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Bridger Steel Project News, Highlights & Helpful Tips

Metal Roofing & Rust: What You Need to Know

[fa icon="calendar"] 12/08/2020 / by Kaylee Beattie

Metal roofs have become one of the most popular roofing solutions on the market today. Homeowners, commercial building owners, and more love its durability, longevity, and high-performing qualities. One of the biggest myths out there about metal roofs is that they will rust. Let’s dive into how to deal with and protect your metal panels from rusting.

Metal Roofing Residential

Do Metal Roofs Rust?

The answer depends on which type of metal and finish you choose for your roof. If you choose an option that is supposed to rust, like our Truten™ A606 Weathering Steel, then yes, your roof will rust up to a certain point in order to reach the desired aesthetic. Other than that, your metal roof should resist rusting for decades.

With advances in paint systems, finishes, and other technologies, metal roofs will withstand oxidation and rusting for most of its lifetime. However, there can be factors that affect whether or not your roof rusts. If you have plain, bare steel for example, it will rust. Or, if the edges of your panels aren’t cut cleanly, there’s a risk for rust.

Rust-Resistant Technologies

The panels that are used for metal roofing are manufactured, coated with advanced paint systems and finishes, and are tested in order to prevent rusting for as long as possible. Here are a few most popular coatings and types of steel that are rust-resistant:

  • Galvalume Steel: Galvalume is a coating used over top of steel that’s composed of aluminum, zinc, and silicone for corrosion and rusting resistance. If you live in a high-temperature, high-precipitation, or marine environment, this is an ideal coating to help your roof resist corrosion. Galvalume provides a more matte-looking final appearance.
  • Galvanized Steel: Galvanized steel is a carbon steel with a protective alloy made of zinc oxide. The zinc coating helps protect the panels and keep them intact for decades. Galvanized steel is then finished with a resin coating, which gives the final look a smooth, shiny finish and helps it to resist scuffing and scratching.
  • Weathering Steel: Designed to rust up to a certain point, Weathered Steel is an unbelievably strong option for steel roofs. The finish is created with a coat of copper, phosphorus, and silicon that’s designed to begin rusting once exposed to the elements. However, once the top coating is gone, the steel ionizes. This makes it so the steel does not continue to rust and you won’t have to worry about the panel being rusted all the way through. This is an option that is designed to rust for aesthetic purposes, and lasts just a long as other finishes.

Paint Systems With Purpose

Bridger Steel has a wide variety of painted colors to choose from for your metal panels. We use two different types of paints on our metal panels — PVDF and SMP paint systems. They are both designed to withstand harsh environments, resist abrasions, and more. We work with our vendors to provide best-in-class paints so your metal roof looks amazing and lasts as long as possible.

Here’s what you need to know about our paint systems:

  • PVDF Systems: Premium Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) is a commercial-grade paint system that provides exceptional weather protection. It was designed to easily handle exposure to harsh weather conditions, including rust-causing moisture. It also maintains its appearance for long periods of time, even with exposure to ultraviolet rays and atmospheric pollutants.
  • SMP Systems: One of the hardest paint systems on the market, Silicone Modified Polyester (SMP) paint is extremely resistant to scratches and abrasions that can lead to rusting. This paint system can be used in a wide range of applications without risk of cracking. Usually, this is a more economical option for painted metal, making it popular among all markets.

Both paint options come with warranties to ensure your panels are protected and looking their best for years to come. You should talk to your Product Specialist about your chosen panel and paint warranty.

Correct Installation is Crucial

When your metal roof is being installed, whether by yourself or by a hired contractor, ensuring the panels are installed correctly is crucial to preventing rust. Here are a few things to remember during installation:

  • Edges should be cut crisply and cleanly
  • Any scratches that occurred should be touched up with a paint pen or other type of sealant
  • Fasteners should be driven in correctly, as overdriving, underdriving, and driving them in at the wrong angle can put your panels at risk for rust

After your metal roof is installed, it’s important to give it a thorough inspection at least once a year. You should keep your eye out for any exposed edges, deep cuts or scratches, and any other issues that could expose the panels and lead to rusting.


Overall, you can expect your metal roof to stay intact for decades to come without fear of rusting. Each element that makes up a metal panel helps protect it from rusting. Metal roofs are durable and high-performing, and are a great option for those looking for a low maintenance and long-lasting roofing solution. If you’re ready to take the next step about installing a metal roof, get in touch with our team of expert Product Specialists. We can help you select the right metal panel and paint system or finish based on your project’s specific needs. Contact us today or fill out our Get a Quote form to get the process started.

Topics: Metal Roofing, Home Advice

Kaylee Beattie

Written by Kaylee Beattie