Until recent years, metal roofs were synonymous with farmyard and barns. However, this is no longer the case. Metal roofs can provide similar – or superior – aesthetic to standard asphalt shingles, and usually last longer. We know – as a roofing contractor in Markham, ON since 1947, we’ve had plenty of experience with both metal and asphalt shingles.
However, they’re not for everyone. Below are a few things about metal roofs you should know before making a decision:
1. Metal Roofs Are Not Just A Phase
The manufacturing process of metal roofs has been steadily improving over the last few years. This has meant that they are a lot more accessible than they used to be and are no longer just for luxury homes. About 15% of all roofing installations are currently metal roofs and this is likely to continue to increase in the future as people look for an alternative to asphalt shingle roofs.
2. Installation Can Take Place Over Existing Roofs
You may find that your local building codes allow you to install a metal roof over any existing shingle that may be in place. The advantage of this is that the installation will be quicker and it will cost less. However, there is the chance that water vapor can collect between the two roofs which could lead to mold forming, although there are ways around this.
3. Metal Roofs Are Not Noisy
There is a common misconception that metal roofs are noisy whenever it rains. The truth is though they are no noisier than any other type of roof. This is because there will usually be a solid substrate that the roof is installed on and that a sound barrier is also created by any insulation in the attic.
4. A Metal Roof Won’t Attract Lightning
Metal roofs are no more likely to be hit by lightning than any other type of roof. If a lightning strike does occur though, then a metal roof is actually the best type you can have. The metal will conduct the lightning which means it can’t pass through the roof into the house. Metal is also non-combustible and so there is no risk of fire like there would be for a wooden or shingle roof.
5. Metal Roofs Are Often Cost Effective
There is the potential for a metal roof to last twice as long as one that is made from asphalt. This means that homeowners are not likely to have to replace a metal roof in their lifetime as they can last up to seventy years. A metal roof is more expensive to install to begin with, but with hardly any repair or replacement costs to worry about it can be cheaper in the long run.
6. Metal Roofs Are Less Likely To Be Damaged
Metal roofs do not have any of the issues of asphalt shingles that are likely to cause damage to the roof or the home. This includes fire and insect damage. We have already discussed the fact that metal will not burn. They will also not be damaged by insects such as termites that could easily chew through a wooden roof.
7. Metal Roofs Are Energy Efficient
If you spend more money cooling your home then you do heating it, then a metal roof will be a very good choice for your home. The metal reflects solar heat away from the home which will reduce cooling costs. Greater savings can be achieved by placing a shiny coating on the roof which will reflect away even more heat.
8. Metal Roofs Can Be Installed On Low Slopes
You will need some degree of slope to have a metal roof because any rain water needs to be able to drain away. However, this does not have to be a steep slope. The roof will be installed as a large sheet and then the seams will be raised and joined together to make the roof waterproof. This can be done on roofs that only have gentle slopes.
9. Severe Hail Will Damage A Metal Roof
One of the only weather conditions that can cause damage to a metal roof is severe hail. A hailstorm is considered to be severe when the hailstones are the size of golf balls. If you live in an area that is prone to hailstorms, then a steel roof is probably a better choice than aluminum or copper. It is worth noting that any hail that is big enough to damage a metal roof would also cause damage to an asphalt roof.
10. Installation Will Need To Be Carried Out By A Professional
Installing a metal roof is not easy and it is likely that only a professional will have the necessary skills. It might be tempting to try and carry out the installation yourself in order to save money, but if something goes wrong then you might have to spend even more money for a professional to put things right.
11. Ridge Vents Are More Noticeable
A continuous ridge vent, or CRV, runs along the whole length of the roof in order to provide ventilation to the attic. It may not be something that you have noticed on a shingle roof because they lie very flat and the material used blends in with the rest of the roof. The CRV is more pronounced on a metal roof and this makes it more noticeable.
12. Metal Roofs Can Be Recycled
There is a good chance that you will never need to replace your metal roof but if you do, then the whole thing can be recycled. On the other hand, asphalt shingles will almost always end up at landfill and they take years to break down completely.