Answers to the Most Commonly Asked Questions About Metal Roofing
Metal roofing is quickly becoming one of the most popularly used types of roofing materials. There is a vast array of benefits that come with the installation of metal roofing, including an extended life span of 50 or more years. It is available in a wide range of styles to match any style home, and it can be made to resemble other types of roofing materials, such as tile, slate or asphalt shingles. If you are considering the installation of metal roofing on your home, you undoubtedly have a variety of questions concerning the installation, pros and cons, and the benefits. To help with the process of choosing metal as your roofing choice, here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions about metal roofing systems.
Are There Loud Sounds on the Roof When It Rains?
Modern metal roofing materials generally do not produce the pinging sound you may expect to hear when the rain hits a metal roof. Also, the pitch of your roof lessens the force of the rain hitting the metal, which softens the sound. So, under normal installation methods, metal roofing does not produce any loud noise during a rainstorm. The ventilation and airspace in the attic also play a role in absorbing the sound. In the rare situation where there may be a concern for noise, you have options, such as the installation of foam inserts that can be placed behind the metal shingles to reduce the sound.
Is It Fire Resistant?
Because metal materials are noncombustible, metal roofing has a Class A fire rating, which is the highest fire-resistant rating. Therefore, metal roofing is completely non-combustible and will provide excellent protection from external fires. In addition, metal roofing is low weight, so there is less risk of a cave-in that may occur with an interior house fire.
Can Skylights Be Installed With a Metal Roof?
Yes. Standard types of skylights through the roof will not pose a problem. However, it is important that any protrusions through the roof are properly flashed. It is also recommended that skylights are curbed instead of flush mounted. If there are already existing skylights and they are over 10 years old, it is typically recommended that they be replaced.
Does a Metal Roofing Last Longer Than Asphalt Shingles?
Yes. With standard asphalt shingles, the average life span is about 12–15 years. A metal roof will generally last at least 50 years, but often as up to 60–70 years, depending on the installation and type of metal used.
Is Metal Roofing Environmentally Friendly?
A metal roofing system is a “green” roof. The majority of metal roofs are made from recycled metals, and their long-life span is an assurance of sustainability. There are several factors that make metal roofs beneficial for the environment, including:
Unlike standard shingles, metal roofing produces a minimal carbon footprint
Cuts energy costs
Reduces attic temperatures, allowing a lower cooling load, which extends the life span of the air conditioner
Blocks heat transfer by conduction
Due to the low weight, installation is possible over most existing roofs, which eliminates the landfill disposal of old roofing materials
If metal roofing is ever replaced, it is 100 percent recyclable
What Are The Metal Options?
Metal roofing adds a distinctive beauty to your home. While other roofing materials may begin a process of deterioration from the moment of installation, metal roofing maintains a fresh look well into the future. There are several different types of metal, and each has its own distinct look. By far, the most common metals used for roofing are steel and aluminum, but you have several options to choose from, including:
Aluminum, which is extremely lightweight and doesn’t rust.
Steel, which is the most used metal for roofing, is heavier and sturdier than aluminum. Manufacturers provide a variety of durable coatings and finishes that protect the steel from corrosion and rust. Steel is generally coated with zinc for protection against corrosion and then sealed. An epoxy primer and an acrylic topcoat are used to add color and protection.
Higher-end metals are also available, but they are more expensive. Higher-end metal options may include:
Copper, which has been a popular roofing choice for centuries, will not rust and does not have a finish, so there is no scratching or peeling. It weathers naturally to a gorgeous verdigris patina.
Stainless steel roofing will not rust or corrode, and it can be coated to give it a natural matte gray finish.
Alloy roofing provides strength, durability and a gradual, beautiful weathering. The cost depends on the specific material used, but they are usually more expensive than aluminum or steel.
Is Metal For Roofing Only Available in Metal Sheets?
When choosing your metal roof, you should first determine the look you want it to have. Metal roofing for residential buildings is available in two basic types; sheet-like panels and shingles, which are extremely different in their appearance. The style of roof you are looking for will determine whether metal panels or metal shingles will be used; however, both categories have a wide range of colors and patterns.
Sheet-like panels are the most familiar type of metal roofing. This is known as standing-seam roofing; it has raised ribs (seams) every 6 or 12 inches. It is applied vertically on the roof and does not attempt to look like any other type of roofing materials. Panels provide a clean, contemporary appearance.
Metal shingle-style roofing is formed into shapes that imitate other types of roofing material, such as wood shakes, slate or Spanish tile. Metal shingles are usually made with multiple layer finishes that may include granulated topcoats to give them a realistic effect.
When metal roofing is properly installed, it should last as long as your house. It will easily block water, shed snow and survive high winds. Although the warranties vary by manufacturer, most companies back their metal roofing products for about 20–50 years, and the paint finishes generally have about a 30-year limited warranty. The initial cost for a metal roof may be higher than a standard asphalt shingle roof, but it is generally less expensive than wood or tile and will outlast all of these materials, so it is cost effective in the long run.
To learn more information about metal roofing or to schedule your free estimate, contact the leading experts in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area, Community Builders.
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