What is Corrugated Roofing?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Corrugated roofing is a low-cost roofing material which comes in large panels that are designed to be easy to install while providing weather resistance. This roofing material is often used on sheds, garages, and other auxiliary structures, and in addition to being used for roofing, it can also be used as siding. Many home supply stores carry corrugated roofing, and it is also possible to order it directly from manufacturers.

For snowy climates, metal corrugated roofing tends to be a better choice.
For snowy climates, metal corrugated roofing tends to be a better choice.

Metals and plastics are both used to make corrugated roofing. Metals are very durable, making them suitable for structures in harsh climates, and they can also be painted in a variety of colors, for people who prefer not to look at plain metal roofing and siding. Plastics may be clear or opaque, with some people using clear plastic corrugated roofing as a form of cheap skylights, allowing light into a structure without having to install a skylight.

Many people prefer to paint corrugated metal.
Many people prefer to paint corrugated metal.

Greenhouses are sometimes built with corrugated roofing, since this material is very easy to work with. Once a greenhouse has been framed, it can be quickly covered with plastic roofing which admits light in while maintaining high temperature and humidity levels. For people who like to do projects on their own, a greenhouse made from corrugated roofing can be more lasting and durable than a structure covered in plastic sheeting, another common material in greenhouse construction.

In addition to being installed by individuals who are handy with tools, installation can also be handled by a roofing company. For extra insulation, multiple layers cushioned with foam or other insulation materials may be used, and corrugated roofing in heavy weights to conform with strict building codes can also be used. Periodic maintenance in the form of inspections to check for loose sheeting is critical, because high winds can carry off an entire roof in minutes if the wind manages to get a foothold.

For snowy climates, metal roofing tends to be a better choice, because plastic and fiberglass can collapse under the weight of snow. For structures in cold regions where more light is desired, a combination of metal and clear plastic corrugated roofing can be used, with the metal taking most of the weight of the snow so that the plastic does not break. Metal roofing is usually treated to be rust-resistant, although it may require periodic re-treatments, and it is usually necessary to treat openings in the roofing such as holes from nails and screws to prevent the roofing from rusting along the rough edges of such holes.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


If you have ever tried to put asphalt singles on a roof then you know how difficult it can be for the average person to do the job and not have leaks when the rains come. That's why I am considering corrugated metal roofing sheets on my sheds and barn. I am told they are much easier to get positioned in the right place than the smaller asphalt and ceramic shingles.


I like the sound the rain makes when it hits the tin corrugated roofs, and I don't mind the look so much as long as the metal is not rusted. The bad part about a tin roof is that most people don't want them on a house, so if you have a tin roof on your house you will probably have a tough time selling the house should you ever decide to move.


@Laotionne - I can remember a few years ago when any type of metal roofing was considered second rate to the standard shingles that we see on most houses nowadays. However, now when I drive through the country, I see barns and houses both with corrugated roofing sheets.

What has happen though is that the metal roofs are now made out of different materials that are more expensive. For example, a galvanized steel metal roof that is put on a house top is not like the average corrugated roofing you see on a shed, and the steel is more expensive.

To answer your question, yes, the cheap corrugated ("tin") roofs can be put on houses, and I have seen this in some places.


I'm wondering can the corrugated roofing mentioned in this article can be used on houses as well as on barns and sheds? This seems like it would be a relatively inexpensive material and a good way to re-roof a house without paying a fortune.

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