Is a Metal Roof the Right Choice for you?
When looking at options for a new roof, the choices can be overwhelming – most people, especially those looking at roofs for residential projects, aren’t aware of how many roofing options there are. Although you may not have considered it before, the benefits of metal roofing might surprise you.
Metal roofs have been around for a long time for a good reason – they last! At Lifetime Roofing and Renovation, we’re so confident in our metal roofs that we back them with a lifetime limited warranty for the original owner and a 40-year transferable warranty for all future owners. For a bit of perspective, the average shingle roof has a lifespan of just 12-20 years. Beyond the headache of having to go through the reroofing process this often and dealing with insurance companies each time you do, think about how much you could save if the next roof you bought was the last one you bought!
Traditionally, many have ruled out metal roofing on homes. Luckily, the tide is turning on that trend, as metal roofing styles have become more aesthetically pleasing and more similar to traditional residential roofing, and as people begin to realize all the benefits metal roofs have to offer that other options lack.
Firstly, the durability and longevity of metal roofs is unmatched. Metal is far more durable than other traditional roofing materials, including shingles and slate. Metal roofs have passed tests using windspeeds of over 120 miles per hour! In addition, our standing seam metal roofs withstand rain and snow while remaining weather tight, thanks to the weather tight seam, which is raised above the roof’s drainage plane.
Metal roofs also offer easy installation – not only can they be installed year-round, but they also can often be placed directly over the existing roof – this means that the usually costly, time consuming, and messy process of tearing off the old roof can be skipped entirely. As a bonus, metal roofs also require little to no maintenance over their lives – yet another time and money saver.
As with all aspects of the structure of your home, safety is incredibly important. This is another area where metal roofs top the charts – Our metal roofs can qualify for a Factory Mutual Class A Fire Rating – this is the highest rating in the industry. Many home fires begin on the roof – whether they start with a spark from a chimney or a blown ember from a nearby fire. Metal roofs are the best defense against a roof fire as well as the best offense for your peace of mind.
It’s a common misconception that metal roofs cannot be used for many traditional residential applications. Many people don’t realize that metal roofs can be customized to meet the needs of a variety of projects, including tricky slopes and color requests.
Metal Roofs – Breaking Down the Cost
We’ll go ahead and say it: metal roofs tend more expensive up front. This does not, however, mean that they are more expensive overall. We’ve already mentioned the lifespan of a metal roof compared to a traditional shingle roof, the biggest reason to invest more upfront, but let’s take a look at some other factors as well.
Energy efficiency is a big winner for metal roofs. Most metal roofs are U.S. Energy Star Compliant. Most commonly, fiberglass blankets are used as the insulation material in standing seam metal re-roofing, which are very effective for keeping the heat in your home in the winter, and out in the summer. In addition, depending on which finish you choose, the roof could reflect sunlight and substantially decrease your cooling bills during the summer. This leads to year-round energy savings which can really add up. I bet the cost of the upgrade to a metal roof would recoup itself much faster than you might be imagining!
In addition to the safety aspects of the wind and fire resistance of metal roofs, this can also help bring your insurance costs down by a large amount – just make sure you go for the options that qualify for the UL-90 Wind Uplift Rating and the Factory Mutual Class A Fire Rating! Most homeowners know that the cost of insuring their home can be pricey and that all cuts add up to huge savings in the long run! Plus, there’s a big reason that these roofs can qualify you for cheaper insurance – they make your house safer, more secure, and more likely to last! You wouldn’t skimp on a foundation or when installing new windows or doors – so why would you when it comes to your roof, your primary protection against the elements?
In addition to the monetary savings, consider the reduced cost to the environment as well. Metal is incredibly recyclable, and steel has a recycling rate of over 70 percent – that’s higher than any other construction material! Using metal is a sustainable and smart choice you can feel good about. Think about the environmental savings when metal is used as opposed to asphalt shingles, not to mention that when your metal roof does eventually retire, many many years from now, 100% of the material can be recycled again, continuing the environmentally responsible cycle. Asphalt shingles, on the other hand, are non-recyclable, have a shorter lifespan, and need to be torn off and disposed of every 12-20 years – this accounts for thousands of tons of additional garbage in our landfills each year. In addition, asphalt shingles require fossil fuels, an increasingly scarce commodity on our planet. Chances are, asphalt prices will continue to rise as this trend continues.
In commercial roofing, metal is already an industry leader. This is largely due to commercial projects having a higher upfront budget, which allows them to make more sensible long-term decisions when it comes to building materials and practices. These commercial projects that optimize metal roofing make their investment back quickly, usually in a combination of energy savings due to increased insulative properties of metal roofs, lower insurance rates due to the safety and durability of metal roofs, and the astronomical long-term savings of not having to install a new roof every decade or two.
Debunking Common Metal Roof Myths
Myth 1: Metal roofs are more likely to get struck by lightning.
False! Not only are metal roofs no more or less likely to get struck by lightning than other roofing materials, but they also will not spark and start a fire in the event of a lightning strike – remember the fire rating we talked about earlier? This means that your home is actually safer from lightning than a home with a traditional asphalt shingle roof, which has a higher likelihood of sparking from a lighting strike and beginning a fire.
Myth 2: Metal roofs will look ugly or industrial.
False! Metal roofs have come a long way from their beginnings as rusty, corrugated barn roofs. Today’s metal roofs come in all sorts of styles, colors, and shapes. Many choose the popular standing-seam style roof, but several varieties are available, including styles that mimic the look of classic shingled roofs. In addition, there are also a limitless amount of colors available – whether you want to pick something that will work well with the color of your home, restore your home to a more classic look to bring it back to its historical origins, or choose a color that will reflect sunlight and decrease your yearly energy costs.
Metal roofing is actually an increasing trend in modern housing and new construction and isn’t just a replacement for traditional roofs. For those who choose a modern style, a sleek, streamlined metal roof can be the perfect finishing touch for a contemporary home. Furthermore, many new construction and modern style homes are designed with energy efficiency and sustainability in mind – which also makes a metal roof the perfect choice.
Myth 3: Metal roofs aren’t worth the money.
Once again, false! As we mentioned before, metal roofs are more expensive up front, but that does NOT mean that they aren’t worth it! In addition to the savings we mentioned above, metal roofs can also increase your home value by up to 6%. Furthermore, the average metal roof owner ends up recouping more than 85% of their roof costs over its lifetime – all without the headache and costs of maintenance, repairs, cleaning, and other issues associated with traditional asphalt shingle roofs.
Myth 4: Metal roofs will rust.
For one last time, false! Metal roofs have strong, durable coatings that protect them from rust. These coatings vary in color, texture, and luster, but all of them prevent the roof from rust to ensure that the roof holds up to the test of time. If that’s not enough to convince you, remember the lifetime warranty – we stand behind that for a reason!
More about Metal Roofs
There are many additional benefits to metal roofs that don’t relate directly to cost or other measurable values, but still, make them desirable. One example of this is the fact that standing seam style metal roofs are designed in a way that naturally guides water, snow, ice, and debris to slide right off without resistance. Not only does this keep your roof clean, clear, and working at its full capacity, but it also prevents water from pooling and damaging or penetrating your roof – that means great leak and damage prevention by design. This differs greatly from classic shingled roofs, which have many nooks and crannies for water, snow, ice, and debris to get caught in.
Metal roofs are not a new trend! The most recognizable example of metal being used in historical roofs is copper, which was used in very famous, as well as very old buildings including the Pantheon, which received its copper roof in the year 27 B.C. Although copper is still a beautiful roofing option, it is rarely used due to its softness and cost compared to modern metal roofing materials, which are generally aluminum and steel. Some roofs are also made of a blend of zinc, aluminum, and silicone-coated steal. Some of today’s metal roofs are even covered with a ceramic coating to add more heat-reflective properties – even further increasing the energy efficiency of the roof.
Metal roofs have endless possibilities for customization – they come in hundreds of colors with the opportunity for custom coloring, and they can also get several different types of coatings to fit your needs – whether you’re looking for a different texture or shine, increased waterproofing, or better protection against rust. In addition to those options, you can also apply a clear protective coating to softer metals like copper, if you’re looking for the warmth, historicism, and appeal of a copper roof without compromising the durability of more modern options.
No matter what your application or challenges, a metal roof can fit your needs. Metal roofs are highly adaptable to tricky angles, slopes, and other barriers that can make a new roof a tricky endeavor. The metal sheets can be cut very precisely in order to meet custom needs – whether it be the need to fit around a chimney, accommodate historical features, maximize gutter efficiency, meet aesthetic expectations, or practically anything else you can imagine.
To run down on the basics of metal roofing in a quick recap, we can focus on the following facts:
- Metal roofs ARE more expensive than traditional asphalt shingle roofs up front – but that does not mean that they are not worth the investment, as they have an exponentially longer lifespan, as well as several associated savings, including insurance rates, energy bills, and lower maintenance costs.
- Metal roofs are nothing new! But recent developments in metal roof technologies have made them more attractive and available for residential projects.
- Metal roofs can be stylish AND practical – with endless customization options, you’re bound to find a roof that suits your wants and needs.
- Metal roofs are environmentally friendly. They are made from recyclable materials, are 100% recyclable themselves, make buildings more energy efficient, and cut down dramatically on roofing waste. They also don’t require the fossil fuels needed by traditional asphalt shingle roofing.