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What Are Galvalume Metal Roofs?

Posted on May 23, 2024

Galvalume Metal Roofs

While you may be aware of the traditional metal roofs, one material that has gained significant popularity in recent years is the Galvalume metal roof. In this blog post, we will explore what Galvalume metal roofs are, their benefits, and everything you need to know about this innovative roofing solution. However, before we move ahead, let’s first take a look at how problems with regular steel roofs led to the rise of Galvalume metal roofs. 

The Problems With Steel Roofs

Steel has been recognized for a long time as a durable and strong material for roofing, but traditional steel roofs faced several challenges that limited their widespread adoption in residential use. One of the primary concerns was the susceptibility of steel to rust and corrode, especially in coastal or humid environments. Over time, the exposure to moisture and air could cause steel roofs to deteriorate, compromising their structural integrity and shortening their lifespan.

The Galvalume Solution

To address these challenges, the Galvalume coating was developed, revolutionizing the steel roofing industry. 

Galvalume is a type of steel that has been coated with a combination of aluminum and zinc. This unique coating provides superior corrosion resistance and durability compared to traditional galvanized steel. This coating was first introduced by Bethlehem Steel in the 70s, and has since become a norm in the industry. 

The aluminum-zinc alloy forms a tightly bonded coating that protects steel from rust and corrosion, even in harsh environmental conditions.

The Benefits of Galvalume Metal Roofs

Galvalume Metal Roofs

Galvalume metal roofs offer a range of benefits that make them an attractive choice for homeowners. Here are some of the advantages:

An Affordable Metal

Since Galvalume is a coated steel product, it is more cost-effective than solid zinc or copper roofs, making it a viable option for homeowners seeking a long-lasting and efficient roofing solution without breaking the bank.

The zinc and aluminum coating on Galvalume steel provides excellent corrosion resistance comparable to traditional zinc roofs, but at a fraction of the cost. Similarly, while copper roofs are known for their longevity and aesthetic appeal, their cost can make them unattainable for some homeowners.

Energy Efficiency

Galvalume metal roofs are highly energy efficient. Their surface helps reflect a significant portion of the sun’s radiant heat, reducing the amount of heat absorbed by the roof, and subsequently lowering the energy costs associated with cooling your home. This can lead to substantial savings on your energy bills, especially in warmer climates.

Lightweight, Yet Strong

Despite their durability, Galvalume metal roofs are relatively lightweight compared to other roofing materials. This makes them easier to install and reduces the overall load on a building’s structure. At the same time, they offer excellent strength and resistance to wind, hail, and other extreme weather conditions.

Low Maintenance

Galvalume metal roofs require minimal maintenance compared to other roofing materials. Their smooth surface prevents the accumulation of dirt, debris, and moss, reducing the need for frequent cleaning. Additionally, the aluminum-zinc coating is resistant to fading and chalking, ensuring that the roof maintains its attractive appearance for years to come.

Types of Galvalume Metal Roofs

Galvalume metal roofing systems are available in several options, each with its own unique characteristics and benefits. Here are some of the most common types:

Standing Seam Roofs

Galvalume standing seam metal roofs are characterized by their raised seams that run vertically along the length of the roof. These seams interlock and create a watertight barrier, This style roof offers a sleek, modern look and is available in a range of colors and finishes.

Also Read: Why Standing Seam Metal Roof Installation Is The Best Option For Your Home

Metal Shingles

The newest entry in Galvalume metal roof design is metal shingles. These are coated steel shingles designed to mimic the appearance of traditional asphalt shingles or cedar shakes but with the added benefits of metal roofing. 

Corrugated Metal Roofs

Galvalume roofs come in corrugated panels too. They are one of the oldest styles of metal roofing that still offer good durability. These are known for their wave-like patterns or ridges that create a durable and stylish design. However, they do have an exposed fastening system so you need to be careful about leaks. 

What’s The Cost Of Galvalume? 

Till now, we have covered what Galvalume metal roofing systems are, what benefits they offer, and the different styles that you can find them in. Now it’s time to cover another important aspect that can affect your decision on whether to install one or not. 

Currently, the average cost of installing a Galvalume metal roof is around $4 to $10 per square foot. This is lower than other options available for metal roofs, such as stainless steel and galvanized steel. 

Galvalume vs. Galvanized Steel Roofs 

Since these terms sound so similar, homeowners typically find themselves confused between the two. You may even find these terms used interchangeably. However, if you are in the process of replacing your new roof, you should know that Galvalume and galvanized steel are quite different. Here are some of their major differences: 

Composition

Galvalume is composed of a unique combination of 45% zinc and 55% aluminum, which provides it with exceptional corrosion resistance. A small percentage of silicone is also used in the coating.  

In contrast, galvanized steel is coated with a layer of pure zinc. While this provides good corrosion resistance, it is not as effective as a coating of Galvalume, especially for roofs in humid, coastal regions. 

Cost

When it comes to cost, both galvanized steel and Galvalume roofs fall within a similar price range. However, when we take a closer look, you may find Galvalume roofs to be a bit more affordable than galvanized steel in the long run in terms of maintenance and repairs. 

Lifespan

Galvalume metal roofs will generally outlast galvanized steel roofs. The aluminum/zinc coating on Galvalume provides superior corrosion resistance, allowing the roof to withstand harsh environments for up to 60 years or more. In contrast, galvanized steel roofs have a shorter lifespan, typically ranging from 40 to 50 years.

Durability

Galvalume relies on aluminum in its coating for barrier protection, which means that scratches and cut edges are less protected compared to the galvanized steel with its zinc coating. 

Also Read: How To Repair A Metal Roof (Fixing Dent & Hole)

Appearance:

The coating on Galvalume results in a smoother appearance compared to galvanized steel. This is due to the smaller and more closely spaced crystals in the alloy coating.

Galvanized steel on the other hand has a more visible crystal pattern, with larger crystals compared to Galvalume. It also gives off more shine. 

Galvalume vs. Painted Metal Roofs: Are They The Same? 

Painted Metal Roofs

While homeowners will have the option to choose painted metal roofs, they should know that these roofs will not offer the same level of durability and longevity as Galvalume metal roofs. Painted finishes will eventually fade, chalk, and peel or chip over time, especially when exposed to harsh weather conditions and UV rays. This degradation will compromise the appearance and protection of the underlying metal.

In contrast, the aluminum/zinc coating on Galvalume metal roofs provides long-lasting protection against corrosion and weathering.

Want To Install A New Galvalume Metal Roof? 

Overall, a Galvalume metal roof is an attractive roofing choice, especially if you are looking for a metal roof that is affordable, yet long-lasting. 
At Prestige Roofing LLC, we offer premium metal roofing services in De Pere and the surrounding areas of Wisconsin. Not only do we work with Galvalume, but we also install aluminum and copper roofing systems. Contact us today at (920) 791-0414 to speak with one of our experts and learn more about how we can help you.