Galvalume Vs Galvanized Steel Panels | The Ultimate Showdown

You finally settled on using metal panels for either metal roofing or metal siding of the new building you plan to build. But there are many different types of metal panels to choose from! You probably have heard “Galvalume” and “Galvanized” frequently. Both types of metal roofing panels dominate the industry. But what are they, and which one is better? 

In this article, we compare and contrast galvalume vs galvanized steel to see which makes the best roof. Read below to see our analysis and to discover our conclusion. If you would like to see some Galvalume panels in action, look at some of these finished projects.

What Is the Difference Between Galvalume and Galvanized Steel Panels?

The difference between Galvalume and Galvanized is the outside coating. Galvanized steel panels are made of steel and coated in zinc to prevent rusting. Galvalume panels are steel panels that are coated in an alloy of zinc and aluminum to protect the panels from rust.

The only difference is that Galvalume has aluminum added to its protective coating. The question is, “Does the aluminum make a difference in the panel’s performance?” 

Aluminum and zinc are used in the coating for different reasons. Primarily, aluminum does a better job of sealing the steel from oxygen and moisture. If oxygen and moisture reach the steel, it will begin to rust. Aluminum is also more flexible, allowing the panel to be bent or formed without cracking the outer coating.

Zinc, on the other hand, does a better job of reacting with moisture when exposed to the elements. Instead of the moisture reacting with the steel, it will react with the zinc first, saving the steel from harm. Zinc is more brittle than aluminum. If it is used alone as a coating, like on galvanized steel, it will eventually crack, and the steel will start to rust. This leaves you with the need to replace your roofing or siding sooner, costing you more money in the long run.

If you are looking for a specific panel, see our metal panels page.

Does Galvalume or Galvanized Steel Panels Last Longer?

In short, Galvalume lasts twice as long or more than Galvanized steel panels. At Wagler Steel, your Galvalume steel panels come with a 40-year manufacturer warranty and will typically last much longer than that. On the other hand, Galvanized steel panels don’t last nearly as long even if maintained properly and typically only come with a 5-15-year warranty. 

The reason Galvalume lasts longer is because of its coating. The Aluminum in the coating seals the metal panel from moisture. If the Aluminum gets scratched or wears through, the zinc will react with the moisture and start to corrode, saving the steel underneath. When you mix these two together, they create a protective coating for a product that lasts a very long time. When you place Galvalume on your building, you can rest assured that it will last for the time to come. 

In the analysis of Galvalume vs. galvanized steel, Galvalume is the clear winner in the longevity category.

Are Galvalume Steel or Galvanized Steel Panels Available In Multiple Colors?

Yes, both Galvanized steel and Galvalume panels are available in multiple colors. Both can be painted in whatever colors the manufacturer provides. In fact, the high-quality paint creates an extra layer of protection from the elements. If you are looking for specific colors, you should check with your metal panel provider.

At Wagler Steel, we have a wide range of metal panel finishes, giving you the ability to pick the color you desire. Check out our 3D Colorizer, which allows you to model your favorite colors on a building. Choose the colors that match well with your property!

Which Is More Affordable: Galvalume Steel Or Galvanized Steel Panels? 

Galvanized steel is often a bit cheaper than Galvalume. However, that is strictly based on the upfront cost of the panels. Zinc, the primary protectorate in galvanized steel, is cheaper than aluminum found in galvalume panels, which explains the difference in price. If you want a cheaper product right out of the fate, galvanized steel is the way to go.

However, if you are looking for something that is cheaper in the long run, Galvalume is a better long-term investment. Because it lasts longer than galvanized, Galvalume steel panels will give a better return on your investment. You will have higher upfront costs, but you also will not have to replace it for the foreseeable future. If you would like some prices on steel panels, contact us at Wagler Steel for a free quote on our specialized Galvalume steel panels.

Does Galvanized Steel Or Galvalume Steel Panels Rust Faster?

Galvanized steel panels, like the ones above, will begin to rust much sooner than Galvalume panels. While this takes a significant amount of time for this to happen, eventually, a Galvanized roof or wall will begin to rust. On the other hand, because Galvalume has aluminum in the outer coating, which is more effective against moisture and water. 

This is especially important in areas that are exposed to moisture. We believe that this makes Galvalume metal the best candidate areas where high rusting is likely, as it often times lasts up to 2 times as long as galvanized themes. In the comparison of Galvalume vs. Galvanized steel, Galvalume is the clear favorite for being anti-rust.

If you are building a structure that will not come in contact with much moisture, then galvanized steel panels will work for the project in the short term. But if moisture is involved at all, then you most likely will be better off buying the more reliable Galvalume option.

Do Galvalume or Galvanized Panels Have more Oil Canning?

The easy answer is that galvanized panels are more likely to have oil canning present in their design and roll forming. Oil canning is a phenomenon where metal surfaces, such as those in roofing and siding, exhibit visible waves, ripples, or irregularities. This can be a problem in architectural applications where a smooth and flat appearance is desired. Panels that are thicker or have ribs, like the ones Wagler Steel produces, are less prone to oil canning.

The reason that we create our panels with ribs and striations is to prevent oil canning, as well as to bring more structure and strength to the panel. We have several well-designed panels, including the popular Wagler Panel and  Paradise Panel. If interested, we also offer the common Standing Seam and Board and Batten Panels.

Are There Any Scenarios Where Galvalume Is Not The Best Option?

Overall, Galvalume is versatile and can be used on roofs, walls, spouting, and many other applications. However, Galvalume does not handle highly acidic environments very well. The zinc in the protective coating reacts with the acids to make zinc salts. This process results in a breakdown in the outer coating, allowing it to rust and corrode much sooner. There are acid-resistant coatings that you can apply to prevent the reaction from happening. In general, this is a very small percentage of applications.

If you have any questions regarding steel panels, contact us at Wagler Steel or other professionals like Legacy Metal Center. We are happy to show you our different styles of panels and step you through the purchasing process!

Galvalume Vs Galvanized Steel | Final Conclusion

With the factors discussed above, what is the final conclusion in the showdown between Galvalume Vs Galvanized Steel? Overall, Galvalume is the better choice because it lasts much longer, it is more corrosion resistant, and it does better with moisture.  

If you are looking at your project as an investment, Galvalume makes a perfect choice. You should not have to worry about your roof rusting through, and with Galvalume steel roofing, you will not have to.

We have an arrangement of panel designs available for you to pick, giving you the look you want! Pair that with a variety of colors to choose from, and you will walk away with a building that matches your desired look and style. We have finished projects that give a glimpse of the opportunities available to you!

At Wagler Steel, we are dedicated to serving our customers with the highest quality products possible. We want you to get the materials that you need for your project from a place that you can trust!

Ready to win?

If you need a high-end panel for an upscale residential property, or simple panels for a barn roof or pole barn, we are ready to serve you. No matter the size and scale of the project, we are here for you and your home or business. Forget about long wait times and poor customer service. At Wagler Steel, we are well stocked with what you need, and a real person is just a phone call away!