Metal roofing is actually more common than you may think or notice, especially these days. In addition to lasting decades longer than asphalt shingles, metal roofing offers the versatility and variety of options that most other roofing materials lack.
Advantages of Choosing Metal Roofing
Lightweight – One of the major benefits of metal roofing is that it’s a very lightweight material. This means that it’s an easier material for the installers to handle, and it doesn’t weigh down and put unnecessary stress on your home helping to reduce frame damage over time.
Longevity – Perhaps one of the biggest differences between metal roofing and shingles is the length of its life. Metal roofs should last 50-60 years, that’s about 3x longer than traditional asphalt shingles!
Fire Resistance – Metal roofing is typically Class A fire-rated and noncombustible, making it the most resistant to catching fire.
Weathering Performance – When compared to different materials such as wood, concrete, metal, plastic, or glass, metal easily stands out as the strongest and most durable in regular and extreme weather conditions. When properly installed, metal roofing is designed to withstand:
- Strong winds
- Driving rain
- Hail and ice
- Extreme cold
- High heat
Environmentally Friendly – There’s no doubt that metal roofing is the more eco-friendly option to roofing, which applies in a number of ways:
- Metal roofing is highly recyclable, meaning leftover pieces, tear-off panels, or damaged parts can be recycled for future use.
- There are metal coils and sheets that are made up of previously recycled materials. This is especially true with aluminum, as nearly 95% of aluminum roofing is already recycled materials.
- If the underlayment, which is laid above the roof deck and underneath the metal panels to protect against moisture, ice, vapors, and high temperature, is 100% polypropylene, it can be recycled.
Energy Efficiency – In addition to metal roofing’s environmental benefits, it also has energy efficiency advantages. Many metal coil and sheet manufacturers now offer cool roofing, which are highly emissive metal panels that release absorbed heat in higher temperatures and retain heat in cooler temperatures. You can also choose from a variety of ENERGY STAR® rated colors and finishes for metal roofs. Additionally, you have the ability to easily mount energy-saving equipment, such as solar panels, on a metal roof using clamps.
Increased Property Value – Since metal roofing lasts longer and has a higher one-time cost in the short run, a building with a metal roof has a higher property value (typically 1-6% higher). This can also contribute to how easy it is to resell a structure, especially if the roof is in good condition and wouldn’t need to be replaced by the new owners. This can come in handy if you plan to put your home or building on the market.
Low Maintenance – The level of upkeep needed to maintain a metal roof is generally minimal, especially if the roof was correctly installed. The manufacturer’s maintenance guide will provide instructions on how to care for your new roof, but general upkeep would include looking for leaves, branches, and other debris that could get stuck on the roof and in the gutters around twice a year and after strong storms.
Disadvantages of Choosing Metal Roofing
Higher One-Time Cost – It’s true, metal roofing is more expensive than shingle roofing as a one-time cost. In addition to the higher cost of materials, there also could be a higher price point for labor and the equipment needed to complete the job, though it’s dependent on where the installers are getting the metal panels.
More Labor Intensive – Metal roofing is a precision installation that is much less forgiving than a shingle roof installation. There is virtually zero room to make errors, which is why metal roofing must be installed by a trained craftsperson. This typically means it’s a little more of a labor-intensive process that could take up more time.
Oil Canning – One of the biggest disadvantages to metal roofing is oil canning, the visible waviness in the flat areas of metal roofing and wall panels. Oil canning is aesthetic and does not impact the performance of the roof as long as it was installed appropriately. Unfortunately, oil canning is an inherent characteristic of nearly all metal roof or wall installations, thus it is not normally a cause for rejection of a system.