The Evolution Of Metal Roofing: A Look At Modern Roofing Systems

February 9, 2024


Metal roofing systems have evolved significantly over the years, transforming the landscape of residential and commercial construction. This evolution is not an overnight phenomenon but rather the result of consistent innovation, technological advancements, and a deeper understanding of the needs of modern architecture.

Today, metal roofing is seen as a reputable, durable, and eco-friendly solution, prized for its longevity, recyclability, and aesthetic versatility. As a professional metal roofing contractor, in this article, we will journey through its evolutionary timeline, from its beginnings to its current position in the forefront of modern roofing solutions.

Let’s explore the evolution and present-day sophistication of metal roofing systems.

The History Of Metal Roofing

Metal roofing has a long and rich history that spans across different cultures and continents. Here are some of the milestones and innovations that shaped the evolution of roofing:

First Use Of Metal Roofing

The first recorded use of metal roofing was in the 3rd century BCE, when copper roof shingles were installed on the Lovamahapaya Temple in Sri Lanka. The Romans used copper as a roofing material for many of their buildings, such as the Pantheon in Rome, which was built in 27 BCE and still has its original copper roof.

Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, copper and its alloys, such as bronze and brass, were widely used for roofing churches, cathedrals, and castles in Europe. Some examples are the St. Mary’s Cathedral in Hildesheim, Germany, built-in 1280 CE, and the Kronborg Castle in Denmark, built-in 1585 CE.

18th And 19th Century

In the 18th century, lead and tin were the main metals used for residential and commercial roofing in North America. Lead was easy to smelt and form, and tin was cheaper and more resistant to corrosion.

In the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution led to the development of new metal roofing materials and methods, such as galvanized iron, corrugated iron, sheet metal, and standing seam metal.

These materials were lighter, stronger, and more durable than the previous ones, and could be used for low-slope and flat roofs. They were also widely used for industrial and commercial buildings, such as train sheds, factories, and warehouses.

Metal Roofing In Present Age

In the 20th century, metal roofing became more diverse and sophisticated, with the introduction of new metals, such as aluminum, zinc, and steel, and new coatings, such as paint, zinc, and galvalume. These metals and coatings improved the performance, appearance, and longevity of metal roofs and also offered more color and style options.

In the 21st century, metal roofing continues to evolve and innovate with the emergence of new technologies, such as solar panels, cool roofs, and stone-coated steel. These technologies enhance the energy efficiency, environmental friendliness, and aesthetic appeal of metal roofs and also cater to the diverse needs and preferences of customers.

Metal roofing is now one of the fastest-growing segments of the roofing industry, with a market share expected to reach $33.5 billion by 2030.

Benefits Of Modern Metal Roofing

Modern metal roofing offers many benefits for any size and type of building, in any region and climate. Some of the main benefits are:


Metal roofing can last up to 100 years, depending on the material and quality. This is much longer than other roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles, which have an average lifespan of 12 to 20 years. Metal roofs also require minimal maintenance and repairs and can withstand harsh weather conditions, such as hail, wind, snow, and fire.

Energy Efficiency

Metal roofing reflects solar heat and light, rather than absorbing it, which can reduce cooling costs by up to 25%. Metal roofing also cools down faster than other materials, and can be combined with insulation, ventilation, and solar panels to further improve the thermal performance and energy savings of the building.

Also Read: Wind Resistance And Commercial Metal Roofing

Environmentally Friendly

Metal roofing is made from recycled and recyclable materials, which reduces the environmental impact and waste of the roofing industry. Metal roofs also help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and urban heat island effect, by lowering the energy consumption and temperature of the building.

Additionally, they can also be installed over existing roofs, which eliminates the need for tear-off and disposal of old roofing materials.

Aesthetically Pleasing

Metal roofing comes in a wide range of colors, textures, and styles, which can suit any architectural style and personal taste. It can also mimic the look of other roofing materials, such as slate, tile, wood, and shingles, with the added benefits of metal.

About Us

Stahl Roofing is a family-owned and operated roofing company that has been serving Edmonton and surrounding areas since 1989. We specialize in metal roofing installation, repair, and maintenance, and we are committed to providing quality workmanship and customer satisfaction.

Contact us today for a free estimate and consultation on your project.