Metal roofing has been gaining popularity for the last couple of decades. Today the number of homes with metal roofs is close to a million, and the upward trend does not seem to have an end in sight. With this in mind, take a look at the pros and cons of metal roofs to make sure metal is the right material for your roof replacement or new home construction.
There are many advantages to installing metal roofing, including many that are not discussed here, including:
- Metal roofs are lightweight.
- Metal roofing does not retain snow or water.
- Roofing panels and shingles require very little maintenance.
- A metal roof can be installed over your existing roof in some cases.
Whether you are trying to become more eco-friendly, make your home safer and more efficient, or want a roof that doesn’t look like all the others, metal is an alternative with a lot to offer, with a limited number of obstacles to overcome.
Advantages of Metal Roofing
Compared to asphalt shingles, a metal roof is rated to last as much as 3.5 times longer. In years, that amounts to 50 to 70 years for metal and 15 to 25 years for asphalt shingles. The only roofing material that is as long-lasting as metal is stone, and it has the same or lower lifespan as metal whether you use natural slate or molded stone and cement shingles.
A roof installed by qualified roofing contractors is not susceptible to the effects of sun and rain the way asphalt shingles are. Climate and other conditions vary according to location and elevation, and local contractors will provide you with the most appropriate options for your area. And because it is lighter than most other roofing materials, a metal roof puts less strain on your home, which can also reduce future problems that are only loosely connected to the roof itself.
Metal is only equaled in fire resistance capability by natural stone, but even stone may break down and disintegrate in high heat. The biggest fire threat to traditional roofing materials comes from hot embers falling on them from the sky. Metal is not susceptible to this threat, and cannot be heated to a combustible temperature. The only real fire threat associated with this type of roof is related to accumulated debris on the roof, and not the material itself.
Most metal roofing materials are recyclable, some steel sheeting can be recycled multiple times. Metal is also great for supporting alternative efficiency devices such as solar panels, rain reclamation, and vented attic fans. A large rooftop solar array may require additional support, but that can be accounted for during the roof installation process.
Not only does a metal roof naturally reflect a large portion of the sun’s heat away from the house, but there are also underlayments and coatings that increase the heat dissipation even more. Depending on the specifics of your installation, roofing with metal could lower your cooling costs by as much as 25 percent during the summer months, and lower heating costs by up to 15 percent during cool weather. Installing vented systems and skylights will add even more savings.
Metal roofs are built using a huge selection of sizes, shapes, and molded panels. Whether you want the look of a Spanish villa, a red or blue roof, or some other customization, metal sheets and panels are available in a wide spectrum of colors, special shapes, and appealing patterns. You even have the option of installing metal that resembles asphalt shingles to the casual observer.
Disadvantages of Roofing with Metal
Metal is more expensive than most other types of roofing materials, with even the least expensive types of metal averaging a few thousand dollars over the cost of asphalt shingles. The key point to consider here is that a metal roof may cost quite a bit more, but it will also last far beyond the expectancy of other types, and may even outlast the home itself.
Fading and Staining
Over time, the original colors on your roof may fade, and the metal will eventually begin to show stains and possibly even organic growth. The good news is that a metal roof can be cleaned easily and repainted as necessary. As long as you don’t allow leaves and other debris to accumulate, cleaning and recoating the roof every 5 years or so should be all the maintenance you need.
Vulnerable to Impacts
Large hail and falling branches are especially dangerous to a metal roof, and the specifics of your roof installation will have an effect on how vulnerable your finished roof will be. It should also be noted that not all metal surface roofs can support a lot of weight between the supports. If you expect to access the roof on a regular basis, it is a good idea to have additional roof supports installed when the metal is being put in place.
Minor Damage Can Escalate Quickly
Dents, missing screws, and high winds may create roof locations where curling, bending, corrosion, and other damages can begin. Except for major storms packing gale force winds and higher, you shouldn’t have much trouble with damage, but take care to repair minor problems as soon as possible.
Elevated Noise Levels
The sound of raindrops splattering on a metal roof can be romantic and relaxing. But heavy rains or hailstorms are likely to cause a cacophony of noise that is deafening. Talk with your roofing contractors about the noise-limiting capabilities of the roof before installation begins and have extra insulation or sound batting installed beforehand when regional conditions call for it.
When the pros and cons of metal roofs are compared, using metal as your preferred roofing material makes a lot of sense. Even the additional cost is balanced by a roof that will last for many years with no more upkeep than an occasional cleaning or repainting.
Peak Roofing & Exteriors
If you’re looking for an honest and experienced team that can handle your metal roofing project in Northwest Arkansas, Northeast Louisiana, or West Texas, look no further. Peak Roofing & Exteriors can take care of your home or business with quality and integrity. Contact us today and book a FREE inspection!