Identifying the pros and cons of metal roofing for your individual application will include special challenges and considerations, specific to your building project. As a starting place, we invite you to use Benjamin Franklin’s Pros and Cons decision-making tool to help you choose your next roof type. Here’s an itemized list to help you begin.
METAL ROOFING PROS
This isn’t an exhaustive list of metal roofing pros, but it may contain a few things you haven’t considered. There are many benefits to a metal roof, and some may find some to be more important to than others. We encourage you to decide what’s right for your home.
Control The Cost Of Maintaining Your Home
Because metal roofing does not erode the way that most roof materials do, a properly installed metal roof will end your reoccurring “budget drains” for roof repairs or maintenance.
Most metal roofs feature panels which interlock or interconnect. This provides great wind resistance, especially when compared to other roofing materials that either simply overlap or depend upon gravity to hold them in place.
As structures get older, low weight roofing help to guard against structural movement and deterioration, especially in areas prone to seismic activity. Metal roofs are the lightest roofing solution around. This light weight also allows a metal roof to be installed over existing shingles, either decreasing or avoiding disposal altogether.
Through the reflective coatings and integrated thermal breaks of metal roofing, summer cooling costs can be decreased by up to 20% or even more.
Metal roofs are resistant to sparks and embers, which protects from fires on the exterior of the building.
Metal roofs are adaptable to most buildings and designs. Products for low and steep pitch roofs, products that look like wood shakes, slate or tile and even products well-suited for rounded or arched roofs allow for flexibility among tastes and existing infrastructure.
Many roofing materials rely on sealants for difficult areas like flashings, dead valleys, and transitions. Unfortunately, these sealants degrade and ware off. With metal roofing, those areas can instead be flashed with matching metal – which is more long-lasting and reliable than sealants and adhesives.
Traditional roofing materials tend to have frequent changes in both style and color, making it difficult to match older products if the home is modified in some way. Most metal roofing manufacturers are very consistent with their designs and colors, assuring homeowners that they will be able to add to their roofs at later dates.
Metal roofing adds distinction and beauty to a home. Other roofing materials begin to deteriorate from the first moment of installation, which affects their looks over time. Metal roofing can keep a very fresh new look long into the future.
Depending on the manufacturer you choose, a quality metal roof should have recycled content from between 35% and 95%. In addition, at the end of its life, a metal roof can be recyclable rather than requiring landfill disposal like other roofs.
METAL ROOFING CONS
While there are not many, each roofing application and choice of materials has its negatives. Here are the 5 cons to choosing a Metal Roof.
Longer Installation Time and Cost
Because metal roofs are specifically flashed to meet your roof’s configuration, the installation can be longer than that of standard shingles that rely heavily on sealants.
Most metal roof buyers consider themselves to be living in their “forever homes,” which makes it easier for them to justify a higher cost for a higher quality product. Energy saving also plays a significant role in the eventual payback of this investment.
While the sound of rain on a metal roof is not as loud as some people envision, it can be a slightly louder decibel level than a traditional roof. It should never sound “tinny” though, unless you’re near an open window during very light rain. Folds and bends added into the metal decrease the “soundboard” effect. If a homeowner has an area of their home with noise sensitivity, steps can be taken during installation to keep it extra quiet. The sound of rain on a metal roof, however, will not be nearly the level of that from rain hitting a skylight.
The best thing about metal roofs, in regards to hail resistance and walkability, is that they maintain their impact resistance as they age. Traditional roofing materials begin to soften or even become brittle with age, which makes them more prone to damages. Metal roofs can be walked, and manufacturers provide specific instructions for doing so. Heavily formed metal roofs can actually be the most easily walked and can also mask any minor dents that may occur. Some products also have optional strengthening backer boards for increased rigidity.