Replacing the roof may be a daunting and lengthy task, but that’s not the worst part of it. The most stressful move is to try to find the right material for your new roof.
Is it asphalt? Slate? Wood?
Take a deep breath, please.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this question. Each roofing material has its own combination of advantages and drawbacks. That said, metal is one of the smartest options for a lot of homeowners.
We’ve put together this guide to take you through what you need to know before choosing a metal roof for your house, so let’s get started!
PRO: Durable and Long-Lasting
Metal roofs are far safer than any other option.
They’re not going to corrode over time, and you’re not going to have to think about breaking or missing shingles. Even the hardest winds won’t mess with this kind of roof. The smooth surface helps steer gusts over it without friction—many are rated to withstand hurricanes.
Because of this extra strength, you won’t need to spend a lot of time (or money) maintaining it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t schedule an annual roof inspection, though (this is still important to catch and fix any repairs while they’re small). But most of the time, that’s all you’ll need.
The average lifespan of a metal roof is 40 to 70 years depending on the exact type of metal you choose, making it a low-attention option for homeowners who want to install a new roof then forget about it.
Although the metal roofs are solid, they are not invincible, and the hail is the worst enemy. Your roof will end up toothing during a hailstorm, particularly if you use a softer material like aluminium. These teeth are supposed to be tiny and may not be a major concern, but with time, they will add up to the necessary repairs.
Yet this isn’t a major downside.
If you invest in high-quality or harder metal, it can be even more dental-resistant. You may not have any dents at all, or even though you do, they may not be bad enough to think about.
Metal reflects the sun’s rays away from your home. That means the building absorbs less heat, which keeps your home cooler and more comfortable.
During warm, summer months, you won’t have to run your air conditioning system as often or for as long of periods. Because of this, your energy bill will start to go down, keeping more money in your bank account. In fact, research shows metal roofs can reduce your cooling costs by 25%.
Homeowners with limited budgets might choose to prevent metal roofing. The overall cost for metal roofs is between $5 per square foot at the low end and $14 per square foot at the high end. This is double (or even triple) the expense of an asphalt roof.
If you’re not planning to stay in your home in the near future, it may not be worth wasting that much money on that kind of roof. However, if you can afford it and don’t have any plans to move around, a metal roof, though investing up front, might also be out in the long run because you won’t have to pay for a lot of upgrades or upkeep.
Many metal roofs are constructed largely out of recycled material (in some cases as much as 95%). On top of that, the next time you or the future homeowner needs to replace the roof, the metal can be 100% recycled again.
Want to reduce your environmental impact? When it comes to creating a green home, installing a metal roof is one of the most earth-conscious choices.
When you think of a metal roof, you might be worried about the weight. Will it be too heavy for your home? Will you need to reinforce your roof during the installation to account for the extra weight?
These are actually non-issues when it comes to metal. This material is often even lighter than asphalt roofing, which makes it a good option for almost any home design or style.
PRO: Quick and Easy Installation
The metal that your contractor uses on your roof comes in large sheets or parts. Depending on the size of your house, you can only need a few bits to cover the whole thing.
This makes it simple and convenient to install.
Instead of climbing over the roof to secure hundreds of individual shingles, the builder has just a few sheets to fasten. The whole procedure takes just a few days—shorter than the typical roofing construction. If you don’t have a lot of time on your calendar or are concerned about approaching weather conditions, you can complete the roof easily.
CON: Expanding and Contracting
Metal expands and contracts with the weather temperatures. This is normal, but it does require specific installation techniques. If the panels aren’t secured correctly, the panels may end up loosening over time, which can lead to leaks and other damages.
However, as long as your roofing contractor is reputable and qualified, you shouldn’t have to worry about this. It is worth doing your research and spending extra time searching for the best contractor in your area before you make the hire, though.
If you live in a humid, dry climate with a lot of wildfires? Installing a metal roof will help keep your home fire-proof. Since metal is fire-resistant, it will help your home get as less damage as possible in the case of a fire.
(Remember, however, the metal is just going to cover the roof. It may make it difficult for a fire to catch or start, but it won’t be able to do anything for your walls.)
But what about lightning?
Even though metal tends to “attract” lightning, this won’t be the case for your roof. You can ground a metal roof the same way you can ground any other roof. Because of this, a home with a metal roof won’t have any more lightning problems than it would with other materials.
Tapping on metal is much louder than, say, tapping on wood or asphalt. Whenever there’s a rain or a hail (or if there’s a critter running around on your roof), you’ll be able to hear every sound clearly.
This may be irritating to some people, particularly if you’re a light sleeper, but you can typically fix the issue by adding more insulation. However, by doing that, the cost of installation would increase, and metal is now one of the most costly roofing materials.
And note, while the roof is going to feel loud at first, you’re going to get used to the added noise over time. You could not even notice it.
PRO: Resistant to Snow and Rainwater
Metal gives your roof a smooth surface that causes snow and rainwater to fall right off the edges. It can even do this with a minimal tilt, so if you don’t have steep slopes, you don’t have to worry about snow gathering there, melting, and causing all kinds of damage.
If you have a flat roof, talk to your contractor about whether or not metal is still a good option for you. If water doesn’t have a way to drain off the roof, it can cause problems with the metal, leading to expensive repairs.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have a metal roof if your roof is flat. It just means you should be a little more careful/aware when you install it.
CON: Difficult to Replace (In Some Cases)
If something happens to your metal roof and you end up having to repair half of it, you may find yourself facing a few challenges. Depending on the product you choose, you can not be able to find a new metal that suits your existing colour. This could also be valid if you plan to renovate your house or design add-ons.
Half of the roof is going to be one colour, and the other part is going to be another colour.
It’s not really real. You should be able to find one that suits, and if you can’t, you should be able to find an alternative that’s pretty similar.
Choosing a metal roof gives you plenty of stylistic options.
Don’t you like the colour or appearance of metal? That’s all right. You should paint the metal to make it look different. (Bear in mind that the paint can peel or chip over time, which will add to your maintenance costs.)
But you don’t have to turn to paint to admire the roof. For many houses, metal is a modern and trendy style. Not only can it look gorgeous, but it will also boost the value of your house and draw more potential customers if you wish to sell it.
Weighing Your Choices Before Choosing a Metal Roof
Metal roofs can give you home many benefits you can’t get from other roofing materials, but they also have a few drawbacks. Before you settle on choosing a metal roof for your home, it’s important to do your research, equip yourself with knowledge, and talk to a professional contractor about how the material will affect your building in your climate.
Think metal is the right choice for you?
Don’t wait to get in touch with us to talk about your roof replacement. Our team at Hulsey Roofing Co. can give you a free estimate and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.