When you think of metal roofing do you picture corrugated panels, tools sheds, and barns? You may want to update your knowledge. Today, metal roofing products are available in a variety of styles to fit your home’s unique architectural design. Though the most common types of metal roofing are aluminum, steel, and copper, metal roofing is also available in looks that imitate slate, asphalt, and even clay tiles. Popular among homeowners for its energy efficiency, durability, and aesthetic appeal, metal roofing is also one of the most effective means of protecting your home from the elements. Resistant to cracking, shrinking and eroding, metal roofing systems can also withstand extreme weather conditions including heavy snow, hail, and wildfires. Most manufacturers offer an impressive 30-50 year warranty.
While the initial material and installation cost of a metal roof is higher than asphalt or other standard roofing material, the 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 definitely 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.
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 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%. Reflective pigment technology comes in the form of a simple coating that enables metal roofs to reflect heat in the summer, while providing superior insulation in the winter. Metal roofing provides long-term energy savings, while decreasing your overall environmental impact.
From the factory, your metal roofing products 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 absolutely last longer, but will also cost more initially. No matter which coating you select though, at some point, long term exposure to the elements will deteriorate the protective finish and you’ll need to recoat. A simple recoat with a polymer coating (Kynar is the most popular) will restore your metal roof to like-new conditions. To wash, use simple 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 your roof. If you do scratch your roof, the scratched area can be wiped down with mineral spirits and touch up paint can be applied with a paintbrush. The long-life of your metal roof can be enhanced with proper maintenance.
If you are unfamiliar with metal roofing, you may have concerns about the potential for rust, noise from rain and wind, and denting, but rest assured that modern engineering addresses these concerns. Additionally, some believe that metal roofing will increase your likelihood of a lightning strike. While metal does conduct electricity, electricity is not drawn to it. In fact, because metal roofing is fire resistant, if your home is struck by lightening, your risk of fire is actually decreased with a metal roof. Finally, a metal roof will not make your home colder in the winter. As long as your attic is properly insulated, your home will stay just as toasty as any other home in the winter.