The durability and damage resistance of metal roofing makes it a popular choice for homeowners that live in areas prone to hail, high winds, and wildfires. The bright and varied color options for coated metal roofing also makes it appealing to anyone who wants to stand out from the neighbors. However, the bold color that attracted you to a metal roof will slowly fade and change over time unless carefully maintained.

UV Damage

The bleaching power of the sun's ultraviolet rays lighten everything with enough time. Even the best metal roof coatings fade by 15% or more as the decades add up. This type of fading is often more noticeable because areas covered by shade trees or other obstructions stay colorful as the rest of the roof changes.

Coating Quality

Those colorful coatings used to protect metal roof panels and give them a distinctive look are composed of pigments trapped in a resin binder. If the manufacturer choose low quality materials for either of the two components, the finish often starts fading noticeably within a few years of installation. The best metal roof coatings contain a high density of inorganic or ceramic pigments to keep the color bright and even through the aging process.

While pigments break down and wash away over time, resin changes the color of your roof in a different way. Weathering and sun exposure causes the resin to break down into loose particles. These particles build up on the surface to create a chalky white residue that obscures the pigments below. Look for a coating with polyvinylidene fluoride resin to prevent this effect for decades.

Color Choice

You might love the look of a bold violet roof, but consider how your favorite color affects the fading process before making an investment. Bright and dark colored roofs age faster than pastel shades because they absorb more UV rays and more clearly show the earliest signs of fading. If you want to keep your roof looking new for a long time with minimal maintenance, stick with:

  • White or beige panels, which also lower your energy bills during the summer
  • Plain metal covered with clear coatings that don't visibly fade
  • Light shades of gray and brown for a natural look
  • Panels coated with special "cool roof" pigments that reflect more light and heat despite the color

General Weathering

Of course, even the toughest metal roofing is not immune to the general aging effects of weather exposure. Falling rain washing over the coating takes a little pigment with it each time. However, unlike with asphalt roofing, your metal coating isn't going to fade faster due to snow or wind.

Finish Maintenance

While some color change is inevitable, you can still keep your preferred look for as long as possible with timely maintenance. Hiring a team of metal roofing contractors from a site like to apply a fresh coating every five to 10 years is the best way to prevent fading. Coatings that are still in good condition are easily refreshed with a clear top layer, while faded or chalky finishes likely need an application of a matching pigmented product.

This kind of re-coating also protects the integrity of the metal below. Tiny cracks open up in the coating as the panels flex due to temperature changes. A fresh layer of the right paint seals those invisible openings to keep moisture out and prevent internal rusting.

If you just noticed a change in the appearance of your metal roof, it's the perfect time to call for re-coating. Freshening up the surface of the metal improves the look of the roof and protects it from damage. Metal roofs may not need much maintenance, but preserving the protective coating is essential if you want the material to last 50 years or more.