Popular Types of Metal Roofing in Illinois

Metal Roofing Materials

Are you thinking of installing a metal roof on your Illinois home? Metal roofing poses numerous benefits: extreme durability, excellent wind resistance, impressive energy efficiency, and much more. But there isn’t just one type of metal roof on the market; instead, you have many options to choose from.

Learn the pros and cons of the most popular metal roofing types below, then reach out to Sundown Exteriors to schedule your free metal roof installation estimate.

Metal Roofing Materials

Your first decision in choosing a metal roof is selecting the type of metal. Different metals pose different benefits for roofing structures. Below are the metal roofing materials you can choose from:


Steel is the most common metal roofing material and is what most homeowners mean when they say they have a metal roof. It consists of:

  • Iron
  • Carbon
  • Small amounts of silicon and phosphorus

This material is naturally fire- and rot-resistant and can withstand around 60 years of use on a home. This lifespan is impressive, but it’s not as long as some of the other materials below.

Steel is also heavier than other types of metals, potentially placing greater strain on your home’s structure.


Aluminum roofs are lightweight, corrosion-resistant structures ideal for climates with heavy rainfall — like Illinois. This material is the lightest of the metal roofing types, weighing just five pounds per square foot. This means you won’t have to worry about aluminum bogging down your house’s structure.

Because aluminum is fairly lightweight, it is more prone to dents and dings than other metals. It may also be more expensive, as fewer companies manufacture it.


Zinc is an attractive metal roofing material that patinas over time, creating an eye-catching, unique coloration. This patina also creates a corrosion-resistant finish that may increase the roof’s lifespan. Thus, zinc roofs last up to 100 years on a home.

However, these benefits make zinc more expensive than other styles of metal roofing. It’s also a bit harder to find, as there’s limited availability in the U.S.


Copper is a metal roofing material that, like zinc, patinas over time. This metal slowly changes from a bronze to a blue-green hue, producing a striking visual effect. Copper is also lighter than other durable materials like clay tiles and slate.

But because copper is a soft metal, it may experience dents from hail and other sources of harsh impact. These metal roofing panels are also the most expensive option.

Top 3 Metal Roofing Styles

Along with choosing the metal material that will make up your roof, you’ll need to decide on style. You will generally find the following three styles of metal roofs:

1. Standing Seam

Standing seam metal roofing consists of metal panels that interlock at the edges, concealing the fasteners. These roofs typically use a clip or nail flange system with vertical or trapezoidal legs. This design creates a smooth, attractive finish that is highly durable and low maintenance.

Standing seam roofs are the most popular options and are more expensive up front. However, the durability of a standing seam metal roof makes this system a wise long-term investment.

2. Shingle and Tile

You can also choose metal roofing that resembles the traditional shingles or tiles you’ll see on most homes throughout Illinois. This system has a classic look that may blend best into your home’s aesthetic.

This style of metal roofing comes in actual shingles that contractors lay by hand or in long sheets with a top layer that resembles shingles or tiles.

3. Exposed Fastener

Exposed fastener roofs use an interlocking system similar to standing seam roofs, yet their fasteners are visible. This finish is less attractive than standing seam roofs and is more popular in industrial buildings than in homes.

Do you need help understanding metal roofing types and choosing the best option for your Bloomington property? Contact Sundown Exteriors today at 309-275-6801 for your free estimate.