Corrugated Roofs: The Preferred Choice for Commercial Roofing

Corrugated roofs are increasingly becoming the preferred choice for commercial buildings due to their durability, cost-effectiveness, and versatility. This article will provide an in-depth analysis of corrugated roofing, covering the various materials, panel sizes, benefits, drawbacks, and frequently asked questions.

What is Corrugated Roofing?

Corrugated roofing refers to a type of metal roofing characterized by its unique wavy design. The corrugated panels provide added structural strength and stability, making them ideal for commercial applications.

Types of Corrugated Roofing Materials

The most common materials used for corrugated roofs include:

  1. Galvanized Steel: This material is made by coating steel with a layer of zinc, making it resistant to rust and corrosion. It is an affordable and durable option for commercial roofing.

  2. Aluminum: Lightweight and corrosion-resistant, aluminum is another popular choice for corrugated roofing. It is more expensive than galvanized steel but offers longer-lasting protection against the elements.

Attaching corrugated metal roofing and corrugated plastic sheets are other options for commercial buildings. While metal roofing provides durability and longevity, corrugated plastic sheets offer lightweight and cost-effective solutions. However, plastic sheets may not have the same durability as metal options.

Corrugated Metal Panel Profiles

Corrugated metal panels come in various profiles, which refer to the shape and pattern of the corrugations. The most common profiles are:

  1. 7/8″ Corrugated: This profile features deep, uniform waves and is popular for its classic look and structural strength.

  2. 1/2″ & 1/4″ Corrugated: These smaller corrugation profiles offer a more subtle look while still providing the durability and strength of larger profiles.

  3. 2.67″ x 7/8″ Corrugated: This profile has wider spacing between the corrugations, giving it a unique appearance and additional strength.

Corrugated vs Standing Seam Metal Roof

Corrugated metal roofing has a wavy appearance, whereas standing seam metal roofing consists of vertical panels with concealed fasteners. Corrugated roofs are generally more cost-effective and easier to install, while standing seam roofs offer a sleek appearance with no exposed fasteners and lower maintenance.

Benefits of Corrugated Metal Roofing

Durability and Longevity

Galvanized SteelAffordable, durable, resistant to rust and corrosionHeavier than aluminum, less corrosion resistance
AluminumLightweight, corrosion-resistant, longer-lasting protectionMore expensive than galvanized steel

Corrugated metal roofs are known for their durability and long lifespan. They can last up to 60 years or more, depending on the type of material and how to install a corrugated roof properly.


Compared to other roofing materials, corrugated metal roofs are generally more cost-effective. They are cheaper to install and require less maintenance, saving building owners money in the long run.

Energy Efficiency

Corrugated metal roofs can contribute to energy efficiency in commercial buildings by reflecting sunlight and reducing heat absorption. This can help lower cooling costs during hot summer months. Special coatings can further enhance the energy efficiency of corrugated metal roofs.

Aesthetic Appeal

Corrugated metal roofs have a classic look that can enhance the appearance of commercial buildings. They are available in various colors, allowing building owners to customize the look of their roofs and siding.

Cons of Corrugated Roofs

Despite their numerous benefits, corrugated roofs also have some drawbacks. They can be noisy during heavy rain or hail storms, and their exposed fastening systems can lead to potential leaks if not properly installed and maintained.

Installation and Maintenance

Proper Installation

Proper installation of corrugated metal roofs is crucial for their longevity and performance. Some essential steps to ensure correct installation are:

  1. Panel attachment: It is important to securely attach the corrugated panels to the roof structure using appropriate fasteners, such as screws or nails. The fasteners should penetrate the substrate to provide a solid connection. The type and number of fasteners will depend on the specific panel profile and the building’s location.

  2. Rib spacing and alignment: Proper rib spacing and alignment are essential to maintain the structural integrity and appearance of the roof. Panels should be laid out with even spacing and aligned with each other to ensure a uniform look and prevent water intrusion.

  3. Flashing and sealing:  Flashing should be installed at the roof’s edges, around vents, chimneys, and other roof penetrations to prevent water leakage. Sealing the joints between panels using a high-quality sealant, such as the ones found in this complete guide to commercial roof sealants, can also help prevent water intrusion and maintain the roof’s performance.

  4. Underlayment: Installing an appropriate underlayment beneath the corrugated metal panels can provide an additional layer of protection against moisture, improve energy efficiency, and reduce noise.

Ongoing Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial for the long-term performance of a corrugated metal roof. Some important maintenance tasks include:

  1. Periodic inspections: Schedule regular roof inspections to identify and address any potential issues, such as loose fasteners, damaged panels, or signs of corrosion. Addressing these issues promptly can help prevent more severe problems and prolong the roof’s lifespan.

  2. Cleaning: Remove debris, such as leaves and branches, from the roof surface to prevent water buildup and potential damage. Additionally, clean the gutters and downspouts regularly to ensure proper water drainage.

  3. Sealant and flashing maintenance: Inspect the sealant and flashing regularly to ensure they are in good condition and providing adequate protection against water intrusion. Replace or repair any damaged or deteriorated sealant and flashing as needed.

  4. Corrosion protection: Check for signs of corrosion, particularly in areas with high humidity or exposure to saltwater. Address any signs of corrosion promptly by cleaning the affected area and applying a protective coating.

Comparing Metal Roofing Types

Roofing TypeDescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantages
Corrugated MetalWavy metal panelsClassic look, cost-effective, durableExposed fasteners, potential for leaks
Standing SeamVertical metal panels with concealed fastenersSleek appearance, no exposed fasteners, low maintenanceHigher cost, complex installation
R-PanelMetal panels with raised ribs and exposed fastenersEasy installation, lower costLess watertight, exposed fasteners

This table provides an overview of the different types of metal roofing, allowing building owners to compare corrugated metal roofing with other options, such as standing seam and R-panel systems.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Corrugated Roofing

When selecting a corrugated roof for a commercial building, it’s essential to consider various factors, including:

  1. Material: Choose between galvanized steel or aluminum based on your budget and the desired corrosion resistance and durability level.

  2. Panel Size: Determine the appropriate panel width and length to ensure adequate coverage for your building.

  3. Profile: Select the profile that best suits your building’s aesthetic and structural requirements.

  4. Color and Finish: Consider the color and finish that best complements the building’s design and enhances its overall appearance.

  5. Energy Efficiency: Investigate whether the chosen material and finish contribute to energy efficiency and reduce cooling costs.

  6. Local Building Codes and Regulations: Ensure the chosen corrugated roofing meets all local building codes and regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section will provide answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about corrugated roofing.

Yes, corrugated roofs are an excellent choice for commercial buildings due to their durability, cost-effectiveness, and versatility.

Corrugated roofing can last up to 60 years or more, depending on the type of material and proper installation.

Corrugated roofing provides added structural strength and stability, making it ideal for commercial applications.

The best type of corrugated roofing depends on your specific needs and budget. Galvanized steel and aluminum are two popular options, each with its advantages and disadvantages.

Disadvantages include noise during heavy rain or hail storms, potential leaks due to exposed fastening systems, and the need for proper installation and maintenance.

Yes, corrugated metal panels can be used as siding for both vertical and horizontal wall systems.

A corrugated tin (galvanized steel) roof can last up to 40-60 years, depending on the quality of the material, installation, and maintenance.

Standard corrugated metal panel widths are typically 26 or 36 inches, with varying rib spacing, rib height, and panel profile.

Corrugated metal refers to the wavy design, while galvanized refers to the process of coating steel with a layer of zinc. Galvanized steel can be used to create corrugated metal panels.

The biggest problem with metal roofs is the potential for leaks due to exposed fastening systems if not properly installed and maintained.

Corrugated roofs offer numerous benefits for commercial buildings, including durability, cost-effectiveness, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal. With proper installation and maintenance, they can provide long-lasting protection for commercial properties. By understanding the different materials, panel sizes, and profiles, building owners can make an informed decision when choosing a corrugated roof for their commercial property.

Ready to take the next step? Our team of experienced professionals is here to guide you through the process of selecting, installing, and maintaining your corrugated metal roof. Request a quote and get started on your commercial roofing project. Experience the Eskola difference and let us help you create a lasting impression with a superior corrugated metal roof.