Metal Roofing in Coastal Areas

metal roofs for coastal area

Metal Roofing in Coastal Areas – let’s discuss how different metal roofing materials stand up to coastal climates. With their breathtaking beauty and punishing climate, the Niagara Falls area and other coastlands of Lake Ontario, Lake Huron and Lake Erie present formidable testing-grounds for roofing materials used on single, double, and triple family living units. Those materials must be strong, durable, resistant to corrosive forces and peeling, and, of course, good-looking. Of all roof types, metal roofing is the best and most effective roofing in today’s coastal home market. Metal roofing stands out as the most corrosion-resistant roofing types available. This post is about metal roofing in coastal environments. It outlines the best metal roofing materials with an eye on long-lasting performance and super-low maintenance. If you are renovating an older home or building a new one, this post will help you learn how different metal roofing materials stand up to coastal climates so that your home can remain secure and beautiful for many decades to come.

What’s The Best Type Of Metal Roofing In Coastal Areas?

Salty sea breezes and humid environments mean roofing materials need to be resilient and specially adapted. A wide range of metals is available and some are better suited than others for building in coastal climates. Lightweight yet durable aluminium is ideal for homes near the seaside since it is highly corrosion resistant. With that property you would expect it to resist rust, just like building materials exposed to salty air, which is exactly what happens, preserving the roof’s infrastructure and appearance.

Zinc is also a popular and particularly recommended material for coastal roofing due the fact it is resistant to salt spray, has excellent self-healing properties, with scratch marks or other blemishes on its surface mimicking a live metal, and instead of blunting, they will become covered in patination. This patination is the exposure of a natural sulfur that is present, and the self-healing properties of the roof, which has a lifespan twice that of natural slate. In fact, new zinc roofs can withstand winds in excess of 150 mph.

Stainless steel is more expensive but virtually indestructible, but it’s ideal for more expensive houses and structures built in harsher climates: its alloying elements include chromium which forms a passive film of chromium oxide that resists surface corrosion and maintains the roof’s appearance and functionality for decades.

Choosing and installing Metal Roofing in Coastal Areas correctly will provide peace of mind that your home is secure, while also making it attractive and boosting its value by furnishing an enduring, low-maintenance and visually pleasing roof.

metal roof for coastal area

Understanding Challenges: Metal Roofing in Coastal Areas

There are many special considerations when you’re dealing with roofing on a home perched near a body of water such as Metal Roofing Niagara Falls. One of the major aggressors that our roofs can be exposed to is the constant presence of salt in our atmosphere, with its corrosive effects on unprotected or inadequately covered materials. Left unchecked, this corrosion can perforate a roof’s integrity in short order, making it look and, more importantly, perform at less than its best.

Furthermore, coastal environments tend to be more humid and can lead to the growth of mould and mildew on roofing surfaces, undermining air quality, and requiring regular cleaning. A wind factor also has to be considered; coastal environments can be subject to stronger and gustier winds, which can impose additional stress on roofing structures. Besides, the wind can cause direct impacts such as removing the roofing elements from its structure, which can induce immediate physical damage, but also triggers wear and tear over time by constantly and excessively hissing the roofing structures. 

At Metal Roofing in Coastal Areas, it’s necessary to have a better understanding of the local environment to ensure that the best solutions can withstand the adverse environment adapted to that place.

Metal Roofing in Coastal Areas: Design Factors

For roofing systems of new houses built near the coast, there are critical design factors that should be considered to ensure long-term durability and performance. Number one, the architecture for the design of the roof system should answer the question: ‘what pitch of roof system will help to shed rainwater and debris faster and more effectively during the next heavy downpour, or the next strong storm?’ This is an important question to consider, since regions along the coast are more likely to experience heavy rainfall and storms, which can cause water to collect on roof surfaces and in gutters, making it prone for leakage. It is also important to consider that, when heavy rainfall occurs, small debris such as tree branches and palm fronds are more likely to collect on roof surfaces. Water can permeate in between these pieces of debris, which can retain moisture for days, leading to a greater concentration of weight from melted snow.

As important is overhang, which provides protection of exterior walls and foundation from water run-off (the build-up of water or snow at the base of a structure can cause erosion of the ground beneath and moisture damage to the walls, so adequate overhang is essential) as well as the ventilation of the home. Correct roof ventilation enables air from the soffit vents to flow into the attic, while the roof vents allow hot circulating air to escape, thereby reducing attic temperature and moisture in and around the roof and attic (moisture trapped in an attic, whether from air leaks or insufficient ventilation, will lead to rot and mould growth, neither of which are good for the life expectancy of your roof).

These coastal design elements bolster roofing structures so that they meet aesthetic needs as well as withstand the environmental challenges of their locations.

Metal Roofing in Coastal Areas

Selecting Materials for Durability and Longevity

Choice of materials, therefore, plays a key role in determining the overall performance of a roof along the coast. This not only depends on the lifespan of the building but also on how much it needs to counter the strong maritime elements every day of the year. Along all coasts, we need to consider materials that can last in and withstand the corrosive action of salt and moisture.

Metals such as aluminium and zinc in particular lend themselves perfectly to such surroundings: aluminium is pleasantly lightweight, matte, and, unlike copper, naturally resistant to rust, while maintaining its brilliant sheen for many decades and able to withstand the forces of the saline sea breeze. Zinc also demonstrates unsuspected endurance, but coupled with the quite charming evolutionary process of self-healing. Once affixed to a surface, zinc roofing that gets scratched or pitted is able to mend over the course of time as it ages through weathering when the base surface reenters the green state. The ensuing patina further serves to prevent the roof from corroding.

Stainless steel is the second great all-rounder. In a hastily installed shoddy suburban style, it can genuinely look awful. But when used properly, it is strongest and toughest of all. Chromium formations in the surface form a thin film of invisible oxide that stops it rusting. So it’s a good solution for houses with an exposed position subject to salty sea breezes. Ultimately, with a sensible selection of materials, a roof can last a long time – through an entire lifetime, in fact. For this reason, any house with sea views has a handsome premium hanging over it.

Ice homes on Lake Erie

Proper Installation of Metal Roofing in Coastal Areas

Especially in coastal climates, where the environment can be more unforgiving to both materials and construction methods, getting it right with one is unfortunately not enough. Installing metal roofing involves thousands of components, and each detail in the execution of the installation can influence the performance and lifespan of that roof. Stainless steel or otherwise corrosion-resistant fasteners are used rather than their plain counterparts, which would eventually rust and undermine the integrity of a roof and its waterproof seals. Consider the precision in which each panel is aligned and fastened. When done right, there would be virtually no opportunities for gnarled edges, gaps or misalignments that would allow moisture to infiltrate, or wind its opportunity to pry.

Sealing is another important component. Quality sealants will keep water from penetrating the roofing system, preventing rot, corrosion and other moisture-related damage to the equipment systems underneath. Installing correct flashing and edging helps protect vulnerable areas, such as vents, chimneys and the intersection of roof planes, where components meet.

It’s essential to use qualified professionals with experience installing coastal roofing to know what challenges need to be addressed to ensure that: 

1) your roofing system is installed to the highest standard;

2) your roofing system is specifically designed for your coastal region to reduce the impact of your primary climate challenge.

Will Metal Roofing in Coastal Areas Rust?

One question I hear all the time from people, especially those in coastal areas that include the environs of Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Lake Ontario, Lake Huron and Lake Erie, is whether the material will rust. These locales have a high degree of corrosion because they are so close to water, and the greater presence of airborne salts and moisture – keys to rust – is a given.

However, the corrosion resistance of traditional roofing materials has been greatly improved by modern metallic alloys. Aluminium, for example, is naturally coated with a film that protects it from rust. Zinc naturally forms a similar patina, which hardens to a protective layer of corrosion that helps to protect against the elements. Stainless steel, found in highly corrosive environments, is also made from iron, but also contains a layer of plant-derived chromium that forms an invisible coating that resists oxidation.

The type of metal and the proper treatment can prevent rusting and make metal roofing for homes near Niagara Falls, Lake Ontario, Lake Huron, and Lake Erie durable and has a long lifespan.

Metal roofing for homes in coastal area

Maintenance and Protection Strategies for Metal Roofing in Coastal Areas

To keep a metal roof in a coastal zone looking at its best and working at maximum efficiency, regular maintenance is necessary. Regular maintenance not only finds small problems early before they grow into larger ones, it also greatly increases the lifetime of the roof. In a coastal zone, it is always good to have at least two inspections a year. The inspection should not just look at the roof, but at all connecting elements, paying close attention to joints and fasteners where moisture, salt and salty spray tend to accumulate.

It’s also important to once in a while scrub the top to remove surface residues, debris, leaves and other foreign objects that can hold moisture and lead to eventual mould and algae growth – an issue that will inevitably degrade the protective coatings of a metal roof. A protective coating or machine-applied sealant every few years can do wonders for extending the roof’s longevity. These coatings typically have water-repellant qualities and are also saltspray resistant.

Along with these efforts, regular cleaning and unblocking of gutters and downspouts will also help to keep water from standing on the roof over time: being low to the ground, these structures are critical to maintaining the integrity of a metal roof. The efficacy of these preventive strategies and maintenance, when carefully followed, can help minimise the environmental challenges to metal roofing in a coastal context.


Concluding, while metal might be considered an obvious choice for many coastal homes, it has additional qualities that make it an extra-strong choice which will also stand up to the environmental pressures these areas are known for, wherever your home is located. For many of us, thinking about a home near the coast conjures up images of beautiful vistas, such as the iconic Niagara Falls, the Great Lakes (Ontario, Huron and Erie) and breathtaking waves and sea views all along the coastlines in every direction. Let’s face it: coastal homes are spectacular, and within these beautiful homes, metal roofing is an excellent choice. Whether built as a home away from home, a luxurious weekend destination or a full-time residence – mainly because metal is both beautiful and one of the most durable, practical and longest-lasting roofing materials available today, especially for coastal living. With the right metal, whether it’s aluminium, zinc or stainless steel, the right installation – with the right installers, and the right maintenance, any homeowner can ensure that their roof will be among the most environmentally generous and responsible changes they can make to their home. Contact Professional Metal Roofing for free quote in any town of Ontario. A solid decision to choose metal roofing provides peace of mind: if you choose your metal well and install and maintain it properly and professionally, you stand to protect your home and your investment for decades.


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