For decades, according to Bob Vila.com, metal roofs meant corrugated panels, which looked like they belonged on sheds or barns, or commercial-looking standing-seam applications. Today, the metal roofing products available can match every architectural style, whether a Spanish Revival in Southern Florida or a Colonial in New England. Metal roofs in shingle, shake, slate and tile styles have reinvigorated the metal roofing industry, and have become the second-most popular choice, about 11% of the roofing material market. Here are the pros and cons for metal roofs:
Pros of Metal Roofs
- Durability: Thanks to advances in rust-proofing technology, metal roofs do not deteriorate when exposed to weather and sunlight over time like asphalt shingle roofs do. In fact, a typical asphalt shingle roof would need to be replaced three times during the lifespan of one metal roof. Although some asphalt shingle manufacturers, such as GAF, provide 50-year and lifetime warranties for their premium roofing products, these cost almost as much as a metal roof. Nearly all metal roof manufacturers provide lifetime warranties for their materials.
- Appearance: Metal roofs now come in wide range of colors, styles, finishes and textures to match your home exterior. With virtually any color available, metal roofing can be shaped to resemble any roof material, from asphalt shingles to cedar shakes or even tile.
- Sustainability: Since traditional asphalt shingles are a petroleum product, they increase dependency on fossil fuels, whereas metal roofing does not. New metal roofing materials are usually manufactured with 30 to up to 95 percent recycled metal, either steel, aluminum or copper.
- Environmentally Friendly: When a metal roof reaches the end of its lifespan, it can be completely recycled again. By contrast, traditional asphalt shingles must be replaced every 15 to 20 years, which means that nearly 20 billion pounds of old asphalt shingles are sent to U.S. landfills every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. For homeowners looking for more ways to go green, metal roofs provide an excellent platform for photovoltaic systems, solar panels, or rainwater harvesting for reuse/irrigation.
- Energy Efficiency: Metal roofs can save your home up to 40% in air conditioning costs as well as provide excellent insulation during the winter. A basic, unpainted metal roof will reflect more solar radiation than an asphalt roof, which typically absorbs and holds heat. Pre-painted or granular-coated metal roofing materials keep your home cool by not only reflecting solar energy, but also emitting solar energy instead of allowing it to radiate heat into the attic.
- Low Maintenance: Metal roofs naturally repel moss and algae, and require very little upkeep. All that you need to do to keep a metal roof in tip-top shape is keep it free from debris and inspect it annually for minor maintenance items such as cleaning and/or paint touch-up.
- Resale Value: Homes with a new metal roof gain on average, up to 6% more in resale value over homes with a new asphalt shingle roof, according to the Metal Roofing Alliance. Many insurance companies give discounts of up to 35 percent to homes with metal roofs because, when properly installed, they are virtually impervious to wind, hail, and fire, even hurricanes.
Cons of Metal Roofs
- Metal roofs can be expensive: According to Angie’s List, metal roofs cost on average $500 to $1800 per square (100 square feet) compared to $120 to $400 per square for an asphalt shingle roof. This means that an average metal roof will cost more than three times the average cost of an average asphalt roof. For an average 2,500 square-foot home with a 14-square roof, the average difference in cost would be over $12,000. Although most homeowners recoup the cost difference over time by not having to replace the roof for 50 years or more, as well as savings from reduced energy use, insurance discounts, reduced maintenance costs and increased home resale value, the up-front investment for a metal roof can be a significant deterrent.
- Metal roofs can be dented from falling branches or very large hailstones. However, most dents from hail or branches can be kept hidden by a distressed or textured metal roof. Keeping trees pruned back from the roof also reduces the chance of a falling limb causing damage.
- Metal roofs can be noisy if not properly insulated, but the same is true of asphalt roofs without properly insulated attic spaces. With adequate attic space and proper insulation, a metal roof is generally no louder than other roof types.
Over time, metal roofs have improved in style, functionality and durability, and many myths about metal roofs have been debunked. If you are looking to install a metal roof on your home, contact an experienced roofing contractor like All Weather Tite in Massachusetts or in Florida.