A Comprehensive Guide to Metal Roofs

Why Choose a Metal Roof

metal-roofWhen it comes to the most durable, long lasting, and most impervious roofing material designed to last; there is no better choice than a metal roof. In fact, a metal roof is designed to last fifty years or more, which is up to twice the lifespan of other roofing materials. Although the initial installation cost may seem high, the value, ROI, and long-term benefits of a metal roof well outweigh the cost.

Beautiful, But Durable

Once upon a time, metal roofs got a bad rep in the residential roofing circles. Originally, the vertical seams of original metal roof designs brought home the look of a barn at the very least. Now, you can get a metal roof in shingle form that resembles an asphalt or ceramic tile roof. However, the durability of a metal-shingle roof is leaps and bounds ahead of its asphalt and ceramic counterparts by a factor of three to four. Also, no other element of your house has the ability to give that coolness factor like a distressed metal roof!

ROI and Energy Efficient to Boot!

Did you know that a home with a metal roof being appraised gets an additional $1.45- $1.50 per square foot to the home’s value? Yep. It’s true. Not to mention that a metal roof can get you up to a 35% discount on your Homeowner’s Insurance.

So, let’s talk energy efficiency. A metal roof can block heat transmission from the sun into your home, saving you up to 25% on your cooling bill in the summer months. With a good reflective paint designed for a metal roof, the savings continue to grow.

The fact is, when it comes to roofing material, nothing compares to metal. Did you know there are metal roofs that have lasted over 100 years? Yep. And with proper maintenance and service, your metal roof will be around a lot longer than you think.

What Kinds of Metal Roofs are There?metal roofing

The Basics

Metal roofs are almost always made out of copper, aluminum, or steel. The metal will be carefully treated with coating, which both prevents rust and makes them more energy efficient. With coatings, remember that with thicker coating comes longer service, but also a higher price.

Aluminum sheets don’t require the coating, but they do get painted. Copper, on the other hand, is neither painted nor coated since it’s a natural metal.

Applied on top of the coating is a baked-on paint finish. This can change the look from your typical “metallic look” into something like a matte, or even a stone texture. The finish will also determine the energy efficiency – some materials will reflect sunlight as opposed to radiating it into your attic.

Your material, painting and coating will vary depending on where you live and the types of conditions your home is subjected to. For example, if you live by the ocean, you’ll want aluminum panels. If your roof receives plenty of sunlight, you’ll want a thicker paint coating.

Textures, Cuts, Styles, & Finishes

Metal roofs can be cut to a wide range of shapes and sizes. From a distance, it’s hard to even tell that the material is metal!

The typical setup includes vertical panels that interlock. This design is great for homes with simple lines, like a log cabin. Other designs include the use of metal shingles, which can be stamped into just about any form and are very customizable.

Regardless of the form, they will be lightweight compared to other roofing materials. A huge plus is that they’re also fire resistant (which is preferable to some insurance companies).

WarnerLightning5 Myths about Metal Roofs, Debunked

  1. A Metal Roof Will Dent

Thankfully, metal roofs are designed to withstand storms without being damaged. Very large hail would be able to dent the roof or cause damage, but that hail would be large enough that it could damage any type of roof, not just a metal one. In addition, metal roofs are able to withstand high winds, making them a safe choice no matter where you live.

  1. Metal Roofs Will Make Your Home Cold

The only thing that will make your home cold is not having enough insulation under the roof. Metal roofs are no colder than the traditional shingled variety.

  1. Metal Roofs Are More Likely to Get Struck by Lightning

Although metal can conduct electricity, lightning isn’t drawn to it. In addition, the metal roof will be able to dissipate the electricity, instead of passing it into the rest of the house. Meaning, with metal roofs you are less likely to have a fire if your roof does get struck by lightning.

  1. Metal Roofs Will Rust

Remember, metal roofs aren’t made of iron (which will rust, if exposed to the elements). Rather, they are made of steel with a zinc or aluminum coating on top. This coating is bonded to the steel to make it as strong as possible, and its then painted. Not only can you choose the exact color that you want your metal roof to be, you can rest assured it won’t rust.

  1. Metal Roofs Are Noisy During a Storm

You may have heard before how metal roofs were noisy when it was raining. That’s changed in recent years, due to metal roofs being installed on top of an existing roof or layers of plywood or other materials. In fact, because of this insulation, they may be quieter than a traditional roof.

Preventing Condensation on Metal Roofscondensation

Condensation occurs when the temperature difference between warm humid air and a cold dry surface meet. When the conditions are right, metal roof panels are apt to collect condensation. For most surfaces this phenomenon is not a major issue, but for metal roofs, it is definitely a cause for concern.

What Damages Can Condensation on a Metal Roof Cause?

There are all sorts of issues that can arise with your metal roof due to the collection of condensation. When left untreated, excess moisture may damage wood and cause corrosion of metal panels, fasteners and decking in the roof’s structure. Other problems that may arise include:

  • Mold or mildew growth, which can be very hazardous, causing odorous conditions and increased health risks, especially for those who suffer from allergies or asthma
  • Deterioration of insulation resulting in decreased temperature control
  • Insect infestations
  • Oxidation of building materials, causing the structure to weaken and a reduction in its lifespan

How Does Condensation Find Its Way Inside a Building?

One of the most common ways condensation occurs in metal buildings is from poorly maintained roof leaks. High amounts of interior humidity is another common cause of indoor moisture collection.

How Can You Protect Your Metal Roof from Condensation?

Depending on your location, humidity can be such a problem that condensation can almost look like rain dropping from the roof. Places like the Pacific Northwest are more prone to this than other parts of the country. The one positive is that metal will not absorb the moisture like other materials would. Good news: protecting your roof from condensation is a fairly easy fix.

The first method of defense is to insulate the roof so that the warmer interior air is never able to reach the roof, which may be at the dew point. A specially designed fiberglass insulation will be used as a barrier most of the time. This is a great option for buildings that are climate controlled. If you have no intentions of heating or cooling the structure, there may be more suitable options to consider.

There are condensation control membrane products on the market that were specifically created for metal roofs and buildings. These materials trap and hold the moisture that forms when condensation occurs. Once the temperature warms, the moisture evaporates back into the air in the form of humidity.

If you’re ready to get started with a metal roof, have noticed condensation on your metal roof, or would like to talk to one of our expert team members, call our team today.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Types of roofing depends on your building needsWhat-is-a-roof-tear-off