Metal has been established as one of the most durable, long-lasting and cost-effective materials for roofing, making it a viable option for nearly all homes, with the exception of those with very flat roof pitches. However, not all metal roofs appear to be made of metal at first glance; there are also shingle-style metal roofing products that look enticingly similar to traditional asphalt shingles. In this article, roofing experts from STARR Roofing & Gutters break down the important things you need to know about metal roofing.
1. Metal roofs are not just a novelty.
Back in the 1850s, metal roofing was widely used on commercial structures, such as post offices, train sheds, and factories, and can be found on high-end, custom-designed houses. In these times, this is no longer true. Metal roofing is increasingly integrated into conventional residential builds, thanks to the growing availability of materials and advancing techniques and processes in manufacturing. Currently, about 15 percent of all roofing installations utilize metal roofing products.
2. Metal roofs are no noisier than traditional asphalt shingle roofs.
It’s a common misconception that metal roofs generate loud, bothersome noises when rain or hail plummets down on its surface. But the actual truth is that, when installed correctly, metal roofing is no noisier than other kinds of roofing materials. Take note that metal roofing is often installed over a tough, solid substrate. Moreover, the attic and proper insulation provide a barrier that’s solid enough to impede unwanted sounds. It’s also extremely rare for residents to notice an increase in sound levels when a metal roofing is installed over their heads.
3. Metal roofs do not attract lightning.
A lot of homeowners believe that a metal roof will attract lightning since metal is a popular conductor of electricity and heat, but this mix-up is not supported by facts or statistics at all. In truth, metal roofing does not increase the risk of a lightning strike, according to the Metal Construction Association. If metal roofing does happen to get hit by lightning, it’s not likely to be consumed by fire as it’s less combustible than other conventional roofing materials, such as wood shakes or shingles.
There’s a straightforward explanation for how metal roofs remain a desirable construction during a lightning event. In essence, lightning seeks a path to the ground, making trees, telephone poles, and other tall structures an attractive target to lightning. However, a metal roof is an isolated structural component, and it doesn’t possess an inherent path to the ground in its design. Hence, there’s no clear, science-based reason for a lightning strike to zap residential roofing made of metal more often than it hits an asphalt shingle roof.
4. Metal roofs can be more cost-effective than other roofs.
Even though most metal roofing products are accompanied by manufacturer’s warranties similar to superior asphalt shingles, which have a useful life of 20 to 30 years, in practice, metal roofing is known to last up to 50 years or longer. According to State Farm Insurance, metal roofs customarily have entrenched longevity of 40 to 70 years. It’s therefore extremely unusual for a homeowner to install more than one metal roofing over the course of time he or she inhabits the home. On the other hand, the same homeowner will likely undertake a roof replacement project at least two or three times over a 50-year period if he or she has an asphalt shingle roof. Overall, while the upfront cost of a metal roof is much higher than traditional roofs, the choice can actually help you save more money in the long run.
5. Metal roofing can work on low-slope roofs.
Another common misconception about metal roofing is that it’s only suitable for roofing structures with a steep slope. However, standing seam metal roofs are able to work perfectly fine on slightly pitched roofs. This distinctive type of metal roofing is installed in large sheets with seams that are raised above the flat area and sealed tightly together to hold out against water intrusion. While a certain slope is requisite to ensure effective water run-off, most homes can sport metal residential roofing.
6. Severe hail can ruin metal roofing.
While it’s true that metal roofing requires less maintenance and is notably more tough and durable than other forms of roofing, it’s not completely indestructible. One weather element that bodes ill for metal roofs is hail. Aluminum and copper, in particular, can be susceptible to denting when sharp-hitting hailstones draw near golf-ball size. Steel is sturdier and fares better in hailstorms, but if you live in an area where catastrophic hail is not that rare of news, it’s better to exercise caution when considering metal. Still, this is no reason to disregard other long-lasting benefits of metal roofing. Keep in mind that large hail can impair different kinds of roofing materials, so make sure to keep your homeowners insurance intact to cover expensive storm-related damage as well.
7. Ridge vents are more obvious.
On most houses today, attic ventilation is laid out by a continuous ridge vent that runs across the peak of the roof. On a shingled roof, this continuous ridge vent appears as a strip of shingle-like material that cups the entire length of the peak of the house, blanketing outflow holes located on the sides of the ridge. It usually lies flat and fuses with the surrounding material in a sleek, seamless fashion. On most metal roofs, the continuous ridge vent is also made of metal, which stands out further, thus making it a lot more noticeable than usual. These strapping, prominent lines or ridges are commonplace in metal roofing and adds to their distinctive appearance.
8. Metal roofs are recyclable.
A metal roof can have a useful life of several decades, but when the time comes to replace it, old sheets of metal are readily accepted at metal recycling centers, says a roof inspections expert. In fact, apart from the content of metal roofs itself being 100% recyclable, many metal roofs contain up to 40% recycled steels, making it the most eco-friendly roofing solution, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Other types of roofing, such as wood shakes, are not accepted at cycling outlets so far and often destined to take up space at a landfill.
9. The installation of metal roofing requires a professional.
It’s generally not advisable to install and repair a metal roof on your own. Metal roofing is available through select retailers, and the techniques needed for a successful installation, repair, and maintenance are specialized skills. If you opt for a metal roof, it’s best to call in a specialist to avoid complications and other day-to-day issues with the roof.
Let STARR Roofing & Gutters Help Achieve Your Dream Exterior
For top-rated exterior improvement solutions, look no further than STARR Roofing & Gutters. As a factory-certified GAF Master Elite® contractor, we are proud to offer metal roof installation, roof inspections, storm damage roof repair and maintenance, gutter cleaning, and more to residential and commercial clients in the Texas Hill Country. Our experienced team aims to provide the comfort and efficiency you need through industry-leading products and excellent customer service. Call us today at (512) 402-8095 or fill out our contact form to request a free, no-obligation estimate. We look forward to working with you!