Carpentry, Eco/Natural, Home, Plumbing, Repairs

How to use sustainable metal roofing for houses: 4 options

sustainable metal roofing for houses

We outline how to use sustainable metal roofing for houses, with four attractive options to consider for your home.

Metal roofing has been around for the longest time. It has, however, been almost exclusively used in a commercial and industrial setups in most of the country. But metal roofs are becoming popular with residential housing, including apartment building and single dwelling homes.

Sustainable metal roofing for houses: overview

sustainable metal roofing for houses
Architects are increasingly using metal roofing to bring their designs to life.

There are various reasons in favor of metal roofing, one of them being longevity. Metal roofs are known to last for at least 50 years without showing signs of aging if the roof was installed correctly. Zinc and aluminum can last even a century. Metal roofs are available in various bright and vivid colors, shifting from the dull, darker hues of asphalt shingle roofing. Metal does not support combustion, and metals like aluminum are resistant to corrosion.

And metal roofing popularity has soared with the rise of sustainable roofing and green housing because metal can be recycled. Roofing materials can be derived from scrap metal and vehicle salvages or even from replacing old metal roofs. Various components can be mixed to form an alloy, such as steel. Galvanized steel doesn’t rust thus doesn’t need constant replacement. Metal roofing contributes to environmental conservation and energy efficiency.

Architects are also increasingly interested in the design properties, flexibility and lightness of metal roofing to bring innovative designs to life.

Types of sustainable metal roofing

Here are the four main types of metal roofing you should consider for your home


Aluminum is the most popular metal roofing type today for various reasons. The material resists corrosion, is lightweight and long-lasting. The metal comes painted and ready for installation, saving lots of time whether you’re repairing roof sections or replacing the whole roofing.

The metal is versatile, and you can get anything from customary standing seam metal roofs to aluminum shingles. Aluminum is environmentally friendly since it is made of recycled products. Also read how to design with a sloping roof.


If you are all sold out for beauty, then copper roofing is your thing. Albeit expensive, copper offers longevity and bold natural beauty all in one look. Just think of the beautiful blue-grey color formed after continuous weather exposure. The only drawback is that run-off water from a copper roof stains other materials, so you have to choose where to include the copper roof, for example, on the porch.


Zinc conforms to the green roofing choices and energy efficiency standards since it is fully recyclable. This means that an old zinc roof can be used to make new roofing materials for a different project. It also exceeds aluminum which has to be coated with another metal.

Zinc is durable because it is resistant to rust. When exposed to the elements, zinc roofing will produce a patina like copper, which adds to the home’s overall beauty. However, zinc is very soft thus more prone to hail compared to other metals. It is also expensive like other metal roofing if you are running on a tight budget.


Steel has long been a darling of heavy-duty construction and commercial roofing purposes but is now becoming popular with home roofing for several reasons. Steel is an alloy of iron and other metals, making it relatively cheap compared to copper, zinc, and aluminum. And to top it all, an alloy has strengths of several metals combined into one; thus, steel is durable.

However, as is common will all iron products, iron will eventually oxidize and form rust when exposed to the elements. There are several ways to combat the problem during manufacturing.

The first option is adding a layer of zinc on top of the original steel roofing to protect it from corrosion, resulting in the most popular steel roofing type-galvanized steel roofing.

The second option uses a combination of zinc and aluminum, which is resistant to rust to protect the vulnerable inner steel sheet. The final product is a galvanized roofing product that is uniform in appearance.

The last and the least popular option is sacrificial protection. Since steel will eventually rust, you just let it cleverly do its thing. Weathering steel roofing is made up of two steel sheets with the topmost sheet meant to rust on behalf of the inner sheet, thus prolonging its roofing life. For this reason, weathering steel is only used to accentuate your roof that and add a bit of character to your home.


Metal roofing is a sustainable roofing option for homeowners. Metals are 100% recyclable, apart from having a long roofing life. Metal roofing will save you a lot of time, energy, and repair costs while at the same time accentuating your home with natural beauty.