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What Is Galvanized Metal Roofing?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 March 2018
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Some types of metals are suitable for use as roofing material, though some metals that would otherwise be perfect as roofing are often susceptible to rust and corrosion. Galvanized metal roofing solves this problem by combining the strength and durability of steel with a protective layer of zinc that helps prevent corrosion and rusting. The process of applying the zinc to steel is known as galvanization, and galvanized metal roofing will therefore be durable, easy to install, and resistant to water damage. Warehouses, factories, and large buildings often use this type of roofing to help keep costs down while still allowing for plenty of strength and durability.

Galvanized metal roofing usually comes pre-cut into sheets that can then be secured to a roof structure. These panels can also be cut or otherwise altered on-site to accommodate corners or unusual roof features. The galvanized metal roofing is usually bolted down, though thinner sheets may be screwed down instead. Very often the sheets are corrugated, which means each panel features ridges that aid in water runoff and help increase the flexibility of the material. Large roofs will often feature galvanized steel panels because the cost of such a roof will be significantly lower than one comprised of wood and asphalt roofing tiles.

Installing galvanized metal roofing can be less labor-intensive than other types of materials. The sheets are usually fairly large, and they only need to be bolted or screwed down; other roofing materials often need to be nailed down. The panels for such roofing can also be smaller, which means more panels will be necessary. A typical tile roof, for example, will feature more tiles, which means the installer will need to spend more time arranging and securing each tile. Galvanized metal roofing is also likely to outlast other roofing materials, which means rebuilding or repairing the roof will not be necessary as often.

This type of roofing is not without its drawbacks, however. Steel can be somewhat heavy, especially thicker gauges of steel, so the roof structure will need to be built in such a way that it can support the weight of the galvanized metal roofing. This type of roofing can also cause a fair amount of noise, especially during heavy rains or high winds. This may not be an issue for most structures, especially if the building is well insulated or soundproofed, but it can be problematic in some settings such as large retail establishments.

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Drentel
Post 3

@Animandel - You asked if metal roofs needed painted. Well that is about all of the maintenance you will have with a good metal roof. These roofs are so great because basically you put them on and don't bother with them for about 60 years. You may have to do a touch up paint job, but then again you might not.

Some metal roofs come unpainted. These are the ones where you will have to use the special metal roof paint like @Feryll mentioned. It's important to remember that you will also need to go over the roof with a special metal roof primer before you start painting. If you do it right the first time then you shouldn't have an problems with the roof.

Feryll
Post 2

@Animandel - I don't have any personal experience with metal roofing. I have never owned or lived in a house with one. Actually, I was interested in buying a metal roof for our house we live in now, but as it turned out, the metal was more expensive than asphalt shingles, so we have all but decided against the metal roof.

When I was in the home improvement store recently, I did see that there were some special paints that were specifically made for painting metal roofs, so I guess they do need painting from time to time. I don't know how often that would be.

Animandel
Post 1

A galvanized metal roof sounds like it would last for a really long time compared to other materials that are used for roofing. Also it doesn't appear you would need to do a great amount of maintenance to keep a galvanized roof in good condition.

However, I do have one question. Do you have to paint these galvanized metal roofs or do they resist fading and chipping of the paint?

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