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Steel vs. Aluminum Roofs: What’s The Difference?

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Steel vs. Aluminum Roofs: What’s The Difference?

All metal roofing systems are not created equal, and certain key differences can have a direct impact on their longevity. If you are a homeowner in Tampa, Florida, looking to install a new metal roof, you must understand first that various types of metal are used for roofing systems. 

Our SouthShore Roofing & Exteriors team has years of experience installing and replacing metal roofs on commercial and residential buildings. With our knowledge, we can help you select the best roof for your home. We will cover the following questions to make your replacement project more cost-effective. 

  • What types of metal roofing exist? 
  • How do I choose the best one for my location? 
  • What questions should I ask my contractor to ensure that I get a quality roof?

This blog post will go over the different types of metal roofing materials available, then help you identify which type would be the best for your home. So let’s get started!

The Rise Of Metal Roofs In Florida

Metal roofs have seen steady growth in popularity in the residential roofing industry. In fact, metals now give asphalt shingles tough competition

Asphalt shingles have been in use for many decades, yet their material is relatively thin. Additionally, they don’t hold up well against high winds, and the roofs typically do not last long before needing a repair or replacement.

One alternative to this is metal roofing. Metal roofing can increase your home’s value while also providing an attractive, durable roof. However, homeowners should know that not all metal roofs are created equal. There are significant differences between different roofing systems that make one far more suitable for Tampa than another.

Steel vs. Aluminum: Which Materials Should You Consider?

The two most common types of metal roofing systems available today are steel and aluminum. Both of these metals are very popular and can last on your roof for years, but they do have some differences. To fully understand which roofing material will suit your home’s needs the best, you need to compare them. In the section below, we have compared steel vs. aluminum roofs for you. 

Steel Roofs: 

Let us start by considering steel metal roofs. Steel has a wide variety of applications in multiple industries, and has become a very common metal roofing material as well. 

Pros Of Steel Metal Roofs

Durable With Coatings 

Steel roofs can last up to 40 years in most cases. However, its paint may wear off after 10-15 years if these areas aren’t coated adequately during installation. Some paint even contains soft metals like zinc which form a protective layer over time. In addition, these paints tend to chip less than standard latex paints & coatings, but again, not completely.

Non-Combustible & Long-Lasting  

Steel is non-combustible, which means it won’t ignite in a fire. The metal has a high melting point making it an excellent material for roofing in extreme weather like hurricanes, tornadoes, or where lighting strikes are prone to happen.

Affordable Price 

Steel roofs are often considered to be more affordable than other metal roofing materials, such as aluminum or copper. While the initial cost of a steel roof may be slightly higher than that of a traditional asphalt shingle roof, it typically lasts much longer and requires less maintenance, making it a cost-effective solution in the long run.

Great Heat Conductor 

Steel roofs are great conductors of heat, which means that your home will be more comfortable in the summer.  This makes them especially great for Florida’s climate since they help keep homes cool. However, they may cause problems during the winter if they’re not adequately insulated. 

Cons Of Steel Metal Roofs

Steel Roofs Can Rust Overtime

Most steel roofs, even galvanized steel roofs, can rust over time, therefore limiting their overall lifespan. While steel roofs are typically treated with a rust-resistant coating or finish, this protection can wear off over their lifespan, leaving the steel exposed to the elements. Rust and corrosion can cause unsightly stains on a roof, which can affect the appearance of a building and reduce its curb appeal.

Steel Roofs Are Heavier 

Steel roofs are typically heavier than other types of roofing materials, including aluminum, copper, and asphalt shingles. Steel roofs are made from a dense metal that is known for its strength and durability, which can make it more difficult to handle and transport, especially for larger roofing projects.

Steel Roofs
Steel Roofs

Aluminum Roofs: 

Aluminum metal roofs are one of the most common roofing materials that homeowners love. An aluminum roof is a type of roofing system that is made of aluminum, as its name suggests. It is a popular choice for both residential and commercial buildings due to its durability, resistance to rust and corrosion, and its ability to reflect heat and light. Aluminum roofs can be manufactured in a variety of shapes and styles to suit different architectural designs.

Pros Of Aluminum Metal Roofs

Non-Combustible & Long-Lasting 

Aluminum is non-combustible, so it won’t ignite during a fire. The metal has a high melting point which makes it an excellent material for roofing in extreme weather conditions like hurricanes and lightning storms.


Aluminum is a lighter & thinner material than steel, so that means you can get more coverage per square foot for the same amount of money. 

Non-Conductive & Holds Up To Wind 

Aluminum doesn’t conduct heat as steel does. Thermal issues aren’t generally a problem with this type of roof, and its wind resistance is excellent.

Easy To Install 

Since aluminum is one of the lightest metals used in roofing, it makes these roofs easy to handle and transport, and they can be installed quickly and efficiently. This advantage is great for busy homeowners who do not want a lengthy installation process. 

Does Not Rust

When certain metals oxidize, they develop a brown coat known as rust. Aluminum is resistant to these conditions and can maintain its appearance and strength for many years, even in coastal environments.

Cons Of Aluminum Metal Roofs 

Prone To Dents

Aluminum is a great option for a roof replacement project; however, it is prone to denting, which can be an issue in Florida. Aluminum is a soft, lightweight material, but its soft nature makes it more susceptible to dents and scratches when it is hit by objects like hail or falling tree branches.  However, modern aluminum roofing is made with special coatings and materials to increase its impact resistance. 

More Expensive Than Steel Roofs

Yes, one of the cons of aluminum roofing is that it can be more expensive than steel roofs. While the cost of aluminum roofs may vary depending on the size and complexity of the roofing project, they tend to be more expensive than steel roofs, which are widely available and commonly used, which helps to keep prices competitive. 

Aluminum Roofs
Aluminum Roofs

Also Read: Top 7 Metal Roofing Manufacturers In North America

Best Metal Roofing Services In Tampa, Florida

Metal roofs are an excellent choice for homeowners in Tampa, Florida, but the needs of every home are different. Therefore it’s impossible to say with 100% certainty which metal roofing system is suitable for your home. 

However, we are sure about one thing, which is that our team at SouthShore Roofing & Exteriors can help you install the best metal roof in the area, regardless of the material you choose. Our team has years of experience and offers the best residential roofing services. If you wish to know more, contact one of SouthShore’s roofing experts at (813) 400-3329.

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