Virtually all roofing systems the industry has to offer present certain advantages of use, benefits and drawbacks. Metal roofing is not an exception, and just like any other roofing system it offers benefits, and drawbacks. For instance, the initial cost of metal roofing is often sited as a major drawback. However, it all depends on the perspective you take. We will come back to the initial cost of metal roofing investment in a bit, and analyze it in greater detail, but for now let’s focus our attention on the benefits of metal roofs.
Longevity of Metal Roofs
One of the dimensions for measuring any given roofing system’s attractiveness is its longevity, which can be well over fifty years in metal roofing. Fifty years! Imagine, that’s half a century, but you can only get such a long lasting roof, when it is installed by a well trained metal roofing installer. It means that the installer not only follows the metal roofing manufacturer’s installation requirements, but also takes into account the overall condition and functioning of the roof in question, and make any and all, necessary improvements, changes and adjustments with regard to roof ventilation, insulation, roof deck condition, and other factors that comprise a fine working roof.
With regard to the longevity of a metal roofing system, it is important to keep in mind that not all metal roofing systems are created equal. For instance, I once had the displeasure of working with a fine looking metal shake roofing system by Atas manufacturing, that was poorly designed, did not have a good wind uplift, lacked in terms of metal shake lock design, which compromised its reliability, and required a roofing pitch of at least 7 to 12, which indicated that the system was prone to leaking. This system was called Rumba Shakes, and I had no choice but to install it because it was specified by the client, who ordered that metal roofing system. Well, we did the best we could with it, and that roof still functions fine today, but we were quite worried about the small locks of the metal shakes during the installation.
Later on, when we received an order for an installation of another metal roof with similar metal shake design and blue color, I came to find out that the manufacturer has discontinued this particular metal roofing system for reasons unknown to me…. As a result, I had to spend quite a bit of time before we finally found a manufacturer who agreed to purchase blue color aluminum coil and stamped the metal shakes for our order. Interestingly enough, the new metal roofing system was made with noticeably lesser gauge or thickness of aluminum, yet the design of its locks was far superior. This makes a big difference, because the lock is a critically important feature of any interlocking metal roofing system. The new alternative metal shake system was way more reliable than a similar looking, but functionally inferior rumba shake we have installed before. Take a look at the photograph I took of the two shakes side by side.
You may also note, that the functionally superior shake with the larger lock also looks more like a shake and it uses less aluminum for the shake itself. Sustainably speaking, we are talking about going green in style here!
At this point, you are probably asking yourself what is the whole point of my rant about the lock mechanism features of these two metal roofing systems? Well, I will tell you from the installer’s perspective, we want to do the job right the first time and never have to come back again. I am talking about reliability of a metal roofing system, and although generally speaking, metal roofs (www.newenglandmetalroof.com) are far superior compared to conventional roofs, not all metal roofs are created equal. When you go with a metal roof that has flaws in the design of the system or its flashing, you may well encounter unpleasant problems, such as roof leaks down the road. So, this is just a little something to be aware of.
Thus, we have established that not all metal roofing systems are the same, and that as a consumer you should do the due diligence, and research metal roofing materials you are interested in, before committing to any particular system. One of the ways to learn more about metal roofing materials and the system specific benefits is to go to a Roofing supply warehouse and ask to speak to a person in charge of the metal roofing products division. You can ask them if they can recommend a good metal roofing system for your particular situation. Be sure to ask, why they think that the recommended system will work well for you. In other words, they should explain the benefits of a metal roofing system they recommend. They can also refer you to metal roofing contractors who install this particular system. But your homework is not done here, in fact it only begins…
Energy-Saving Colors of Metal Roofs
One of the benefits of modern metal roofs is the wide selection of cool roof rated colors designed to reflect solar radiant heat, reducing the heat gain in your home during the summer and helping to save money on AC costs. When the night sets, in the summer, a metal roof will quickly emit the heat gained back into the atmosphere, where as asphalt shingle roof will remain hot for hours.
In the winter, a metal roof can help you prevent ice dam formation, and ice build up. Modern metal roofs are coated with specialty coatings that allow snow to slide off the roof, virtually eliminating ice dam formation. In places where falling snow is undesirable, a metal roof can be equipped with specialty snow guards.
Don’t Neglect Aesthetics!
A metal roof can set your home apart from the rest. Did you know that when you are looking at any given house, its roof is half of what you see? Replacing an existing mediocre looking asphalt shingle roof with a more attractive metal roof will do wonders for the curb appeal of your home. Not only that, it will increase the value of your property.
Maintenance and Repairs
A metal roof that was installed correctly will help you eliminate unnecessary roof repairs and expensive maintenance down the road. This is another way that you could be saving money in the long run.
Now, you have heard the tales of incessant noise from a metal roof when it rains, right? Well, guess what? that is not the case at all with modern metal roofing. I fact, they are awfully quiet, but do not get sleepy, yet!
Metal Roofs are TRULY GREEN
Have you heard that saying that green proponents often use; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Well guess what? Metal Roofs are made from a significant proportion / content of recycled metal, and likewise can be recycled at the end of their service life. But it is going to be very long life, of course, given that you found a good metal roofing installer to do it right in every regard.
And speaking of green building and sustainability, modern metal roofs, such as sheet metal roofing systems, can be outfitted with thin-film PV solar roofing panels that can transform solar energy into electricity to power your home.
If you have a question about a metal roofing system you are considering, ask away in the comments, and we will answer it on this roofing blog. And no self promotional posts please.
17 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of Metal Roofing”
Metal is also resistant to mildew, fire, insect infestation and rot. Most metal roof purlin Perth
are noncombustible so they are rated with a Class A fire rating, which is the most resistant. However, if the metal roofing is installed over wood shingles, it will likely have a lower fire rating.
I recently noticed that some of the shingles on my roof are very worn and some have even started falling off, so I am looking for a new roofing material. You make a great point that metal roofing typically lasts over 50 years, so I probably would not have to replace my roof again for a very long time! Also, the fact that metal roofing looks modern and will match better with the style of my home is great because it will also improve the curb appeal of the house.
My sister and her husband recently bought a home and they are thinking of using metal roofing, so I am glad that I found this article. You make a great point that metal roofs have durability and can last over 50 years! This would be a huge benefit for my sister because it will save money in the long run. Also, I did not know that metal roofs can be unique and you can paint it to match your home. My sister wants her home to be unique and stylish so I will share this benefit with her.
Having a metal roof that will reduce the heat gain in your home during the summer is a great idea to save money. Since they’ll last longer that would be another way to save money and keep it in good condition. I would imagine that finding a manufacturer that specializes in metal roofing would ensure it’s installed properly so it’ll last longer.
I never truly understood the longevity of metal roofs. Thank you for informing me of this helpful fact. We are looking to improve our home with a new metal roof. Something we will have to look more into is finding a price that suffices us for the materials and the work that is being done.
My house is pretty old and so it is time to get a new roof. I have been debating whether or not I should have our current one replaced with a metal one, though, and so I am really glad that I came across this post. I had no idea that a metal roof could last up to 50 years and so that is really encouraging. However, does the longevity depend on the climate?
I was looking at new kinds of roofing, because I’m tired of having to repair my roof so often. That’s when I saw metal roofs and read that they hardly need any maintenance. I would personally choose a metal roof just for the fact that they need very little work done, just to have a peace of mind. Thanks for the great tips and advice!
We are resideing in FL and are considering a standing seam Gulf Coast metal, gulf seam 26 gage utilizing the solarshield roofing system for metal roof installation.
Is there another system for metal roof installations we should be considering?
Any suggestions are appreciated.
Amazing. This metal roofing is just great. I think in the next 10 years all the houses will use this type of roofing. It’s the best and very wise home investment. It will cut your energy bill to more than the half. Great post ,i am really grateful to these nice information. Thanks for sharing.
I’m near Phoenix and am really interested in the heat gain/loss aspect with 120 degree summers. Do you have any metal roof installers/manufacturers/experts in the Southwest? Thank you.
If we have someone there, they would be listed in this metal roofing contractors directory.
Hi, thanks for sharing the information regarding to pros and cons of metal roofing. Really a very informative post is posted here. In my opinion, metal roofing is a good idea.
@ roofing articles – I removed your site from signature. If you want to be listed here, we have a roofing directory where you can list your site. Please do not post meaningless comments to get a nofollow link – this is not the place.
Very informative articles. I am having a standing seam roof installed and am curious about standard, approved flashing details. I am concerned that the methods my roofers are using for eave, rake, pipe and skylight flashing are lacking in design and functionality. I am getting a good guarantee but would much rather have no problems in the first place. Any light you can shed in this regard would be appreciated.
You should get installation specs from the manufacturer of your metal roof, but most manufacturers have virtually the same spec for standing seam metal roofing. The main difference is actually in the way the roof curbs such as chimneys and skylights are flashed. As for my taste, not a single manufacturer has a decent enough flashing detail for skylights, so I prefer to do it my own way, which basically borrows good elements and drops bad elements of different ways to do it.
As far a s rakes and eave – that is pretty much straight forward. You can see this article on how standing seam roof is installed: http://www.newenglandmetalroof.com/blog/how-to-install-metal-roof.php
Also, if you want, send me some high resolution pictures of the flashing detail that your contractor is doing, and i’ll be able to say if it’s decent or correct way, or not. My email is leo @ coolflatroof.com (no spaces).
Also, check out this video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB5PHFwpB4g – there you may find answers to your questions also.
nice blog.. liked it very much….the benefits of modern metal roofs is the wide selection of cool roof rated metal roof colors designed to reflect solar radiant heat, reducing the heat gain in your home it the summer and helping to save money on AC costs. When the night sets, in the summer, metal roof will quickly emit the heat gained back into the atmosphere, where as asphalt shingle roof will remain hot for hours.
Excellent read. Our company specializes in standing seam metal roof installations and we’ve seen increased demand for that kind of roofing system because it works very well with solar panels, which is another benefit of metal roofs. Excellent investment that more and more homeowners are interested in.