Corrugated Metal Roofing Installation Facts, Plus Pros and Cons in 2020

Corrugated metal roof and wall systems are an energy-efficient, low cost, and long-lasting roofing and wall cladding option for homes, log cabins, and commercial building envelope applications.

corrugated metal sheets

The main drivers that make corrugated metal a compelling alternative to asphalt shingles and traditional siding material are durability, longevity, energy efficiency and ROI.

The system is comprised of corrugated sheet metal panels held in place by exposed fasteners. Corrugated panels are often installed on various barns, as well as some residential, commercial, industrial, and factory roofs.


A typical residential roofing application for corrugated metal entails the usage of higher-end G-90 (galvanized) corrugated steel panels coated with a premium Kynar 500 paint finish. Expect to pay between $5.00 and 8.00 per sq. ft. for such a fully installed corrugated metal roof.

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Corrugated metal roofs can typically last much longer than a traditional asphalt shingles roof. Corrugated and ribbed metal panels are made of metal sheets — normally G-60 or G-90 (better galvanized steel, but can also be aluminum and stainless steel sheets that are shaped into ridges or waves. Once shaped, the metal roof panels are then grooved, or corrugated, in order to create channels for water and snow to flow off the roof.

Corrugated metal panels are shipped to construction sites in full sheet form, then sized to the roof, and cut to fit. A corrugated metal roof is incredibly cost effective, durable and sturdy, and has long been the preferred material for roofing for agricultural and industrial buildings. In comparison to an ordinary roof covered with asphalt shingles, a corrugated metal roof can last up to three times as long as asphalt, or 25 to 60 years.

Longevity Factors

How long a corrugated metal roof will last, is often determined by the thickness of the panel, and type of coating used. The ticker the panel, and the better the quality of coating used the longer the system will likely last. Proper maintenance will also play a major role in the longevity of the system.

While corrugated metal roofing has long been the most popular choice for commercial and agricultural purposes, corrugated metal roofing materials are gaining respect in the residential roofing market, as well.

There are many types of metal roofing materials and styles, and corrugated galvanized steel is becoming a very popular material in modern architecture as well as in green building new construction projects, and energy efficient retrofits.

Corrugated galvanized steel is made from sheets of wrought iron, which are most often covered in a zinc coating, shaped, and then rolled into corrugated sheets, which are then delivered to the building site.

There are several varieties of coatings that can be applied to a corrugated metal roof to keep it from rusting, to reflect heat, or to increase its waterproof properties.

Ceramic and epoxy coatings are typical, but many new materials have been developed as well.

Ceramic coatings have long been used for reflecting heat off corrugated metal roof panels based upon the technology developed by the NASA space program.

Color choice is generally limited to matte white, and dirt build-up can significantly decrease the amount of solar radiation reflected over a number of years. For this reason, ceramic coatings are normally avoided in residential applications.

Nanotechnology is part of the new inventions in corrugated metal coatings and adds a great deal of value to them. When a corrugated metal roof is layered with these heat-reflecting coatings, the house or buildings stay cooler and put less load on AC during summer. The lifespan of the roof also increases compared to aspalt.

Less stress is created on the metal joints and bolts when there are no extreme variations in temperature to cause expansion and contraction stress on metal panels. Titanium dioxide is a nanotechnology coating that is actually self-cleaning.

By reducing the amount of dust that accumulates on the corrugated metal roof, the efficiency of the cooling is maintained. In coastal areas, a corrugated metal roof can be treated with coatings that minimize damage from the sea salt.

Fire, wind, and hail resistant, corrugated metal is very strong and durable. For structures such as cabins built in the Northern or mountainous regions, a painted metal roof is ideal for shedding extreme amounts of snow.

Coating a corrugated metal roof with reflective coatings can help save money on utility bills by reducing the use of air conditioning, as the shiny roof will reflect a great deal of heat from the sun.

An additional benefit of a corrugated metal roof is that very little maintenance is required, unlike a traditional shingled roof. Noise can be a disadvantage of some corrugated metal roofs in the event of rain or a hailstorm, and low hanging tree limbs can drag and scratch it along the surface, as well.

Maintenance on a corrugated metal roof is limited to the rare need to re-coat the metal roofing panels in the event of corrosion, or if the factory finish begins to fade.

Polyester and acrylic coatings are known to cause issues with corrosion and fading, which is why the newer generation of roof coatings, such as Kynar 500 considered as a lifetime coating, are recommended for longevity and better performance. Occasional exposed-fastener re-tightening and replacement of dried out washers, and re-caulking may also be necessary in order to maintain water-tightness.

Professional installation is recommended for corrugated metal panels, which are expensive when you opt for high-end panels, and mistakes in the installation can cause roof leaks. It is critical to use the correct fasteners, and waterproof washers approved by the manufacturer in order to ensure that a roof remains sealed properly.

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One comment

  1. What stuck out to me was your point on how different coatings can affect the longevity of the roof. It is really cool that these coatings can reflect heat and clean itself with nanotechnology— the self-cleaning part sounds like something from a sci-fi novel. If I had a metal roof, I would definitely want something like that. That way, you wouldn’t have to get it maintained and inspected all the time!

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