Over the years, homes have been roofed using various materials. Some prominent examples include wood shingles, asphalt shingles. Others include various forms of slate, clay tiles, concrete tiles, and metal roofing.
Depending on the requirements and style of a given project, any of these roofing materials would suffice. However, metal roofing materials tend to be an attractive option. This is due to its durability and minimal need for maintenance.
In this article, we will be looking at the different types of metal roof, their properties, pros, and cons, etc.
Within the article, we will also go ahead to answer popular questions. Some of these questions are “Do metal roofs keep house cooler?”, “Do Metal Roofs need gutters?”, etc
When you are done digesting this information, we hope that you’d be able to conclude if using metal roofs for houses is a good choice or not.
Types of Metal Roofing Materials and Their Properties.
The term “metal roof” is a vast and often confusing one. When mentioned, most people tend to picture a steel roof. However, the term covers a wide variety of materials.
Below are some variety of metals used as roofing materials, together with a brief description of their properties.
- Aluminum: Long-lasting and resistant to saltwater corrosion. Usually recommended for use in coastal climates.
- Copper: It has a very long lifespan. It is quite soft and has a low melting temperature. They have been used as the metal roofing material of choice for centuries. They are not suitable for use in hail-prone regions due to their soft nature.
- Zinc: Very long lifespan. Has one of the lowest melting points across boards, and has a high resistance to corrosion. Due to its tendency to “chalk” and it’s soft nature, Zinc roofing sheets are not best suited for extremely windy or rainy regions.
- Steel: It is recyclable and green. Mostly used for commercial projects, but it’s finding its way to residential use. It is very affordable and readily available. Due to its stable nature, it can be used in most weather conditions. It can be used in hail and high wind regions.
- Tin: It is scarce, and hardly used for roofing. Tin is mostly called interchangeably as galvanized steel. It is no longer a popular material for roofing or building as a whole.
As you can see, all the above-listed metal roofing materials have their distinct pros and cons. Hence, selection of a specific type of metal roof will depend on its distinct properties and location of use.
These different metal roofing materials come in different forms. There are metal roof shingles, metal roof panels, metal roof tiles, etc. The form you go for is dependent on the roofing requirement or style you have in mind.
Metal Roofing Pros and Cons
Just like everything else in life, metal roofs also have advantages and disadvantages. Listed below are some of the pros and cons of using metal roofing materials.
Pros of Metal Roofing
- Durability: Generally, metal roofing materials have a longer lifespan than other roofing materials like asphalt, clay, and wood. Being that they also have a high tolerance to harsh environmental conditions, they are more reliable for use in diverse weather conditions like hail and high winds. While metal roofs can generally last 40 to 70 years, asphalt has a life expectancy of just 12 to 20 years.
- Maintenance: Metal roofing materials require little to no routine maintenance when compared to other roofing materials.
- Environmentally Friendly: Metal roofing materials are highly recyclable. They are very green and friendly with the environment.
- Energy Efficiency: Metal roofs are considered to be the most energy efficient roofing material. This is because they make homes cooler as they reflect most of the radiant heat from the sun. This heat reflection translates to a 15 to 30% energy saving on air conditioning.
- Style: Metal roofing materials give homeowners a high degree of flexibility when it comes to styling, as they come in different textures, colors, and styles. They accentuate the beauty of a home.
- Safety: Most metal roofing products have high resistance to heat and fire. They will take longer ignite in case of a fire outbreak.
Cons of Metal Roofing
- Cost: The initial cost of installing a metal roof can be over 2 to 3 times more expensive than other materials. Though they have a longer lifespan, the cost implications of going for a metal roofing only makes sense if you have plans of staying in the house for a very long time.
- Noise Level: Metal roofing products produce more noise in weather conditions such as rain and hail when compared to other alternatives. Though the noise can be reduced by extra insulation during installation, this will add to the overall cost.
- Expansion and Contraction: All metals expand and contract when exposed to heat – like the sun. Metal roofs are no exception. If they are not properly fastened with adequate expansion gaps, they panels stand the risk of loosening.
- Snow: due to the texture of metal roofing products, if snow accumulates, it will slide down and cause damage to people and property beneath. This can be mitigated with the use of a properly installed snow guard.
Do Metal Roofs need gutters?
Due to poor installation, if water accumulates on a particular spot of metal roof, it won’t lead to direct damage of the roof. This is because metal roofs are produced to resist that kind of damage.
However, the accumulation could lead to damage to other aspects of the property: the walls, appliances like tankless water heaters, building foundation, etc.
Though gutters generally help with channeling away water in such situations, metal roofs don’t necessarily need them to protect the metal roof per se. If fitted, it is only required to protect other aspects of the property.
As you can see, metal roofing materials have lots of pros, as do cons. In choosing if metal roofing is a better choice comes down to several factors. Some of these factors are cost, how long you plan to live in that home, and location of the building.
If you make up your mind to go for metal roofing, ensure you go for professional installers. The installer should not only have experience in fixing metal roofs but should be experienced with the particular metal roofing material you have in mind.
Are you staying around Texas? Need a clean metal roof installation? Then you might want to check this out for metal roof installation in the kerrville, TX area.