One of the many benefits of a quality metal roof is longevity. Metal roofs are the longest-performing roof materials available - just look at some of those centuries-old copper roofs on churches and cathedrals in Europe! It's a fact that begs the question - do you ever need to replace a metal roof? Here's what 35 years of experience with metal roofing has taught me.
Replacing a Metal Roof
I’ve seen literally thousands of metal roofs installed, from aluminum and copper to zinc and multiple kinds of steel. And while I have seen a handful of those metal roofs replaced, it wasn't because they stopped performing. Every metal roof I can recall seeing removed were take off because of installation problems - and not material issues - or because the home or building was being remodeled and the contractor didn’t want to or wasn't able to add more of the same metal to the roof.
I’ve also seen a few metal roofs outlive their finish. It’s very uncommon, but in rare instances, I have seen that the finish on the metal roof failed to last as long as the substrate. While this can have an aesthetic impact, it doesn't affect the performance of the roof, which will continue its duty of keeping out the weather. And unlike any other type of roof, even those metal roofs with fading or eroding finishes can be refinished, in the same way a house or car can be refinished or repainted. Note that this rare situation is even less likely on the higher-end products. The best finishes are one of the benefits when you pay more for a higher quality metal roof. And when you opt for natural metals like copper or zinc, the chances of a problem like this drop even more.
The takeaway is this - I have seen a very small fraction of metal roofs that did require replacement, but not because they failed as roofs. And, there are thousands more metal roofs that are still going strong.