While metal roofing offers many benefits unmatched by other materials, many homeowners still have a lot of misconceptions about this product, or are simply unaware that it may work for them.
For decades, metal roofs have been associated with industrial buildings, giving them the undeserved rep of being a poor aesthetic choice for residential homes. While it may be easy to imagine that a metal roof is a good fit for a modern style home, many people have a hard time picturing this material on a traditional Colonial or a Victorian house.
Yet, nothing can be further from the truth today! Thanks to giant leaps in technology, you can find a wider range of metal roof materials and styles that will be an excellent fit for your home.
This is why more and more architects and builders are discovering the versatility and advantages of metal roofs and don’t hesitate to recommend it to their clients.
Here, we will debunk the most common myths that may be keeping you from installing this great roof.
A 2012 research study conducted by the Metal Roofing Alliance among 1,500 homeowners across the US, indicates a number of key misconceptions that many homeowners have about metal roofs.
The study looked at the following Facts and Misconceptions:
Misconception # 1: 48% of respondents indicated they worry that a metal roof would not fit the style of their current home.
Fact: Metal roofing is available in a wide range of colors and textures that will be suitable for any architectural style (modern/contemporary, colonial, Victorian, ranch, cape-style, historic homes, etc).
As for color choices, you will find that the selection is just as extensive as for any other popular roofing material, such as asphalt shingles. If you do not find a color that you want, it is possible to order a unique custom color.
Moreover, with metal roofing, you have the additional advantage of being able to select colors that are EnergyStar rated as “cool” and will help reduce your monthly spending on cooling costs, as well as qualify you for a federal tax credit.
Misconception # 2: 40 % of respondents indicated that a metal roof would be too noisy.
Fact: While it may come as a surprise to many homeowners, a metal roof may be even quieter than asphalt shingles. Contrary to popular belief, these roofs are not loud at all! They have solid sheathing attached to the underlayment that actually helps silence the noise from rain, hail, falling branches and other weather conditions, better than other types of materials. So you do not ever have to worry about waking up to the sound of rain!
Misconception # 3: 25% of respondents indicated that a metal roof is too expensive.
Fact One of the biggest misconceptions in the residential construction industry is the REAL cost of a roof vs. the initial cost you pay upfront. While a metal roof can cost double the price of asphalt shingles of the same size, the latter will actually turn out to be more expensive over the course of its life-cycle.
Once you install a metal roof, you will never need to worry about replacement again, because it will last 40-60 years and beyond, so you only incur a one time cost. By contrast, when you install a shingles roof, you can expect it to last 12-20 years at best, which means that you will be replacing this roof 2-4 times over the same 40-60 year period. This means that you will end up spending at least the same amount, and probably more than it would have cost you to initially install metal.
Moreover, roof replacement costs are not the only expenses you need to consider, as you cannot forget the cost of maintenance and repair. A properly installed metal roof will require minimal maintenance, which you can do yourself and will not require repair.
Comparatively, a properly installed shingles roof will require both maintenance and repair, as individual shingles tend to rot, warp, break, etc. and need to be repaired and replaced. This means that you can expect to spend at least a few hundred dollars every year on repairs. Over the years, this will add up to a hefty sum of money, in addition to stress and time you will spend looking for and dealing with contractors.
Misconception # 4: 25 % of respondents indicated that a metal roof has poor appearance.
Fact: The notion that metal roofs are ugly stems from popular images of old tin roofs on animal barns and industrial warehouses. In reality, metal roofs come in a wide range of highly attractive looks that would satisfy even the most capricious taste.
For people who have modern homes and/or simply love the look of metal, standing seam panels are a great fit. They come in various widths and offer a distinct and bold look.
For people who want the benefits but not the looks of metal, there is a wide range of metal shingles options, which imitate the look of asphalt or slate shingles or cedar shakes. In fact, you can order a metal roof in such a style and color, that people who are unaware that it is a metal, would never be able to guess it from the looks of it.
Asphalt Shingles vs Metal Roofing – which looks better?
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Misconception # 5: 17% of respondents indicated that there are other better and longer-lasting roofing materials.
Fact: Considering that metal is a premium roofing material, it is logical to compare it to other premium materials, which are slate, clay tile and cedar shakes.
When it comes to longevity, cedar shakes begin rotting just after twenty years. Natural slate and clay tile roofs do last a long time ( 50-100 years) but can crack and break randomly, requiring costly repairs. Additionally, in lieu of their heavy weight (6-9 lbs/sq.ft), these roofs require special structural support, before they can be installed. A metal roof will last just as long, but will not be subject to cracking and breaking. It is also lightweight, and will not strain your original home structure.
When it comes to durability, metal will not break on impact (such as hail or a falling tree branch), whereas both tile and slate will break and slide off the roof. Metal roofs can be walked on, without causing damage to the material.
When it comes to standing up to inclement weather, metal is by far the best choice. It offers superior protection against wind damage, hurricanes, ice and snow, and wild fires. By comparison, tile roofs need special cement, adhesives and fasteners to meet the minimum wind resistance requirements in the Southern coastal areas. Slate roofs are not recommended for high wind areas at all, because they have huge wind uplift potential, as they are held in place by just a pair of nails or wire hangers. Tile is not a great snow-shedding system, while slate is just as good as metal.
Finally, when it comes to metal roofing cost, we have a clear winner, as even the most expensive types of metal, such as copper, zinc and stainless steel, will cost 30% less than the cheapest slate or tile roof. Cedar roofs cost about 20% more than aluminum, but last about 3 times less. Therefore, they are 3.5 times more expensive, when considering how often they must be replaced.
Misconception # 6: 12% of respondents indicated that they worry that a metal roof would perform poorly in bad weather.
Fact: When compared to other materials, metal consistently demonstrates superior performance in a wide range of inclement weather conditions. In fact, the majority of homeowners who end up installing a metal roof, do so largely because of the level of protection it affords when severe weather strikes.
In the Northern states that get a lot of snow, ice and hail, metal roofs are unbeatable in protecting the home from ice dams and hail damage, which can cost thousands of dollars. They shed snow extremely fast, prevent water from backing up on the roof and leaking inside your home.
In the areas that are prone to wildfires, metal roofs protect homes from catching on fire, as they are non-combustible and carry the highest fire rating of any roofing material in the industry.
In the regions that are exposed to hurricanes, a metal roof will protect your home from suffering major damage, because it has a 140 mph wind rating. This means it will not be blown off or require extensive repair, such as the case with asphalt shingles.
In the Southern states, where homes are constantly exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, this roof can save you hundreds of dollars by cooling your home, because it reflects heat rather than absorbs it, like an asphalt shingles roof does.
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