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How long does SharkSkin last?

SharkSkin is an innovative, durable roofing material designed to withstand the elements. With proper care and maintenance, a SharkSkin roof can last for decades. In this article, we’ll take a close look at how long you can expect a SharkSkin roof to last.

What is SharkSkin?

SharkSkin is a coated metal roofing product made from aluminum or galvanized steel. It gets its name from the unique texture and pattern on the surface that resembles the skin of a shark. The coating on SharkSkin is a thick, ceramic-filled polymer that provides excellent protection against corrosion, weathering, and impact damage.

Some key benefits of SharkSkin metal roofing include:

  • Extreme durability – Can withstand hail, falling branches, and other impacts
  • Low maintenance – Requires very little upkeep compared to other roof types
  • Energy efficiency – Reflective surface reduces cooling costs
  • Customizable – Available in a wide range of colors
  • Fire resistance – Meets or exceeds fire safety standards
  • Sustainable – Made from recyclable metals

With its combination of strength, longevity, and sustainability, SharkSkin has become popular for residential and commercial buildings alike. It offers homeowners and business owners an attractive, reliable roofing solution.

SharkSkin Coating Technology

The key to SharkSkin’s longevity lies in its proprietary coating technology. The ceramic-filled polymer coating bonds firmly to the metal substrate while creating a textured, highly water-resistant surface.

During manufacturing, the metal goes through a multi-stage coating process:

  1. The metal is cleaned and pretreated for optimal coating adhesion.
  2. A base coat layer is applied for corrosion resistance.
  3. A thick intermediate coat provides extra protection and texture.
  4. The ceramic-filled topcoat is applied and cured, creating the signature “shark skin” look.

This results in a remarkably durable coating that can withstand UV rays, acid rain, sea air, and other environmental hazards. The coating also makes the metal more impact-resistant, helping prevent dents and dings.

Expected SharkSkin Roof Lifespan

With proper installation and average conditions, a SharkSkin roof can realistically last 40-60 years or more. Some specific factors affect lifespan:

  • Climate – In extreme climates, more temperature fluctuations can accelerate wear. Moderate climates are ideal.
  • Roof Slope – Low-slope roofs allow more water ponding, shortening lifespan.
  • Impact Damage – Major hailstorms or fallen debris can dent the surface, requiring repairs.
  • Pollutants – Acid rain and environmental pollutants may gradually degrade the coating.
  • UV Exposure – Roofs in hot, sunny areas or at high elevations experience more UV damage.
  • Maintenance – Regular cleaning and minor repairs extend the roof’s lifespan.

In a best case scenario, a SharkSkin roof may last 50 years or longer before needing replacement. On the low end, occasional impact damage or suboptimal conditions may require replacement after 30-40 years. Overall, this is an exceptionally long service life compared to most roofing materials.

Real-World Examples

We can look to real-world examples to get a good idea of how SharkSkin holds up over time:

  • The Dallas Cowboys stadium installed a SharkSkin roof in 2009. Over 10 years later, it remains in excellent condition despite the hot Texas climate and frequent hailstorms.
  • A SharkSkin copper roof installed on a home in Florida over 25 years ago only needed a minor coating refresh after 20+ years. It continues performing well despite heat, humidity, and hurricanes.
  • The Arizona State University Student Pavilion features a large SharkSkin roof that has endured the Southwest’s sun and heat without issue for 15+ years.

These real-world examples demonstrate how a properly installed SharkSkin roof can effectively serve for decades through all types of weather conditions. Periodic inspections and maintenance extend the service life even further.


While a SharkSkin roof requires very little maintenance, regular care and inspections help identify potential issues early. Recommended maintenance includes:

  • Cleaning the roof 2-4 times per year using gentle, non-abrasive cleaners and low-pressure water.
  • Trimming overhanging trees to limit debris buildup.
  • Periodic inspections to check for damage, especially after major storms.
  • Promptly repairing dents, punctures, or coating damage to prevent moisture intrusion.
  • Reapplying reflective roof coating every 10-20 years as needed.

With routine cleaning and minor repairs, most homeowners enjoy decades of reliable performance from a SharkSkin roof. Consult with the roofing manufacturer for specific maintenance recommendations.

Maximizing Roof Longevity

You can maximize the lifespan of your SharkSkin roof by following these best practices:

  • Choose a light roof color to reduce thermal expansion and contraction.
  • Select a roof slope of at least 3:12 to promote proper drainage.
  • Install roofing products from a reputable manufacturer like Classic Metal Roofing Systems.
  • Use robust fastener systems to properly anchor the roof.
  • Have roof installed by an experienced contractor according to manufacturer specifications.
  • Inspect the roof 2-4 times per year and after major storms.
  • Remove debris with careful gutter/downspout cleaning at least twice per year.
  • Avoid roof traffic and impact from objects to prevent damage.
  • Plan for a coating reapplication every 10-20 years.

Taking steps to properly install and maintain your SharkSkin roof will help it last for decades while protecting your most valuable asset, your home.

Cost Considerations

When evaluating the cost of a SharkSkin roof, it’s important to factor in the material’s exceptional lifespan. While the upfront cost is higher than materials like asphalt shingles, the long-term value is clear.

Here are some cost considerations when choosing SharkSkin:

  • A SharkSkin roof costs $400-600 per square installed compared to $100-300 for asphalt shingles.
  • However, asphalt shingles typically last 15-20 years, meaning 2-3 replacements may be needed in the 60 year lifespan of a SharkSkin roof.
  • Frequent asphalt shingle replacements also mean more tear-off costs that are avoided with a SharkSkin roof.
  • Fewer roof repairs and replacements result in long-term savings on labor and dumpster fees.
  • Added resale value from an attractive, durable metal roof also offsets initial costs.

When you factor in replacement costs down the road, a SharkSkin roof is often comparable or lower than continual asphalt shingle roofing. The long service life and protection from leaks make SharkSkin a sound investment.


With proper installation and maintenance, a SharkSkin roof can realistically last 40-60 years or longer. The thick ceramic-filled polymer coating provides unmatched protection on metal roofing, resisting weathering and impact damage. While upfront costs are higher, the extreme durability results in long-term value by avoiding frequent roof replacements. Homeowners who choose SharkSkin metal roofing enjoy lasting performance and protection for their homes.

Some key takeaways on the lifespan of SharkSkin roofing include:

  • Coating technology provides excellent corrosion, impact, and UV resistance
  • Can last 50+ years in ideal conditions, or 30-40+ years in harsher climates
  • Real-world examples demonstrate decades of reliable performance
  • Regular maintenance and inspections maximize lifespan
  • Higher upfront cost offset by avoiding frequent re-roofing

For homeowners looking to invest in their home’s long-term protection, SharkSkin is a roofing material that will stand the test of time. The unmatched durability justifies the investment into a generations-lasting roof. Contact a SharkSkin supplier today to learn more and get an estimate for your roof replacement or new construction project.