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What is Galvalume Metal? The Benefits and Uses in Roofing

Imagine a roofing material that offers outstanding corrosion resistance, long service life, and modern aesthetics, all while reflecting heat to keep your building cool. Welcome to the world of Galvalume metal, a versatile and innovative choice for your next roofing project. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the benefits, composition, and uses of Galvalume metal, answering the question, “What is Galvalume metal?”, so you can make an informed decision when it comes to your building’s roof.


Short Summary

  • Galvalume metal is an ideal roofing solution with superior corrosion resistance, long service life, attractive appearance and heat reflection capabilities.

  • It offers a range of standard gauges and panel profiles with customization options to create the perfect design for any project.

  • Easy installation and low maintenance make Galvalume metal a cost-effective choice that will last 50+ years!


A close-up of a metal roof made of Galvalume metal


Understanding Galvalume Metal


Galvalume metal, also known as galvalume steel, is a remarkable material made from a combination of steel, aluminum, and zinc, featuring an aluminum-zinc alloy coating. Its outstanding corrosion resistance and durability make it a popular choice for roofing applications, where it can last up to 50+ years with minimal corrosion. With its modern, silver-white appearance, Galvalume metal can elevate the look of any roof, adding a touch of elegance to both residential and commercial buildings.


Bethlehem Steel, the pioneers of Galvalume metal, invented this incredible material in the 1970s. They developed a unique hot-dipping process involving molten zinc to create a protective aluminum-zinc alloy coating that outperforms traditional galvanized steel in terms of corrosion resistance and durability.


The Invention of Galvalume


Bethlehem Steel, a major American steel producer, revolutionized the roofing industry when they introduced Galvalume metal in 1972. This innovative material was designed to provide superior corrosion resistance compared to galvanized steel, thanks to its unique combination of steel, aluminum, zinc, and silicon in the coating. With the introduction of steel roofing materials like Galvalume, the industry has seen significant advancements in durability and performance.


The secret to Galvalume’s success lies in its innovative aluminum-zinc alloy coating. By combining the protective properties of both aluminum and zinc, Galvalume offers greater protection against rust and corrosion than traditional galvanized steel.


This breakthrough technology has made Galvalume the go-to choice for many builders and homeowners who want a long-lasting, low-maintenance roofing solution.


Composition and Coating Process


The remarkable coating composition of Galvalume metal consists of 55% aluminum, 43.4% zinc, and 1.6% silicone by weight, providing superior protection against corrosion and rust compared to traditional galvanized steel coatings. This advanced coating is applied using a hot-dipping process that ensures an even and consistent layer of protection across the entire surface of the metal.


In addition to its superior corrosion resistance, the aluminum zinc coating, also known as aluminum-zinc alloy coating, of Galvalume metal offers excellent protection against edge creep, a common issue with other coated metals. This means that the coating remains intact even at cut edges and other exposed areas, ensuring long-lasting performance in even the most extreme environments.


A metal roof made of Galvalume metal with a clear acrylic coating for corrosion resistance

Benefits of Galvalume Metal in Roofing


Galvalume metal is a popular choice for roofing applications due to its exceptional corrosion resistance, long service life, attractive appearance, and heat resistance. In fact, Galvalume roofing can last up to 50+ years in the right environment with minimal corrosion, making it a wise investment for property owners who want a durable and low-maintenance roofing solution.


Some of the key benefits of choosing Galvalume metal for your roofing project include its outstanding corrosion resistance, thanks to its unique aluminum-zinc alloy coating, and its ability to reflect heat, helping to keep your building cool and comfortable in hot climates. Moreover, its beautiful silver-white color and smooth surface make it an aesthetically pleasing option for any building exterior.


Corrosion Resistance and Durability


The double protection of zinc and aluminum in Galvalume metal’s coating ensures excellent corrosion resistance and durability, outperforming traditional galvanized steel. In fact, its corrosion resistance is about two to four times better than that of galvanized steel due to the unique combination of metals in its coating.


Galvalume metal owes its impressive durability to its galvalume coating, which offers superior protection against corrosion and rust. This advanced zinc-aluminum coating also helps shield the metal from extreme weather conditions, making it an excellent choice for roofing applications in various climates and environments.


Aesthetic Appeal


Galvalume metal’s silver-white color, uniform spangles, and smooth surface provide an aesthetically pleasing option for roofing and building exteriors. Its modern and sleek appearance is highly versatile and easy to incorporate into various design styles, making it a popular choice for both residential and commercial projects.


The metal’s corrosion resistant properties, along with its superior long-term durability, make it an ideal choice.


Heat Resistance and Reflectivity


Galvalume metal’s heat resistance and reflectivity make it an ideal choice for roofing in high-temperature environments. Its high aluminum content allows it to effectively reflect the sun’s rays away from the building, helping to keep the interior cooler and more comfortable.


This heat resistance can also contribute to energy savings, as less energy is required to cool the building when the roof is reflecting heat rather than absorbing it.


A comparison of the coating composition of Galvalume and Galvanized steel

Comparing Galvalume and Galvanized Steel


One of the main differences between galvalume and galvanized steel lies in their protective coatings. While both materials are designed to provide corrosion resistance and durability, Galvalume metal offers a more advanced and effective protective coating compared to traditional galvanized steel.


In this section, we’ll explore the differences in coating composition between Galvalume metal and galvanized steel, as well as the cost considerations associated with each material. By understanding these differences, you can make an informed decision when choosing the right roofing material for your project.


Coating Composition


The coating composition of Galvalume metal consists of 55% aluminum, 43.4% zinc, and 1.6% silicone, providing superior protection against corrosion and rust compared to the rust-inhibiting zinc coating of galvanized steel. The combination of aluminum and zinc in the coating offers a double layer of protection, ensuring that the metal remains protected even when exposed to harsh weather conditions or other corrosive elements.


In contrast, both galvanized steel and galvalume metal have their unique properties. Galvanized steel is coated with a layer of zinc only, which provides some degree of corrosion resistance but is not as effective as the aluminum-zinc alloy coating found on Galvalume metal. This difference in coating composition, including the presence of galvanized coating on the steel, is one of the main factors that set these two materials apart, such as galvanized metal, and contributes to Galvalume metal’s superior performance in terms of corrosion resistance and durability.


Cost Considerations


Although Galvalume metal may be slightly more expensive than galvanized steel initially, its superior performance and longevity often make it a more cost-effective choice in the long run. With its exceptional corrosion resistance, long service life, and low maintenance requirements, Galvalume metal can provide property owners with long-term cost savings compared to other roofing materials, such as galvanized steel, which may require more frequent replacement or repairs.


Galvalume metal is an ideal choice for roofing applications, as it offers superior protection.


A close-up of a metal roof made of Galvalume metal with different panel profiles

Galvalume Metal Profiles and Customization Options


Galvalume metal is available in various gauges and panel profiles, with customization options to suit specific project requirements. Whether you’re working on a residential or commercial project, you can choose from a wide range of standard and custom profiles to create the perfect roofing solution for your needs.


In this section, we’ll explore the standard gauges and panel profiles available for Galvalume metal, as well as the customization possibilities that can help you achieve the desired aesthetic and performance for your project.


Standard Gauges and Panel Profiles


Standard Galvalume metal gauges include 24, 26, and 29, with different metal panels profiles available to suit various applications and design preferences, including siding panels. Some common panel profiles are standing seam panels, corrugated panels, and interlocking panels, each offering unique benefits and aesthetics. When considering the right option for your project, it’s essential to factor in the square foot coverage needed for optimal results.


These options provide design flexibility, allowing architects and builders to create roofing solutions that meet specific aesthetic and performance requirements.


Customization Possibilities


Customization options for Galvalume metal include color coatings and surface treatments, allowing for greater design flexibility and aesthetic appeal. With a wide range of colors and finishes to choose from, you can create a unique and visually stunning roofing solution that complements the overall design of your building.


Whether you prefer a traditional or modern look, Galvalume metal can be customized to suit your specific requirements and preferences, ensuring a beautiful and functional roofing solution.


A metal roof made of Galvalume metal being installed

Installation and Handling of Galvalume Metal


Galvalume metal is easy to install and handle, with standard installation procedures and compatibility with other materials. This makes it a popular choice among contractors and property owners who want a durable and low-maintenance roofing solution.


In this section, we’ll discuss the standard installation procedures for Galvalume metal roofing, as well as the precautions that should be taken when combining this material with other materials to prevent galvanic corrosion.


Standard Installation Procedures


Standard installation details for Galvalume metal roofing ensure a straightforward and efficient process, making it a popular choice among contractors and property owners. The roofing panels are typically installed on a metal or wood deck, securely fastened to the roof structural system using concealed clips or screws, with closure strips positioned along the eaves about one inch from the edge and adhered to the panels with butyl tape.


The minimum slope recommended for a Galvalume metal roof is 1/4:12, which ensures proper drainage of water and excellent long-term performance. By following these standard installation procedures, you can ensure a successful and long-lasting roofing solution that provides exceptional protection and durability for your building.


Interactions with Other Materials


Care should be taken when combining Galvalume metal with certain other materials, as galvanic corrosion can occur when in contact with water, leading to early degradation and potential failure. To prevent galvanic corrosion, it is important to avoid contact between Galvalume metal and aluminum or stainless steel, especially in areas where the materials may be exposed to moisture.


By taking the necessary precautions and ensuring proper installation, you can maximize the longevity and performance of your Galvalume metal roofing system. Understanding the interactions between Galvalume metal and other materials will help you make informed decisions when selecting and installing your roofing solution, ensuring a successful and long-lasting outcome.


An image showing the process of galvalume metal coating and its composition, which explains what is galvalume metal and its potential drawbacks.

Potential Drawbacks of Galvalume Metal


Some potential drawbacks of Galvalume metal include scuffing and aesthetic concerns, which should be considered before installation. Non-painted Galvalume metal can scuff easily, causing aesthetic issues that may require immediate panel replacement. It’s essential to consider this factor before choosing Galvalume metal for your project.


In the following section, we’ll discuss the issue of scuffing and its impact on the aesthetics of Galvalume metal roofing, as well as potential solutions to address this concern.


Scuffing and Aesthetic Concerns


Non-painted Galvalume metal can scuff easily, causing aesthetic issues that may require immediate panel replacement. Scuffing is a type of wear and tear that occurs when a metal panel is exposed to friction or abrasion, which can be an expected result of regular use. The clear acrylic coating on the top of the panels helps protect the exposed portion of the metal panel from weathering and aging, but it is still essential to handle the material carefully during installation and maintenance to avoid scuffing and scratching.


To minimize scuffing and aesthetic concerns, property owners can opt for painted Galvalume metal or take extra precautions during installation and maintenance to avoid damaging the panels. By being mindful of these potential drawbacks, you can ensure the longevity and aesthetic appeal of your Galvalume metal roofing system.


Summary


In conclusion, Galvalume metal is a versatile and innovative roofing material that offers numerous benefits, including exceptional corrosion resistance, long service life, attractive appearance, and heat resistance. While there are some potential drawbacks to consider, such as scuffing and aesthetic concerns, the advantages of Galvalume metal far outweigh these issues for many property owners. By understanding the composition, benefits, and installation procedures of Galvalume metal, you can make an informed decision when choosing the right roofing material for your project and enjoy a durable, low-maintenance, and energy-efficient roofing solution.


Frequently Asked Questions


Which is better Galvalume or galvanized?


Galvalume offers superior corrosion resistance and better protection from scratches and cut edges than galvanized steel, making it a clear choice for your roofing needs.


What are the disadvantages of Galvalume?


Galvalume is not suitable for environments with alkaline or any instances where it may become scratched or dented, compromising its performance.


Furthermore, installation of fasteners can be problematic.


What is Galvalume steel used for?


Galvalume steel is an ideal choice for outdoor metal paneling and roofing, providing superior resistance to corrosion compared to standard galvanized steel.


It is a type of steel that is coated with a mixture of zinc, aluminum, and silicon, which creates a durable and corrosion-resistant finish. This makes it an ideal choice for applications that require long-term protection from the elements.


Does Galvalume metal rust?


Galvalume and Galvalume Plus offer protection from rust, the elements and fire, making them highly resistant to rusting.


These materials are ideal for outdoor applications, such as roofing, siding, and gutters, as they are able to withstand extreme weather conditions. They are also used in industrial and commercial applications, such as warehouses.


What is galvalume?


Galvalume is a coating of zinc, aluminum and silicone that protects metal, primarily steel, from oxidation. This unique combination provides excellent protection against the elements, allowing it to outperform traditional galvanized steel.

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