Last updated on March 19th, 2021 at 12:25 pm

Comparison Steel Roof vs Aluminum Roof 15 Years After Installation.

Stone Coated Steel Roof


CLASSIC Aluminum Roof

When it comes to replacing your roof, it pays to invest in the right roof ‒ not the cheapest roof. Architectural grade aluminum and steel roofing systems each stand head-and-shoulders above asphalt shingles in longevity, value, appearance, and energy efficiency.

Chances are, if you are on this page, you already understand the benefits of metal roofing systems over asphalt. But what you may not know is that not all metal roofs are the same. Understanding the differences between aluminum and steel roofing is key to choosing the best roofing system for your home!

Classic Products Roofing Systems offers a selection of high-quality steel roofing and aluminum roofing systems in a wide variety of colours and styles. The choice of either aluminum or steel roofing will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and budget.

The differences between the two are summarized in the table below; then, we’ll dive into a deeper look at the pros and cons of aluminum roofing vs. steel roofing.

Aluminum Roofing

Today, Aluminum is the gold standard for metal roofing products. It is recognized worldwide as the best combination of strength and low weight: that’s why space and air vehicles use aluminum components. Also, aluminum naturally forms a barrier against oxidation, which means that a Classic Products aluminum roof will never rust.

The environmental benefits of aluminum roofing are also something to feel good about. Classic Products aluminum roofing is made of up to 95% post-consumer recycled materials with a minimal carbon footprint. Special Kynar 500® or Hylar 5000 hI-R coating reflects radiant heat and cuts energy costs by up to 30%. Attic temperatures are reduced by up to 34% and “dead” airspace blocks heat transfer by conduction.

Many aluminum roofing systems are batten mounted because of their inferior design. In other words, the design of the product requires it to be installed on battens. Battens for roofing companies that use them, are not really a good thing though they try to spin it that way. Battens for them are a necessary evil. Classic Products Aluminum Roofing Systems are directly attached to the roof decking on an elementary level and do not need problematic strapping or battens.

With a proven performance expectation of 50+ years, aluminum can be guaranteed to last the life of your home!

What To Look For In Aluminum Roofing:

Not all aluminum roofing is created equal! At Classic Products, we only work with MCA-certified premium quality aluminum roofing. Few metal roofing products have achieved MCA approval. If you’re in the market for an aluminum roofing system, we encourage you to look at the following features to ensure you’re getting a quality product.

  • Interlocking: Choose a steel roofing system with an interlocking design rather than overlapping panels, and concealed fasteners. Interlocking panels outperform overlapping panels in wind uplift testing and better protect against water and debris. Concealed fasteners allow for natural thermal movement and are permanently weathertight.
  • PVDF: Look for PVDF coatings. PVDF is known for incredible durability and colour fade resistance. It’s key to keeping your metal roof looking beautiful for decades to come!
  • Warranty: Read the warranty carefully! Doing your homework could end up saving you tens of thousands of dollars and a whole lot of headaches and disappointment. Learn more about metal roofing warranties.

Steel Roofing

High-quality steel roofing is a sound and realistic option for homeowners who want the benefits of metal roofing with a more economical upfront cost than that of aluminum. Although steel roofing has a shorter life than aluminum (lasting 40+ years to aluminum’s 50+), it still affords decades of durability, protection, energy efficiency and curb appeal.

Steel roofing is incredibly tough, weighing in at over 200 lbs. of protective power per square foot. Because of this, steel roofing is commonly installed using heavy-duty battens or strapping. Classic Products, however, offer the Armadura Steel Roofing System which is installed directly to the roof deck without the need for problematic battens and strapping,

In either case, steel roofing is not a job for a handyman. Steel roof installation goes above and beyond the skills of a general roofing contractor and should be handled by roofers with experience installing metal roofing.

High-quality steel roofing systems are protected by a strong PVDF anti-rust coating; however, as a ferrous metal, steel cannot be guaranteed never to rust.

What to Look For In Steel Roofing

A high-quality steel roof can meet the needs of homeowners who have a modest budget and realistic expectations of the roof’s functional and cosmetic life.

  • Experienced Installer: Choose a reputable, experienced steel roofing installer. Although highly durable once installed, steel roofing must be handled with care during installation to avoid dents and scratches.
  • Galvanized Steel: Go with Galvanized steel roofing products, not galvalume. Galvanized steel offers more protection from rust than cheaper galvalume products
  • Warranty: Read your warranty carefully! Many 50-year steel roofing warranties do not actually cover rust formation where steel has been exposed during the installation process. Learn more about metal roofing warranties.

Aluminum vs. Steel: Which Metal Roof Is Right For You?

ferrous metal – cannot be guaranteed to never rustnon-ferrous metal – will never rust.
commonly installed using problematic battens or strappinginstalled using best practice solid decking method.
largest portion of cost is for complicated installationlargest portion of cost is for high quality product
space between panel and deck trap moisture and condensationonly enough space between panel and deck for thermal break
heat retention in summer increase air cooling costs.heat emissivity and solar reflectivity reduce air cooling costs.
ocean air will corrode a steel roof at an accelerated rateguaranteed at any proximity to the ocean
recycled content up to 35%95% recycled content
prone to tension bend staining (TBS)not prone to TBS
weighs over 200lbs/square – check local building code for safe limitsweighs average 40lbs/square – can be installed over up to 2 layers of asphalt

Research is the key to making a wise investment in your home. If you have questions or comments about your metal roofing choices that aren’t addressed here, please feel free to contact us. Our certified roofing technicians are happy to help!