If your current roof is the root of your headache (and maybe even a long list of costly repairs), consider these metal roofing pros and cons before you patch it. You may find that these highly efficient, low-maintenance materials are just right for your house.
Curious why this construction material has won over so many builders? See the complete list of metal roofing pros and cons below. Weigh them carefully, and you can see if you could benefit from this reliable roofing overhead.
PRO: Metal roofs are durable and long-lasting.
At the top of the list of metal roofing “pros,” the material’s long lifespan is why homeowners make the switch in either a re-roofing or new construction. Indeed, that recent McGraw-Hill survey found that 26 percent of homeowners cited longevity as their primary reason for investing in metal and another 22 percent said they were swayed by its strength. A properly installed metal roof typically will last as long as the house, with an expected lifespan of 40 to 70 years and, often, a 30- to 50-year manufacturer’s warranty to boot.
Thanks to the material’s unique durability, you can count on it to withstand the elements—including gusts of wind up to 140 miles per hour—and not corrode nor crack thanks to rust-proof coatings.
CON: Metal roofs can be expensive.
The many years of service that a metal roof promises can come at a high cost. The material can run from £10 to £100 per square meter (of material), according to Home Advisor’s Guide.
Though this range can be comparable to the costs of other premium roofing products, higher-end metals like copper can run as much as 10 times the cost of it.
Then, not only do materials come with high price tags, but the installation labor can also be more expensive than what you’d pay for other types of roofing because of the specialized training, knowledge, tools, and equipment needed for a lot of the traditional Metal Roofing Trades.
That’s not to say that homeowners won’t recoup money on your initial investment, though. While a conventional roof takes a long time to lay and is heavy, you might end up with a much slimmer structure of the sub roof to carry the loads of a metal roof.
Also the process of installing can be much quicker due to the availabilty of full roof-size panels. It all depends on the sytem of your choice as some do not need the specialist knowledge and expert tools, others do.
PRO: Metal roofs are environmentally friendly.
Metal roofs are considered sustainable for a number of reasons. For starters, they consist of at least 25 percent recycled materials and are 100 percent recyclable themselves. (Steel roofing can be recycled repeatedly without loss of strength!) Metal roofing also provides an ideal platform for homeowners who want to embark various eco-conscious initiatives, including solar panels and systems for harvesting rainwater. Finally, in some re-roofing projects, a metal roof is so light—roughly one-third the weight of asphalt—that it can be installed directly overtop without overburdening the roof’s structural support.
CON: Metal roofs can be dented and are noisy
Although today’s metal roofs are designed to withstand decades of abuse from extreme weather—including heavy snow and ice, both of which slide right down the slick metal slope rather than linger and cause leakage—some metal can still be dented by large hail or falling branches. Depending on the type of roof, you may not even be able to walk on the metal without damaging it.
If these drawbacks sound more like dealbreakers, rest assured that they can be sidestepped altogether if you choose the right profile (any profiled sheets will have more stability and are less likely to dent) and the right sub roof.
On top, some types of metal are just stronger than others. Aluminum and copper, for example, are both softer and therefore more prone to this type of damage than, say, steel.
The noiseyness listed here as a “con,” doesn’t need to be a given. Sure, metal could be noisier than other types of roofing, especially during a heavy rain or thunderstorm, but the correct layers of solid sheathing, membranes or insulation installed beneath it will typically minimise the sound heard inside.
PRO: Metal roofs are stylish.
Today’s metal roofs are a far cry from the corrugated tin barns of the past—indeed, now you can choose from tin, zinc, aluminum, copper, or galvanized steel, in a dizzying array of colors, finishes, and even shapes! Their variety surpasses that of conventional roofs.
While tiles or shingles might offer 3 to 4 color choices, modern metal roofing comes in more than 100 different colors, including standard, premium, and custom hues. Steel and aluminum, the two most common metals used in residential roofing, are both designed to hold paint finishes well.
Seven out of 10 homeowners living under metal roofs designed theirs with the traditional vertical ribbed panels or “standing seam” construction, but metal roofing is not short on style options either. Fans of more traditional profiles can opt for a metal tiles manufactured to resemble wood shakes, slate or clay tiles, or any other number of designs instead. The metal doesn’t have to stand out like a sore thumb to do its job; rather, it can mimic nearly any look using multiple-layer factory finishes that ensure that the appearance is not only beautiful but long-lasting and durable.