Longevity, energy efficiency and a lower environmental impact are just some of the benefits of choosing a metal roof. Although the initial cost of a metal roof is more than traditional asphalt, so is its lifespan. Metal roofs can last 30 to 50 years longer than other roofing materials, saving you money in the long-term. ) Plus, cool-metal roofing uses a reflective solar coating designed to minimise heat buildup and reduce air conditioning costs. (Another money-saver!)
Metal roofing is an alternative to traditional asphalt roofing that’s usually composed of large sheets, though varieties are available that mimic the look of standard asphalt shingles. Materials that may be used for metal roofing include zinc, tin, steel, copper, aluminium, and hybrid metal mixtures, all of which are finished with special coatings to reflect heat, prevent rust and seal the material against moisture damage. Looking for a roof replacement? Check out Top Glaze for a wide range of roof services.
What Roofing Material Should I Pick?
Metal roofs can be manufactured from a variety of metals and alloys, including steel, aluminium, copper, zinc and terne (zinc-tin alloy).
There are three variations of steel: galvanised, galvalume, and weathering steel (corten). Steel is one of the most common metal roof materials. One reason for its popularity is the varying colour options, high strength, low weight and long-term durability. These can allow for a variety of looks to complement your home.
Compared to other metal, steel is typically less expensive. Depending upon the thickness, colour, and quality of the desired panels, pricing could range anywhere from $75 to $250 per roofing square (100 square feet).
Steel roofs do have a downside, though. If your home is located along the coast and exposed to salt spray, you may want to rule out galvanised steel – it could corrode in such conditions.
Aluminium is typically more expensive than steel but also comes with more resistance. Aluminium sheet metal is very lightweight and easy for a contractor to form and install. Even though aluminium is a thinner and lighter material, it’s still very durable and can replicate the strength of much thicker metals.
One of the most significant selling points of an aluminium roof is the fact that it doesn’t have red rust, and corrosion is generally minimal as it ages. Studies have even shown that aluminium can work great in coastal areas with high rainfall and seawater spray conditions. However, aluminium is typically a thinner material and, therefore, more prone to denting.
Copper is long-lasting, known to last up to 100 years. It is very soft, which makes it a quieter option. Think heavy rain downpour! However, copper is expensive and, over time, acquires a greenish patina. Some people find that attractive, but others don’t like the transitioning hues.
Zinc actually possesses its own outer protective layer, which prevents corrosion, scratching and panel markings. If wind or another element were to scratch the surface of the zinc roof, the metal’s protective layer would actually fix and correct itself over time. Zinc roofs have been known to last anywhere from 60 to 100 years.
Pros and Cons of Metal Roofs
Whether you’re putting a roof on a new home or your existing roof requires a total makeover, there are many materials available. But no matter what roof style you have, metal roofs can be an attractive option because of their longevity, minimal maintenance and energy efficiency. Material choices include steel (galvanised, galvalume or weathering), aluminium, copper, zinc and tin. Product types are vertical seam, pre-formed panels and granular coated panels. Style choices allow you to have the look of shingles, slate, tile, shakes or vertical panels. Make sure your metal roofing product is tested, labelled and listed with a testing organisation such as UL, FM Approvals or Intertek to meet the rigorous wind, fire and impact resistance rating requirements. Please also remember that installation can vary from geographic location, manufacturer guidelines and as a result of local building code requirements. Check out our range of roof restoration services here.
Pros of Metal Roofs
- Durable: One of the longest-lasting roofing options, metal roofs can last over 50 years when properly installed and well maintained. You may be concerned about rust, but today’s metal roofing has a protective coating that fights oxidation that forms rust.
- Reflects Heat: While you may think of metal as conducting heat, metal roofing reflects sunlight rather than absorbing it. Working as a system with a correctly ventilated attic, this heat reflection can reduce temperature regulation costs inside the house.
- Suitable for the Environment: Many metal roofing materials are made from 25-95% recycled content, and they are 100% recyclable at the end of the roof’s life, unlike other roofing materials that contribute to landfill waste.
- Customisable: With many different colours to choose from, metal roofing can be a unique element or can enhance the home’s aesthetic. With bright colour options and traditional copper and tin looks, there are seemingly endless options that set metal roofing apart.
- Fire Resistant: Unlike other roofing materials, metal roofing will not catch fire from elements such as a wildfire or lightning strike.
- Sheds Rain and Snow: Because metal panels interlock and the roof surface is hard and slippery, rain and snow run down and off the roof more quickly than other roofing materials as long as the roof is installed correctly.
- Even with all the positive attributes of metal roofing, there are some downsides to be aware of when deciding if a metal roof is suitable for your home. Weighing the pros above with the cons below is an important part of the decision process.
Cons of Metal Roofs
- Can be Expensive: With metal roofs costing, on average, 2 to 3 times more than traditional asphalt shingles, the price can be prohibitive for some homeowners. If the price of a full metal roof is too much for your budget, consider replacing parts of your roof with metal accents above a porch or window awning.
- Noisy: Metal roofs do not consist of the same layers like a traditional asphalt roof, which buffer sound throughout your home. The noise from heavy rain or a hailstorm can be particularly loud on a metal roof, but this can be significantly decreased if the attic is properly insulated.
- Unexperienced Installers: Metal roofing is quite easy to install if the contractor is experienced. Still, as with any roof replacement, if not correctly installed, metal roofing will fail and leak. Choose an established metal roofing company that has appropriate warranties and a service record you can trust.
- Dents & Dings: While metal roofs are durable, they are prone to denting if there is a particularly heavy hailstorm or branches that fall on the house. However, if the storm is heavy enough to cause damage to a metal roof, it would likely damage most roofing materials.
- Difficult to Repair: Because metal roofing is installed in large panels, the panels are more challenging to replace than single shingles. Additionally, getting matching patches to repair a colourful metal roof can be a challenge.
- Leaky Exposed Fasteners: Most exposed fastener systems are not engineered to the same standards as standing seam metal roofing. If you choose a metal roof with exposed fasteners, which many experienced roofers will not recommend, rainwater can seep through the screw holes.
The growing market for metal roofing in the stands at about $3.3 billion across both commercial and residential properties, with manufacturers offering buyers more options for getting the look and utility that they’re after. So if it’s time for a new roof, here are the reasons that you might want to put metal roofing at the top of your list of considerations.
Reasons to Consider Metal Roofing for Your Home
If you’re considering a new roof for your home, it may be worth thinking outside the asphalt. Metal roofing is surging in popularity, with increased demand in the residential market and year after year industry growth. Today’s metal roofs offer streamlined looks and increased energy efficiency, with a variety of options available so you can fit the style of your home’s exterior. So whether you’re building a new home from scratch or updating your existing roof, metal roofing might just be the way to go. Top Glaze has the best range of help if you’re looking for Melbourne roof repairs.
Metal Roofs are Cost-Effective
While it’s true that metal roofing costs more than asphalt shingles upfront (about $120 to $900 per square foot of metal roofing versus $70 to $160 per square foot of asphalt, according to HomeAdvisor), it has a significantly longer life expectancy that helps offset the initial spend. A metal roof will last about 40 to 70 years, while traditional asphalt roofs last about 12 to 20 years. Live in your house long enough, and you could end up replacing an asphalt roof anywhere from two to five times in the length of time a metal roof would remain in good condition.
They’re Impact- and Fire-Resistant
It’s not uncommon for asphalt shingles to fly off during strong winds or to be easily damaged by hail. Asphalt can also be prone to mildew or mould from moisture buildup, and aside from fibreglass varieties, it doesn’t offer much in terms of fire resistance. Metal roofing, on the other hand, can hold up to many conditions and doesn’t pose a risk of harmful moisture buildup. It’s also fire-resistant. So while you might get a few dents from a major hail storm, you’ll have much more durability against extreme elements.
They’re Environmentally Friendly
Metal roofs are 100% recyclable, and many metal roofing manufactures use anywhere from 25% to 95% recycled materials in the production of their product. That helps explain why the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) declared metal roofing to be one of the most eco-friendly roofing options available.
In addition to maximising the use of recycled materials in production, metal roofs can often be resealed to extend their life-cycle instead of needing to be entirely replaced. Further, because of the ubiquity of their materials, it’s unlikely that they’ll end up in a landfill when they’re no longer in use.
They’re Energy Efficient
Metal roofs are an ideal choice for homeowners who are looking to optimise their property’s use of energy. One study found that metal roofs offer a 40% reduction in energy costs in the summer and a 15% reduction in energy costs in the winter when constructed with a four-inch strapping system (horizontal boards between the plywood base and the metal sheets) and in a reflective, light colour such as white, light green, or blue. These roofs can run 50 to 60 degrees cooler than dark asphalt shingles, reflecting harsh sunlight back instead of trapping it so that it enters into the home.
They Boost Your Home Value
The upfront costs of installing metal roofing become even easier to justify when you consider that they can increase your home’s value by anywhere from about 1% to 6%. According to Home Guides, homeowners can expect to recoup an average of 85.9% of the cost of a metal roof, with those who live in eastern regions of the country getting an even higher return of 95.5% on average. That means that even if you’re not planning to stay in your home for the next 40 to 70 years, you can still reap the cost-effective benefits of metal roofing.
They Can Save You Money on Homeowners Insurance
You may be able to get a discount on your homeowner’s insurance when you install a metal roof on your home. Because they’re more durable and less prone to damage from the weather, some homeowners insurance companies offer policy discounts of up to 35% for those with metal roofing. It’s worth checking if your policy has this type of promotion and what the discount would be. Alternately, if you’re set on a metal roof and your homeowner’s insurance doesn’t offer a lowered rate, switch your policy to a provider that does.
You Might Not Need To Remove Your Existing Roof
Depending on your local building codes, you may be able to save money on the installation of a new metal roof by having it installed directly over existing asphalt shingles. This process cuts down considerably on the cost of labour since there’s no time spent removing the shingles and is compatible with the installation of a strapping system. Just be sure to have your current roof properly inspected before putting metal roofing over it so that you’re not trapping in problems like moisture buildup or rodents.