Aluminum Roofing Panels vs. Steel Roofing Panels: What is the Difference?

When it comes to choosing roofing materials, steel panels often are the first option that comes to mind. Aluminum is quickly becoming another popular option! Since adding this line to our line of products, we wanted to explore the advantages and drawbacks of both steel and aluminum roofing panels.


Both aluminum and steel roofing panels are renowned for their durability. Steel is generally stronger than aluminum, making it a better choice for areas prone to severe weather conditions such as heavy snowfall or hail. However, aluminum is naturally corrosion-resistant, making it ideal for coastal regions where saltwater can cause metal to deteriorate over time.


Aluminum is significantly lighter than steel, making it easier to transport and install. This weight advantage can reduce labor costs and the need for additional structural support. On the other hand, steel’s extra weight can provide added stability in high winds and storms.


Steel roofing panels are typically more budget-friendly upfront compared to aluminum. However, when considering long-term costs, aluminum may save you money due to its resistance to corrosion, which can extend its lifespan.


Aluminum requires minimal maintenance because it doesn’t rust. Steel, on the other hand, may require periodic inspections and maintenance to prevent corrosion. Coating steel with protective finishes can help extend its life.


Both aluminum and steel roofing panels are available in a variety of styles and colors, allowing you to choose the aesthetic that best suits your property. Steel panels often have a more industrial look, while aluminum panels can mimic the appearance of other roofing materials like shingles or wood shakes.

Environmental Impact

Aluminum is a highly recyclable material, making it an eco-friendly choice. Steel is also recyclable, but it may require more energy to produce and recycle compared to aluminum.

The choice between aluminum and steel roofing panels ultimately depends on your specific needs and budget. If durability in harsh weather conditions is a top priority, steel might be the better option. However, for a lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and low-maintenance solution, aluminum could be the way to go. Consult with one of the JD Metals team to learn which option will be best for your project!