansion

Pros: Metal roofs are designed to accommodate thermal expansion and contraction. Manufacturers often include features like sliding clips in the installation process, which allow the metal to move without causing damage.

Cons: If not properly installed, the thermal expansion of metal roofs can lead to issues like oil canning (a wavy appearance) or fastener withdrawal.


Pros: Metal roofs require minimal maintenance compared to other roofing materials. Periodic inspections and clearing debris from the roof and gutters are typically all that’s needed to keep a metal roof in good condition.

Cons: Despite the low maintenance requirements, any damage or issues that do arise (such as scratches, dents, or coating degradation) may require professional repair to prevent rust or leaks.

In conclusion, metal roofing offers a durable, energy-efficient, and low-maintenance roofing solution with a few considerations to keep in mind. Noise can be managed with proper installation, and the risk of rust and corrosion can be minimized with the right material choice and maintenance. Thermal expansion is typically addressed during the installation process by experienced professionals like those at Empire Roofing. Understanding these pros and cons will help you make an informed decision about whether metal roofing is the right choice for your home.

Remember that consulting with professionals can provide you with the guidance needed to navigate these considerations effectively.

Choosing the Right Metal Roof for Your Home

Choosing the right metal roof involves several key factors. Let’s break them down:

Climate Considerations

Metal roofing is known for its durability and ability to withstand extreme weather conditions. Whether you’re in an area that faces heavy snowfall, hurricanes, or extreme heat, there’s a metal roofing option that fits. For instance, aluminum roofs are great for coastal areas due to their resistance to saltwater corrosion. On the other hand, steel roofing, coated with either Galvalume or galvanized coating, offers enhanced durability for areas prone to hail or heavy snow.

Aesthetic Preferences

Metal roofing isn’t just tough; it’s also versatile in appearance. You can choose from a variety of styles and colors to match your home’s architecture and your personal taste. Whether you prefer the sleek look of standing seam panels or the traditional appearance of metal shingles that mimic wood or slate, metal roofing can complement any home design.


Your budget plays a crucial role in determining the type of metal roof you can install. While metal roofing is generally more expensive upfront compared to traditional shingles, the long-term savings in maintenance and energy costs can be significant. Corrugated metal panels are a more budget-friendly option, while premium materials like copper and zinc are on the higher end of the price spectrum but offer unparalleled longevity and aesthetic appeal.

Roof Size

The size and complexity of your roof will influence the cost and type of metal roofing system you choose. Larger roofs require more materials and labor, which can increase the overall cost. Additionally, roofs with multiple slopes, valleys, or architectural features may benefit from more flexible metal roofing options, like metal shingles or tiles, which can easily adapt to complex roof designs.

Installation Complexity

The complexity of installing a metal roof varies by system. Exposed fastener panels are generally considered more straightforward and thus, less expensive to install. However, they may not provide the same level of weather tightness and aesthetic finish as concealed fastener systems or standing seam panels, which require specialized tools and expertise for installation. It’s essential to work with experienced professionals who can ensure your metal roof is installed correctly, minimizing the risk of future issues.

Remember, consulting with roofing experts like those at Empire Roofing is key to navigating these considerations. They can provide valuable insight into the best metal roofing options for your specific needs, taking into account your local climate, aesthetic preferences, budget, and the architectural complexity of your home. With the right guidance, you can choose a metal roof that not only protects your home but also enhances its overall appearance and value.

Installation and Maintenance

Getting it Right: The Importance of Proper Installation

Metal roofing, when installed correctly, stands as a fortress against the elements. However, poor installation can lead to a host of problems down the line. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Leaks: The number one enemy of any roof, especially metal roofs. Incorrectly installed panels or flashing can allow water to sneak in, causing damage to your home’s interior. Ensuring that each panel is correctly aligned and sealed is crucial.
  • Rust Prevention: Metal and water are not the best of friends. While metal roofing materials like aluminum and copper resist rust, steel needs a protective coating (like Galvalume) to fend off corrosion. The integrity of this coating must be maintained during installation to prevent rust.
  • Fastener Maintenance: Metal roofs expand and contract with temperature changes. If fasteners are not properly installed, this can lead to loosening over time. Regular checks and maintenance can prevent issues from arising.

Keeping Your Metal Roof in Top Shape

Maintenance is key to extending the life of your metal roof. Here are some tips:

  • Leak Prevention: Regular inspections can catch small issues before they become big problems. Pay special attention to areas around chimneys, vents, and skylights where leaks are more likely to occur.
  • Rust Prevention: For steel roofs, keep an eye on the coating. If you notice any scratches or chips, touch them up promptly to prevent rust. For other metals, simply keeping the roof clean and free of debris can prevent water accumulation and corrosion.
  • Fastener Maintenance: Check fasteners during your regular inspections. If any are loose or missing, replace them immediately to maintain the structural integrity of your roof.
  • Insulation and Energy Efficiency: Metal roofs can be incredibly energy efficient, reflecting sunlight and reducing cooling costs. However, proper insulation is key. Ensure your attic is well insulated to prevent heat from escaping during the winter months.

A little maintenance goes a long way in ensuring your metal roof lasts for decades, providing protection, energy efficiency, and beauty to your home. Don’t hesitate to consult with professionals for installation and maintenance to keep your roof in peak condition.

metal roofing

Metal Roofing FAQs

When considering metal roofing, you likely have questions. Let’s dive into some of the most common queries to help you understand what to expect.

What is the biggest problem with metal roofs?

The biggest issue homeowners face with metal roofs isn’t about the roof itself but often involves the installation process. Poor installation can lead to problems like leaks, noise, and even premature wear. It’s crucial to work with experienced professionals who know how to handle metal roofing materials properly. A well-installed metal roof is remarkably durable and can withstand extreme weather conditions, from heavy snow to high winds.

Is it cheaper to put a metal roof or shingles?

Initially, metal roofing tends to be more expensive than shingles. The upfront cost of metal roofing can be 1.5 to 3 times more than asphalt shingles. However, it’s important to consider the long-term savings. Metal roofs last significantly longer, 40 to 70 years, compared to 12 to 20 years for asphalt shingles. They also require less maintenance and can save on energy bills by reflecting heat instead of absorbing it. So, while the initial investment is higher, metal roofing can be more cost-effective over time.

Are metal roofs worth the extra cost?

Absolutely. While the upfront cost is higher, the long-term benefits make metal roofs a wise investment. They’re not only durable, lasting decades longer than traditional roofing materials, but they’re also energy-efficient, saving up to 25% in cooling costs. Plus, they offer superior protection against the elements, can withstand wind gusts up to 140 miles per hour, and are fire-resistant. Many homeowners find that the peace of mind, combined with the savings on energy and maintenance, justifies the initial expense.

to prevent heat from escaping during the winter months.

A little maintenance goes a long way in ensuring your metal roof lasts for decades, providing protection, energy efficiency, and beauty to your home. Don’t hesitate to consult with professionals for installation and maintenance to keep your roof in peak condition.


When it comes to metal roofing, the journey from choosing the right material to the final installation is crucial for ensuring longevity, durability, and aesthetic appeal. At Empire Roofing, we understand the importance of each step in this process and are dedicated to providing our clients with the best metal roofing solutions tailored to their specific needs.

Metal roofing is more than just a protective cover for your home; it’s an investment in your property’s future. With its unparalleled durability, energy efficiency, and a wide range of styles, metal roofing offers a combination of benefits that are hard to match. Whether you’re drawn to the sleek lines of standing seam panels or the traditional charm of metal shingles, there’s a metal roofing option that fits your aesthetic preferences and budget.

However, the true value of a metal roof is realized only when it’s installed correctly. Poor installation can lead to issues such as leaks, rust, and inadequate insulation, negating many of the benefits metal roofing provides. That’s why choosing the right roofing contractor is as important as selecting the material itself. At Empire Roofing, our team of experienced professionals ensures that every metal roof we install meets the highest standards of quality and craftsmanship.

We also understand that maintenance plays a crucial role in extending the life of your metal roof. While metal roofs require significantly less upkeep than traditional roofing materials, regular inspections and maintenance are key to preventing minor issues from becoming major problems. Our team is here to provide the support and expertise you need to keep your metal roof looking and performing its best for decades to come.

In conclusion, metal roofing offers a range of benefits that make it an excellent choice for homeowners looking to enhance the durability, efficiency, and appearance of their homes. At Empire Roofing, we’re committed to helping you navigate metal roofing, from selection through installation and maintenance. Let us help you make the best investment for your home’s future.

For more information on our metal roofing services and to see how we can transform your home, visit our services page. Let’s create something beautiful and lasting together.