If your roof is getting old and worn, or you’re just ready to upgrade, a metal roof might be for you. You may think of metal roofs as “tin roofs,” but not all metal roofs are made of tin. Metal roofing contractors offer four main types of metal roofs:
- Tin. Even tin roofs aren’t composed entirely of tin. They’re technically called “terneplate roofs,” and they’re treated with a thorough coating of both lead and tin. If properly installed, a tin roof could last you up to half a century!
- Galvanized Steel. Galvanized steel is what we call alloyed steel, and it has a protective coating made of zinc. Steel roofing is extremely resistant to rust, and it can last even longer than tin — if it is coated with both aluminum, and zinc, it can last up to a full century!
- Aluminum. Aluminum is growing more and more popular as a roofing metal, probably because it is resistant to corrosion and requires very little maintenance. It also reflects more heat than steel does. An aluminum roof can last up to 35 years.
- Copper. Copper roofing is rare these days, even though it can last hundreds (yes, hundreds!) of years. Unfortunately, copper is very expensive, and also difficult to get in large quantities.
Of those four materials, aluminum and steel are the two most common types of metal roofing materials used by metal roofing contractors. If you’re ready to explore a metal roof for your home, check out these pros and cons before you contact your local metal roofing contractors.
- They’re cost-effective. Even if you opt for the most expensive types of metal, like copper, zinc, and stainless steel, you’ll be paying up to 30% less than you would for the cheapest slate roof or tile roof. And metal roofs last three to seven times as long as a standard roof made of asphalt shingles — in general, they last anywhere from 30 to 100 years! That means you’re looking at a lower one-time expense for a longer lasting product: win-win!
- They’re good for the environment (and your wallet!). Metal roofs reflect radiant heat, so they can keep your house calm and cool. This can definitely lower your energy bill, by as much as 25% per year. And if you’re worried about insulation in colder weather, most systems use a dead air space between the roof deck and the metal, which increases energy efficiency.
Newer metal roofs are also good for the environment: between 30 and 60% of their material is recycled metal content, and when it’s time for them to be replaced, they’re 100% recyclable.
- They’re weatherproof. Metal roofs hold up in all kinds of weather conditions. Metal roofs are entirely noncombustible, which means they’re the most resistant. A metal roof can also protect your home from wind damage: they generally have a wind rating of 140 miles per hour (mph). And if you live in a snowy climate, snow will easily slide off the slick, metal surface, instead of piling up dangerously.
- You can customize to your heart’s content. Metal roofs are available in two general styles: interlocking shingles and vertical panels. Beyond the basic system, modern metal roofs offer a plethora of aesthetic options: over 100 colors, including custom colors. Asphalt shingle roofs don’t have nearly as many color choices — they only offer about 15 to 20 colors. Ask your local metal roofing contractors to see all the options, and enjoy picking your favorite!
- Noise. For some people, this may be a positive aspect of metal roofs, but it’s important to be aware that metal roofs can be noisy, especially in the rain. Whether it sounds to you like a comforting tap-tap or a stressful, endless bang-bang, it’s a fact of life when your home has a metal roof.
- Lightning. If you’re worried about your metal roof attracting lightning, there’s a simple fix: find a lighting protection company and get your roof grounded.
A metal roof just might be a perfect fit for you and your home!