For a long time, people have had asphalt shingles or other types of asphalt roofing, tiles, slate or other roofing systems. However, residential metal roofing is among the fastest growing home improvement segments. The benefits of using a galvanized steel roof, such as metal shingles or metal panels, allow homeowners to use products of lasting value to upgrade their homes.
A metal roof is an investment that beautifies your home, increases its value, reduces the environmental footprint, and provides protection for a lifetime. Unlike other roofs that diminish in value as time passes, metal roofs have the following benefits that last:
- Performance expectation is 50 or more years
- Metal roof styles that match any neighborhood or home
- Interlocking panels that provide maximum wind resistance
- Energy efficiency that keeps homes cooler
- Low weight that helps preserve the life and structural integrity of the roof
Style of Metal Roofs
Metal roofs are adaptable to nearly any home and roof design. There are metal roof options for steep and low pitch roofs. Available products look like tile, slate, and wood shakes.
There is metal roofing suitable for arched or rounded roofs. Difficult areas such as transitions, dead valleys, and flashing can be flashed with metal that matches rather than rely on failure-prone sealant used with many roofing materials.
The styles and colors of traditional roofing materials tend to change frequently. Matching older products is difficult if a home is modified or added unto in any way. The majority of metal roofing manufacturers are consistent with their colors and designs. Homeowners know they will be able to match materials at a later date.
The surface finish provides beauty and durability. There are some factors to consider when choosing a metal roof finish. Two types of paint chemistry are used on metal roofs.
The industry leader is called PVDF, which is short for polyvinylidene fluoride finish. The finish is known for its chalk and fade-resistance. PVDF is highly recommended in regions that have high UV ray exposure.
Strict quality controls mean all PVDF coatings will have similar performance expectations. No other coating out-performs a PVDF. Some metal roofing manufacturers offer products that exceed the industry standard. The finish consists of a primer and top coat. Enhanced finishes have additional PVDF layers such as a clear coat or a decorative print coat.
Polyester is the other chemistry commonly used. Several versions are available. They include modified, siliconized, and super. This coating is less expensive than PVDF. The performance has improved over time. There is a marked performance decline after ten or more years.
Choosing the color of metal roofing is a roofing decision that impacts the style and beauty of a home. Color also has a role in how long a roof looks like new. Despite the excellent pigmentation of PVDF and top grade polyester finishes, ‘muddy’ or light colors such as grays and browns carry a better performance expectation than bright colors.
The industry calls yellow, blue, and red ‘saturated’ colors. They are formulated with a high percentage of one pigment. If pigments change over time, there is no negative impact on the color.
Other colors, having several pigments, are less prone to color shifts that impact the appearance. Most homeowners opt for a matte or low gloss finish. Sheen and gloss diminish over time as inevitable grime and dirt collect on the surface of the roof. Matte finishes are often deemed the most attractive.
Proper metal roofing installation along with quality metal ends periodic drains on the budget for roof maintenance or repair. Most metal roofs interconnect or interlock in some way. The configuration provides superior wind resistance when compared to other roofing materials that merely overlap or rely on being held in place by gravity.
As buildings age, the low weight of metal roofs helps prevent structural damage and movement, especially in seismic activity areas. Houses with metal roofs have lasting beauty and distinction. A deterioration process begins from the moment other roofing materials are installed. Metal roofing keeps a fresh new look well into the future.
Metal roofs are fire-resistant. Wildfires that have occurred in California and other locations recently have increased the awareness of how vital safety considerations are in property and home building protection.
Metal roofs provide resistance to airborne embers and sparks, which is protection from exterior fires. Homes can catch fire in various ways. Protecting the roof is just one precaution.
Protecting the roof is the highest priority to protect your home from fire. Wooden roofs are quite popular, but they do not adequately protect a home from fire. Homeowners that have wooden roofing pay higher insurance premiums than those with metal roofs.
Fire-safe roofing is not a new concept. Tile products are fire safe but carry a significant disadvantage. Heavy tile has a cave-in risk when a seismic activity or interior fire occurs. Trained firefighters do not go on tiled roofs due to the cave-in risk.
Energy Efficient and Eco-Friendly
Because of integrated thermal breaks and reflective coatings, metal roofs can reduce the cost of cooling during the summer by as much as 20%.
Metal roofs are also eco-friendly. The content of quality metal roofs is 35 to 95% recycled material. When a metal roof comes to the end of useful life, 100% of the material is recyclable. Landfill disposal is not required.
Attic temperature is reduced by 34%. The ‘dead’ airspace blocks heat that is transferred by conduction. Lowering the cooling load extends the air conditioner life. Nearly all photovoltaic solar collection systems can be integrated with metal roofs.
Transportation costs are minimized due to the low weight. Aluminum products may need to be repainted but likely will never need to be replaced. Metal roofs have very low embodied energy. Embodied energy is energy required to manufacture building materials. There is virtually no outgassing.
A disadvantage of metal roofs may be their curb appeal. The roofs tend to be highly visible. Metal roofs attract people that are interested in them and they will want to talk to you about it.
Newly interested customers want to know, ‘Can you put a metal roof over shingles?’ The answer is ‘Yes.’ Installing metal roof over shingles is possible. Doing so eliminates landfill disposal.