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Do you have metal roofing on your property? Here we will summarize the pros and cons of metal roofing and compare it with other roofing materials to better help you make an informed decision.
If you're planning to buy a new roof, one of the initial aspects to factor in is the material it is made of. This will also influence the roof's cost, maintenance, durability, performance, and appearance.
Other options available besides metal roofing include concrete tiles, composite tiles, wood shakes, and asphalt shingles. Keep reading to uncover more about metal roofing's pros and cons and compare metal roofs with the other roofing types available.
Metal Roofs Pros
Metal roofs offer many benefits, which include the following:
Metal roofs can typically last 40 to 50 years, but only if properly installed. During this time, the roof will effectively withstand high wind conditions, shed snow easily, and seal out water. Another fantastic quality of a metal roof is its resistance to insect infestation, mildew, and fire, further enhancing its longevity.
Here's an overview of the lifespan of other roof materials:
- Tar and gravel: 20-25 years
- Wood shingles and shakes: 30 years
- Modified bitumen roofing: 20 years
- Fiber cement shingles: 25 years
- Asphalt shingles: 20 years
Even though they all last long, they don't match up to the lifespan of metal roofs. However, it's important to note that the lifespan of metal roofs depends on other factors like unforeseen damage, workmanship, and climate conditions.
The weight of metal roofs is usually between one to three pounds per square foot, depending on the profile and thickness of the roofing material. Metal roofs are among the lightest types of roofing materials available.
For comparison, here's an overview of the weight of other roofing materials:
- Clay or concrete tiles: 5.5 to 10 pounds per square foot
- Wood shingles and shakes: 3.5 to 4.5 pounds per square foot
- Textured asphalt shingles: 3.5 to 5 pounds per square foot
- Conventional asphalt shingles: 2 to 3.5 pounds per square foot
Metal is generally lightweight, so you can save on building supporting structures for your property. Another fantastic thing is that it reduces the number of support staff required during the construction process, which enables you to save costs.
Metal roofs are primarily supplied in multiple shingle sections or standing-seam sheets, usually 12 to 36 inches wide. The standing seam sheets also come in different sizes; you can also get them in custom sizes. One interesting thing about these materials is that they are easy to install.
Metallic materials are noncombustible and come with a Class A fire rating, the highest fire-resistant rating today. With metal roofing, you can rest easy knowing that embers and flying sparks won't trigger any fire outbreak on your property.
However, it's essential to remember that your roofing system's classification depends on the materials under the roof. In most cases, you'll find metallic roofs with combustible materials like wood below them, reducing the rating to a Class C rating.
The heat reflection ability of metal roofing is also another advantage it offers. Metal has properties that allow it to easily reflect heat from the sun, thereby reducing midday heat gain. This implies that you can reduce air conditioning during the day.
The insulation value is also an essential factor to consider. In general, metal has a lower insulation R-value, but you can apply the roof over foam insulation to increase this value. Another strategy is to use a dead-air space between the roof decking and metal surfaces to reduce the transfer of heat and increase energy efficiency.
The manufacturing process of asphalt utilizes fossil fuels and petroleum. Also, you'll need to get a replacement for asphalt roofs within 15 to 20 years, which can cost you a lot of money. That's not the case with metallic roofs, as they are generally environmentally friendly, and you won't need to get a replacement within a short period of time.
Can withstand hurricanes, tornadoes, snow, and rain
If you reside in areas with extreme weather conditions, having metal roofs over your head gives you peace of mind. Most metallic roofing systems have been tested and found to be able to withstand winds moving at high speeds of 140 miles per hour.
The roofing systems are also effective at protecting against impacts during a heavy storm. Metal roofs are hurricane-resistant, but their effectiveness depends on correct installation.
Apart from hurricane resistance, metal roofs are excellent at shedding rain and snow. Rain and snow cannot penetrate metal roofs, and this is because of their hard surfaces and effective interlocking between panels.
Metal Roofing Cons
Even though metal roofs offer many advantages, you should also know the cons of metal roofing. However, most metal roofing producers have improved the products they offer, and this has eliminated most of the concerns associated with them. With that said, let us uncover some of the cons of metal roofing.
Metallic roofs are generally noisier than other roofing materials like tile or slate roofs. This is a con that is more significant during a hailstorm or rainstorm. However, noise is not necessarily a problem, and it mostly depends on the type of construction.
Also, when compared with thinner materials like wood shingles or asphalt, metals are not noisier. The primary thing to remember is that rain can drum and produce sound on any surface. However, if noise concerns you, the good thing is that it can be controlled, and you only need to use quality materials with structural barriers to reduce the drumming effect.
You can also use soundproof insulation over the metallic roof. An example of this sound-deadening material is solid plywood sheathing. Another method to consider is to have an attic between rooms and roofs.
This is the main disadvantage of metal roofing. When compared with other materials, metal roofing is generally more expensive. However, because they are generally longer lasting than other roofing materials, you end up saving more money in the long run.
However, there are some aspects to note about the cost. For instance, if you plan to move out of the property after some years, you won't get a significant return on your investment.
Metal can dent
Another con of metal roofs is that they are more prone to dents, unlike other roofing materials. For example, a tennis ball hitting your metal roof will leave a dent. The case will be more severe if you use soft metallic materials like aluminum or copper.
Therefore, if you reside in an area prone to heavy hail, the best thing is to consider opting for materials more resistant to dents. Some options include metal roofing shingles, roofing with ribbed structure, and metal roofing shakes.
Difficult for firefighters
Even though metal roofs offer impressive resistance to fire, they are not the best option for fires triggered from the interior parts of the house. If there's a severe house fire, a firefighter may need to cut through the roof, and if you have metallic roofing, doing this will pose difficulties. This is another area where metallic roofing falls short when compared with other roofing materials.
Metal Roofing Installation
Here we have mentioned the top pros and cons of metal roofing that you should know. We have highlighted this relative to other roofing materials so you can better make an informed decision. Ultimately, if you still need clarification about what roofing material to choose, consider consulting with a professional roofer for recommendations, roof installation, or roof replacement.
These professionals have the knowledge, skills, and expertise to handle your roofing needs. If you're looking to replace your old roof with a new metal one or repair your metal roof, these roofing experts can get the job done right the first time.