Building a House? Consider Metal Roofing for Durability & Style
What is Metal Roofing?
Metal roofing is exactly what it sounds like: a roofing system made from tiles or pieces constructed from metal alloys (zinc, steel, and copper are common). While you may be picturing a steel warehouse building glinting in the sunlight, metal roofing has recently gained popularity as a residential material. In fact, as of 2019, metal roofing was the second most popular material for both new construction jobs and repairs.
What Are the Advantages of a Metal Roof?
Metal roofing systems offer several benefits to the homeowner:
Metal is resistant to water damage, corrosion, cracking, fire, and high winds. Its durability means homeowners can expect their roofs to last much longer than traditional asphalt shingles. When installed properly, these roofs can last between 50-70 years, whereas asphalt typically has a lifespan of no more than 20.
Metal roofing is non-combustible, meaning it will not ignite during a lighting storm* or wildfire.
Not only is metal roofing itself made from recycled materials, it is also 100% recyclable if a home is demolished or re-roofed. By contrast, asphalt shingles cannot be recycled in the state of Colorado and account for many tons of landfill waste.
Metal roofing reflects the sun’s rays and reduces the energy needed to keep the home cool. In fact, a well-built metal roof can reduce energy costs by up to 40%.
Metal roofing is actually very lightweight, which provides two advantages: 1) it is easier to transport and install; and 2) it places less strain on the framework of the home, preserving its structure and helping it to last longer.
*It may surprise you to hear that metal roofs are actually safer during a lightning storm. Metal is, after all, an excellent conductor of electricity. But it is a misconception that metal somehow attracts electricity. Your metal roof is no more likely to attract lightning than any other structure. Lightning strikes whenever and wherever it is ready to discharge, regardless of what lies in its path. Furthermore, if it does happen to strike your metal roof, there will actually be less likelihood of damage, since the metal framing will give the lightning a low-resistance and non-combustible path to the ground.
Aren’t Metal Roof’s Industrial-Looking?
Not at all! Many companies have developed techniques that incorporate stone and color coatings that do a superb job of mimicking traditional clay and wood shake tiles. Imagine having a rooftop with the elegant appearance of a Tuscan villa, minus the risk of cracking associated with traditional clay; or a roof with the charm of red cedar shingles, but no risk of wood-rot.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
There are a couple of things to consider when deciding whether or not a metal roof is right for you.
Perhaps the most obvious drawback of metal roofing is that it is more expensive. However, many homeowners are finding that this initial cost is offset by the savings presented by a metal roof’s energy efficiency, longevity, and durability. In fact, Sheffield Metals estimates that mid-range priced metal roofing can save the homeowner nearly $10,000 over a 60 year period compared to mid-range architectural shingles:
Graphics courtesy of www.sheffieldmetals.com and www.roofingcalc.com
Some may worry that a metal roof will be more noisy during a rain or hailstorm. While this was a concern when metal roofs were first introduced, modern installation techniques incorporate a plywood or OSB deck on top of the rafters, which significantly dulls outside noise.
J&K Roofing installs commercial and residential metal roofing in the Denver Metro, Front Range, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs areas. Our roofers are certified in all the materials we use, including metal products. If you are planning a new build or looking to replace your existing roof, call us to see how we can help!