Metal Roofing: Pros and Cons

Whether renovating or building a house, choosing the right material for the roof is essential. Your roof protects your home from the elements and needs to provide efficient cover and safety.

However, a roof can also have a huge impact on the energy efficiency of a home, as heat will often transfer through the top of a house. You should also consider how easy or difficult it will be to install and repair your roof when choosing the right material.

Metal roofing is a popular choice for many homeowners. There are a few benefits to using this material for your roof, from its practicality to the appearance and aesthetic of your home. However, there are also downsides that you’ll need to keep in mind. Metal roofing may not be suitable for your current needs, your future plans or your budget. Before you decide, review the pros and cons of this roofing choice.

Durability

Many popular roofing choices, such as asphalt shingles, will require replacement within a couple of decades. In the intervening period, they may also need frequent repair as they are worn out and damaged by weather or pests. Metal roofing is often expected to last at least 50 years after installation.

Not only is the overall lifespan of this roofing much longer than many others, but metal roofs won’t experience the same level of wear and tear. Wind and precipitation will have little effect on a metal roof. Pests will also have no effect on this type of roofing. This can mean long-term savings for a homeowner.

The longevity can help ensure the appearance of your home remains as you want it.  A damaged or worn roof can quickly make a building appear unkempt. Metal roofing comes in many styles and designs, each of which will be long lasting.

Damage

While a metal roof will not suffer the same damage as other roofing types from issues like rain, there are some ways it can be quickly damaged. If you live in an area with frequent hail, for example, the metal sheeting could soon be damaged by dents. While the wind and rain in a storm may have no effect on metal roofing, falling branches or flying debris might. Some less sturdy metals may also be damaged if someone walks on them during installation or repair work.

The potential for damage will vary depending on the type of metal you use. However, looking for dent-proof roofing could limit your options considerably. Repairing the dented metal could also prove difficult.

Energy Efficiency

If you live in an area with very hot summers, you might be able to lower your cooling costs by installing a metal roof. The metal reflects the sun’s rays, preventing the house from warming as much as it otherwise would. Metal roofing could be able to save as much as 30 percent of your cooling costs.

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Metal roofing on its own is not particularly good at insulating a home. However, it is easy to install insulation along with a metal roof, keeping the temperature in your home under control at all times.

Cost

If you are particularly conscious of your budget in the short term, metal roofing may not be the best option. For most homes, metal could cost up to three times more than asphalt or other materials. An average-sized metal roof may cost between $7,000 and $8,000 to install, while asphalt shingles would be around $3,000 to $4,000.

This price can vary depending on the type of metal you choose. In addition, when considering the long-term savings, the cost of metal roofing could be offset to a degree. However, metal is unlikely to come with low installation costs.

Environmental Impact

For those who are concerned about their environmental impact, metal roofing can be an excellent option. As well as potentially lowering your energy bill, there are several other ways in which metal may be one of the most eco-friendly roofing options:

  • Metal roofing is often partly made of recycled materials. The percentage of recycled materials can be 25 to 95 percent, depending on the product you use.
  • The duration of a metal roof means the energy required to replace it is lower. This lowers your carbon footprint.
  • It is easy to recycle metal roofing, and the material is suitable for efficient reuse afterward.
  • You can install solar panels very easily on a metal roof, lowering the environmental impact of your entire home.

Noise

The noise of rain on a metal roof can be an issue for many people. Some may enjoy the sound, but for others it will become distracting and unpleasant, particularly during heavy rainfall. If this is a concern for you, noise insulation can be added to the roof. However, this can be expensive, adding to the cost of an already pricey roofing option.

Installation

Metal roofing can be very easy to install. It is quite lightweight, making it simple to transport and handle. The sections of sheeting are much larger than roof shingles and are designed to be fitted together with minimal effort, speeding the process of installation.  This can be especially valuable if you are installing a new roof within a tight time frame.

The lightweight nature of metal roofing means it could be installed directly on top of your existing shingles. This eliminates the effort and energy needed to take off the old roof, while still proving the protection and benefits of metal roofing for your home.

Alterations

Because the sections of a metal roof are very large, if one becomes damaged it could mean a sizeable replacement. In addition, while the longevity of a metal roof is generally seen as a positive factor, this could also mean the materials needed for replacement may be difficult to find by the time you need them.

The expense of a metal roof means that any changes made to your home will immediately require a larger budget. This could mean you are unable to complete alterations or build onto your home as readily as you would like.

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