Study: Some metal roofs will last at least 60 years

Commercial metal roofIn what is considered an industry breakthrough, a study by the Metal Construction Association (MCA) reveals that certain metal roof systems will last for 60 years or more. This means that they very likely won’t need to be replaced for the entire life of a commercial building.

Three independent consulting firms provided oversight of the study, which was sponsored by the MCA and the ZAC Association. It focused on low-slope, 55 percent Al-Zn coated steel standing seam roofing, which goes by the trade names of GALVALUME and Zincalume in the United States.

“This study is a breakthrough for the metal construction industry,” said MCA Technical Director Scott Kriner, “because it finally provides third-party, scientific data that backs up the long-held stance that 55 percent Al-Zn coated steel standing seam roofing systems are very durable, economic and can be better for the environment.”

Contrast this with non-metal roofing systems: They will generally require one or more full replacements over the course of a building’s 60-year life span. This study demonstrates the proven longevity of metal roofs, in Florida as well as across the country.

Different climates, conditions

This type of roof is very common on commercial buildings across the country; experts estimate that the market size for it is more than 350 million square feet. Interesting tidbits from the study include the following:

  • Researchers examined metal roofs in five areas of the country, focusing on climates related to various levels of heat and humidity.
  • It was revealed that these systems resist corrosion even in “weak” areas, including panel profile bends and sheared edges. In addition, they demonstrated an absence of red rust even after 35 years.
  • Of course, all roof systems need to undergo regular maintenance to achieve a long service life. The study showed that components such as fasteners may need replacing, but that would be less than 20 percent of a total roof replacement cost.

Kriner says the MCA plans to conduct more research on the subject.

“We think these studies will help to motivate building owners and architects to specify metal roofing more often,” he adds.

If you’re interested in learning more about the longevity of metal roofs in Florida and across the country, read more about the study here.