Metal roofing is one of the more complex types of roofing to install because it requires special training, techniques, different pieces and parts, and experienced installers. Although people see shingle roofs on nearly every home they pass while driving, metal roofs are more common than it may seem, usually popping up in areas with extreme weather conditions. One word helps metal roofing stand out during home improvement projects: options. There are so many varieties, colors, and arrangements for metal roofing that it can be a fun material to pick out. Here are a few of the advantages and disadvantages of metal roofing that will guide homeowner’s towards a decision on whether or not a metal roof is right for them.
Advantages of Metal Roofing
WeightMetal panels used for roofing are lightweight, meaning installers have an easier time handling and transporting the material onto the roof and installing it. It also reduces the amount of stress placed on the structure of a building that materials like tiles tend to compromise.
LifespanThe biggest advantage that metal roofing has over shingle roofing is that it’s lifespan is much longer. Metal roofing lasts at the very least 50 years. Depending on the type of metal material, it can last up to 100 years or more.
Lower Average Cost Per YearWhile metal roofing is nowhere near as cheap at asphalt shingles, when it comes to the average cost per year, it's much lower. To find out the cost per year for a roof, just divide its expected lifespan by the cost of the roof. Metal roof = $18,000/60 years = 300 per year Shingle roof = $9,000/20 years = 450 per year Because metal roofs last so much longer, they don’t have to be replaced as often as shingle roofs do. You can also see the lowered cost based on how many times in a 60 year span it would have to be replaced. Metal roof = $18,000 x 1 time installation = $18,000 Shingle roof = $9,000 x replaced 3 times (every 20 years) = $27,000
Resistance to FireClass A is the highest fire resistance rating that a material can have, which means that metal roofing has a top fire-rating and is also noncombustible. Having a Class A fire-rating is important in areas that are susceptible to wildfires. This is because hot ashes and embers can be blown by the wind and fall on a roof. A metal roof won’t go up in flames the way a shingle roof can.
Weather ResistanceHomes in areas that experience extreme weather conditions such as strong winds, heavy rain, snow, hail and ice, below freezing temperatures, and high heat could benefit from installing a metal roof. Metal is the type of material that is durable against weather conditions that other materials aren’t, especially when it’s properly installed.
Environmentally ConscienceThere are a number of reasons why metal roofing is more environmentally friendly than other roofing materials. This is because metal is highly recyclable, especially if it’s made of aluminum.
Energy EfficientMetal roofing can be manufactured to have cool roofing technology which releases heat that has been absorbed in high temperature environments and retains that same heat in colder climates. There are also ENERGY STAR® rated colors and finishes that homeowners can choose from. If you’re planning on saving energy with solar panels, the installation is incredibly easy on a metal roof. They simply need to be placed on the roof and held down with clamps rather than installed directly into the roof.
Low MaintenanceUpkeep on a metal roof is extremely minimal if it’s installed professionally and correctly. Metal roofs only need to be cleaned and maintained twice a year and after a strong storm and it’s easy to remove dirt and debris that may be stuck on the roof. Typically, rain water tends to take care of most grime.
Increased Property ValueIf a homeowner is looking to sell their roof, they may be able to put their home on the market with an increased value if they install a metal roof. This is because it lasts longer, the new owners will probably never have to repair or replace it, and the higher property value acts as a supplement for what the seller had to put into it money wise.
VarietyVariety is one of the biggest selling points for choosing a metal roof. It can be nearly any color since metal panels can be colored with paint by companies like Valspar that have paints that are specifically designed for metal panels. The paint is durable and lasts decades without chipping. Metal Roofs also come in different shapes and sizes because of how customizable metal is. The panel systems used on a metal roof can also be shaped to mimic shingle and tile roof systems. This helps with HOA’s that want the shingle look but aren’t too concerned with the roof type.
Insurance PositivesThere are certain situations where metal roofing can actually lower home insurance premiums because they’re stronger, more durable, and less likely to cause damage that would require you to file a claim, saving both you and the insurance company money.
Disadvantages of Metal Roofing
Higher Up-Front CostMetal roofing is more expensive up front than shingle roofing and has a higher price point for labor, equipment, and materials. However, as mentioned before, it’s a better investment long term.
Hard To Find Trained RoofersMost roofers in the industry focus on shingle roofing and don’t offer metal roofing as an option. Some roofing companies will offer metal roofing installation without being properly trained. There are significantly fewer contractors who specialize in metal roofing and can install it properly. Crest Exteriors is trained and qualified to install metal roofing properly.
Labor IntensiveInstalling a metal roof makes the labor of a shingle roof look like a breeze. It requires precision installation with no room for error. It has to be installed by someone specially trained in metal roofing. It also takes longer to install than a traditional shingle roofing system, anywhere between 3 days to a week longer.
Homeowner’s AssociationsIf a homeowner lives in a community with an HOA, choosing a metal roof may not be an option. HOAs prefer to keep a consistent look within the neighborhood and a metal roof would typically stand out. They also have high-glare issues that would be distracting to visitors to the community and the people living there.
Insurance NegativesWhile the positive side of insurance benefits for metal roofing were mentioned earlier, there are some negatives to it. Contrasting to the lowered premiums because of the quality of a metal roof system, that same quality can be the reason for a more expensive premium. With the high cost of the metal roof, replacing it comes with a high cost as well. Insurance companies may see this and think that merits a higher premium while others may go the other route and place a safety discount on your insurance. With so many benefits of a metal roof, it’s important to consider the disadvantages as well. Being knowledgeable about it before purchasing can help make a decision that works for your home and makes you feel safe.
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