The lifespan of the roof must be considered carefully when choosing roofing materials for a new construction or renovation. Metal roofing is a highly recommended choice due to its longevity. But it’s crucial to understand that not every metal roof provides the same degree of durability. The type and quality of material utilized can have a big impact on how long metal roofing lasts. Knowing which kinds of metal roofing are more durable than others can help builders and homeowners make decisions that will safeguard their homes for a long time.

the image of a beautifully crafted copper roof on a residential home - Shumaker Roofing

Copper Roofing

One of the first metal roofing materials is copper, which is also known for its strength. A copper roof can endure more than a century with proper maintenance. Although copper is a soft and flexible metal that can be shaped into many different shapes for ornamental roofs, it is also easily dented. In areas where hailstorms are common, copper may not be the optimum material. In addition to being highly pricey, this roofing option needs professional installation. However, copper roofing is an affordable option over time due to its extended lifespan, even with its expensive initial cost.

image showcasing aluminum as a lightweight and corrosion-resistant material - Shumaker Roofing

Aluminum: Lightweight And Corrosion Resistant

Aluminum stands out as a robust choice for metal roofing, particularly beneficial in coastal regions due to its exceptional resistance to salt corrosion. This material can sustain its integrity for up to 50 years if maintained properly, though its longevity also hinges on the quality of the material and the precision of the installation process. It’s important to note, however, that aluminum is a softer metal compared to others, which makes it more vulnerable to dents and damage from significant impacts. This characteristic is crucial to consider when choosing roofing materials for areas prone to severe weather conditions.

image of steel roofing on a house for Shumaker Roofing

Steel Roofing

Steel remains a top choice for metal roofing due to its durability and longevity. Specifically, galvanized steel, which is enhanced with a zinc coating, offers a lifespan of up to 60 years, making it a reliable option for residential and commercial structures. Additionally, Galvalume steel, which benefits from a dual coating of aluminum and zinc, provides superior corrosion resistance. This makes it an even more robust choice, potentially extending its service life to up to 70 years. Both materials are celebrated for their strength and protective qualities, ensuring they withstand various environmental challenges over time.

image of a zinc roof on a modern house - Shumaker Roofing

Zinc Roofing

Zinc stands out as a superior choice for metal roofing, thanks to its remarkable self-healing properties. When scratched or marred, zinc gradually develops a protective patina that not only enhances its appearance but also acts as a barrier against weathering and corrosion. This patina, while beneficial, may appear as uneven blue or white streaks initially. With the right maintenance, however, the longevity of a zinc roof is impressive, typically lasting between 80 to 100 years, providing a durable and sustainable roofing solution that maintains its integrity and aesthetic appeal over decades.

image of corrugated roofing on a house. - Shumaker Roofing

Corrugated Roofing

Corrugated metal roofing, often crafted from robust galvanized steel, stands out for its exceptional durability and distinctive wave-like design, which enhances its structural stability. Many regard this type of roofing highly for its longevity, with many roofs lasting up to 45 years or more under proper conditions. Its resilience and the unique aesthetic it offers make it a popular choice for those looking for a reliable and visually appealing roofing solution. Moreover, its ability to withstand severe weather conditions adds to its appeal as a practical and long-lasting investment for any building.

Copper is the metal roof that lasts the longest, followed closely by zinc, steel, aluminum, and corrugated metal. When considering the lifespan of traditional roofing materials such as asphalt shingles, all metal roofs are remarkably durable. Aluminum is less expensive than copper, which is much more expensive. All metal roofs require expert fabrication, and manufacturers frequently use Stefa long sheet metal folding machines to bend the metal into roof panels. In order to guarantee that a metal roof lasts as long as it should, experienced professional installation is also necessary.

Our Recommendation

For those prioritizing longevity and durability in a roofing material, copper and zinc are standout choices. Copper roofs, with their potential to last a century or more, offer an unmatched lifespan, although they come with higher initial costs. Zinc also provides excellent longevity with the added benefit of its self-healing properties, making it a sustainable choice. For budget-conscious projects, aluminum and galvanized steel are effective alternatives, offering robust protection against environmental elements. When choosing metal roofing, consider the specific environmental challenges of your location to ensure optimal performance and durability.


In conclusion, when choosing metal roofing for its durability and longevity, it’s essential to consider the specific properties of each material. Copper and zinc stand out for their exceptional lifespans and unique benefits, such as copper’s aesthetics and zinc’s self-healing abilities. Steel and aluminum offer practical, cost-effective solutions with substantial resistance to environmental conditions. Each type of metal roofing has its specific advantages and suitability, depending on the regional climate and architectural requirements. Ultimately, investing in metal roofing means prioritizing long-term performance and sustainability, ensuring that the chosen material aligns well with your building’s needs and environmental exposures. 

FAQs: Longest-Lasting Metal Roofing

1. What are the longevity expectations for different types of metal roofing materials?

Different metal roofing materials offer varying lifespans. For instance, copper roofs can last over a century, zinc roofs up to 100 years, galvalume steel around 70 years, and aluminum roofs can last about 50 years, depending on maintenance and environmental conditions.

2. How does the environment affect the durability of metal roofing?

The durability of metal roofing can be significantly influenced by the local environment. Factors such as coastal salt air, heavy industrial pollution, and frequent severe weather events can accelerate wear and corrosion, thereby affecting the lifespan of the roofing material.

3. What maintenance should you perform to maximize the lifespan of metal roofing?

Regular maintenance for metal roofs typically includes routine inspections for damage, keeping the roof free of debris, and ensuring that drainage systems are clear and functioning properly. Specific maintenance can vary based on the type of metal used and the local environment.

4. Do significant cost differences exist between the types of metal roofing with the longest lifespans?

Yes, there can be significant cost differences. Copper, known for its longevity, is generally the most expensive, followed by zinc. Steel and aluminum are usually more affordable options but offer slightly shorter lifespans compared to copper and zinc.

5. What warranties do manufacturers typically offer for long-lasting metal roofing materials?

Warranties for metal roofing can vary widely depending on the manufacturer and the type of metal. Generally, longer warranties accompany materials known for durability, like copper and zinc. Carefully read the warranty details to understand what is covered, including any limitations or conditions.