Do Metal Roofs Rust Over Time?

People often ask us whether or not getting a metal roof here in Florida is worth it. Specifically, the main question regarding its “worth” is whether or not the metal roof will rust. While metal roofs can last two to three times longer than traditional asphalt or wood shingle roofs, they aren’t totally invincible to the elements and time. Metal roofs can rust, but the likelihood and speed of rusting depend on the type of metal used and whether it’s been treated to resist corrosion.

Here’s a breakdown:

Steel Roofs are a durable option. Steel is an iron alloy, so it  is susceptible to rust when exposed to moisture and oxygen. However, most steel roofing materials are treated with a protective layer of zinc (galvanized) or a combination of zinc and aluminum (galvalume) to prevent rust. These coatings can significantly slow down the corrosion process.

Copper Roofs are an excellent choice, depending on the application. Copper roofs do not rust, but they do undergo a natural patination process over time, changing color from their original shiny reddish-brown to a distinctive green patina. This patina layer protects the copper from further weathering. It’s a very distinct look, and depending on the aesthetic of the design, it can add curb appeal as well as protection from rust.

Zinc Roofs (like copper and aluminum) also form a protective layer (patina) that shields the metal underneath from moisture and corrosion. Zinc roofs are known for their durability and corrosion resistance.

Aluminum Roofs are a favorite for homes built in the salty air of coastal areas. Aluminum is naturally resistant to rust because it forms a protective oxide layer when exposed to air. This characteristic makes aluminum roofing materials highly resistant to corrosion, even in coastal areas where salt spray is common.

The durability and resistance to rust of a metal roof can also depend on the quality of installation, the local climate, and how well the roof is maintained over time. Regular inspections and maintenance can help prevent rust and extend the lifespan of a metal roof. You can count on Universal Roof & Contracting to provide you with a professional roof installation using top-quality materials in a design you can appreciate beyond just the protection it offers your home. Reach out today for a free inspection!