The future is brightly painted for residential metal roofing, the National Coil Coating Association says.

An estimated 7 million American homes have to install a new roof each year, and 10 percent are choosing metal over traditional asphalt — a figure the association said will double within the next six years.

And that means almost 700,000 tons of metal will be pre-painted and made into residential roofing annually, which means work for the NCCA, whose 100 member companies are involved in the manufacture of coil-coated products.

They point out that today’s metal roof can simulate many other types of residential roofing materials and easily blend into any neighborhood, while remaining as fire-resistant, lightweight and durable as ever.

For a residential metal roof, a continuous coil up to 72 inches wide moves up to 700 feet per minute in a machine where it is unwound, cleaned, treated, primed, oven cured, top coated, cured again, rewound and prepared for shipment.

The paint coating allows the metal to later be stamped, roll-formed or press-braked into the roof, gutters or downspouts.