Types of corrugated roofing

Updated July 19, 2017

Corrugated roofing has grown to be a popular choice for roofing material for structures of all purpose, from homes to office buildings. Its popularity is most likely due to its proven ability as an effective roofing material, and it is now offered in a number of style, colour and material combinations.


The history of metal roofing can be traced back about 3,000 years to copper roofs used in Jerusalem. The corrugated metal roof would not resemble those made today until the end of 19th century when steel was introduced and widely recognised as a valuable roofing material that could withstand most weather conditions. Over the last century, the corrugated pattern would change shapes, and be adapted to several materials to fit a variety of needs.


Corrugated roofing panels consist of three main design types that have different names depending on the manufacturer. The most common type is the basic round corrugated panel, which consists of a short wave pattern. The next design type is the alternating ridge panel, which consists of alternating large and small ridges separated by flat valleys. Corrugated square panels are similar to the basic round type, but consist of a square pattern, and are most commonly used for roof decking that is to carry poured concrete.


Metals are by far the most common type of corrugated roofing, as they tend to be the most cost-effective and durable products. Among the metals, galvanised steel is the most popular, followed by aluminium, then copper. Also available, but less common, is the plastic corrugated roofing that is most often used in applications like greenhouse construction, where a clear roof is required on a budget.


As noted earlier, galvanised corrugated steel roofing is the most popular roofing type, and will usually average about £13 per sheet (26-by-144-inch sheets are most commonly made), making this option a cost-effective one. Corrugated copper sheets are almost always more expensive, depending on copper's constantly fluctuating market value, which is usually about £26 to £32 per sheet. Plastic corrugated roofing is surprisingly costly, with an average price of around £19 per sheet.


The nature of the shape of corrugated roofing panels allows them to be able to shed water, ice and snow much easier than other roofing materials. Corrugated panels have grown to be a popular choice for roofing as they are available in several different sizes, patterns, materials and colours. Installation of corrugated roofing panels is a much more time-effective process than other roofing materials.

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About the Author

J. Cavan Barry is an architecture student with over a decade of experience in the general construction field, and four years in architecture. Barry also has nearly a decade of automotive repair experience and is an avid auto enthusiast. After finding an interest in creative writing, he began writing a novel and recently finished the first draft.