If you are having issues with your current roof and are faced with either moving forward with costly roofing repairs or a full roof replacement, it might be time to consider the following metal roofing pros and cons before you start patching things up. You may be surprised to find that the highly efficient, low-maintenance materials used in metal roofing are perfect for your home. In the US, the number of people installing metal roofs in both new construction and roof replacement projects has grown in recent years. According to McGraw-Hill Construction, an estimated 750,000 U.S. homeowners have chosen metal roofing for their residences as of 2015 – which would indicate an 11% share of the roofing market (second to asphalt shingles). Curious as to why so many homeowners are opting for a metal roof, other than the fact that they look great? Below is a short list of metal roofing pros and cons that will detail several benefits of metal roofing, as well as some disadvantages of metal roofs.
Metal Roofing Pros
- Durable and Long-lasting:
One of the main advantages of metal roofs is the material’s long lifespan – which is why many homeowners choose to use a metal roof for new construction or make the switch in a re-roofing situation. A recent McGraw-Hill survey found that 26% of homeowners noted “longevity” as their main reason for investing in metal roofing and an additional 22% said they were convinced by the material’s overall strength. In fact, a properly installed metal roof can last around 40 to 70 years and often also comes with a 30- to 50-year manufacturer’s warranty. On the other hand, traditional asphalt roofing typically only lasts between 12 to 20 years depending on weather conditions. Furthermore, with the metal material’s unique durability, you can be confident that it will withstand the elements of mother nature – including strong winds, and it won’t corrode or crack thanks to its rust-proof coatings.
- Environmentally Friendly:
Although not commonly known or thought about, traditional asphalt shingles are a petroleum product, increasing dependency on fossil fuels. Not to mention, they generally require a replacement every 15 to 20 years – resulting in 11 tons of old roofing asphalt shingles being sent to U.S. landfills each year, according to the Metal Roofing Alliance.
On the other hand, metal roofing materials are considered a far more sustainable alternative because they:
- Consist of at least 25% recycled materials and are 100% recyclable themselves.
- Provide a strong base for homeowners that want to explore different eco-conscious initiatives like solar panels and rainwater harvesting systems.
- Are so light that they can be installed directly over top asphalt shingles without overburdening the roof’s structural integrity. For reference, metal roofs are often ⅓ the weight of asphalt.
- Reduce the amount of old roofing waste being sent to a landfill.
One of the other benefits of metal roofing that tends to help convince homeowners to make the switch is that your investment in a metal roof can be regained over time through the monthly savings you will have on cooling and heating costs. Metal roofs are good at reflecting solar radiant heat instead of absorbing it – which can reduce cooling costs by up to 25%. In addition to being naturally good at reflecting heat, several metal roofings also come coated with special reflective pigments to minimize heat gain even further – keeping your home at a comfortable temperature without having to constantly use your air conditioner.
Metal Roofing Cons
Now that you know a few of the main advantages of metal roofs, it’s time to answer the questions of, “what are the disadvantages of a metal roof”. Below are some of the main disadvantages of metal roofs.
- Hefty Price:
Unfortunately, all the great benefits of using metal roofing materials come at a high price. Metal roofing materials can cost anywhere from $5 to $20 per square foot depending on the type of metal roofing being installed. While this range is often seen as comparable to the costs of other premium roofing products, high-end metals can cost up to 10x the cost of more reasonably priced asphalt shingles.
Not only are the materials pricey, the installation labor is also more expensive than what you’d generally pay for other types of roofing installs. This is because metal roofing installation experts often have specialized training, knowledge, tools, and equipment to ensure the work is properly and professionally done. It’s important to remember that while you might be investing a lot of money upfront, you will save yourself on replacement costs that come with common asphalt shingle roofs.
- Roofs Dents:
Although modern metal roofs are designed to withstand decades of extreme weather abuse, the metal can sometimes still be dented by large hail or heavy falling branches. Although this is mostly just a cosmetic issue that for the most part won’t impede the roof’s performance, this is sometimes a deal breaker for homeowners. If you are in the dealbreaker camp, you often avoid this issue altogether if you choose the right metal – preferably one that has a no dent guarantee. As you likely already know, some metal types are simply stronger than others.
Now that you have learned about several metal roofing pros and cons, hopefully you have enough information to make an educated decision. As always, we recommend consulting with a roofing expert before moving forward with any roofing projects. If you have any additional questions for us regarding the benefits of metal roofing, don’t hesitate to to reach out! We would be happy to assist you with your roofing needs!