Many homes, especially those in wet climates, are starting to sport metal roofs these days. Why? Because metal roofing is durable and long-lasting, and it is an excellent choice for homeowners seeking a resilient roof that will not sag or leak. Plus, metal roofs come in a variety of styles that fit almost any architectural aesthetic.
Metal roof installation is a cost-effective way to reduce your electricity usage, and metal roofing installation doesn’t have to be an expensive process. But, before you start the process and choose a contractor, it’s important to know what to expect and how to avoid making costly mistakes. That way you can get the roofing system that you want, on time and on budget.
In this article, I would like to consolidate the most frequently asked questions about metal roofing into one easy to find place…
Table of Contents
How long will metal roofing last?
Many modern metal roofs are manufactured from Galvalume steel, a hybrid material that combines the strength of carbon steel with the corrosion resistance of aluminum and the thermal properties of zinc. This super-powerful combination prevents modern metal roofs from drying out, splitting, curling, peeling or flaking. In use in some of the world’s monumental buildings for the past century, this material has proven its durability and strength through the test of time. Most systems also use top quality paint finish to guarantee extra durability and protection plus metal roof colors that won’t fade, chalk, or rust.
What is the minimum slope for a metal roof?
The minimum slope for a non-soldered metal roof is 3:12, meaning that for every 3 feet, the roof rises 1 foot (25% slope). There are a number of reasons why this makes sense; it keeps rainwater away from your home’s walls and foundation, and it prevents water from pooling on your roof. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should install a metal roof without professional help, since the process requires a certain level of skill.
However, standing seam (or soldered) metal roof systems can be used on flat roofs too. A flat roof standing seam is a metal roofing product which is designed for low pitch roofing systems. The material is a type of standing seam roofing with an MBS (minimum bending stress) of about 100 psi (pounds per square inch = 7 kilograms per square centimeter). A number of roofing contractors are known to use this material to provide roofs for residential and commercial properties.
Do metal roofs provide wind, hurricane and fire resistance?
High winds and hurricanes can cause serious damage to your home and property and, frequently, the first things to fly off your home in high winds are asphalt shingles . Metal roofing systems are often wind tunnel tested at wind speeds up to 200 miles per hour and meet all requirements for building materials in the High Velocity Hurricane Zone. E.g. Florida has the strictest regulations in the country with regard to exterior materials.
Does extreme weather (ice, snow, wind, hailstorms) cause any damage to a metal roof?
A lot of ice, snow and water can make for a bad day, especially if your metal roofing is getting a workout. Fortunately, there are ways to keep ice from forming on your metal roof. One solution is to install insulation made of polystyrene or other materials that do not allow ice to form. Another alternative is to rely on your roof’s insulation and use a heat cable. Both options can keep your metal roof from getting doused with ice water and help you to save energy during the winter.
A hail storm is an event that can cause significant damage to your roofing system. Hail damage is not covered under a typical homeowners insurance policy, which means that you are liable for all damage caused by hail storms. Because hail storms can be devastating, you should take precautions to protect yourself.
Although hail damage can occur to any type of roof, metal roofs have a lower risk of sustaining damage from falls of hailstones. This is because hail is not able to penetrate the surface of the metal roof. The roofing panels are made from a high quality, thick gauge steel that gives them a high resistance to the impact of hailstones.
The metal roofing panels are manufactured with a type of steel that is much stronger than most other construction materials. This material is able to withstand impacts that cause crumbling or destruction of other roofing materials. In addition, it does not absorb water and is fire-retardant, making it an ideal material for building.
How will I save on my energy costs with a metal roof?
Also metal roof can be energy efficient.
Asphalt shingles absorb heat, creating high temperatures in the upper reaches of your home during warm months, forcing your cooling system to work overtime. In the winter, heat can escape from your home through the vented layering that shingle patterns possess.
Neither of these issues are a problem with so called Cool Metal Roofing technology. In terms of your home’s exterior, this metal roofing panels will reflect up to 90% of the sun’s radiant heat, giving your cooling system a serious advantage. In the winter, the system acts as blanket, trapping heat and saving energy. This thermal reflectivity can save you up to 42% on your monthly energy bill!
Since I’m an older person, why should I worry about a lifetime warranty when I can get a 30-year Tamko Asphalt Shingle Roof that’s less expensive and will outlive me?
This is a big misconception and a commonly asked question. Even the best 30-year asphalt shingle only has a replacement warranty for the first few years. At this point it is aggressively prorated to where there is no coverage due to natural weathering, thus the reason why asphalt roofs need replacing after 8-12 years. The average size home roofed with asphalt costs around $5,000.00. However, you’ll have to replace it in eight to twelve years. Add inflation over ten years plus tear-off cost to do it again for 00.00 for a total cost over ten years of ,700.00. It is seen in just a ten year time frame, a homeowner’s true cost in an asphalt roof is $13,700.00.
Senior buyers are well educated and experienced. They know from experience you get what you pay for in life. They’ve purchased 4-5 asphalt roofs in their lifetime and know for a fact that an asphalt roof won’t last 30 years. These clients are looking for a roof that is maintenance free as well as worry free from storm damage. Eliminating the need to hire metal roofing contractors and going through hassle and interruption in life during retirement years is more than enough reason to spend a little more on a lifetime roof guaranteed to never be bothered with roof replacement again!
Plus, if you factor in the resale value that a metal roof adds to your home, you can potentially make your money back when your home goes on the market. A metal roof is an attractive option to a prospective buyer, particularly when they realize all the benefits of metal roofing, including that this roofing project will be virtually maintenance and hassle free.
Why spend more money for metal roofing?
roofing materials such as asphalt shingles have a significantly shorter life span and according to the insurance industry, the average replacement age of a typical 40 year architectural asphalt shingle is between 8-12 years. They begin to devalue your roof because of discoloration, stains, and algae growth within the first few years after installation. A typical asphalt roof, even with the new high wind warranties, only carries a five year warranty against shingles blowing off. The rest of the warranty is usually prorated.
Does my asphalt roof have to be removed before installing a common metal roofing system?
In most cases the removal of your asphalt roofing is unnecessary. Considering the weight of a modern metal roofing system is 1/3 the weight of a conventional asphalt roof, it’s most efficient to install it directly over your shingles. This saves time and keeps the mess to a minimum while also preventing any damage that might occur if a storm were to happen during the tear-off. In fact, installing over your old roof is preferable due to the increase in insulative properties that both layers provide. You’ll also be saving landfill space by not having to dispose of your old shingles or shakes.
Will a metal roof’s color fade?
The color of metal roofing can fade with time, but the material can be re-coated to maintain its appearance.
Rust and discoloration is a natural process that is caused by a chemical reaction between the metal and moisture. The color will change as the oxide layer is formed. Metal roofs usually have a thin coating of material to prevent rust and discoloration.
It is important to check the warranty before buying, as it may be limited to the first ten years of use. One of the most important things you can do is to make sure your metal roof is cleaned at least once a year, so that the discoloration process (if any) is even and uniform everywhere on the roof.
The good news is that most new metal roof colors are fade resistant and rust resistant to certain extent.
They use the industry-leading paint coating systems combined with advanced chemical pre-treatments. Truly one of the most innovative paint inventions of this century, Kynar 500® paint is designed to protect the integrity of your metal roof’s brilliant color and gloss, resisting fading and chalking for decades compared to ordinary metal roofing panels. This finish also helps increase the overall corrosion resistance of the Galvalume sheet base, therefore preventing rust.
What is the difference between the Galvalume Metal you use for metal roofs and Galvanized Metal?
Galvalume sheet has been successfully used in roofing applications for more than 25 years and has been evaluated in outdoor tests for well over 30 years. Based on these tests, in which corrosion weight losses were measured and compared with galvanized, Galvalume sheet is projected to outlast galvanized sheet (with an equivalent coating thickness) in various atmospheres by up to nine (9) times.
Is a metal roofing noisier in the rain than other roofing material?
Are metal roofs noisy? It’s not uncommon for homeowners to wonder if metal roofing is noisier than asphalt or wood shingle, shakes or clay tile roofing. Unfortunately, there is no one right answer. The sound level of a metal roof is affected by several factors. The quality of the installation, the pitch of the roof and the metal type itself. But fortunately, it’s also affected by personal preference.
With the way homes are insulated today, it is no more noisy than any other roofing material. The good news is, there are a few different options for metal roofing, including metal tiles and metal shingles, that are much quieter than traditional metal roofing.
In fact, if installed over your old asphalt roof, your new metal roof might even be less noisy due to the extra sound barrier provided by our residential metal roofing material.
Can you walk on a metal roof?
Yes, you can walk on a metal roof. A well-constructed metal roof can support the weight of several adults. And, if you have doubts, you can always check the manufacturer’s specifications to see what the roof’s weight capacity is. Care must always be taken when walking on your roof, however.
Metal surfaces can become slippery when wet or covered with foreign materials. For safety precautions, there should be no walking on a metal roof at these times. Also, due to the powerful reflective properties of the materials, metal roofs can become very, very hot on a bright summer day. Always use caution when climbing on your roof and make sure you have someone nearby to assist just in case.
How to walk on a metal roofing?
If you’re installing metal roofing, then you might have to walk on the metal roofing.
With some preparation and practice, walking on a metal roof can be done by anyone. The most important consideration is the length and width of the walking area so that you can walk rapidly without tripping over the metal roofing. If you are concerned about staying upright on metallic roofing, you should probably walk over a board to prevent slippage.
Walking on metal roofing requires balance and coordination, but it’s easy to learn. Before you step onto your roof, make sure it is clean and dry. If you have gutters, make sure they are clean and clear. If you have any railings, make sure they are sturdy and free of rust. You will want to wear work boots or hiking shoes that have a sturdy tread.
Walk on metal roof as you would a regular flat surface, except be careful when walking on the ridge, as the ridge is narrow and may not be sturdy.
I am afraid of walking on my roof. Can I inspect it from the ground?
Inspecting the roof from the ground is a good way to spot issues such as leaks, which can be costly to repair. Most roofs will leak at the flashing areas, which is where the roof meets the wall. Roofing material starts out soft and pliable when it is installed, but hardens over time. This can cause the roofing material to crack and eventually leak if it is not properly maintained. Make sure to look for areas where the roofing material is chipped and cracked; this may be an indication that the roof has been leaking.
When inspecting a metal roof from the ground, it is important to determine if the panels are securely fastened to the framing. To do this, first take a look at the ridge cap. If it is cracked, broken, or warped, this is a sign that the panels are not holding it in place. Next, look at the panel seams. If there is a gap between the panels, it is likely that the panels are not securely fastened to the framing.
Can I use a binocular for roof inspection?
Of course you can, there are even special binoculars for this purpose. A roof binocular is a small hand-held binocular with a magnifying lens. It allows you to inspect your metal roof without using scaffolding. Roof binoculars are good for checking for visible damage, but you shouldn’t rely on them to regularly inspect your entire roof for damage. This is because roof binoculars are only a few inches long and have a small (2X to 3X) magnifying lens.
Does metal roofing cause worse cell phone reception?
Here’s a fact: cell phone reception can suffer from a variety of causes. Weather, terrain and even cell tower location all play a role in your cell phone’s ability to send and receive calls.
If you are worried about poor cell phone reception on your roof, you might want to consider a metal roofing system. The material is designed to block radio waves, which makes it particularly good at repelling cell phone signals. In fact, some metal roofing companies go so far as to say that having a metal roof will improve reception in your home.
How does a metal roof affect WIFI?
A lot of people do not realize the affect the metal roof has on WIFI. The metal roof is not a problem but it is a factor that affects the strength of the WIFI signal. When the metal roof is present, it causes a signal to bounce; it will not reach its full potential.
Contractors and designers need to make sure metal roofs do not get in the way of WIFI. That is why the metal roof should be one of the last things to be added to the house.
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It appears as though some of the text on your posts
are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them too?
This might be a problem with my web browser because I’ve had this happen before.
Hi, Eleanore, thanks for letting me know. To me everything seems OK, but I´ll check from different browsers if there is any issue.
A plumbing emergency can catch you off guard.
Thanks, Frieda, though this would suit better to one of my plumbing related posts…
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