What Gauge Metal Roof is The Best?

Brown Metal Roof

The ultimate guide for roof gauges.

There are many advantages to having a metal roof. These include longevity and durability, as well as appearance and versatility. But metal roofs can come in different gauges and it’s important to choose the right one for your home or building. But how do you know what gauge is best?

WHAT IS A ROOF GAUGE?

Gauge is the thickness of the metal used for a roof. Metal roof panels are measured by gauge and are usually between 22 and 29. Each number represents a range of inches (0.0179 to 0.0217, for example) so two roofs may have the same gauge but slightly different thicknesses. Any difference is minimal in actual thickness but may have an effect on how sturdy the metal is. But be wary of basing a decision on roof gauge alone. Other factors are at play when it comes to metal roofing durability.

The standard gauges for residential roofs are 22 through 29, with 26 as the most common choice. 22 is the thickest gauge, while 29 is the thinnest. For reference, a can of soda is usually 37-gauge, while the thickness of the hood of a car is 20-gauge.

What Are the Benefits of a Higher Gauge Metal Roof?

The biggest benefit of having a higher gauge roof is that it is less expensive. 29-gauge metal is used on 90% of homes with metal roofs.

What Are the Benefits of a Lower Gauge Metal Roof?

Lower gauges of a roof are more expensive. But they’re also far more durable and more resistant to damage caused by weather if the competing higher gauged roof is without fasteners or hard steel.

A green panel of metal roofing

Gauges for Residential Buildings

The standard gauges for residential roofs are 22 through 29. 22 is the thickest gauge, while 29 is the thinnest. For reference, a can of soda is usually 37-gauge, while the thickness of the hood of a car is 20-gauge.

Based on gauge alone a thicker metal will be more durable and is more resistant to weather events. A thicker gauge also requires less support from the building because it will remain structurally sound for longer. However, not every building requires such a thick gauge, so customers should take into account what their home actually needs. Plus, roofs aren’t as simple as selecting a gauge and installing the roof. There are plenty of additional features and factors which can create superior durability in a roof made of a lower gauge.

Keep in mind too, the thicker the metal, the more it costs. While thicker metal may save money in the long run by preventing long-term damage, it may not be necessary for certain locations. Thicker gauge typically helps with the amount of snow a roof can hold up, but we know that isn’t a huge concern here in Florida.

Many homeowners choose to install a 29-gauge roof with trim that is 26-gauge, which can be more cost-effective than a 22-gauge roof.

WHAT FACTORS IMPACT WHICH GAUGE IS BEST?

Which gauge is actually best depends on a variety of factors, including where you live. If you don’t live somewhere that gets a lot of snow, you may not need as thick a roof.

Weather

Based on gauge alone a thicker metal will be more durable and is more resistant to weather events. A thicker gauge also requires less support from the building because it will remain structurally sound for longer. However, not every building requires such a thick gauge, so customers should take into account what their home actually needs. Plus, roofs aren’t as simple as selecting a gauge and installing the roof. There are plenty of additional features and factors which can create superior durability in a roof made of a lower gauge.

Cost

Keep in mind too, the thicker the metal, the more it costs. While thicker metal may save money in the long run by preventing long-term damage, it may not be necessary for certain locations. Thicker gauge typically helps with the amount of snow a roof can hold up, but we know that isn’t a huge concern here in Florida.

Many homeowners choose to install a 29-gauge roof with trim that is 26-gauge, which can be more cost-effective than a 22-gauge roof.

OTHER FACTORS AFFECTING METAL ROOF DURABILITY

Metal roof on residence

Metal Type

The type of metal used varies in price. Copper and zinc cost more than aluminum or steel. The life expectancy and durability of each type of metal can affect the price. Different types of metals also can use different measuring standards, which means that two different metals that are of the same gauge may not actually be the same actual thickness. Because thicker panels are more expensive, a metal that has a thicker measurement for the same gauge than another type of metal may cost more.

Steel Hardness

If you opt to use steel as your metal of choice, you’ll find that harder steels are more durable. Steel is measured using grades or units of tensile toughness. For example, a full hard grade 80 steel, or 80,000 psi minimum tensile strength is stronger than a grade 50 or 50,000 psi tensile strength.
This is a major factor in determining how tough a roof is. If a roof has a higher gauge but higher-grade steel then it can be more durable than lower gauge roofs.

Fasteners

Fasteners secure the roof membrane to the structural roof deck. This improves the durability of the roof overall. These can create a stronger roof despite a higher gauge if placed at specific intervals.

Potential Damage

The reason that thicker panels are recommended for areas that have more extreme weather is that they’re less liable to be damaged by it. The thickness will help prevent dents and other cosmetic damage as well. However, this level of durability can also be achieved with higher gauges that are cheaper in cost, using fasteners and high-quality steel.

Location

The reason that thicker panels are recommended for areas that have more extreme weather is that they’re less liable to be damaged by it. The thickness will help prevent dents and other cosmetic damage as well. However, this level of durability can also be achieved with higher gauges that are cheaper in cost, using fasteners and high-quality steel.

WHICH GAUGE METAL ROOF IS BEST FOR YOU?

To determine which gauge of metal roof is best for your home, it’s important to weigh the weather your home will have to withstand against the cost of the roof. If you live somewhere like Florida, you won’t need to have as low a gauge because the roof won’t need to withstand the weight of snow on top of it. However, your roof will still need to be strong enough to withstand hurricanes. Your best bet is to consult a roofing company. They’re professionals who are experienced with metal roofing in your location and can make recommendations for your home. If you need help deciding what roof is best for your home contact a professional roofing company.