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Metal Roofing Questions and Answers

Does a metal roof cost more than a typical roof?

A metal roofing is a premium home product, you can expect your new roof to cost more than what an asphalt shingle roof costs. Hoever, a metal roof is comparable in price to tile roofing or cedar shake roofing. If you currently have a slate roof, you can expect your metal roof to cost less. No matter what kind of metal roofing style you choose, you'll never have to worry about your roof again. Most come with a true 30 - 50 year warranty. Plus, your new metal roof will add to the resale value of your home, save you money on your energy bulls, and give you peace of mind that you'll likely never have to re-roof again.


I'm concerned that a metal roof won't match my home and the roofing style in my neighborhood.

Today's residential metal roofing is made to look exactly like common roofing material - ask to see metal roofing's wide variety of styles, colors and patterns - there's certain to be a style and finish to match your home and neighborhood.


Does metal attract lightning?

Lightning is attracted to the highest pont, not necessarily metal. A metal roof has no greater chance of being hit by lightning than any other type of roof. However, if you roof would be struck be lightning, a metal roof can help you prevent your home from catching on fire because it can dissipate the electrical charge. More importantly, it is noncombustible.


Can you walk on the roof?

Most metal panel systems can support the load of an individual walking on them. As with any roof system care must be taken to not cause damage to the roof due to abrasion or collapsing or raised portion of the panel. Appropriate OSHA approved safety procedures should also be followed.


How heavy is metal roofing?

Metal roof systems in most cases weigh between 1 - 3 pounds per square foot.  The actual weight is dependent upon metal gauge and profile of the panel. Metal roof systems are considered a lightweight roof covering compared to their counterparts. The following illustrates the different types of other roofing materials and their respective weights per square foot:

Asphalt Shingle: 2 - 3 lbs psf

Textured Asphalt Shingle: 3.5 - 5lbs psf

Wood Shingle/Shakes: 3.5 - 4.5 lbs psf

Clay or Concrete Tile: 5.5 - 10 lbs psf


How much longer will a metal roof last than common roofing like asphalt or wood shingle?

You can expect a metal roof to last at least 2 - 3 times longer than a regular roof. In general terms, count on a metal roof lasting 40 - 60 years and beyond. To put in context, the average life span of an asphalt roof is 12 - 20 years. That lifespan can be shorter depending on the pitch of your roof and the climate in your area. Made of oil impregnated paper or fiberglass, asphalt begins to detoriate as soon as yo expose it to normal weather. A metal roof, however, will never decompose.  Other roofing materials like wood shingle, shake and tile have varying degrees of weather-related problems that lead to breakdown. Wood shingle and shakeroofs need replacement before 20 years. Concrete tile roofs can crack and warp in the freeze/thaw cycle of more northern climates. All of the above roofing materials are well-outlasted by metal roofing, which retains its good looks and durability decade after decade after decade.


Is metal roofing noisier in bad weather than asphalt, cedar shake, tile and slate roofing?

This is a common question, and probably one of he biggest misconceptions about metal roofing. People usually think that of an old barn roof where the metal is visible to the interior of the structure. On a residence, however, metal roofing is often installed over a solid substrate. Further, attic space  and insulation serve as additional sound barriers. Research has proven that metal is not any noisier than traditional roofing products. In fac, you'll hear more noise from your walls and windows than you will from your metal roof.


How will a metal roof stand up to extreme weather?

A metal roof can withstand decades of abuse from extreme weather like high winds, heavy snow, hailstorms, and even wildfires. Metal roofing has a 120-mph wind rating, meaning it can withstand wind gusts up to 120 miles per hour- equal to an F2 tornado. Under high wind conditions metal roofing systems ave wind resistance and uplift resistance that is above the new building code requirements. Naturally, this gives architects and engineers a sense of relief in that they can use the best material to meet those criteria.

In locations that see heavy snow, metal roofing has been the choice of homeowners for years. It sheds snow fast, which protects the structural integrity of the roof. And it can eliminate ice damming at the evers, so water can't back up and collect under the roof then leak into your home. If you live in a part of the country that is prone to wildfires, metal roofing can protect your home should burning embers land on your roof. In fact, you should check with your insurance agent as it's quite likely that the installation of metal roofing will save you money on your homeowners insurance.


Is a metal roof evironmentally friendly?

Not only is metal roofing great for your home, it's great for the environment. The recycled content of the steel in a metal roof is about 56% from production to installation to reuse - far superior to asphalt. According to the National Association of Homebuilders Research Center, 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles are dumped into U.S. landfills every year. If you loaded those shingles into tractor trailers, then line them up end-to-end, they would make a line from New York City to Los Angeles, back to NYC again, then to Chicago. That's a lot of wasted asphalt. But because a metal roof can often be installed over your current roof, without tearing off what's already there, metal roof helps to reduce this excessive shingle waste.


Would a metal roof be too heavy for certain types of homes, or for smaller structures like s detached garage of porch?

You'll be surprised to learn that a metal roof is, on average, 50% lighter than an asphalt shingle roof, and 75% lighter than concrete tile, fiber cement shakes and slate. With metal roofing, weight on a structure is never an issue.


Can I add insulation under the metal panels?

Yes. Among the types of insulation that can be used under metal roofing, we recommend foil-faced radiant barrier insulation. This means you can save even more additional utility costs by making your roof more energy efficient through the use of this inexpensive insulation product.

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