Metal roofing is one of the most popular roofing options available today. It’s such a versatile choice that it’s widely used both in residential and commercial properties. It’s popular for a lot of reasons – it’s stylish, and affordable, and the metal roof lifespan is over double the lifespan of a traditional asphalt roof, so it can be a really cost-effective investment. If you’re thinking of getting a metal roof for yourself, then you need to keep reading.
Metal is one of the toughest materials around so it’s not surprising that it’s used to protect the home from the elements. Metal roofing, in particular, is completely non-porous, so water doesn’t seep into it, making it durable. Add a waterproof coating and it’ll have even better waterproofing capabilities. Metal roofing also features a smooth surface that allows it shed rainwater and snow more easily than other roofing options.
Unlike wood and rubber, metal doesn’t catch fire, boasting of a class A fire rating that makes it ideal for areas that commonly see wildfires. For the best level of fire protection, however, a metal roof must not have wooden components. If a metal roof has wooden support beams, for instance, its fire rating drops to class C.
Another proof of metal’s durability is its immunity to pests. Because metal doesn’t hold water, it’s less likely for mold and mildew to grow on its surface and for rot to develop from within, making the roofing option an unattractive choice for insects and pests to call home.
Another key advantage of metal roofing is ease of installation. If you’ve seen or heard about roof replacement, you’d know that tearing off the old roof takes time and effort. With metal roofs, you can skip that part and install over an old roof easily. Since metal panels are lightweight, there’s also no need to build extra roof supports, which makes installing the roofing option quicker than others.
Another thing metal roofing is known for is its ability to reflect heat away from a house or commercial building better than anything else. Metal roof absorbs less heat, which means your air-conditioning unit will have an easier time keeping your home comfortably cool, especially during warmer weather.
Some people may assume that metal roofs are all the same, but there are actually different kinds of metal used to make the roofs. Here’s a rundown of three of the most commonly used metals:
- Lightweight and incredibly reflective, aluminum is completely immune to rust unlike iron or steel. This makes it an ideal roofing option for homes near the sea or any other body of water, where the moisture (and salt) can cause rust to develop faster.
- Copper roofs cost more than other metal roofs, but for good reason: this metal can easily last for 50 years even with regular wear and tear. The material’s natural color, as well as the patina it develops due to weathering highlights roofing details, complementing a home’s overall appearance.
- Steel‘s strength and incredible impact resistance allows it to withstand large hailstones and even small falling branches without getting dented. While vulnerable to humidity, protective coatings and manufacturing techniques such as galvanization makes rust a minor issue, especially if the roof is installed properly.
Metal roofing comes in several forms, such as standing seam panels, shingles, and stone-coated steel. Let’s take a quick look at each of them:
- Standing seam metal panel roofs are composed of large, smooth panels which are raised at the sides. When installed, these raised sides form the seams of the roof, hence the name. Depending on the roofing contractor, these seams are formed either during the production process, or at the site of construction, right before installation (using a crimper). Because the seams (the most vulnerable part of the roof surface) are raised, they are less likely to have water accumulate and seep through them.
- Metal shingles are very similar to asphalt shingles and tile roofing in a sense that they are composed of smaller, uniformly-sized metal pieces. Metal shingle roofs are often used as a quick replacement to older asphalt shingle roofs since there’s no need to remove the original shingles. The shingles can also be bent or warped to mimic the appearance of other, more three-dimensional roofing such as tiles and wood shakes.
- Stone coated steel combines the water resistance and longevity of stone tiles with the strength of metal roofing. What you get are metal panels coated with a mixture of acrylic and fine stones. They closely resemble wooden shakes in appearance, but have drastically lower maintenance requirements.
There’s a lot metal roofing can offer you but it has to be installed right in order to perform as expected. To ensure this, make sure you entrust your metal roofing installation only to a professional.
Stacy Mellette is in-charge of administrative operations for Affordable Roofing Systems, a family-owned and -operated company serving the areas of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo, and Brandon. She hails originally from northeast Florida but is now living in Lutz, Florida. For updates from Stacy, check out the company blog!