What's the Difference Between Aluminum and Steel Metal Roofing?

Comparing Metal Roofs & Aluminum Roofs

What's the Difference Between Aluminum and Steel Metal Roofing? Hingham massachusetts 18 April

There are many reasons why metal roofs in Massachusetts are gaining in popularity, from their appearance and energy efficiency to durability and long lifespan. Once you have chosen metal for your roof overall, now it’s time to decide which type of metal. You have a few options to choose from: zinc, copper, steel and aluminum.

For the purposes of this blog, let’s limit our discussion to aluminum and steel. Steel is the most popular, followed by aluminum. We will compare these two materials so you can make an informed decision on your new metal roof. As always, it’s helpful to consult with a qualified metal roofer in Mansfield to further guide your choice.

Aluminum Roofing: Defined

Aluminum roofing comes in lightweight, malleable, and corrosion-resistant panels or shingles. This unique material is the lightest roofing material you can get, yet it has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of all metal roofing types. Due to its corrosion resistance, aluminum roofs are ideal for coastal climates. It is very durable and lasts between 40 and 60 years or more with good maintenance.

Steel Metal Roofing: Defined

A steel metal roofing system is comprised of panels, shingles, or tiles. Steel roof materials can be further broken down into galvanized steel and painted metal. Steel metal roofs are durable, energy efficient and last up to 60 years or more. There are two types: standing seam and corrugated.

Corrugated roofing features exposed fasteners; standing seam features concealed fasteners, so it is more resistant against leaks. Plus, it has a smoother, more polished appearance.


Here are some important things to keep in mind when comparing the two materials.

  • Corrosion resistance: The main advantage of aluminum over steel is its corrosion resistance. If you live within a mile of the ocean, avoid steel.
  • Weight: Aluminum is a very light roofing material and weighs about a third of the weight of steel. This makes it easier to transport and install, adding less stress to the overall structure. However, the added weight of steel means it’s more durable than aluminum.
  • Energy Efficiency: Aluminum will dissipate heat faster than steel because it is thinner, which lowers your energy bills quite a bit in summer. Overall, steel metal roofs are the most energy efficient, leading to the best energy cost savings compared with other materials such as shingles.
  • Cost: Aluminum roofing costs between 20% and 30% more than steel roofing. Steel is lower in cost than aluminum and about a quarter of the price of zinc or copper.
  • Dents: Aluminum is softer than steel so it’s more flexible and malleable. That being said, it can be dented more easily from falling branches and hail. Steel is more durable and can stand up to dents.

Metal Roofing Contractor

To learn more about the pros and cons of aluminum vs. steel metal roofing, contact us today at 781-536-4589 for a free quote and consultation by a trained metal roofer in Marshfield, Hanson, MA and beyond.

We serve the entire South Shore and lower Cape with quality metal roofing products; standing seam, metal shingle and metal panel roofs in Hanson, Taunton, Marshfield, Quincy, Needham, Medfield, Milton, Halifax, Hanover, Falmouth and Plymouth.

Paul was easy going and a pleasure to deal with. No pressure. Crew got started late but the metal roof with new sky lights over our sun room was done in a day! Quality work. I recommend Revered Metal Roofing.
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