Whether you have an aluminum, copper, zinc, or tin roof, you may be wondering: Do metal roofs rust? These types of roofing materials are often exposed to moisture and rain. Because of the frequent exposure, metal roofs are subject to rust corrosion. Rust is an electrochemical process that occurs when metal surfaces are exposed to an electrolyte. As the metal surface becomes rusted, rust oxides begin to expand and take up more space than the original material. These forces are extremely damaging to structures.

Do Metal Roofs Rust


Many homeowners wonder how long their aluminum roofs will last. The answer depends on the climate in your area. For coastal areas, aluminum is the best choice. The material defends itself against rusting longer than copper. Copper, on the other hand, develops a protective layer called patina. This layer forms from oxidation and exposure to sunlight. Depending on the amount of exposure, the patina can range from a dark bronze color to a blueish-green coating.

While a steel roof will corrode and need to be replaced, an aluminum roof will continue to look great for 50 years or more. Unlike steel or concrete, aluminum will maintain its appearance in any type of weather. It is almost impenetrable. However, there are disadvantages to aluminum as well. Concrete and clay roofs will not rust and will outlast asphalt shingles and wood shakes. Aluminum roofs also withstand high temperatures better than other metal roofing options.


If you’re concerned about the appearance of rust on metal roofs, you might want to consider getting them re-coated. The corrosion process occurs when copper comes into contact with a metal that doesn’t have the same properties as the metal that is being treated. This process is known as galvanic corrosion, and it can damage steel, aluminum, and zinc. It is a natural process that occurs with rainwater, and it’s not always the result of rust.

Despite what many people think, copper does not rust. Instead, it develops a protective layer called a patina over time. This patina is a result of oxidation and exposure to sunlight. Over time, the copper develops a beautiful greenish-bronze patina. This oxidized coating has been shown to last for hundreds of years. The patina is so impressive, in fact, that it’s even applied to the Statue of Liberty, which is covered in it.


The answer to the question “Do metal roofs rust?” depends on the type of metal used and the aesthetic you seek. While some metals can resist rusting, bare steel will rust. To avoid rusting, be sure to cut your panels with clean edges. Several factors affect the rate of rusting, including the type of metal used and the type of protective coating. In general, however, most metal roofs are built to last for decades, if properly maintained.

One of the most common causes of rusting is exposure to rain and wind. Steel rusts when exposed to weather conditions, so it’s crucial to choose a metal roof that’s protected from these elements. A coating of aluminum prevents steel from rusting. Another factor is the exposure to heat, which will eventually result in a rusty metal roof. If you’re concerned about rusting, make sure to ask about how it’s prevented and minimized.

Galvanized steel

If you have a home on a coastal area, you may wonder if galvanized steel roofs do not rust. However, galvanized steel roofs will not hold up well in conditions like large bays and breaking surf. Saltwater will eat away at the metal, causing it to prematurely rust and damage your system. So, you should avoid these types of roofs.

To avoid rusting, install a metal roofing system made of zinc-coated steel. The zinc coating is designed to prevent corrosion and oxidation, so the metal is not exposed to oxygen. If the galvanized steel is not properly coated, it will rust underneath the metal panel. Water molecules will penetrate into the steel and weaken the coating. The granulated underlayment is another factor that causes rusting underneath the panel.


Galvalume is a metal coating that resembles galvanized steel. It has a matt finish and lends itself to rustic, modern, and industrial projects. It is the perfect choice for rustic homes and restaurants that want sophisticated accents. These metal roofs are available in a variety of colors and textures. Read on to learn more about this popular type of metal roof. Here are some tips for choosing the right metal roof for your project.

Galvalume has proven itself for strength, outdoor corrosion resistance, and longevity. According to Metal Construction Association research, a Galvalume roof can last 50 to 60 years without undergoing severe corrosion. It is an excellent choice for most building applications and can even stand up to the harshest weather conditions, including hurricane zones and regions with high rainfall. Its anti-corrosion properties make it a great choice for many types of projects.


A steel roof does not rust because the material used in its production is able to resist oxidation and rusting for most of its lifetime. Steel can rust, but only if it is bare and the edges have been improperly cut. Steel roofs that are coated with galvalume steel are highly resistant to rust, thanks to their combination of aluminum, zinc, and silicone. These coatings protect the steel from rusting by sacrificing themselves to protect the iron.

When installing a metal roof, make sure to regularly check it for rust. Check for any deep cuts, scratches, or exposed edges, as these can expose panels and cause rusting. Keeping a metal roof in top condition will increase its value and help you save on insurance. You may also be eligible for insurance discounts if you have a steel roof installed on your home. Regardless of the type of metal used for the roof, you should follow up with regular inspections to keep it looking its best.

Acid rain

Acid rain is a type of precipitation that corrodes metal and stone. Before it was known that acid rain could cause damage to buildings, people used various types of stone and metal to build their houses and businesses. Because these materials contain calcium carbonate, they are easily corroded. In some cases, the acid rain can even change the color of stones. As a result, many commercial buildings are now made of steel.

When combined with acid rain, copper roofs can develop a green patina. This patina is visible on the Statue of Liberty and St. Louis airport roof. It is also possible to find corroded holes in the copper flashings beneath the skylight. These leaks can cause significant damage to the roof, especially in the valleys. Fortunately, the corrosion is often evident to those who look carefully.

Salty air

Coastal areas tend to have high levels of pollution and salty air, which accelerate the rate of corrosive action on metal building systems. Salty air combines with other corrosive agents, such as urban pollutants, to produce a highly caustic environment. It also promotes the growth of rust fungi. Fortunately, building owners can take precautions against corrosion by making their buildings and fasteners stainless steel.

Typical causes of rusting on metal roofs include water, wind, and rain. Exposure to these elements causes the protective layer to dissolve, exposing the metal underneath. Another cause of rusting on metal roofs is stress accelerated corrosion. This happens because water particles can create microscopic cracks and vibrate the roof, increasing the attack of the salts in the air. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to take steps to protect your metal roof from this problem.


Whether it’s an old house or a newer home, rust is a major problem for metal roofs. Painting over rust will not eliminate it. It will continue to spread and eventually compromise the integrity of the roof. To resolve rust issues, use rust removers or a wire brush. Once the primer dries, a second coat of paint can be applied to the roof.

To paint metal roofs, apply primer and latex paint coordinating with the existing color. When selecting paint, make sure that the colors and materials come from the same manufacturer. Both will protect the metal roof from rusting further. Depending on the weather conditions, you may need to power wash the metal roof to remove more rust. Primer and paint can be applied with a paint roller or a paint sprayer. Apply them evenly to ensure that no part of the metal is missed.


There are many benefits to installing a metal roof. It is resistant to harsh weather conditions, such as hail and ice. It will not rust or crack, so you can rest assured that it will last for decades. It is also resistant to lightning strikes, so there is less chance of it catching fire or sustaining other damage. In addition to its durability, metal roofs are also easy to inspect, so you don’t have to worry about snagging branches or tripping over them.

If you’re worried about the maintenance required for metal roofs, check out their warranties. Many come with a 30 to 50-year warranty. The best metal roofs will last more than 50 years. But how do you know if they’re going to last that long? Read on to find out how metal roofs can help your home. If you’re worried about the look of your roof, you can choose a traditional style that won’t give off an industrial look.