Metal Roofing and Green Building Blog Metal Roofing Pros and Cons

Metal Roofing and Green Building Blog Metal Roofing Pros and Cons

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Metal Roofing Pros and Cons

While contemplating, to have a new roof installed, it can be quite a task to determine what type of roof to go for. A quick means of making the decision easier may be to examine the pros and cons a metal roof will bring when installed.

The options when having a new roof installed are many and getting lost in the sea of possibilities is easy, and certainly not uncommon. Because purchasing a new roof is not something most people do on a regular basis, the Endeavor often is a once in a lifetime occurrence. Therefore it is quite natural for any person, not to be familiar with everything that is possible when acquiring a new roof.

When it comes to obtaining a new roof, there are many materials available, which are suitable for the task, like wooden shakes and asphalt shingles, clay tiles, concrete, and the list goes on. On this long list of suitable roofing materials, metal roofing is also available as an option, and is one that has gained in popularity over the last twenty years. When searching for the best option for replacing your old roof, metal may be just the material you are looking for.

A new roof, is not a small purchase, so the importance of making the right choice of materials, is vital, and for this purpose we will explain the advantages and drawbacks of having a metal roof on your house, compared to the other available materials for roofing.

Advantages of having a metal roof

The main advantage of a metal roof is it’s durability. On average a metal roof, will last for more than five decades, until it is time to replace it again. Compare that to the average life expectancy of an asphalt shingle roof, which is only 17 years, and the case for a metal roof becomes clear. Metal roofs also provide the perfect shelter from (extreme) weather conditions, as metal roofs can take gusts of more than 110 mph, with many systems rated to withstand the winds of over 120mph. Many metal roofs have a smooth finish designed to shed snow and ice, which helps prevent ice dams.

Metal roofing is considered eco friendly, as metal is one of the materials that can be fully recycled, which makes metal one of the most suitable materials for green building, while it also reduces and in some cases eliminates the use of other more environmentally unfriendly materials. The asphalt shingle, a petroleum based product that is destined for our landfills is the most widely used residential roofing material that pollutes the environment.

Another advantage that make metal roofs perfect for green building is the fact that metal reflects solar radian heat, which reduces the need for cooling the building and helps conserve energy. Cases have been reported, where costs for cooling a building went down by more than forty percent.

Last, metal roofing requires very little maintenance, during its entire lifespan. Metal does not rot and basically remains the same from the time it is installed, until the time when it has to be replaced again, often more than fifty years later.

Disadvantages of having a metal roof

While there are little drawbacks from having a metal roof installed, its initial cost, can be a decisive factor, whether or not to go for a metal roof, when looking for a new roof to replace the existing one. Installing a metal roof, is a great, and cost effective investment in the long term, if the budget allows for it.

A minor drawback of metal roofing, is the fact that they can be noisy, compared to other roofing materials, though in most cases, this is not a factor as most residential roof decks have solid sheeting, which acts as an insulating sound barrier. The breathable roofing underlayment further enhances noise protection, and overall integrity of the roofing system, and preserves the roof deck. For the rare few roofs that do not have a solid sheeting underneath, such as those requiring structural (rigid) standing seam metal roofing panels, the potential noise resulting from the rain drops can be eliminated by using the proper material to insulate the roof. The insulation of the roof should be done as it will enhance energy efficiency of the building, and is required by building codes.

As we have covered the major pros and cons of installing metal roofing, we find that whether or not a metal roof is the best solution for your new roof, is mostly a matter of budget necessary to cover the initial cost of investment. As the time goes on, energy savings realized, and longevity of the metal roof will pay for the higher cost of the initial investment. Of-course this is a decision only the buyer can make. By listing the pros and cons of metal roofing we hope to have made the decision somewhat easier to make.


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