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Using metal roofing on a flat roof

Can you use metal roofing on a flat roof?

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A flat roof, as its name suggests, is a type of roof that has a low slope or is entirely flat. Unlike steep-slope roofs commonly resembling triangular shapes, flat roofs are horizontal and are typically found on commercial buildings or homes with modern designs. Flat roofs offer a wide range of benefits in terms of the structure’s stability, space utilization, and aesthetics, making them an excellent choice for various roofing projects. In this article, we’ll delve into whether metal roofing is a viable option for flat roofs. But first, let’s discuss the different types of flat roofs and how they’re made.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for general educational purposes and should not be considered professional advice. Metal roofing on a flat roof can be a good option depending on the specific needs of the customer, climate, and other factors. We recommend consulting with experienced professionals such as Advance Roofing LLC to ensure proper installation and maintenance of your flat metal roof. With years of experience serving the Spokane, WA area, Advance Roofing LLC offers the highest standard of quality roofing solutions at competitive prices.

Is Metal Roofing Suitable for Flat Roofs? 

Metal roofing is a fantastic choice for flat roofs, as it offers a range of benefits that other materials do not. Flat roofs are commonly seen on commercial buildings, and therefore, it is essential to use a roofing material that is durable, energy-efficient, and cost-effective. In this section, we will explore the suitability of metal roofing on flat roofs and the various factors that make it the appropriate choice. 

Factors that Make Metal Roofing Appropriate for Flat Roofs: 

  • Durability: Metal roofs are renowned for their strength and longevity, even in extreme weather conditions. They can withstand high winds, heavy rain, and snow without damage, making them an ideal choice for flat roofs. Metal roofing has a long lifespan compared to other materials and can last for over 50 years when correctly installed and maintained, making it a cost-effective investment. 
  • Energy Efficiency: Metal roofing is a great option for energy efficiency, as it reflects the sun’s heat instead of absorbing it. This feature can reduce the energy costs during hot weather, especially in sunny climates. 
  • Cost-Effectiveness: While metal roofing may have a higher upfront cost than other materials, it is durable, low-maintenance, and long-lasting, leading to savings over time. 
  • Low-Maintenance: Metal roofing requires minimal maintenance, saving time and money over the roof’s lifespan. 

Different Types of Metal Roofing for Flat Roofs: 

  • Flat Seam Metal Roof: A flat seam metal roof is a popular choice for flat roofs as it offers excellent durability, low-maintenance, and a sleek and modern look. This type of metal roof requires professional installation due to its complex structure and also provides excellent waterproofing. 
  • Corrugated Metal Panels: Corrugated metal panels are a cost-effective option for flat roofs. They are easy to install and provide excellent durability and waterproofing. This metal also provides a unique look compared to traditional roof materials. 
  • Seam Metal Roof Systems: Seam metal roof systems are suitable for flat or low-slope roofs. They consist of metal panels with a raised seam, which provides excellent waterproofing and durability. 

Disadvantages of Using Metal Roofing on Flat Roofs: 

  • Upfront Cost: The initial cost of metal roofing may be higher than other materials, making it difficult for some homeowners or businesses to afford. 
  • Noise: Metal roofs can be noisy during heavy rain or hailstorms, and proper insulation may be necessary to mitigate these sounds. 

Types of Metal Roofing 

In this paragraph, we will cover the different types of metal roofing for flat roofs, including flat seam metal roofs, corrugated metal panels, and seam metal roof systems. Understanding these options can help you choose the best type of metal roofing for your roofing project. 

Seam Metal Roofs

Seam Metal Roof

Seam metal roofs are a popular roofing option for commercial buildings due to their excellent durability, energy efficiency, and resistance to extreme weather conditions. Seam metal roofs come in a wide variety of colors and are a great choice for many roofing projects. 

There are three types of seam metal roof systems, including clipless, positive-locking, and integral seam panels. 

  • Clipless panels are non-structural mechanically seamed panels that do not require clips to hold them in place. 
  • Positive-locking panels, on the other hand, require clips to hold them in place. 
  • Integral seam panels are made from one piece of metal and do not have separate components. 

Seam metal roofs are known for their durability. They can withstand extreme weather conditions, such as high winds, heavy rain, and snow. They are also energy-efficient and can save on energy costs by reflecting the sun’s rays. Seam metal roofs are an excellent choice for flat or low-slope roofs due to the specific details that make them suitable for these types of structures. The seam metal roof is a non-structural mechanically seamed single-locked or double-locked roof panel that is laid over the roof deck. 

Seam metal roofs come in a wide range of colors and styles and are a great roofing option for those looking to protect their building envelope. They offer ease of installation when compared to other roofing materials such as shingle roofs, built-up roofs, and steep slopes.  

Metal Panels

Metal Panels

Metal panels are becoming increasingly popular in the roofing industry due to their durability and versatility. There are several types of metal panels available, each with unique characteristics and applications. 

  • Corrugated metal panels are the most common type of metal panel and are known for their strength and ease of installation. They are popular for their affordability and come in a variety of colors and finishes. Corrugated metal panels are commonly used for both residential and commercial roofing projects. 
  • Standing seam metal panels are another popular option for roofing. They are known for their sleek and modern look and are often used for architecturally designed buildings. Standing seam metal panels require specific clips and accessories for installation and come in a range of widths and lengths. 
  • Ribbed metal panels are another type of metal panel commonly used for roofing. They have a similar look to corrugated panels but are flatter and have a more subtle rib pattern. Ribbed metal panels come in a range of colors and finishes and are suitable for both residential and commercial roofing projects. 

When selecting a metal panel for a roofing project, it is important to consider factors such as location, weather patterns, and budget. Certain panels may be better suited for certain climates or building types. Additionally, some panels may require additional accessories for installation, adding to the overall cost. 

Metal panels typically come in standard widths and lengths, but custom options are also available depending on the manufacturer. It is important to consult with roofing professionals to determine the appropriate panel size and accessories for your specific project. 

Copper Roofs

Copper roofs

Copper roofs are becoming an increasingly popular choice for flat roof structures due to their numerous benefits. These roofs are versatile, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. However, there are also some considerations to keep in mind when choosing copper roofing for your structure. 


  • Longevity: Copper roofs have a lifespan of up to 100 years, making them a great investment for buildings with long-term ownership. 
  • Durability: Copper roofs are incredibly durable and can withstand extreme weather conditions, including heavy snowfall, hail, and high winds. 
  • Low Maintenance: Copper roofing requires little to no maintenance, as it is highly resistant to corrosion and does not require any additional coatings or treatments. 
  • Eco-Friendly: Copper is a natural material that can be recycled indefinitely, making it an eco-friendly choice. 


  • Cost: Copper roofing is generally more expensive than other roofing materials, such as asphalt or fiberglass. 
  • Patina: Copper forms a natural patina over time, which some people may find aesthetically pleasing. However, if the owner wants to maintain the original copper color, they will need to apply a protective coating. 
  • Installation: Copper roofing requires specialized knowledge and tools for installation, so professional contractors should be hired for the job. 

Copper roofing materials are highly durable and long-lasting. Copper can withstand a range of weather conditions, including heavy rain, snow, and strong winds. Over time, copper forms a natural patina that can protect the metal from further corrosion. The 

lifespan of the copper roof depends on the thickness of the material used. Thicker copper roofing materials can last up to 100 years or more. 

There are different styles and colors of copper roofing available on the market. Copper roofing can be customized to complement the overall architecture and design of the building. Copper roofing tiles, panels, and shingles are available in a variety of colors and finishes, ranging from traditional copper to aged or blue-green patinas. 

The installation process of copper roofing for flat roofs requires specialized knowledge and tools. The process begins with laying the roof deck and then covering it with a vapor barrier. After installing copper roofing panels, the ridge cap and flashings are added to seal off the roof’s edges. Copper roofing is installed differently than other roofing materials, so professional contractors should be hired to ensure the roof is installed correctly. 

Advantages of Using Metal On Flat Roofs 

Flat roofs are a common type of roof used for commercial buildings, and they pose unique challenges for building owners. While there are various flat roof options available, metal roofing has become an increasingly popular choice. In this article, we will explore the advantages of using metal on flat roofs, including its durability, energy efficiency, and ease of installation. 

Durability and Strength 

When it comes to flat roofs, durability and strength are crucial factors to consider. Metal roofing is recognized for its outstanding durability and resilience, making it an ideal choice for flat roof installations. 

Metal roofing panels are designed to withstand the toughest weather conditions, including high winds, heavy rain, and even hailstorms. This resilience makes them an excellent choice for commercial buildings and structures that are exposed to severe weather. In fact, metal roofs withstood hurricanes and tornadoes better than other roofing materials, according to a recent study. 

In addition to weather resistance, metal roofing panels are also highly durable against damage from falling branches, debris, and other objects. The toughness of these panels can prevent leaks and other damages that could compromise the integrity of the entire roof. With proper maintenance, metal roofing can last for up to 50 years, far longer than many other roofing materials. 

An additional advantage of metal roofing systems is their ease of installation. They can be installed over existing roofs, eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming demolition work. Furthermore, metal roofing panels come in a range of colors and styles, making them versatile enough to complement any design or architectural style. 

Metal roofing is an excellent choice for commercial buildings and other structures that require high-quality roofing materials. 

Energy Efficiency Benefits of Using Metal Roofing on Flat Roofs

Energy Efficiency Benefits of Using Metal Roofing on Flat Roofs

When it comes to flat roofs, energy efficiency is a top priority. The good news is that metal roofing can offer significant energy savings compared to other roofing materials. 

  • One of the key benefits of metal roofing is its ability to reflect heat off the roof. This translates to lower energy costs and can decrease heating and cooling expenses by up to 30% compared to non-reflective roofing materials. 
  • In addition to energy efficiency benefits, metal roofs are also durable and require less maintenance thanks to their resistance to weather elements. 

However, just like any other roofing material, metal roofs may require some repairs over time. For instance, rust may develop, which can be fixed with aluminized caulk or some patches made of fiberglass for larger areas of damage.

Metal roofs offer great options for customization. Roofing contractors can customize the panels to suit the specific needs of their clients. From the type of metal used to the color and design of the panels, metal roofing offers endless options that can enhance the overall look of any building. 

Cost-Effectiveness and Easy Installation Processes

Cost-Effectiveness and Easy Installation Processes

Metal roofing is a cost-effective option for flat roofs that can also save time and money during installation. In general, metal roofing systems are easy to install and require fewer resources compared to other roofing materials. This can result in faster completion times and lower labor costs for roofing contractors. 

Metal roofing materials are generally lightweight and can be installed in large panels, which means that professional installation crews can complete an entire roof quickly, regardless of the size of the project. 

Additionally, metal roofs often require fewer support structures compared to other roofing materials, such as concrete or tiles, which can also help reduce installation times and costs. 

Variety of Styles and Colors Available

Variety of Styles and Colors Available

Metal roofs come in a wide variety of colors and finishes that allow the homeowner or building owner to customize their roofing project to their specific needs and personal style. 

One popular choice for customizing metal roofing is with custom prints that mimic the appearance of rusted metal, patina’d copper, and weathered galvanized. These prints offer a unique and stylish look that can make a home or building stand out from the rest. 

Another option is the VARI-Cool Color Changing Paint System, which features 17 different colors and an exotic paint system that changes color with the sun’s intensity. This system is an excellent choice for those who want a unique and eye-catching look for their roof. 

In addition to custom prints and color-changing systems, there are also different types of finishes available, such as matte and zinc. Homeowners and building owners can also opt for painted metal that looks like wood, which is an attractive and cost-effective alternative to traditional wood roofing. 

Offering a variety of colors and finishes is crucial for roofing contractors because it allows them to cater to the needs and preferences of their customers. Having more options means that customers can create a roofing project that not only meets their functional needs but also their aesthetic desires. 

Fire Resistance Properties

Fire Resistance Properties

Fire resistance is an important consideration when selecting a roofing material for your flat roof. Metal roofing is a popular choice for flat roofs due to its outstanding fire resistance properties. 

One of the major benefits of metal roofing is that it is highly resistant to fire, which can help safeguard your home in the event of a fire. Metal roofs have a Class A fire rating, which is the highest rating available. This means that metal roofing has the ability to

resist severe fire exposure and offers the highest level of protection against fire damage. Additionally, metal roofing is also resistant to lightning strikes, which is another crucial aspect to consider when choosing a roofing material. 

However, it is important to note that the fire resistance of your metal roof will largely depend on the type of metal used. Different types of metals have varying degrees of fire resistance. For instance, copper roofs are highly resistant to fire due to their natural fire resistant properties. In contrast, steel roofs are less resistant to high temperatures as compared to copper. 

Disadvantages of Metal on Flat Roofs

Disadvantages of Metal on Flat Roofs

While metal roofing for flat roofs offers numerous benefits, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks of this roofing material as well. In this part of the article, we will discuss the disadvantages of using metal roofing on flat roofs. From the added weight to the cost, we will explore all the aspects that you need to keep in mind before choosing metal roofing for your flat roof. 

Flat roofs are a popular choice for commercial buildings and residential properties. Metal roofing has become increasingly popular due to its durability and ease of installation. However, there are potential leakage issues that can arise when using metal roofing on flat roofs. 

One factor to consider is metal’s expansion and contraction during temperature fluctuations. This can put stress on the seams of a metal roof, causing potential leaks over time. It is important to choose a metal roofing system that is designed for flat roofs and can withstand these temperature changes. 

Improper installation or the use of faulty materials can also result in metal roofing leaks on flat roofs. It is essential to hire experienced roofing contractors who are skilled in installing metal roofs on flat surfaces. Using low-quality materials can also lead to leaks and other issues with metal roofing. 

Other factors that can contribute to leakage issues with metal roofing on flat roofs include poor drainage, high winds, and physical damage to the roof surface. Flat roofs are susceptible to water pooling, which can cause leaks over time. High winds can also lift metal panels, creating gaps that allow water to seep in. Physical damage to the roof surface, such as from falling tree limbs or foot traffic, can also lead to metal roofing leaks. 

It is important to choose a metal roofing system that is designed for flat roofs and can withstand temperature changes. Hiring experienced roofing contractors and using high quality materials can prevent improper installation and faulty materials from causing leaks. Proper drainage, wind-resistant installation, and regular roof maintenance can also reduce the risk of leakage issues with metal roofing on flat roofs. 


Metal roofing is a great option for flat roofs due to its durability, energy efficiency, cost effectiveness, and wide variety of styles and colors available. However, potential issues such as leakage, expansion, and contraction during temperature fluctuations should be addressed with proper installation and maintenance. Overall, metal roofing offers numerous benefits for flat roofs and is an excellent choice for any roofing project. If you are considering metal roofing, be sure to contact professional contractor for all of your roofing needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Metal Roofing on Flat Roofs

Can metal roofing be used on a sloped roof?

Yes, metal roofing can be used on both sloped and flat roofs.

What types of roofs are seam roofs most commonly used for?

Seam roofs are most commonly used for agricultural buildings because they provide an economical solution for covering large areas.

Are there any specialized flat roof systems designed specifically for metal roofing?

Yes, there are several specialized flat roof systems designed specifically for metal roofing. They feature structural performance features that make them ideal for use in residential and commercial properties.

What type of flat roofing material to choose?

The type of material you choose will depend on your budget, the look you want to achieve, and the climate where you live. Popular materials include aluminum, steel, copper sheets, and more.

Are there a variety of widths available for a flat metal roof?

Yes, a variety of widths are available when choosing a flat metal roof. Metal panels come in different sizes and can be cut to fit the exact specifications of your building or home.

How much does copper sheeting cost for flat roofs?

The exact price varies depending on the size, grade, finish and quantity of copper sheets needed. It is best to contact a professional contractor to get an accurate quote based on your specific needs.

Is installing metallic roofs expensive?

Installing metallic roofs may initially seem pricey due to the higher upfront costs compared to other materials such as asphalt shingle; however, they can save money in the long run due to their longer lifespan and lower maintenance costs. Additionally, they also help reduce electric bills by providing superior insulation compared to other materials.