Metal Roofing Materials: what’re the Pros and Cons.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of steel and other metal roofing materials? Let’s analyze the pros and cons of metal roofs, so you can make a reasonable choice about whether or not to choose metal roofing for your house. As we put out the attention of our customers, in the previous articles, if you are considering buying metal roofing for your home, it’s very important to weigh the pros and cons of metal against other more common roof materials, such as asphalt, wood, and tile. Veronica Contracting expert’s analytical article offers a smart look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of steel, aluminum, and other metal roofing.
Metal Roofing Benefits:
Expected time life. If the roof is properly installed, it should last as long as the house, sealing out water, surviving high winds, and easily shedding snow. As it’s known, metal is resistant to fire, mildew, insects, and rot. Warranties vary widely, but most manufacturers give the warranty to their products for 20 to 50 years, and paint finishes typically have a 30-year limited warranty.
Heat conduction. Metal roof reflects radiant heat from the sun, in fact minimizing midday heat gain. For the customer, it means, that you save energy needed for air conditioning during the day. Though the material itself is low in insulation R-value, metal roofing can be applied over rigid-foam insulation that has very high R-values. In addition, many systems utilize a dead-air space between the metal and roof deck to increase energy efficiency.
Weight. The weight compared to tile at 750 pounds per square feet or concrete tile at 900 pounds per square feet, metal roofing is very lightweight. Most types of metal roof varieties run from 50 to 150 pounds per square feet. Due to the material’s lightweight, you can save on engineering and building the supporting structure. So, if you’re building a house or an addition, you can often downsize or reduce the number of roof support members. Also, some types of metal roofing materials may be applied over an existing roof without the need for tear-off or additional structural support.
Fire resistance. Metal roof materials typically have a Class A fire rating (the most fire-resistant rating), due to they’re noncombustible. But be aware that part of a roof’s overall classification depends on materials beneath the surface that could ignite in intense heat.
Maximum shedding of rain and snow. Metal roofing materials are practically impervious to rain and snow due to the way the panels interlock and because the surfaces are hard and slippery. Also, dark tones of metal roofing quickly warm in the snow, encouraging snowmelt.
Minimal roof pitch. Most metal roofing materials can be installed on gently pitched roofs without leaking. The minimum roof pitch typically is 3 in 12 (the roof rises 3 inches for each horizontal foot of length).
Metal Roofing Drawbacks:
As you may see above, metal roofing offers many pluses, a few drawbacks are also should be mentioned. Actually, for the most part, metal roofing manufacturers have improved their products to address or solve many of these concerns:
Cost. The biggest drawback is the big cost. Metal roofing is equivalent in cost to other premium materials—from about $150 to $600 per square feet). Because of the material’s long-term durability, so you ultimately save the difference (and more) if you stay in the house for a long time and, of course, you save on seasonal maintenance. Then again, if you plan to move in a couple of years, you probably won’t get the real return on your investment.
Noise. In rain or hailstorm, living beneath thin sheets of metal is bound to be noisier than living beneath thick slate or tile. This noise can be controlled both by using such type of materials that have structural barriers to minimize the drumming effect and by applying them over sound-deadening insulation and solid plywood sheathing.
Denting. Just as your car will dent if a golf ball hits it, a metal roof can dent if large hailstones fall on it. In fact, aluminum and copper, much softer than steel, are more prone to denting. But some types of metal roofing materials are guaranteed not to dent, however. Also, you can walk on some metal roofs but not all of them. This depends on how the particular product is made and the type of construction supporting it. As you might imagine, metal can be very slippery when wet.
Marring & care. Some painted metal roof finishes can peel, chip, fade, scratch, or chalk, although nearly all are guaranteed for 30 years. Walking on some types, particularly those with a granulated-stone surface may cause wear. Unlike shingles roofing, some metal shingle systems are installed from the top-down, eliminating the need to walk on them.
Expansion & contraction. Due to metal expands and contracts as it warms and cools, most new products have fastening systems that accommodate movement, otherwise, fasteners that secure the roofing may tend to come loose. Expansion and contraction on hot days can cause a wavy effect on the whole roof.
Leaking. A metal roof must be installed correctly, as we do in Veronica Contracting. Roofs with exposed fasteners are particularly vulnerable to improper installation. If screws attach through the flat surfaces (rather than the raised ridges), rainwater can run down the roof and seep into the screw holes. For this reason, special resilient washes must seal around screw heads. Please make sure that your roofing company does that installation correctly.
Modifications. In fact, metal roofing materials installed in large panels are more difficult to replace if damaged than individual shingles. Plus, if you remodel or add on to your home 10 or 20 years from now, it may be difficult to match the material.