Roofing Pro Spokane

Metal Roofing: The Ultimate Guide for Spokane

Metal roofing is a popular choice for Spokane’s homeowners and business owners alike due to its durability, longevity, and energy efficiency. Metal roofs are available in a variety of materials, including steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc, each with its own unique benefits and drawbacks.

This type of roofing is popular in commercial roofing but it is very quickly becoming popular in residential roofing as well because of its long lasting lifespan.

In this article, we will provide you with everything you need to know about metal roofing.

Metal roofing panels overlap on a sloped roof, secured by screws. Sunlight reflects off the shiny surface, while rainwater runs off smoothly

First, we will discuss the benefits of metal roofing, such as its resistance to extreme weather conditions, its long lifespan, and its energy efficiency.

We will also cover the different types of metal roofing materials and their respective pros and cons. Additionally, we will provide tips on how to properly maintain and care for your metal roof to ensure its longevity.

Whether you are considering installing a metal roof on your home or business, or you simply want to learn more about this popular roofing material, we have you covered.

Metal Roofing Is Great for Spokane Area Climate

Choosing the right roofing material is crucial for homeowners in Spokane, given the unique climate conditions of the area. Metal roofing emerges as an exceptional choice for several compelling reasons.

First and foremost, its durability stands up to the varied Spokane weather, from heavy snowfall in winter to the hot, dry summers. Metal roofs are known for their ability to shed snow and ice quickly, preventing buildup and potential damage.

Metal roofing offers superior energy efficiency. Reflecting solar radiant heat rather than absorbing it, metal roofs can significantly reduce cooling costs during the warm months. This is particularly beneficial in Spokane, where summer temperatures can soar, making energy efficiency a priority for many homeowners.

Another advantage is the longevity of metal roofing. With a lifespan of 40 to 70 years, it far outlasts traditional roofing materials like asphalt shingles, which often require replacement every 15 to 20 years. This makes metal roofing a cost-effective solution in the long term, despite the higher initial investment.

Metal roofing is highly resistant to fire, wind, and impact, providing an extra layer of safety for homes in areas prone to wildfires, strong winds, and storm-related debris. This resilience is especially valuable in Spokane’s diverse climate, offering homeowners peace of mind regardless of the season.

Your Spokane based roofer will be able to answer your questions about metal roofing systems and if this is the best solution for your roof.

History of Metal Roofing

A timeline of metal roofing evolution, from ancient to modern techniques, showcased with various metal roof styles and applications

Metal roofing has a long and fascinating history. The first recorded use of metal roofing dates back to the third century BCE when copper roof shingles were installed atop the Lovamahapaya Temple in Sri Lanka.

The Romans also used copper as roof covering for the Pantheon in 27 BCE. Centuries later, copper and its alloys were integral in European medieval architecture.

During the American Revolutionary War, sheet metal roofing was developed by Robert Morris for use in his mansion in Philadelphia. It grew in popularity after being used to replace the roof of Princeton’s Nassau Hall in 1802. In the 19th century, sheet metal roofing became the first metal to be made in American rolling facilities.

In 1829, the technique for corrugating iron sheets was patented in England, an important innovation which bolstered strength and allowed for an increased span over a lighter framework.

This innovation made metal roofing more durable and lighter, which led to its widespread adoption across Europe and North America.

The origins of metal roofing can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where copper was the first metal utilized for roofing purposes. Across Asia, Europe, and the Americas, ancient peoples incorporated copper into their homes and temples.

Today, metal roofing is a popular choice for homeowners and businesses due to its durability, energy efficiency, and low maintenance requirements.

With advances in technology and manufacturing, metal roofing has become even more versatile, offering a wide range of colors, styles, and finishes to suit any architectural style.

Types of Metal Roofing Materials

There are several types of metal roofing materials to choose from. Each material has its own pros and cons, and selecting the right one for your home depends on your budget, style preferences, and climate.

aluminum roofing

Aluminum Roofing

Aluminum is one of the most popular types of metal roofing materials. It is lightweight, durable, and resistant to corrosion, making it an excellent choice for coastal areas. Aluminum is also highly reflective, which helps to reduce energy costs by keeping your home cooler in the summer.

steel roofing

Steel Roofing

Steel is another common material used in metal roofing. It is strong, durable, and can withstand extreme weather conditions. Steel roofing is available in a variety of colors and styles, making it easy to match with any home design. However, steel roofing can be susceptible to rusting, so it is important to choose a high-quality product that is properly coated.

copper roof

Copper Roofing

Copper is a premium metal roofing material that is known for its beauty and longevity. It is a soft metal that can be easily molded into intricate shapes, making it a popular choice for historic homes and buildings. Copper roofing is also highly durable and resistant to corrosion, and it develops a beautiful patina over time.

zinc roof

Zinc Roofing

Zinc is a lesser-known metal roofing material that is gaining popularity due to its durability and sustainability. It is lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and can last up to 100 years with proper maintenance. Zinc roofing is also environmentally friendly, as it is 100% recyclable and requires less energy to produce than other metals.

tin roofing

Tin Roofing

Historically, “tin” roofing referred to steel or iron roofs coated with tin. Today, it’s less common but was once valued for its durability and resistance to corrosion. The aesthetic appeal of aged tin roofing, along with its historical significance, makes it a favored option for restoration projects and heritage homes seeking an authentic period look.

stainless steel roofing

Stainless Steel Roofing

Known for its strength and resistance to corrosion, stainless steel roofing is more expensive but offers a sleek, modern look and can last over 50 years. Its reflective properties can also contribute to energy efficiency by deflecting solar heat, making it an environmentally friendly choice for those looking to reduce cooling costs.

Galvalume Roofing

A steel coated with a mixture of aluminum, zinc, and silicon, Galvalume offers enhanced protection against corrosion, making it suitable for various climates, especially those prone to extreme weather conditions. The distinctive, smooth finish of Galvalume roofing not only provides a modern appearance but also acts as a barrier against the elements, maintaining its integrity and appearance over time.

Corrugated Metal Roofing

Not a material per se but a popular form of steel or aluminum roofing sheets that have been roll-formed into a pattern of ridges and grooves, offering added strength and a distinctive look. This type of roofing is highly versatile and can be used in both residential and commercial settings, adapting well to both contemporary and rustic designs while providing excellent durability and protection.

Metal Roof Styles

Metal roofing styles vary widely, offering options for nearly any architectural design. Here are some common styles, along with brief descriptions:

Standing seam metal roofing

Standing Seam

Characterized by its raised interlocking seams that connect panels, standing seam metal roofs offer a sleek, modern look. They are known for their durability, weather-tight qualities, and the ability to accommodate thermal movement.

Metal shingle roofing

Metal Shingles

These are designed to mimic the look of traditional shingle or slate roofing but with the durability and longevity of metal. Metal shingles provide a classic appearance with the added benefits of being lightweight and low maintenance.

Metal tile roofing

Metal Tile

Metal tiles are pressed into shapes that resemble traditional clay or concrete tiles, offering the aesthetic appeal of tiled roofs with a fraction of the weight. This style is favored for its ability to provide a Mediterranean or Spanish look without the structural demands of real tiles.

Corrugated metal roofing

Corrugated Metal

Known for its wave-like pattern, corrugated metal roofing is durable and suitable for both residential and commercial applications. It’s one of the oldest and most tested types of metal roofing, offering high resistance to the elements and a distinctive aesthetic.

Ribbed metal roofing

Ribbed Metal

Similar to corrugated metal but with more pronounced and sharper ridges, ribbed metal panels are often used in industrial and commercial buildings. This style provides excellent strength and water shedding capabilities.

Metal slate roofing

Metal Slate

Offering the sophisticated look of natural slate tiles, metal slate roofing panels are lightweight and easier to install. This style combines the timeless beauty of slate with the unsurpassed longevity and strength of metal.


Copper roofing stands out for its exceptional durability and timeless beauty, aging gracefully to develop a unique patina over time. Its high resistance to the elements and minimal maintenance requirements make it a premium choice for those seeking a blend of elegance and long-term performance.

Benefits of Metal Roofing

When it comes to roofing materials, metal is becoming an increasingly popular choice for homeowners. Here are some of the key benefits of metal roofing:


Metal roofs are incredibly durable and can last for decades with proper maintenance. They can withstand extreme weather conditions, including heavy snow, high winds, and hail. Additionally, metal roofs do not rot, crack, or warp like traditional roofing materials.

Energy Efficiency

Metal roofs are highly reflective, which means they can help keep your home cooler in the summer by reflecting solar energy. This can translate into significant energy savings on your cooling costs. Furthermore, some metal roofs can be coated with special pigments that can further increase their energy efficiency.


Metal roofing is a sustainable choice for homeowners. Metal roofs are made from recycled materials and can be recycled again at the end of their lifespan. Furthermore, metal roofs can be installed over existing roofs, which can help reduce waste and save on disposal costs.

Aesthetic Variety

Metal roofing comes in a wide variety of styles and colors, making it a versatile option for homeowners who want to achieve a specific look for their home.

From classic standing seam metal roofs to metal shingles that mimic the look of traditional roofing materials, there are many options to choose from. Metal roofs can also be painted to match the color of your home or to create a unique look.

Overall, metal roofing is a durable, energy-efficient, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing choice for homeowners.

Installation Process

Preparation and Safety

Before starting the metal roofing installation process, it is crucial to ensure safety measures are in place. We recommend wearing safety gear, including gloves, safety glasses, and a hard hat. It is also essential to have sturdy scaffolding or ladders to access the roof safely.

Before installing the metal roof, it is necessary to prepare the roof surface. The roof surface should be clean, dry, and free of any debris. Remove the old roofing material and repairing any damage to the roof deck. Also make sure the roof deck is flat and level.

Tools and Equipment

To install a metal roof, we need specific tools and equipment. The following is a list of tools and equipment required for a metal roof installation:

  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk line
  • Circular saw with metal cutting blade
  • Electric drill with metal cutting bits
  • Tin snips
  • Screw gun
  • Roofing screws
  • Roofing underlayment
  • Metal panels
  • Flashing

Step-by-Step Installation

The following is a step-by-step guide to installing a metal roof:

  1. Obtain necessary permits: Before starting the installation process, it is essential to obtain the necessary permits from your local building department.
  2. Take measurements of the roof area: Accurate measurements of the roof area are essential for determining the amount of material needed.
  3. Purchase the correct materials: Once you have determined the amount of material needed, purchase the correct materials, including metal panels, roofing screws, and flashing.
  4. Remove old roofing and make any necessary repairs: Remove the old roofing material and repair any damage to the roof deck.
  5. Install roofing underlayment: Install roofing underlayment to protect the roof deck from moisture.
  6. Install metal panels: Install metal panels starting at the bottom of the roof and working your way up. Use roofing screws to secure the panels to the roof deck.
  7. Install flashing: Install flashing around roof penetrations, such as chimneys and vents.

By following these steps and using the correct tools and equipment, we can install a metal roof safely and efficiently.

Maintenance and Care

As with any roofing system, regular maintenance and care are essential to ensure the longevity and performance of your metal roof. Here are some important things to keep in mind:

Routine Inspection

Routine inspections are crucial to identifying and addressing potential issues before they become serious problems. We recommend conducting a visual inspection of your metal roof at least once a year.

During your inspection, look for signs of damage, such as dents, scratches, or corrosion. Pay particular attention to areas where debris may have accumulated, such as around chimneys, vents, and other roof penetrations.

Cleaning and Repairs

Cleaning your metal roof is an important part of its maintenance. Dirt, debris, and other contaminants can accumulate on your roof over time, which can lead to corrosion and other damage.

Cleaning your metal roof at least once a year using a solution of mild soap and water. Be sure to rinse your roof thoroughly after cleaning to remove any soap residue.

If you notice any damage during your inspection, it’s important to address it as soon as possible. Small dents and scratches can be repaired using a metal roof repair kit, which is available at most home improvement stores. Larger areas of damage may require professional repair or replacement.

Longevity and Replacement

With proper maintenance and care, a metal roof can last for decades. However, there may come a time when your roof needs to be replaced.

Signs that it’s time to replace your metal roof may include rust, corrosion, or other signs of damage that cannot be repaired. If you’re unsure whether your metal roof needs to be replaced, consult a professional roofing contractor for an inspection and evaluation.

Cost Considerations

When it comes to metal roofing, cost is a major consideration for any homeowner. There are several factors that determine the overall cost of a metal roof, including the size of the roof, the type of metal used, and the complexity of the installation.

Initial Investment

The initial investment for a metal roof can be higher than other roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles. However, it is important to consider the long-term cost savings that come with a metal roof.

Metal roofs are durable and long-lasting, which means that they require less maintenance and have a longer lifespan than other roofing materials.

Life Cycle Costing

When considering the cost of a metal roof, it is important to look at the life cycle cost. This includes the initial investment, as well as the cost of maintenance and repairs over the lifespan of the roof.

While a metal roof may have a higher initial investment, it can provide cost savings over the long-term due to its durability and low maintenance requirements.

Potential Savings

Metal roofs can also provide potential savings in other areas. For example, metal roofs are highly reflective, which means that they can help to reduce energy costs by keeping the home cooler in the summer. Additionally, metal roofs are often made from recycled materials, which can help to reduce waste and lower environmental impact.

Performance Factors

When considering a metal roofing system, there are several performance factors to keep in mind. These factors include weather resistance, thermal movement, and sound insulation.

Weather Resistance

Metal roofs are highly resistant to harsh weather conditions, such as heavy rainfall, snow, and high winds. According to the NFPA National Fire Protection Association, metal roofs demonstrate remarkable severe weather resistance capabilities, capable of enduring wind gusts far exceeding what typical shingle roofs tolerate — some rated for winds up to 140 mph.

Additionally, metal roofs are resistant to fire, making them a safe and environmentally responsible choice for a fire-resistant roof.

Thermal Movement

Metal roofs can expand and contract with temperature changes, which is known as thermal movement. This movement can cause damage to the roofing system if not properly accounted for during installation. To prevent damage, it is important to ensure that the roofing system is designed to accommodate thermal movement.

Sound Insulation

Metal roofs can provide excellent sound insulation, reducing noise from rain and hail. This can be particularly beneficial for buildings located in noisy areas or for those looking to create a quieter indoor environment.

The metal roofing systems offer a range of performance benefits that make them an excellent choice for a variety of applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the common types of metal roofing materials?

Metal roofs come in a variety of materials, including steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc. Steel is the most commonly used material for metal roofing due to its affordability and durability.

Aluminum is also a popular choice due to its lightweight and resistance to corrosion.

Copper and zinc are used less frequently due to their higher cost, but they offer unique aesthetic qualities and can last for many decades.

What are the primary advantages of installing a metal roof?

Metal roofs offer several advantages over traditional roofing materials. They are durable and can last up to 50 years or more with proper maintenance. They are also resistant to fire, wind, and hail damage.

Metal roofs are energy-efficient, reflecting heat away from the home and reducing cooling costs. They are also environmentally friendly, as they are often made from recycled materials and can be recycled at the end of their lifespan.

How does the longevity of metal roofs compare to other roofing materials?

Metal roofs have a longer lifespan compared to traditional roofing materials such as asphalt shingles. While asphalt shingles typically last around 20 years, metal roofs can last up to 50 years or more with proper maintenance. This longevity makes metal roofs a cost-effective and sustainable choice for homeowners.

What maintenance is required to prevent metal roofs from rusting?

Metal roofs require little maintenance, but it is important to prevent rust from forming. Regular cleaning with a mild detergent and water can help remove dirt and debris that can cause corrosion.

It is also important to remove any standing water from the roof to prevent rust from forming. Apply a rust-resistant coating can help protect the roof from rust and extend its lifespan.

What factors should be considered before choosing metal roof panels for residential use?

Before choosing metal roof panels for residential use, it is important to consider several factors. The slope of the roof, local weather conditions, and the style of the home should all be taken into account.

The color and finish of the panels should be chosen to complement the style of the home. It is also important to choose a reputable manufacturer and installer to ensure the roof is installed properly and will last for many years.

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