While roof styles have come and gone, homeowners are showing renewed interest in metal roofing for a variety of different home styles. Because manufacturers can now produce metal shingles, shake and slate that imitate the look of more traditional roof materials, like wood, stone or clay, metal shingles have become a versatile and durable option for today’s homeowner.
The metal roofs of today are much different than they were in the past. For the better portion of the last 100 years, when you think metal roof, you’d imagine something atop a barn or utility shed. However, thanks to modern advances in metal production techniques, the homeowner can now purchase roofs that fit nearly every architectural style, whether Cape Cod, colonial, Spanish or modern.
This guide was built to help you understand the pros and cons of a metal roof, to help you decide whether or not it’s the right choice for your home. Let’s get started!
Metal Roof Materials
In general, metal residential roofing is made of copper, steel or aluminum. Rolls of 24- or 26-gauge steel sheets are given a metallic coating to prevent rust, and then given a baked-on paint finish. Aluminum sheets don’t require the metallic coating but do get painted. Copper, often referred to as a natural metal product, is neither coated or painted because it does not corrode. Copper is often used to highlight special features, such as the highest peak of the house.
Steel roofing products are coated with either zinc (galvanized) or a mixture of aluminum and zinc (galvalume or zincalume). Of the two, galvalume offers the longer service. The amount of protection your metal roof receives depends on how thick these coats are. The thicker the coating, the longer the roof’s lifespan, however this also raises the cost. The recommended galvanizing thickness level is at least G-90 and an AZ-50 or AZ-55 designation for galvalume coatings for residential applications.
Additionally, know your paint finishes, as they can greatly vary in quality. If you purchase a weak coating, it may begin to chalk or fade.
Metal Roof Finish Types
There are countless different finishes for metal roofs, which are normally installed as interlocking panels with hidden fasteners, just as any other roof type. And, since they mimic the look of a traditional roof material, such as shingles and tiles, the naked eye can’t even tell the difference when viewing it from the ground.
Standing-seam metal roofs, which are long sheets of painted steel with vertical seams, are perfect for the contemporary home design. Stone-coated roofs receive an acrylic coating embedded with stone granules, offering a slightly less metallic finish.
What are the Benefits of Metal Roofs?
Metal roofs come with a variety of benefits that help the homeowner get more out of their house. Let’s discuss some of the biggest advantages of installing metal roofing.
A Wide Variety of Metal Roofing Styles, Patterns and Designs
As we just discussed, the wide variety of metal roofing styles, patterns and designs gives the homeowner a wide number of options when choosing a new roof. Throughout the country, there are many different area-specific preferences, and metal can accompany all of them! No matter what region, climate or style, a metal roof can be made to match it.
Many homeowners and installers are shocked to find out that metal roofs come in a wide number of styles, perfect for any home or neighborhood. In fact, they can look just as good, if not better, than slate, tile, standing seam vertical panels or cedar shake roofs.
The Durability and Longevity of Metal Roofs
Metal roofs have the most durability and longevity of any other type of roof. For example, an asphalt roof can require re-roofing every 12-20 years, whereas most metal roofs come with a 30 to 50 year warranty.
From normal weather, water and sun penetration, an asphalt, wood or tile roof will start to deteriorate over just a few years. A metal roof, on the other hand, will not. And unlike these other roofing styles, a metal roof is the strongest protector against any storms that may fall upon your home. Even concrete tile, which seems like it would be superior in strength, have been known to have problems with winter freeze/thaw cycles, especially in northern climates like Minnesota.
With the average age of roofing replaced in the U.S. being only 17 years – you don’t want to be just another statistic, do you? A metal roof is a much better long-term choice when compared to the alternatives.
Long-Term Value of a Metal Roof
Perhaps the biggest benefit to installing a metal roof, is its long-term value. Because of its durability, a metal roof system will keep your most important investment – your home – safe for years to come. Because of this, however, a metal roof will cost you more than a traditional asphalt system, however it’s about the same as tile or shake, and more affordable than a slate roof. While all of these types of roofs will look good when they’re installed, and a few years after, only a metal roof can last for 30-50 years, saving you money over time.
When you take into account all of the maintenance costs that you’ll get to avoid, a metal roof is a no-brainer. All you need to do is occasionally hose it down or power wash it with water, and it’s good to go. Save yourself time, worry and long-term costs with a metal roof.
Save Money on Heating and Air Conditioning With a Metal Roof
In addition to maintenance, you’ll also save money on heating and air conditioning when you install a metal roof. Metal roofs provide the best insulation for your home, keep you comfortable no matter what the weather’s like outside. Light-colored metal roofing will deflect the sun’s harmful UV rays keeping your home the right temperature throughout the year. Conversely, an asphalt roof, which is made up of paper, begins to deteriorate when the sun’s UV rays beat down on it.
Metal Roofs allow You to Save on Insurance
While the upfront cost of a metal roof can be substantially more than the cheapest option, an asphalt roof, overall it will save you money in the long term. In addition to the long-term savings benefits of a metal roof that we discussed above, you’ll also have an opportunity to reduce your insurance costs. Many insurance companies provide discounts to those homeowners that install metal roofs.
This is due to the fact that you most likely won’t have to re-roof your home again. When you factor in all the savings from asphalt roof replacements, potentially two within the average span of home ownership, it’s obvious that a metal roof is a smart investment. Additionally, metal roofs provide more protection to your home, something that insurance agents take into account when calculating your homeowners insurance cost.
Metal Roofs are More Sustainable
Because it’s a cheaper, more replaceable material, asphalt is produced, used and replaced very frequently. This means that landfills across the country receive more than 20 billion pounds of shingles every year. Metal roofs, however, are rarely in need of replacing and are generally made up of recycled materials.
Steel roofs are made up of 56 percent of recycled material from production to installation to reuse – making it far better for the environment than the asphalt alternative. Plus, a metal roof can often be installed over your current roof, without removing what’s already in place. With its superior insulation capabilities, metal roofs can make your heating and air condition system more efficient.
A Metal Roof Warranty Can’t be Beat
As we mentioned early, a metal roof comes with a valuable long-term warranty from the product manufacturer, in addition to a service warranty from your roof installer. The majority of these warranties also continue even if someone else buys the house. Warranties vary depending upon which manufacturer or installer you choose, however, most are between 30 and 50 years. That’s a good way to gain peace of mind, knowing the value of your home is protected.
A warranty acts as a guarantee, issued to the purchaser of the roof by its manufacturer, promising to repair or replace it if necessary within a specified period of time. This means that you’re covered in the off-chance that any issues arise with your roof, although that’s not likely. When you compare it to asphalt, wood or tile warranty, the choice is clear – metal is the worry-free choice.
Common Myths about Metal Roofing
Metal roofing carries many benefits to the modern homeowner, however, many myths about the material still persist. maybe because people are still unaware of the recent developments in style and durability. Here are some common myths about this unique roof type, and facts to dispel them.
You cannot walk on a metal roof – you can, in fact, walk on a metal roof. However, you should know exactly what you’re doing so you don’t cause any damage. Working at heights is always dangerous, so ensure that you’re using appropriate harnessing and protective gear.
Metal roofs are more noisy in the rain – the tin roofs of the past may have been noisy, but the superior metal shingles of today are actually quieter than other roof types. When installed with solid sheathing, a metal roof on your home will actually silence noise from rain, hail and bad weather better than other roofing materials.
Metal roofs are more prone to hail damage – while large hail can damage any type of roof, metal roofs are more durable than others in the event of a hail storm. With textured metal shingles, minor denting isn’t noticeable.
Metal roofs are more likely to be struck by lightning – metal conducts electricity, but electricity is not drawn to it, so your roof is safe.
A metal roof cools down your house in winter – a metal roof has no effect on the temperature of the typical vented attic in winter. It’s the insulation under (or on top of) the floor of your attic that keeps your home warm.
Do you have any other questions about the benefits of metal roofing? Contact the experts at Northface Construction today. We’re dedicated to providing quality, comprehensive metal roofing services on a personal basis. Get in touch today.