The Ultimate Guide to Commercial Metal Roofing: Types and Benefits

Commercial metal roofing has gained significant popularity in recent years due to its durability, energy efficiency, and versatility. This ultimate guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the different types of metal roofing materials used by commercial metal roofing contractors in commercial buildings, discussing their advantages, lifespan, and suitability for various climates and architectural styles. 

Types of Commercial Metal Roofing

  1. Steel Roofing: Steel, an alloy made of iron and other elements, is one of the most common materials for commercial roofing. It’s coated with zinc or a mixture of zinc and aluminum to prevent rust. There are three primary types of steel roofing: galvanized, galvalume, and weathering steel. Galvanized steel is coated with zinc for added corrosion resistance. Galvalume steel combines zinc and aluminum for increased durability. Weathering steel, intended for situations where additional corrosion resistance is needed, develops a protective rust layer over time.
  2. Aluminum Roofing: Aluminum roofing is lightweight, rust-resistant, and suitable for coastal areas due to its resistance to salt corrosion. It’s a popular choice for businesses looking for a long-lasting, low-maintenance roofing solution.
  3. Copper Roofing: Copper offers a unique appearance that evolves over time, transitioning from its original reddish hue to a distinctive green patina. It’s highly durable, resistant to corrosion, and can last for decades. Copper is often used for more upscale projects due to its aesthetic appeal and longevity.
  4. Zinc Roofing: Zinc is highly durable and has a lower melting point than other metals, making it energy-efficient to produce. Its ability to self-heal scratches and the development of a protective patina make it a long-lasting option. 

Benefits of Commercial Metal Roofing

  1. Durability and Longevity: Metal roofs can last 40 to 70 years, depending on the material. Traditional asphalt roofing materials have a significantly shorter life span of about 12-20 years.
  2. Energy Efficiency: Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs by 10-25%. In cooler climates, having a darker-colored metal roof can absorb heat and help reduce heating costs.
  3. Weather Resistance: Metal roofs can withstand extreme weather conditions, including heavy rain, hail, and high winds. They are also fire-resistant, which can be beneficial in areas prone to wildfires.
  4. Sustainability: Commercial roofing materials are often made from recycled content and are 100% recyclable at the end of their life, making them an eco-friendly option.
  5. Aesthetic Versatility: Metal roofing comes in a variety of styles and colors, making it suitable for different architectural styles, from traditional to contemporary.
  6. Low Maintenance: Metal roofs require minimal maintenance, as they do not corrode or crack easily. Regular inspections and occasional cleaning are usually sufficient.

Suitability for Different Climates and Architectural Styles

Many commercial metal roofing contractors believe that metal roofs are versatile and suitable for various climates. In colder regions, snow easily slides off metal roofs, preventing ice damming. In hot and sunny areas, the reflective properties of metal roofs keep buildings cooler. Architecturally, metal roofs complement a range of styles. Modern buildings often use metal roofing for a sleek, contemporary look, while historical renovations can benefit from the classic look of copper or zinc.


Commercial roofing is an excellent investment for businesses seeking a durable, energy-efficient, and aesthetically versatile roofing solution. With various materials available, each with unique benefits, metal roofing can meet diverse requirements and preferences, making it a top choice for commercial buildings.