If you are in the market for a new roof, the roofing material you choose will make a huge difference in your new roof’s cost, look, performance, maintenance, and durability. Are you considering metal roofing? Here are the pros and cons of metal roofs, and what you need to know first.
Metal Roof Benefits
Metal Roofing Lasts A Long Time
A properly installed quality metal roof should last from 40 to 50 years, sealing out water, surviving high winds, and easily shedding snow. The fact that metal is resistant to fire, mildew, insects, and rot pays off big in longevity.
Metal roofs can last 50 years, depending on climate conditions, workmanship, or unforeseen damage. Most major metal roof manufacturers back their products for 20 to 50 years. Products with painted finishes typically have a 30-year limited warranty. Materials finished with extremely durable resin-based polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) coatings tend to have 50-year warranties.
Metal Roofing Is Lightweight
Metal roofing weighs from 1 to 3 pounds per square foot, depending upon the thickness and profile of the material. It is one of the lightest of all roofing materials. Because metal roofing is lightweight, you can save on the engineering and building of the supporting structure. In fact, if you’re building a new house or a new addition, you can often downsize or reduce the number of roof support members because of metal roofing’s lightweight.
Steel Roofing Is Environmentally Friendly
Manufacturing asphalt uses petroleum and fossil fuels. Also, asphalt roofs require replacement every 15 to 20 years, so nearly 20 billion pounds of old asphalt shingles are dumped in US landfills every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Metal Roofing Drawbacks
Though metal roofing offers many pluses, a few drawbacks are worthy of mention. For the most part, metal roofing manufacturers have improved their products to address or solve many of these concerns, so it’s important to separate the myths from the drawbacks that are real.
Avoid Walking On Metal Roofs
You can walk on some metal roofs but not all of them. Whether or not they will dent from foot traffic depends on how the particular product is made and the type of construction supporting it. As you might imagine, metal can be very slippery when wet.
Some painted metal roof finishes can peel, chip, fade, scratch, or chalk, although nearly all premium products are guaranteed for at least 30 years. Walking on some types, particularly those with a granulated-stone surface, may cause surface wear. Installers must be careful not to scratch or dent the roofing during installation, and panels must be treated with care. Unlike conventional roofing, some metal shingle systems are installed from the top down, eliminating the need to walk on them.
Installation Is Not Foolproof
Installing a metal roof should be done by someone with plenty of experience. Unlike an asphalt shingle roof, a wood shingle roof—or most other roofing materials—metal roofing is a material that fewer roofers are trained and practiced at installing.
A metal roof must be installed correctly. If it isn’t, you can have major problems with condensation beneath it and/or leaking. Some manufacturers or distributors require that their products be installed by professional metal roofing contractors who have been accredited by taking a few factory-taught classes.
Roof panels with exposed fasteners are particularly vulnerable to improper installation. If screws attach through the flat surfaces (rather than the raised ridges), rainwater can run down the roof and seep into the screw holes. For this reason, special resilient washes must seal around screw heads. If you have this type of roof installed, be sure the manufacturer’s instructions are followed precisely.
Metal roofing is an investment that needs to be maintained regularly to ensure that it remains in good condition. Regular maintenance can prevent small issues from becoming more significant problems, prolong the life of the metal roof, and ensure that it remains energy-efficient. If not maintained properly, a metal roof can rust, corrode, and eventually fail, causing expensive damage to the building’s interior. That’s why it’s crucial to have a professional metal roofing company like AWS Restoration conduct regular maintenance to ensure the roof is in good shape. Contact AWS Restoration for a free estimate today and start investing in metal roofing today.