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Posted by McElroy Metal ● Jan 24, 2024 8:15 AM

The Life Expectancy of a Metal Roof

Replacing a roof is a significant investment, so investing in a roof that lasts for years to come is essential. As homeowners seek to maximize their roofs' lifespan, it is no surprise that residential metal roofing has been steadily increasing in popularity.

What is the Life Expectancy of a Metal Roof?

life expectancy of a metal roofMetal roofs can last for fifty years or more, outpacing a shingle roof's lifespan by decades. This impressive durability means that for many homeowners, a metal roof will be the last roof they purchase.

Metal roofs are also resistant to shrinking, eroding, and cracking making them able to withstand extreme weather conditions like heavy snow and hail storms. This durability means that metal roofing requires infrequent maintenance or replacement. Typically, a quick yearly inspection for minor maintenance is all that’s needed to keep a metal roof in working order.

How Does the Life Span of a Metal Roof Compare to Shingles?

life expectancy of a metal roofAsphalt shingles are one of the most commonly used roofing materials because they are available at lower prices. However, those lower upfront costs are often outweighed by a limited lifespan and frequent maintenance. Asphalt shingles present several challenges; they are susceptible to water damage, mold and rot, pests, fire hazards, and high wind damage. In addition, shingles don't offer the energy efficiency that owners expect, and regular maintenance can be rigorous depending on your region and the surrounding elements

If you'd like to compare the advantages of metal roofing versus shingles, visit this post!

Expert Insights On Metal vs Shingles

The Metal Roofing Alliance puts the lifespan of asphalt shingles at 10-20 years before requiring a replacement. Additionally, asphalt roofing needs frequent repairs, shingle replacement, and re-caulking and sealing as the roof ages.

Experts in the field agree. McElroy Metal recently interviewed John Wilusz of Advanced Metal Roofing, and his stance on the wisdom of this investment was apparent. He shared, "If we're playing the long game, metal is the clear winner." He passionately pointed out the longevity factor, saying, "You're not just buying a roof; you're making a one-time investment for the next half-century."

For more information about the lifespan of metal roofs, download this report by the Metal Construction Association, which offers an in-depth look at what you can expect from quality metal products.

What Makes Metal Roofs Last?

So you know their reputation - metal roofs stand the test of time and can even outlive your mortgage. But what makes them last? While the metal panels themselves are durable, the entire metal roofing system is comprised of cohesive parts, with each component designed to resist the elements. Metal roofs can withstand weather conditions that many other materials cannot. High winds, hail, snow - metal is built to weather the storms Mother Nature throws your way without worries of shrinking, eroding, or cracking.

The Class 4 roof rating process confirms this information. This impact test is used to measure resistance to hail and debris and carries a prestigious standard of performance and safety. McElroy Metal is proud to offer over two dozen profiles in steel with a Class 4 rating. Properly installed metal roofs are also resistant to condensation, mildew, and rot, which are common pitfalls with asphalt shingles. They're also fire-resistant, giving you peace of mind.

All of these benefits add up to deliver a product that lasts 2-3 times longer than a shingle roof. That’s why metal roofs often represent the lowest-cost roofing option. Read this analysis to learn more.

Consider The Whole Picture

When planning your roofing project with longevity in mind, consider the whole picture. Correct materials and proper installation are fundamental to building a roof that lasts for the maximum length of time.

It is essential for owners to choose the substrate and coating for their metal panels that match long-term performance expectations. For residential applications, that means we recommend a Galvalume® substrate paired with Kynar® paint to resist fade and chalk and keep the roofs you install looking like new for decades!

The best way to ensure you make the right selections is to partner with a trusted contractor who can guide you toward the right products. We can help with that!


If you are planning a roof replacement, take advantage of this opportunity to invest in a roof that will endure, saving you money in the long run and minimizing risks and hassle.

Contact a McElroy Metal distributor or contractor in your area today. Click here.

Learn everything you need to know about Residential Metal Roofing. Check out our metal roofing resources for inspiration and answers to your questions.

About McElroy Metal

Since 1963, McElroy Metal has served the construction industry with quality products and excellent customer service. The employee-owned components manufacturer is headquartered in Bossier City, La., and has 14 manufacturing facilities across the United States. Quality, service and performance have been the cornerstone of McElroy Metal’s business philosophy and have contributed to the success of the company through the years. As a preferred service provider, these values will continue to be at the forefront of McElroy Metal’s model along with a strong focus on the customer.

Topics: Education, Metal Roofing, FAQ, Residential

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