What Are Metal Shingles?
Metal roofing is no longer just for warehouses. The number of residential customers using some form of metal roofing is growing. In the past 15 years, metal roofing’s market share in re-roofing projects has tripled from 4 percent to 12 percent. Metal shingles provide a durability that surpasses traditional roofing options, but can be manufactured to resemble a variety of roofing styles including asphalt shingles, slate, clay tiles, and more to meet the unique design needs of your home.
Metal shingles are budget-friendly (especially when compared to roofing materials like slate or cedar shingles) and have the advantage of being extremely fire resistant. Metal shingles will not crack, split, warp, or rot and they are impervious to pests and mold.
Cost of Metal Shingles
While the initial material and installation cost of metal shingles is higher than asphalt or other standard roofing materials, their longevity is far superior–lasting two to three times longer than a typical nonmetal roof. Ranging from $300-700 per square foot, the cost of metal roofing can vary depending on the style you select–a product like steel being more moderately priced, while copper is more expensive. That said, metal roofing will increase the resale value of your home. Across the country, homeowners who invest in metal roofing get an average ROI of 85.9%. Metal roofing can also lower your insurance rates because of its fire resistance, especially in states like Texas and California that are vulnerable to wildfires.
Energy Efficiency of Metal Shingles
Metal roofing provides long-term energy savings, while decreasing your overall environmental impact. Traditional roofing products contribute an estimated 20 billion pounds of waste to U.S. landfills on an annual basis. Metal roofing is a more eco-friendly option as it is made from 30-60% recycled material (and is 100% recyclable) and in most cases it can be installed over an existing roof, eliminating the out-of-pocket cost, as well as the environmental impact of taking off and disposing an old roof.
Additionally, most metal roofing products make use of reflective pigment technology, making your home more energy efficient and decreasing your monthly utility bills by up to 40%. Metal roofing also integrates well with photovoltaic collection systems.
Maintenance of Metal Shingles
As metal shingles grow in popularity, the engineering behind them is constantly improving. For example, fasteners are no longer exposed and proper consideration is given to slope and drainage to prevent rusting. The protective coatings continue to evolve as well. From the factory, your metal shingles will be coated with either zinc (galvanized) or a mixture of aluminum and zinc (galvalume or zincalume). Of those options, galvalume is the longest lasting. All coatings are available in varying levels of thicknesses. Thicker coatings will last longer, but cost more initially.
No matter which coating you select, long term exposure to the elements will deteriorate the protective finish and you’ll need to recoat. A recoat with a polymer coating will restore your metal shingles to like-new conditions. To wash, use soap and water–a hose or a pressure washer can be used, but avoid abrasive tools like wire brushes or steel wool that can scratch metal. The long-life of your metal roof can be enhanced with proper maintenance.
Common Concerns with Metal Shingles
Metal roofs can be noisy, especially during a heavy rain or hailstorm. Adding more insulation during installation usually solves this problem, but that may increase your overall costs. Additionally, if a repair is required or you add an addition onto your home extension in years to come, it may be difficult to find an exact match to the existing metal.