Thanks to advancements in technology, homeowners have a range of roofing materials to choose from. You can install an asphalt shingle roof, a tile roof, or even a metal roof. Although asphalt and tile have been some of the most common materials in the past, metal roofing has gained popularity in recent years. Thanks to its durability and longevity, homeowners are starting to understand why so many people are making the switch. Metal roofing can be made from a variety of materials, such as steel, aluminum, and copper and it can be customized to fit any style or aesthetic. However, like any material, metal roofing has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here, we’ll explore 11 of the key pros and cons of metal roofing to help you decide if it’s the right choice for your home.
Advantages of Metal Roofs
Many homeowners are drawn to the durability and longevity of metal roofs, as they can withstand harsh weather conditions and last for decades with little maintenance. However, the advantages of metal roofing go beyond these two features. Whether you’re building a new home or considering a roof replacement, these advantages may make metal roofing a compelling option.
Metal is an exceptionally resilient material that can be used for your roof. Its capacity to protect you and your loved ones from adverse weather conditions is unparalleled, and it can endure fierce winds and harsh weather with little damage. It can even withstand winds of up to 140 mph, which is particularly advantageous for homes located in areas prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, or strong windstorms. If you’re exhausted from constantly repairing your roof due to damage from harsh weather in the past, consider speaking with your roofing contractor about making the switch.
Metal roofing is renowned for its longevity, surpassing that of traditional roofing materials like asphalt shingles, tiles, or shake. When installed by skilled professionals, metal roofing can last for 25 to 70 years, or longer. This is because metal roofs are less susceptible to issues over time.
When selecting the type of metal to use for your roof, there are several options available. Some of the higher-end materials can even last more than 70 years when adequately maintained. For instance, aluminum shingle roofs tend to last for over 50 years, while zinc or even copper roofs can last for up to 100 years. Although the initial cost may be higher, the longevity can save you money on roof replacements over the years.
Asphalt shingles need to be replaced more often and, therefore, tend to have a greater impact on the environment. Although some parts of traditional roofing systems can be recycled, metal roofs are much more environmentally friendly. Not only can they last for up to 70 years or longer, but metal is 100% recyclable. This minimizes the unnecessary use and production of materials while lowering your carbon footprint. In fact, most metal roofs installed today are made of up to 25% recycled material.
Although you don’t need to install solar panels at the same time as a new roof, metal systems have the ideal surface for future placement. This allows you to further reduce your environmental footprint with green investments.
Metal roofs also reflect radiant heat and UV rays given off by the sun. This means that your home won’t absorb as much of this heat, thus reducing the strain that’s put on your HVAC system. Over time, this can result in about a 10% to 25% reduction in cooling costs. The energy efficiency of metal roofs is so powerful that federal rebates are offered for installing them. In fact, you can receive a 10% tax credit up to $500 for the installation of your metal roof.
Style and Aesthetics
Many homeowners picture futuristic or bland styles when they think of metal roofs, but the opposite is actually true. Metal roofs can be painted in hundreds of assorted colors and coated with diverse types of materials to emulate various textures. They can be adapted to fit any aesthetic or style of your home’s existing exterior. Plus, they’re easy to repaint if you ever decide to change your look.
First of all, metal roofs do not attract lightning. They do still need to be grounded, just in case, but the risk of this happening is not much higher than traditional materials. On the contrary, metal roofs are fire resistant, so if something were to occur the risk of a fire spread is far less than asphalt, wood, or tiles.
Finally, metal roofing’s naturally slippery surface makes it great for areas that receive a lot of snowfall. Instead of having to get on your roof, or hire professionals to remove the buildup, snow and ice can easily slide right off the surface. This helps reduce the added strain put on your roofing system, which could otherwise lead to dangerous situations.
Some Things to Consider About Metal Roofs
While the popularity of metal roofs continues to grow, there are some things that you’ll want to consider beforehand. Some of these include cost, vulnerability, noise levels, changes in expansion, and overall performance.
One of the biggest hesitations homeowners have about installing a metal roof is the cost. It’s a higher upfront investment, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth it. Metal roofs are a high-quality option that’s hard to compare with other materials. On average, however, they can cost between $5,000 and $20,000 depending on location, size of your home, installation company, and type of metal. To estimate the cost of your metal roof, you can use this calculator.
Regardless of the upfront investment, it’s important to consider both the short-term and long-term cost of a metal roof versus an asphalt shingle roof. Asphalt shingle roofs range from $5,000 to $10,000 but will need to be replaced more often. So, when you take maintenance and longevity into account, you’re likely going to spend more on asphalt shingle roofs over time. Plus, many metal roofs come with a lifetime warranty to give you a stronger peace of mind. Depending on where you live and how well you care for your home’s exterior, a metal roof can last nearly an entire lifetime. Traditional asphalt shingle roofs last about 15 to 30, depending on the materials.
Potential for Damage
Most metal roofing materials are strong enough to withstand damage, but over time extreme weather may lead to both aesthetic and structural issues. Metal can be dented by heavy debris, but the same debris may easily put a hole in an asphalt roof. When compared to other roofing materials, metal is still the most durable option.
Another thing that many homeowners fear when installing a metal roof is the possibility of noise. Although metal roofs do produce more noise than traditional asphalt options, there are ways to mitigate this during installation. The key is using high-quality materials that minimize the drumming effect caused by rain or snow. This is done by adding sheathing and effective insulation underneath the installation of the metal itself. When this is done, metal roofs should be no louder than roofs made from more traditional materials.
Expansion and Contraction
Metal roofing systems are put together using large panels attached by fasteners. If improperly installed, these fasteners may be subject to expansion and contraction, which can cause problems in the roof’s structural stability. Luckily, working with a reputable metal roofing company will help you bypass this issue.
Some people argue that pooling water can cause serious issues for metal roofs, but that can be avoided with the right pitch during installation. Otherwise, a metal roof may rust or corrode, thus decreasing its overall performance.
One thing to keep in mind regarding some of the disadvantages of metal roofs is that a lot of these issues can be mitigated completely with the proper installation. Therefore, if you’re interested in making the switch to a metal roof, it’s imperative that you find a company with the knowledge and experience of proper installation. When looking for a reputable company to install your metal roof, contact First Star Exteriors. Our team knows what it takes to properly install a metal roof and reduce unnecessary issues for your home. We believe there’s a perfect balance between hands-on, personable treatment, quality of work, and speed of delivery. Our professionals always take the time to understand your needs and communicate effectively from the first quote to the last nail. To learn more about our roofing options or to get a quote from us today within 48 hours, contact us at (479) 267-4800 or fill out our contact form here.