12 Things to Know About Metal Roofing
Metal roofing has entered the mainstream and has become a viable option for most homes, except those with very flat roof pitches. Not all metal roofs scream “metal.” Today, there are shingle-style metal roof products that are almost indistinguishable from traditional shingle asphalt roofs. If you’re wondering about the merits of the metal roof, here are 12 things to know.
Metal roofs are not a novelty.
Once, metal roofs were found only on high-end, architect-designed houses. That’s not true anymore. Metal roofs are increasingly present in conventional homes, thanks to increased availability and improved manufacturing processes. According to industry statistics, the market share for metal roofing has increased by about 3 percent each year in recent years; currently, about 15 percent of all roof installations use metal roofing materials. At the same time, the market share of asphalt shingle roofing has decreased, which now accounts for about 59% of total installed roofs today.
Metal Roofing Can Be Installed On Existing Roofs
Metal roofs can be installed on the existing roof without tearing the shingles, provided local building codes allow it. Although shingle removal is the preferred way, tear-off is messy and raises the cost of the work.
In this type of installation, a potential problem is trapped water. If trapped between the old roofing and metal roofing, moisture can accumulate and cause rot and mold. But roofers can install a vented metal roof that eliminates this problem. Or, installing the new metal roofing on furring strips (1 x 3s or similar) will lift the metal and provide a ventilating air pocket between the layers.
Be sure to check the local building codes before having a metal roof installed directly on the shingles. Some jurisdictions may need complete tearing every time a new roof is installed.
Metal Roofs Are No Noisier Than Asphalt Roofing
Although it is a common misunderstanding that metal roofs are noisy when hail or rain falls on them, the reality is that when it is properly installed, metallic roofs are no noisier than any other type. The metal roofs are usually installed on a solid substrate. In addition, the attic and insulation provide a sound barrier. The inhabitants rarely notice any increase in sound levels from the interior living spaces when a metal roof is installed.
Metal Roofing Don’t Attract Lightning.
You may think that a metal roof will attract Lightning, but facts or statistics do not confirm this. According to Metal Construction Association’s technical bulletin, “metal roofing do not in any way increase the risk of lightning.” Not only that, but if the metal roofing is struck by Lightning, it is less combustible than traditional roofing materials such as shingles or wood shakes.
As the bulletin states: “Because the metal roof is both an electrical conductor and a noncombustible material, the risks associated with its use and behavior during lightning make it the most desirable construction available.”
The reason why metal roofs do not attract lighting is simple: lighting seeks a path to the ground, which is why trees, telephone poles, and other structures of this type tend to attract Lightning. The metal roofs are isolated structural components, without a direct path to the ground inherent to their design. Therefore, there is no scientific reason why lighting strikes a metal roof more often than it strikes an asphalt shingle roof.
Metal Roofs Can Be More Cost-Effective
Although most metal roof products have warranties comparable to the best asphalt shingles (about 30 years), in practice, metal roofs are known to last 50 years or longer. According to State Farm Insurance’s statistics, metal roofs have the longevity of forty to seventy years. Therefore, it is infrequent for a homeowner to install more than one metal roof over the time he lives in the home. On the other hand, a homeowner will probably replace an asphalt shingles roof 2 or 3 or 4 times over 50 years. Overall, while the cost of a metal roof is more expensive than the asphalt roof (about double), it can save money over a long period of time.
Metal Roofing Is Impervious to Rot, Fire, and Insect Damage
One of the main reasons why the metal roof has exploded in popularity is that it is virtually fireproof. With the risk of rising forest fires, metal roofing has become the most popular roofing choice of material in many parts of the country. And not just that:
- Insects like termites can never eat metal roofing.
- Metal roofing is impervious to mildew and rot.
- Since it conducts heat quickly from the sun, the snow slides faster than with conventional roofing.
Metal Roofs Are More Energy Efficient
Industry studies show that metal roofs reflect radiant solar heat, which can reduce cooling costs by between 10 and 25 percent. In climates where cooling costs are higher than heating costs, the coating of a metal roof with a granular or shiny coating can maximize the reflective capacity of the roof and improve energy saving.
Metal Roofs Can Work on Roofs With Low Slopes
Metal roofs are often thought to be suitable only for steep-slope roofs, but standing seam metal roofs can work very well on gently pitched roofs. This type of roof is installed in large sheets with raised and tightly sealed seams to withstand water. Although some slopes are necessary to ensure the flow of water, most houses can accept metal roofs.
Repair and Installation Usually Requires a Professional
It is known that DIYers repair and install metal roofing, but it is generally not recommended. Metal roofing is generally only available through some retailers, and the techniques for repair and installation are specialized skills. If you opt for metal roofing, you will probably call a specialist if problems occur. Fortunately, these problems are rare with metal roofs.
Ridge Vents Are More Obvious
In most houses today, attic venting is provided by a continuous ridge vent that runs through the peak of the roof. On a shingle roof, this continuous ridge vent is a strip of shingle-like material that runs the whole length of the peak of the house, masking outflow holes on the sides of the ridge. You’ve probably seen this countless times, but you probably never noticed it because the continuous ridge vent is usually lying very flat and blends perfectly with the surrounding roof.
On many metal roofs, particularly standing-seam roofs, the continuous ridge vent is also metal, stands out more, and is much more noticeable. These thick and prominent lines or ridges are inherent to metal roofs and add to their distinctive appearance.
Metal Roofs Are Recyclable
Although metal roofs are very durable, when it comes time to replace one, old metal is readily accepted in metal recycling outlets. Old asphalted roofs, on the other hand, are usually destined to occupy space in a landfill.
To learn more about having a metal roof installed on your home, contact Delmarva Metal Roofing Inc. We serve all over Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.