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Architects Notes: The Differences Between Galvalume And


Galvanized In Metal Roofing Projects
Posted on January 15, 2013 by Mitch Gaber

Englerts nationwide team of architectural sales reps spend a considerable amount of time each year
counseling architects on which standing seam metal roofing products and profiles might work best for their
design projects. One of the questions most frequently asked by architects is: What are the differences
between Galvalume and Galvanized Steel when used in roofing. It comes up so often, we thought wed take a
few minutes and use this weeks blog to explain those differences.
First, a little bit of background. Galvalume was invented by Bethlehem Steel in 1972. It is a trademarked
name, but many people use it as a generic term to describe a metal roofing product consisting of steel coil
coated with a metal alloy. That alloy is 45% zinc and 55% aluminum and looks similar to galvanized steel, but
the visible crystals are smaller and close together, giving it a smoother appearance. Galvalume has a cousin,
Galvalume Plus. The only difference is Plus has a thin, clear acrylic coating. Because Galvalume Plus can be
roll-formed dry without vanishing oil, it is very easy to form and install safely.
The combination of zinc and aluminum in Galvalume
enhances both the positive and negative effects of
aluminum. Galvalume has barrier corrosion resistance
and heat resistance similar to aluminized material and
good bare edge galvanic protection and forming qualities
like galvanized material. Consequently, Galvalume and
Galvalume Plus will resist rust, the elements and fire while
providing a sturdy and protective covering.
Galvalume is more corrosion-resistant than galvanized steel, but because aluminum provides barrier
protection instead of galvanic protection, scratches and cut edges are less protected. Galvalume is offered in
both bare and pre-coated versions. Most Galvalumelike galvanized steel is coated. But Galvalume has an
excellent performance life in bare exposures as well. Both galvanized steel and Galvalume weigh 100 to
150 pounds per 100 square feet and contain about 35% recycled materials. The cost of Galvalume and
Galvalume Plus are about the same as that of galvanized steel.The coating used on Galvalume is very
important because it is critical to the length and conditions of the entire warranty of the panel product.
Coated metal roof panels have progressed from a single coat straight polyester paint system in the early
years to Poly vinyl idene fluoride(PVDF) acknowledged as the premium resin for coil coatings. It is a kind of
fluoride, a family that includes such well known products as Teflon and Halar. PVDF resin has superior chalk
resistance and gloss retention as well as stain and chemical resistance. It is softer than polyester, making it
highly formable without risk of cracking. Current pretreatments and primers along with superior paint
coating have increased product warranties dramatically.
However, some people only ask if there is a warranty not
how many years the warranty lasts, and most people do
not check to make sure that they are not getting the
inferior straight polyester system. Straight polyester
should really not be used for metal roofing and wall panel
in todays market. If you see there is a dramatic difference
in the price of two painted Galvalume panels you are
specifying, then the less expensive, less effective kind of
coating should be suspected.
Galvalume should not be used on, in, or around concrete or mortar. Concrete and mortar are highly alkaline
environments. Bare Galvalume and painted Galvalume sheets suffer rapid corrosion when in contact with
mortar and concrete. Bare Galvanized and painted Galvanized perform better in this type of environment.

Neither Galvalume or galvanized substrate is warranted to be used, in or around animal confinement or


agriculture. Bare Galvalume and coated Galvalume panels will very rapidly deteriorate when exposed to the
corrosive agents of animal confinement. But bare Galvalume and coated Galvalume panels have an
outstanding corrosion resistance in a wide variety of general environments, including industrial, marine and
even severe marine environments. And Galvalume offers exceptional heat reflectivity, resulting in lower
energy load on buildings and improved interior comfort.
That pretty much summarizes the key features of Galvalume versus Galvanized. In a nutshell, Galvalume is a
proven metal roofing material because of its strength, outdoor corrosion resistance and longevity. If you have
any other questions about Galvalume, contact an Englert architectural sales representative near you.
This entry was posted in Architects, Building & Homeowners, Contractors, Metal Roofing, Standing Seam Metal Roof Panels
and tagged Galvalume, Metal Coil, Metal Roofs, Roofing Coil, snow guards, Standing Seam Metal Roof. Bookmark the
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5 Responses to Architects Notes: The Differences Between Galvalume And Galvanized In Metal Roofing Projects

Roofers Austin says:


April 17, 2013 at 7:49 am

How beautifully you have described the difference between galvalume and galvanized in metal
roofing. Keep sharing such posts in future too!!!
Reply

Nathan Libbey says:


May 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm

I also find that Galvanized is generally shinier than Galvalume. Galvalume is a lighter shade in
most cases as well.
Reply

Sally N. Cox says:


July 31, 2013 at 8:50 am

This is an excellent source of information about the difference between galvalume and galvanized
metal roof. A lot of people are wondering about the difference between the two and its actually
good that you pointed out important points of these two.
Reply

EBerg says:
December 17, 2013 at 2:55 am

On steel buildings, (quonset type), how do you handle fastening the walls to the foundations?
Excellent article, thank you.
Reply

Paul says:
March 13, 2014 at 1:11 pm

we liked the material so much we used it on our 1840s farmhouse roof, siding for our new
addition, and we even used it inside to make a shower. This was a really good explanation of the
material.
Reply