Pros and Cons of Metal Roofs for Homes

Pros and Cons of Metal Roofs

For decades, according to Bob Vila.com, metal roofs meant corrugated panels, which looked like they belonged on sheds, barns or commercial-looking standing-seam applications. Today, the metal roofing products available can match every architectural style. Metal roofs for homes come in popular styles such as shingle, shake, slate and tile styles. These new choices have reinvigorated the metal roofing industry, becoming the second-most popular choice in about 11% of the roofing material market.

If you are looking to replace the roof on your Florida home, here are pros and cons to consider:

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 metal. 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. The metal is 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 homes up to 40% in air conditioning costs. They also provide excellent insulation in colder weather. 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. To keep a metal roof in tip-top shape, remove debris and inspect it annually for minor maintenance items such as cleaning and/or paint touch-up.

Resale Value

Homes with new metal roofs 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. This is because when properly installed, they are virtually impervious to wind, hail, and fire, even hurricanes.

Cons of Metal Roofs

May cost more than asphalt

Metal roofs can 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 about 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 will recoup the cost difference over time by not having to replace the roof for 50 years or more. There is also cost savings from:

  • Reduced energy use
  • Insurance discounts
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Increased home resale value

But the up-front investment for a metal roof can be a significant deterrent.

Can easily dent

Metal roofs can dent from falling branches or very large hailstones. However, having a distressed or textured metal roof will hide most dents from hail or branches. Keeping trees pruned back from the roof also reduces the chance of a falling limb causing damage.

Can be noisy

If not properly insulated, metal roofs can be noisy. But asphalt roofs can be noisy too if the attic is not properly insulated. 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.

4 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of Metal Roofs for Homes”

  1. Metal roofing is the most popular roof choice nowadays. Thank you for sharing the pros and cons of a metal roof. This a really helpful article for readers who are curious why the metal roof is a popular choice. I do agree that over time, metal roofs have improved in style, functionality, and durability.

  2. Metal roofing systems are famous for its durability and ability to sustain itself for a longer period of time without being replaced. Even though it is on the pricier side, I still prefer this compared to its other counterparts.

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