How Long Does A Steel Roof Last? (Find Out Now!)

Emily Carr
by Emily Carr

How long a steel roof lasts is one of the most pressing concerns potential home renovators, who are looking to upgrade the top of their house, have. These roofs can be pricey, so it’s important to understand their lifespan and how to prolong it.

Steel roofs last around 55 years in standard conditions when installed correctly and cared for properly. To prolong your roof’s lifespan, install a layer of roofing underlayment, perform galvanization, and have your gutters cleaned regularly. While the climate where you live is out of your control, how you maintain your roof makes all the difference.

Continue reading to learn how long a steel roof is supposed to last and how to preserve its integrity. Furthermore, we’ll get into the costs associated with replacing an old one!

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How Long Is a Steel Roof Supposed to Last?

There are many different factors that will determine how long your roof lasts, such as climate, geographical location, and type of steel.

Generally speaking, steel roofs last an average of 55 years in normal conditions. If your climate is harsher, it may only last for 30 years. However, if you use special care to maintain your roof, it could be good for upwards of 70 years; it really just depends.

For example, if you live in a particularly humid area, the steel may corrode sooner. Coastal areas are also more susceptible to rusting and corrosion. Additionally, cold or snowy climates cause the steel to expand and contract more, which could lead to premature wear and tear.

Geographical location is also a big factor. Roofs in the Midwest, for example, tend to last longer than those in the South. The sun and extreme temperatures can cause things like chalking or oil canning on steel roofs in southern states.

Lastly, the type of steel roof you have will also play a role in how long it lasts. There are two main types of metal roofs:

  • Standing seam 
  • Screw-down

Although it’s more expensive, standing seam is usually the best option because it’s mechanically designed for thermal expansion.

How to Make Your Steel Roof Last Longer

While you can’t control where you live, you can control how you take care of your roof.

Now that you know some of the things that affect how long your steel roof lasts, let’s take a look at ways to preserve it.

Several ways to make your steel roof last longer include:

  • Have it treated with zinc oxide (a process known as galvanization).
  • Install a layer of roofing underlayment.
  • Check your attic every 6 months for leaks.
  • Clean your gutters regularly.
  • Don’t let trees scratch the top.

Galvanization is the process of coating steel with zinc oxide to prevent corrosion. This is the most common and effective way to protect your roofing material from the get-go.

Roofing underlayment is also a good idea; it’s a layer of waterproof membrane that goes between the roof deck and the shingles. This will protect your roof from water damage during rainy weather.

If you’re not already doing so, you should also check your attic for leaks twice a year. Leaks can cause a lot of damage (i.e., corrosion) to your roof and your home over time.

Cleaning your gutters regularly is another important way to maintain your steel roof. Clogged gutters can lead to water backing up and pooling on your roof, which will cause it to wear down prematurely.

Lastly, make sure you trim your trees regularly to avoid overgrown branches from scratching the top of your steel roof. This may seem like a trivial thing, but over time it can cause some serious harm.

Factors That Shorten a Steel Roof’s Lifespan

There are many preservation methods you can use to make your steel roof last longer; however, there are also some factors that are out of your control.

The most common factors that shorten a steel roof’s lifespan are:

  • Harsh weather conditions
  • Poor installation
  • Incorrect maintenance

We touched on this lightly already, but if you live in an area where inclement weather is common, your roof is going to take a beating. Use the care tips above to help reduce some of the effects the climate has on your steel roof.

Next- if your roof is installed incorrectly, to begin with, or has had poor maintenance done, you’re going to have problems down the road. For example, if your steel roofing wasn’t fixed properly when it was put in place, it may shift and cause additional damage over time.

To avoid this, ask around and get references to find out which contractors have done good work in your area. Make sure to get everything in writing, and check back in with the workers every few days to make sure the job is being done properly.

How to Know When Your Steel Roof Should Be Replaced

Certain signs indicate that your steel roof is no longer in good working order. What are they?

  • The painted finish on your steel roof is chipping off.
  • The roof looks like it’s buckling.
  • Irreparable damage (like an acute accident) has occurred.
  • The roof is at the end of its lifespan.

All of these are hints that it may be time to replace your steel roof. If you’re not sure, it’s always best to consult a professional.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Steel Roof?

When the time does come to replace your steel roof, how much will it set you back?

Steel roofs cost about $34,000 to replace on a standard 2,000 square-foot house. This includes the removal of the old roof, parts, and the labor it takes to install the new roof.

Other things to consider include where you live (and the market price of roof work) and any additional features you may want, like a ridge vent.

Replacing your steel roof can be a big investment, but it’s one that will pay off in the long run. By using proper care and maintenance techniques, you can extend the life of your roof by many years, making it well worth the cost.

Related Questions

How long does a steel bathtub last?

Steel bathtubs last an average of 15 years- that’s 5 years longer than one made of fiberglass reinforced plastic.These types of bathtubs add a great deal of value to your home because they are so durable and unique looking. Depending on how well you maintain them, you can keep your steel bathtub running for even longer!

How much does a steel beam weigh?

Steel beams come in many different sizes and weights, but on average, they weigh about 33 pounds per foot. This is significantly less than a timber beam of the same size.Beams made of steel are a great choice for construction because they are strong and versatile. They can be easily adapted to any situation and are perfect for a variety of applications, including building frameworks.

Do steel roofs attract lightning?

This question is more common than you would think.Luckily, research has shown that roofs made of metal, like steel, are no more or less likely to attract lightning. Furthermore, the type of roofing you have doesn’t impact the damage incurred when lighting strikes.

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The Bottom Line

The life cycle of a steel roof is something that impacts all homeowners.

Not only does it need to be installed correctly, but the homeowner must also care for their new purchase with regular maintenance and inspections.

The lifespan of your steel roof can vary depending on where you live (whether it’s in harsh weather conditions or not), but there are many ways to extend its duration, even if you’re living in an area like Florida!

If you want help figuring out how long your steel roof will last before needing replacement, consult a trained roofing contractor!

Emily Carr
Emily Carr

Emily is a copywriter with over five years of experience in crafting content for the home renovation and remodeling industry. She loves house projects, whether it be painting a room or tweaking small design elements to transform a space. Her favorite aesthetic is french modern because of its clean lines and airy feeling! When not writing, Emily loves to travel and check out architectural details all over the world.

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