Metal Roofing (steel, aluminum, tin, copper) Metal roofs are coming back into style. In the late 1700s, zinc, copper, and lead were the most popular materials used for roofing – such famous historical buildings as the Washington Monument and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello have metal roofs. They lasted for decades, but are extremely expensive to build. Today, we see Galvanized or Galvalume Steel roofs. Galvanized is the most popular, and Galvalume is used in the South where hurricanes are frequent.
Metal roofs are durable, fire retardant and almost maintenance-free. They are also energy efficient; metal reflects heat and blocks its transfer into the attic. Coatings with high reflective values to steel sheeting increase the thermal efficiency of buildings in high-temperature areas. Research by the Florida Solar Energy Center in 1985 showed that metal absorbed 34 percent less heat than asphalt shingles, and homeowners switching to metal roofing reported saving up to 20 percent on their energy bills. Steel roofs offer other environmental benefits as well. They are made from between 60 percent to 65 percent recyclable material. Because they weigh very little, metal roofing can be installed over existing roofs, eliminating the need to dispose of excess material in a landfill.
Standing-seam steel roofing is the most popular residential metal roofing today. (The term standing-seam describes the upturned edge of one metal panel that connects it to adjacent sections, creating distinctive vertical lines and a trendy historical look.) But metal roofs can also be made to resemble wood shakes, clay tiles, shingles, and Victorian metal tiles. Aluminum or coated steel is formed into individual shingles or tiles, or into modular panels four feet long that mimic a row of shingles or tiles. Installing some metal roofing can be an intricate process best done by a professional, and the initial cost of a premium metal roof is higher than most other roofing materials.
You need to compute the life cycle cost to see if paying more, to begin with for a metal roof will prove to be a better investment than some other form of roofing. With new advances in technology, manufactures of steel roofing products now have paint warranties of up to forty-five years. Metal roofing is definitely a long-term roofing material as compared to asphalt shingles which generally range from twenty-five to thirty-five-year warranties. If you are living in a snow-prone area, then the best option for you is metal roof shingles. They allow snow to slip easily. This reduces the probability of roof dent or collapse due to the weight of snow.
Below is a list of advantages and disadvantages of metal roofing:
* available in different looks including cedar shingles, slate, or standing seam
* many colors
* long lifespan (at least 50 years)
* low maintenance
* can be installed over existing roofs
* excellent performance in high wind, hail, and rain
* environmentally friendly
*Affordability. As much as two or three times more expensive than other roofing materials.
*Noisiness. Metal roofs can be noisy during heavy rain or hailstorm.