Roofing 101: Metal Roofs

Nowadays, advancements in roofing design and composition have bestowed chameleon-like qualities on a variety of different materials, one of which is metal roofing. Whereas in decades past, metal roofs found limited applications for buildings like sheds and storage facilities, 21st-century metal roofs can be designed to resemble tile, slate, shake, shingle, and more. The result is a versatile, durable roofing option that looks just as good gracing a Victorian as it does a Spanish Colonial.

The Benefits of Metal Roofing

As you might expect, metal roofing’s biggest benefit is longevity. In fact, metal roofing is so durable that it’s common for manufacturers to offer 50-year warranties and lifetime warranties. When compared to asphalt shingles, a metal roof can last 2x – 4x longer, helping homeowners to recoup their initial investment at a faster clip. And not only are metal roofs a paradigm of durability, they also earn a higher cost recoup upon home resale. A recent study states that a new metal roof recoups 6% more of its installation cost than a new asphalt roof.

Metal roofing is also eco-friendly. It’s comprised of around 95% recycled material, and thus can easily be recycled when no longer in use. Metal roofs are also exceptionally fire-retardant, to the point that some insurance companies offer a discount to homeowners if they commission their roofing contractors to install a metal roof.

Metal Roofing – Myths

Though metal roof manufacturers have made tremendous advancements over the years, there still persist certain myths about metal roofs. Here are some of the most common:

“A metal roof renders a home colder in winter” – on the contrary, it’s the insulation in a home’s attic that controls relative warmth/cold. Metal roofs have no impact on the temperature of an attic in wintertime.

“Metal roofs are susceptible to hail damage” – only a huge hailstorm raining down giant hailstones will dent a metal roof. And on the off-chance that some minor denting occurs, a metal roof’s design ensures that this level of denting is hard to see.

“Metal roofs are noisy when it rains” – this myth has been roundly disproven. In fact, metal roofs are quieter than other roof types.

“Walking on a metal roof is a no-go” – like many roofs, a metal roof is walkable, but there’s a specific way to walk that will help prevent damage.

“Metal roofs are more likely to incur a lightning strike” – this myth is dismissed by basic science. Metal conducts electricity, but it does not draw electricity to it.

Metal Roofing – Materials

Steel, aluminum, and copper are the three most common substances used for residential metal roofing. Steel metal roofing comes in rolls to which a rust-preventing metallic coating is applied, after which the roll is given a baked-on paint finish. Aluminum metal roofing doesn’t need rust-proofing, but it is painted. Copper is the most “natural” of the three – it requires neither paint nor rust-proofing, due to its ability to weather without corroding.

Regardless of the chosen metal, metal roofs are installed as interlocking panels with hidden fasteners. As alluded to earlier, a variety of shapes and textures are possible. For example, a metal roof designed to resemble stone is treated with a special acrylic coating into which stone granules are mixed.

The upsides to metal roofs are many, and their installation is well within the suite of roofing services provided by U.S. Exterior by Seidel. Contact our roofing contractor in Buffalo Grove today and let’s talk further.


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