Metal roofing may not be the most popular roofing material in the United States today, but the demand for it has steadily increased over the years. A large portion of this demand is thanks to the reroofing industry, which is mostly driven by severe weather events in different parts of the country. Nevertheless, many other factors have also contributed to the increasing popularity of metal roofing in the U.S. In fact, in other parts of the world, metal roofing has been considered the primary choice roofing material of choice for both residential and commercial applications.
The Appeal and Beauty of Metal Roofing
Metal roofs were first used in the United States in the mid-1800s. However, they were mostly utilized for commercial establishments, barns, and warehouses. Fortunately, metal roofs have evolved significantly since then. Not only do they come in many different forms and styles, they’re also available in a wide variety of appealing colors. As a result, metal roofing has also started gaining favor from homeowners.
When selecting metal roofing for your home, you’ll first need to decide on the type of material. Metal roofing is available in a variety of materials, including:
- Galvanized Steel
- Aluminized Steel
You’ll then need to select the form in which your metal roofing will come. Most manufacturers produce this roofing option in a variety of profiles, such as:
- Standing Seam
- Corrugated Panels
- Sheet Panels
Because metal roofing is available in a variety of design and profiles, it can actually replace or at least be a viable alternative to traditional roofing materials like asphalt shingles and wood shakes.
Benefits of Metal Roofing
Aside from aesthetic value, metal roofs also offer a number of other benefits.
Metal Roofing Lasts
Metal roofing lasts longer than many other traditional roofing materials. For instance, aluminum and steel metal roofs have a standard lifespan of up to 50 years while copper and zinc roofs can last more than 100 years. They are so durable that it’s possible for them to outlast the very structures they are protecting. However, this doesn’t mean that they are not susceptible to the forces of nature. Metal roofs can also be damaged by strong winds and storms, making regular inspection still a must.
Metal Roofing Is Energy-Efficient
One of the reasons why a home has high energy consumption is because of unstable indoor temperatures due to passive heating promoted by traditional roofing materials. Metal does conduct heat it is unable to bounce back, but metal roofing is also able to easily release what it does absorb, limiting what is passed on to your home. With proper insulation, passive heating is further reduced, preventing cooling systems from working overtime to achieve ideal indoor temperatures.
During summer, metal roofing can reduce the energy consumption of a home by around 40%. In winter, energy consumption due to heating needs usually goes down by around 15%.
Metal Is a Green Roofing Option
Metal roofing is considered as a “green” option because it can be recycled. In fact, most manufacturers produce metal roofs made from 60% recycled metals. Additionally, every piece of a metal roof is 100% recyclable and can be recycled many times over without degradation, so it often ends up being recycled to make other metal products. Metal roofing also lasts a long time, so it takes decades before parts of a roofing system find their way into landfills.
Myth Busted: A Metal Roof Does Not Increase Chances of Lightning Strikes
Metal is an excellent conductor of electricity, but the myth that metal roofing has a greater chance of being hit by lightning is simply false.
Lightning strikes the highest point in an area regardless of material. Therefore, metal roofs have an equal chance of being struck by lightning as any other material. For instance, a tree that is as a tall as a metal roof has an equal chance of being struck by lightning as the roof, even though it’s made of wood. This means even if your roof was made of traditional materials, it would still have the same chance of being hit by lightning if it is at a high enough elevation.
Furthermore, having a metal roof would actually be more advantageous than having other roofing materials should lightning strike your home. Metal roofing will dissipate the electric charge safely, releasing the charge onto the ground to prevent damage to your home.
Still undecided whether to get metal roof or not? Schedule a consultation with a trusted roofer in your area to learn more about what the roofing option can do for you.
Owner of Garlock-French Corporation, Bob Dresback is a professional roofer based in Minneapolis. He is very passionate about what he does and loves to share his experiences with other people by writing articles and blog posts. Check out the company blog for updates from Bob!