Metal roofing has experienced a tremendous growth in popularity over the last decade. In 2000, less than three percent of new roofs were metal; in the 2010s nearly 15 percent are. In 2015 alone, roofers installed over 750,000 new metal roofs on homes.
Here are ten reasons to consider choosing metal for your next roof:
Metal roofs are attractive in appearance and available in a wide variety of colors and styles — they can even be painted to go with a new color for the rest of the house!
If you don’t care for the typical standing-seam metal roof style, take another look. Metal roofs are now available that mimic the look of very high-end roofing materials like clay tile, slate, and stone, and can also look like standard asphalt shingles.
Metal roofs can last 60 to 70 years before needing to be replaced; most manufacturers offer 50-year warranties. Copper and zinc roofs can last even longer — up to a full century! By comparison, asphalt roofs have a 25-30 year lifespan and typical material warranties are for 20 years. Metal roofs cost more than asphalt shingles, but consider that you would replace that asphalt roof two or three times compared to the one metal roof.
Metal roofs are also significantly less expensive than other durable roofing materials with similar lifespans, such as clay or cement tiles or slate.
Metal is non-combustible and can’t catch fire as wood shake and asphalt roofs can. This makes it an especially popular choice in areas prone to forest fires and wildfire. Sparks from nearby fires can’t ignite a metal roof. Metal is also a good choice in areas of the country that experience intense summer heat that can melt asphalt roofing materials.
Metal roofs are more resistant to hail damage, and are popular in regions that are prone to hurricanes. Many metal roofing systems have wind uplift ratings of 110-160 miles per hour. FEMA actually recommends metal roofs in areas prone to hurricanes, earthquakes, and flooding.
It’s also a myth that metal roofs attract lightning — metal roofs are no more likely to be struck by lightning than other types of roofs, and all homes are constructed to conduct electricity from lightning safely to the ground. In the unlikely event of a lightning strike, metal roofing is also less likely to catch fire than an asphalt roof.
Asphalt roofs in humid or damp environments often develop layers of moss, mold, or fungus on them. In addition to being unsightly, these growths are insidious, damaging shingles and shortening the life of the roof. Even worse, they can infiltrate to the underlying structure, doing more extensive — and expensive — damage. Metal roofing is impervious to biological growths like moss and mold.
Determined squirrels and other animals have been known to chew right through asphalt shingles to gain access to a warm attic in winter, but they can’t chew through metal. Most animals make entry through vents and soffits, however, so even with a metal roof, you will want to check these periodically to make sure they are secure.
A properly installed metal roof provides good insulation against the cold in winter, and really proves its value in hot weather. Light-colored metal roofs reflect heat from the sun, where asphalt shingles tend to absorb it, making your home’s cooling system work harder. Metal roofs can save more than 30% on your air conditioning bill!
Because metal roofs stand up well to weather and fire risks, many insurance companies will love your new roof. A metal roof may move your home to a different risk rating, lowering your overall insurance rate. Some companies even offer a specific discount for metal roofs.
However, you will want to check with your insurance provider before you go ahead with your metal roof. A few insurers won’t cover metal roofs, and others have restrictions on the types of claims you can make — for example, some policies exclude cosmetic damage like scratching or denting.
Metal is a truly sustainable roofing material. Asphalt shingles require petroleum to manufacture, and wind up in landfills at the end of their lives. Metal is 100 percent recyclable, and suffers no degradation from being recycled multiple times. In fact, new metal roofing is often made up of 60-70 percent recycled metal!
Metal roofing is also a good option if you plan to install solar panels at any point. A solar panel system would have to be removed for roof replacement, so it’s a good idea to choose a roof with a longer lifespan than the solar panels.
Metal roofing looks good and can add significantly to the curb appeal of your home when you get ready to sell. And knowing that any expense of roof replacement is a long way off can be a point in your home’s favor if a prospective buyer is trying decide between your home and several others.
A metal roof can add one to six percent to the selling price of your home compared to an asphalt roof, and you can expect to recoup 85-95 percent of the cost overall.
A new roof is a big expense, no matter what material you choose, and a professionally installed, high quality metal roof will undeniably cost more than a comparable asphalt shingle roof. However, when you consider the many advantages of metal roofs, you can see that it is an excellent investment in the overall value of your home.
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