All About Steel Roofing
Metal roofs, like steel, are durable and protect your home. Perhaps no roofing system is as durable–resistant to cracking, shrinking, and eroding–or capable of protecting your home from the elements including snow, hail, and wildfires. In fact, in some states, installing a metal roofing system will earn you a discount on your insurance premiums.
Investing in metal roofing isn’t just a practical choice though, it also looks great. Today, metal roofing products are available in a variety of styles to fit your home’s unique architectural design. One of the most popular types of metal roofing is steel. Rolls of 24 or 26 gauge steel sheets are given a metallic coating–either zinc (galvanized) or a mixture of aluminum and zinc (galvalume or zincalume)–to prevent rust, followed by a baked-on paint finish. Paint can be tinted to accommodate your design preference. Stronger than metals like aluminum or copper, steel is also less likely to dent.
Cost of Steel Roofing
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 $7.00 to $9.00 per square foot, the cost of metal roofing can vary depending on the style you select–a product like steel being one of the most moderately priced options. 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%.
Energy Efficiency and Environmentally Friendly
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 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.
Maintenance of Steel Roofs
At some point, long term exposure to the elements will deteriorate the protective finish on your steel roof and you’ll need to recoat. A simple recoat with a polymer coating (Kynar is the most popular) will restore your roof to like-new conditions. You can also repaint as your remodel your home or to accommodate your evolving taste. 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.
Common Concerns with Steel Roofing
Metal roofing materials installed in large panels are more difficult to replace if damaged than individual shingles. Additionally, while the sounds of rain and wind are part of the appeal of a metal roof for some homebuyers, if you prefer a quiet home, make sure that your attic is properly insulated (a good idea regardless). Also, fears of your steel roof being more prone to lightning strikes are unfounded. 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, so your steel roof may keep you safe, too on top of all of its other benefits.