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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. Between asphalt shingles, wood shakes, composite tile, concrete tile, and metal roofs, all of these options vary greatly. Here are the pros and cons of metal roofs compared to other materials.

Metal Roof Benefits

Metal Roofing Endures

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 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.

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Metal Roofing Is Lightweight

Metal roofing weighs from 1 to 3 pounds per square foot, depending upon the thickness of the material. It is one of the lightest roofing materials, meaning you can save on the engineering and building of the supporting structure. In fact, if you’re building a new house or addition, you can often downsize or reduce the number of roof support members because of metal roofing’s lightweight.

Metal Surfaces Reflect Heat

Metal reflects radiant heat from the sun, minimizing midday heat gain. This reflective characteristic means you save energy needed for air conditioning during the day. Regarding the insulation value of metal roofing in both heat and cold: Though the material itself is low in insulation R-value, metal roofing can be applied over foam insulation that has very high R-values. In addition, many systems utilize a dead-air space between the metal surface and roof deck beneath it to minimize heat transfer, increasing energy efficiency.

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 real drawbacks.

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.

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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 in Chantilly 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 can be a great addition to your home, but you’ll need the help of experts to bring out the best of your home. Contact the trusted Chantilly roofer, AWS Restorations today and see what benefits new metal roofing can bring to your home!

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