Pros and Cons of Metal Roofs
Metal vs asphalt is a common topic among homeowners looking to replace their roofs. Today we will discuss the pros and cons of metal roofs. So you can make an informed choice that is right for you.
Metal roofs have a lifespan of 40 to 70 years. As opposed to asphalt which is closer to 12 to 20 years.
A properly installed and well maintained roof can withstand winds up to 140 miles per hour. Metal roofing also does not corrode or crack. Some materials can even be impact-resistant, but that depends on your choice of product. They also require inspections just like asphalt, but often need less repair work. But I will note that when they do need repairs it tends to cost more than repairs made to an asphalt roof.
There are old legends that metal roofs attract lightning. We blew that one apart in our roofing myths blog so check it out if you are curious. But to hit the highlights; they are not more prone to lightning strikes. If lightning strikes a metal roof it will pass through faster than its asphalt counterpart. They also won’t spark or burst into flames if lightning were to strike.
While metal roofs won’t help with heating costs (that one is on your insulation not choice of roof) it will save on cooling costs. This is because metal reflects the sun’s UV and infrared light. This reflection cuts down on surface radiant heat which helps with your overall cooling costs. Some metal roofing materials even have coating with special reflective pigments to minimize heat gain. Saving you even more than just a metal roof on its own!
Depending on your choice of product, metal roofs can be made of 25% to 95% recycled material. For example steel roofing can be repeatedly recycled without loss of strength. Another nice thing is they are also recyclable at the end of their life. Asphalt on the other hand is not recyclable and pitched when the roof is replaced. And, as stated above, they don’t last as long as metal so this shorter lifespan produces even more waste. It’s estimated that asphalt shingles alone produce 20 billion pounds of waste per year. Plus asphalt is a petroleum product and they need fossil fuels to be produced.
When people think of metal roofs they tend to think of old barns. While farmhouse chic is certainly an option, metal roofs have come a long way in terms of style options. They can be different colors, patterns, shapes. Some are even designed to hold paint if the homeowner wants to exercise that option. With some creativity the possibilities are seemingly endless.
We’ve talked a lot about weight on roofs and how damaging it can be. Metal roofs weigh roughly one-third what an asphalt roof weighs. Sometimes they are even so light they can be re roofed over old asphalt roofing. This is all assuming that the existing roof surface and decking beneath it are sound, flat, and rot free. Something like that is normally done for environmental reasons. Namely to avoid sending the old shingles to the landfill.
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Metal roofs cost two or three times more than an asphalt roof. Materials themselves can run from $120 to $900 per 100 square feet. This higher upfront cost can be too much for many homeowners. While you might get what you pay for in the long run, a metal roof only makes sense if you’re there for the long run. It only makes sense to make that kind of investment if you plan to stay in your home for the bulk, if not all, of the lifespan of your new roof. If you plan to move any time in the near future it just doesn’t make sense to pay that kind of money.
This issue depends on the product and your location. Some metal roofs can get pretty loud during a heavy rainstorm and hail. So if you are in a climate that doesn’t tend to have those this probably won’t impact you. Adding extra attic insulation or layers of solid sheathing can help deafen the noise that is heard inside. But those add more to a metal roof’s already heavy price tag. So exercise caution if you are sensitive to loud or repetitive noise.
Metal expands and contracts. While roofers do accommodate for this via exposed and concealed fasteners. These fasteners, again depending on materials, have lifespans that are shorter than your roof’s. Meaning they will degrade and become dislodged over time. Climate also plays a part in this too. Areas where weather changes are more dramatic will have roofs that expand and contract more. Wearing out these fasteners faster than a climate with a more consistent temperature.
If a repair is needed or an addition is built onto the home it may be hard to match the color of the replacement metal to the original roof.
Water accumulation is always bad news for roofs regardless of material. But specifically standing water makes metal roofs more prone to rust. If lower grade metals are used it may cause the rust to be worse or dent more easily. This denting of lower grade metals can be due to weather or the installation itself. And as you may have guessed if the metal is going to be dented by something like hail it’s also not going to hold up well to being walked on either. So basic maintenance has to be done by someone trained on metal roofing.
Give us a call today at (636) 699-0449 or request your free inspection today. You can also follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. If you’re in the St. Charles County area and looking for an experienced roofing and siding contractor, we are bringing forth over 20 years of experience in the roofing industry. That’s something you can trust and especially if we’re in your neck of the woods.