There are a variety of roofing materials for homeowners to choose from. The traditional, more common ones being asphalt, wood, and tile. But what about the non-traditional residential roofing materials? One that has become more and more popular with homeowners is metal roofing (tin, zinc, aluminum, copper, or galvanized steel). We will examine the pros and cons of metal roofs in order to give you a better idea of what is available to use on your residential roofing project.
Pros of a Metal Roof
Metal roofing materials have a number of benefits that are attractive to homeowners.
A metal roof that has been properly installed can last as long as a home with up to 50 years. This is a big benefit for homeowners as they can be assured that their roof will resist strong winds, snow, fire, insects, rot, and mildew for majority if not the whole time they are living in it. Metal roofs give homeowners a piece of mind that they will not have to replace their roof in a handful of years the way they would have to with traditional roofing materials like asphalt.
One of the factors that makes metal roofs life expectancy longer is its durability that other roofing materials do not possess. Metal roofs can can stand up to strong winds as much as 140 miles per hour, do not corrode, or crack. Metal roofs also typically do not need the sort of maintenance schedules and repair like other traditional roofs do.
To benefit of both the homeowner and the roofing contractor, metal roofs can be installed very quickly. Metal roofs can be installed by as much 2 days quicker than traditional roofs because of their lightweight material that typically comes in sections in 12 to 36 inch wide panels. The lightweight material of metal roofs also allow homes to have a reduced number of roofing support beams within it since there is not as much weight to hold up. Metal roofs can also be applied on top of other roofing materials without removing those beforehand which can result in an even quicker installation time.
Most metal roofs have a Class A, non combustible fire rating which is the most resistant. Please keep in mind though that this does not mean you entire roof is fire resistant because other elements within the roofing structure could not be resistant and still result in home fires or intense heat, especially if old roofing is present under the metal roof.
Metal roofs reflect heat from the sun which in turn decreases indoor temperatures. This can typically save you around 10-25% in cooling costs.
Shedding of Snow
Metal roofs are ideal in snow heavy environments because they can easily shed off snow and rain thanks to their metal panels that interlock and their metal surfaces. The major benefit of shedding snow and rain is that potential home water damage is greatly decreased since it does not stay “sitting” on your roof or penetrating the inside of your home.
Metal roofs are mostly made up of recycled content already making them environmentally friendly. At the end of a metal roofs lifespan they can also be recycled which most traditional roofs cannot and only turn into waste.
Cons of a Metal Roof
Of course, metal roofs can come with cons as well.
A big drawback of metal roofs to most homeowners is its affordability. The initial costs of a metal roof can be two or three times more than other roofing options. Due to a metal roof’s longevity and low maintenance needs, homeowners can usually get their return on investment but only if they stay in their home for a number of years. A homeowner that installs a metal roof and moves in a few years will most likely not see any investment benefits.
Obviously a metal roof can be a bit noisy during a heavy rainstorm for the homeowners on the inside. The noise is manageable though if you want to spend a little bit more money on sound barriers such as installation or plywood sheathing.
Along with noise, hailstorms may cause denting in your metal roof depending on the material it is made out of. Aluminum and copper are more prone to dents compared to steel metal roofs.
Whenever choosing a roofing material there are always pros and cons to choose from. Hopefully you have gained some insight on metal roofs with the lists above to better decide the right material for you and your home. EMA Construction’s qualified roofers are here to advise homeowners on the best roofs for their individual homes. If you have any questions relating to metal roofing, please contact us.