Metal aka the “forever roof” can be an excellent choice for residential applications, particularly in comparison to the less durable, temporary roof types such as asphalt.
Pros of Metal
Extremely Durable and Long-Lasting
Compared to asphalt, metal is a far more durable and longer-lasting option for residential roofs. In fact, most homeowners who choose to install a metal roof on their home will never have to think about re-roofing again. Why not? Well, metal roofs are proven to last two to three times longer than asphalt, with 50 to 60 years lifespan for high-end metal roofs such as field-locked standing seam and aluminum shingles. A roof made of zinc or copper can last well over 100 years.
A metal roof can withstand the elements for far longer than an asphalt roof. Sun or rain, snow or ice, a metal roof will remain attractive and weatherproof for a very long time.
Moss- and Fungus-Proof
Unlike asphalt, metal roofing is 100% unaffected by the growth of mildew, fungus and moss — all the common afflictions known to plaque impermanent roofs made of asphalt or wood such as cedar shingles and shakes.
Did you know? Moss and fungus growth not only look extremely undesirable, but they can also dramatically shorten the lifespan of an asphalt roof. — In fact, they can cut that “already too short lifespan” in half! This is exactly the kind of contrast that makes metal the perfect choice for areas that are particularly prone to moss growth, such as heavily wooded environments.
Raccoons, Rodents, Pests, and Wild Animals Proof
If you live in heavily-wooded area, where raccoons and rodents can get onto your roof from the tree branch, you can rest assured that they won’t be able to damage a metal roof to break into your attic.
Did you know? There are many reported cases of pests and wild animals breaking away the asphalt shingles, destroying plywood, and getting inside the homes to cause further damage.
Another benefit of a metal roof is that it is fire resistant. This can be particularly important in areas that are prone to wildfires.
Metal roofs can also be useful in locations that experience other types of extreme weather, such Kansas, Oklahoma, and other areas where hailstorms are common.
Did you know? A metal roof can withstand even the largest hailstones with minimal damage, and they are normally able to withstand the wind speeds of up to 110 miles per hour, which means that most metal roofs meet or exceed the requirements of the strictest building codes in the US, such as the hurricane prone county of Miami Dade in Florida. Some metal roofs can stand up to the winds that are as strong as 150 km/h.
In contrast, 3-tab asphalt shingles can be damaged by winds with speeds of 70+ miles per hour. Shingles can be damaged, or even blown off the roof, particularly if they have been poorly fitted.
High-end residential metals roofs are rated to withstand wind, hail and fire, and some home insurers will offer discounts of up to 30 percent to homeowners whose properties have metal roofs.
Sustainability of Metal
Metal is a sustainable and durable alternative to asphalt or cedar. Metal roofs can last at least three times as long as asphalt shingles, without requiring as much maintenance.
At least 30 percent of the material that is used to create a metal roof is recycled, and some metal roofs are made of 100 percent recycled content. — This, coupled with durability and long lifespan, makes metal an environmentally friendly roofing option. All metal roofs can be fully recycled at the end of their life.
Metal offers yet another important advantage over other materials; Metal roofs can stay much cooler than their asphalt counterparts on a hot sunny day, helping to regulate the temperature inside the building, while also reducing the demand for electricity and AC load.
How does a metal roof help keep my home cool in the summer? Metal is reflective, so it reflects away a lot of the heat from the sun, keeping it away from the home. It can also absorb much of the heat it does not reflect.
Metal has high thermal emissivity, which means that it readily absorbs and releases heat. Metal roofs will absorb some of the heat from the sun during the day, but unlike asphalt, will also quickly release it during the night.
Metal cools much faster than asphalt. In a hot environment, a metal roof can help to keep the house significantly cooler.
Again, metal reflects most of the heat during the day without transferring it into the house, while any heat absorbed is quickly released during the night.
Good for All Seasons and Climates
Metal roofs can help to keep your home cool during the hot weather, but they can also provide important benefits in a cold environment. Ice dams are a significant problem for many homeowners in the United States and in Canada.
Did you know? An ice dam can create a leak in a roof, but it can do so surreptitiously, so that a homeowner is not aware of the problem for many months!
Ice dams occur when there is a combination of insufficient insulation under the roof, in the attic space, and poor ventilation in the roof.
The lack of adequate attic insulation means that hot air can rise up through the house, into the attic, where, due to the lack of ventilation, it will become trapped under the roof. — This trapped heat gradually warms the roof deck and melts the snow that is lying on top of it.
The resulting melted water begins to run down the roof slope, refreezing along the cooler eaves, where the ice forms an ice dam.
An ice dam is a wall of ice which builds up along the eaves of the house. As more snow is melted, it runs down towards the eaves and adds to the wall of ice.
Once there is enough ice along the eaves, the water will begin to be trapped. It will be unable to run off the roof, and it will instead be pushed back under the roof shingles, where it may leak into the house. — All of this can be avoided by installing a metal roof.
Metal roofs can help prevent snow and ice from accumulating, which means that ice dams are unable to form.
A metal roof is one of the ways in which ice dams can be effectively prevented from forming, so they are an ideal choice for cold climates.
Despite all of their benefits, there is one important disadvantage to choosing a metal roof, and that is the initial cost of investment.
Many people are put off the idea of buying a metal roof because it will be more expensive than choosing cheaper options such as asphalt shingles. — This makes sense, if you are buying a roof for a building in which you only have a short-term interest.
If you will not be there to take on the cost of replacing the asphalt roof in ten or fifteen years, then asphalt will be the cheaper option.
However, if you have along term interest in the property, then it is worth comparing the cost of a metal shingle roof to the combined cost of all the asphalt roof replacements you are likely to need during your residence in the property.
Added to this, there will be the other benefits of having a metal roof, including its attractive appearance, its ability to keep your home cool in the summer and prevent problems with ice and snow during winter, the reduction of your home insurance premiums, and last but not least, your peace of mind in knowing that your roof will provide durable and weatherproof protection for your home and your family. After-all, metal may work out to be the most cost effective choice.
Dealing with the higher cost of upfront investment
If the initial cost of investment is a serious issue, for example because you are buying roofing for a business or an outbuilding of some kind, then it is worthwhile considering a cheaper corrugated steel roofing option. Corrugated metal roofs are usually priced similarly to asphalt shingles, but they can be expected to last about twice as long.
Corrugated steel will require some maintenance, every decade or so the fasteners will need to be re-tightened, and the roof will need to be resealed.
Corrugated steel roofs can offer excellent value in terms of longevity, durability, and energy efficiency for the money, and they can also be painted or coated in a wide range of CoolRoof rated colors.
The usual choice for houses is an architectural / residential standing seam, which is typically made out of zinc & aluminum coated steel, although other metals such as aluminum, zinc, and copper can also be used.
Another common, often less expensive choice is a residential metal shingles roof, which is a fully interlocking (metal shingles are locked-in with each other on all four sides, making for a strong and durable design) and very versatile roofing system.
Standing Seam for Homes and Commercial Applications
Commercial standing seam roofs also known as structural standing seam, are built from structural / rigid steel panels that are installed over steel beams. The beams are usually set four feet apart from each other. — Installing these can be easy, but only for well-equipped professional installers. Although it does takes more time than laying and securing a corrugated steel roof, because metal is of a thicker gauge and standing seam tale longer to install.
The installation involves concealed fasteners. A standing seam roof, once properly fitted, requires no maintenance. Standing seam roofs are fairly expensive, however.
Many people consider standing seam roofs to be a very attractive option, and this is often an important factor in the choice of metal roofing for residential properties, although it is also used on industrial and office buildings.
Standing seam roofs are very popular for homes, particularly in the northeastern states. They can also be integrated with thin film PV solar laminates for generation of electricity from solar energy.
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