Although metal only comprises around 10% of the current re-roofing market in the US for residential properties, it has become much more popular over the last twenty years as more people start to recognize its various benefits. Today’s metal roofs offer a high-tech solution for both residential and commercial properties, unlike the corrugated iron roofs that have long been used for barns and other outbuildings. Metal roofs also have a very long history, with copper roof shingles being used for well over two millennia. It is particularly popular in colder climates due to its excellent durability.
The most obvious benefit of metal as a roofing material is its durability. Completely fire-resistant and built to last for many decades, most materials are also surprisingly lightweight. They come in many different varieties and materials as well, including galvanized steel, copper or ultra-lightweight aluminum. You can choose from multiple styles and colors to get just the right look for your particular home or commercial property. On the other hand, metal roofs can be very expensive, and there are environmental factors which can cause expansion or contraction to the extent that roofing shingles or panels come loose.
Types of Metal Roof
The most common type of metal roofing uses an exposed fastener design where metal sheets or shingles are fastened onto the roof by way of screws. An economical design, this type of roof has been tried and tested for decades, and it is fast becoming a popular alternative to asphalt shingles and other materials.
Metal roofing profiles primarily come in two varieties: panel or shingle. Metal panels are the most common, and they usually come in the form of standing-seam roofs with raised vertical ribs that are applied every six to twelve inches. This style of roofing tends to be favored among modern homes and commercial properties due to its very contemporary look.
Metal shingle roofing is more versatile in that it can imitate a variety of styles, making it look suitable on a wider selection of different properties. Metal shingles may be designed to look like wood, metal or other materials, and they may even feature a surface of ceramic or stone granules to give them a similar appearance to asphalt roofs.
Metal, of course, covers a great deal of different materials, although steel is by far the most popular due to the fact that it is relatively cost-effective, and it offers excellent durability. For additional protection, steel roofs typically feature a zinc-coated surface and a customized coating to add further color and protection. Aluminum is another popular choice, due to the fact that it is one of the lightest metals available. Copper may also be used, as it has been for hundreds of years, although it is one of the most expensive options.
Metal roofing presents a number of benefits and drawbacks depending on environmental and structural factors as well as the type and quality of the materials used. Following are some of the key pros and cons of metal roofs:
. Metal roofs, when properly installed, have an extremely long lifespan with warranties lasting anything from 20 to 50 years.
. Materials used are highly resistant to wind, snow, ice and rain. Since metal is noncombustible, it also has a Class-A fire rating.
. Modern materials are typically very lightweight, making them easy to install and more suitable for properties with structural limitations regarding weight.
. Due to being highly durable and weather-resistant, metal roofs are particularly suitable for flat roofs and sloped roofs with gentle pitches.
. The most significant drawback for most is cost, though this can often be offset by the fact that metal roofs require minimal maintenance and last a long time.
. Metal can be very noisy during rain, to such an extent that your home can start sounding like a drum if proper sound insulation is not also installed.
One of the greatest advantages of metal roofing is that they require very little maintenance, but there are still some minor things to take care of to ensure maximum lifespan and maintain its appearance.
. Some metal roofs feature a factory finish that will wear off over time to the extent that the surface beneath will start to corrode. Occasionally, acrylic- or polyester-based paint may need to be reapplied to the surface.
. To maintain the appearance of your metal roof, you should periodically clean the surface and remove any detritus that builds up in the gutters or downspouts.
. Screws may come loose on occasion, in which case they will need to be tightened or replaced. Screws should only be applied to the raised ridges, lest they cause ice and rain to puddle on the surface.
. Sealants and seams around the edges of the roof may need to be replaced, since storms can cause damage leading to corrosion and leaks.
When to Replace Your Metal Roof
Despite its longevity, no metal roof, regardless of the type and quality of materials used, is completely immune to the elements, particularly once the surface coating starts to degrade. If you suspect that your roof is in need of major repairs or even replacement, you’ll need to approach a roofing contractor to get a better idea of exactly what level of work is required. Alternatively, you may want to consider replacing an aging shingle roof with a metal one in order to add value to your home and take advantage of the various other benefits involved.
Once installed, a metal roof shouldn’t need replacing for a very long time unless it has been damaged by severe weather or it is starting to sag, rust or leak in multiple locations. In the vast majority of cases, however, you’ll only need to repair the roof by using a suitable metal roof restoration product.
. Economical and designed to last for decades, our metal roofing applications have become particularly popular in recent years.