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Common Questions About Metal Roofs And Their Impact on the Environment

Mar 07, 2020

Homeowners face many choices when it comes to repairs and upgrades for their homes. While long-term value is a priority for any homeowner, many are also concerned with their homes’ environmental impact. Many of the processes behind home ownership and home maintenance have profound effects on the environment, and many modern homeowners are striving to make more ecologically responsible choices when it comes to their homes.

Roof repairs are eventualities for virtually every homeowner. Even professionally installed and well-maintained roofs will eventually require repair and replacement, and many homeowners want more environmentally friendly solutions to fixing and replacing their outdated or damaged roofs. Metal roofs offer tremendous value in many different ways. A new metal roof will not only offer substantially better overall performance than a typical asphalt shingle roof, but also require less maintenance and cause much less harm to the environment.

If you’re considering a new roof for your home, review the following frequently asked questions about the environmental impact of metal roofs.

Q: What Do Experts Say About the Environmentally Friendly Aspects of Metal Roofs?

A: Roofing experts agree that metal roofs are the most environmentally friendly roofing option due to the 100% recyclability of their components and their extreme longevity compared to traditional asphalt shingle roofs. A professionally installed metal roof made with components produced by leading manufacturers can last much longer than an asphalt shingle roof with proper upkeep, and metal roofs need a fraction of the maintenance that traditional asphalt shingle roofs require.

Any experienced roofer will recommend a metal roof over any other type of roof when it comes to environmental benefits. Metal roofs come in a wide variety of different metals and alloys, all of which are easily sourced and use recyclable materials in their manufacturing.

Q: What Sustainable Benefits Do Metal Roofs Offer?

A: Not only are metal roofs 100% recyclable, but they are also made from at least 25% recycled materials. Asphalt shingle production requires mining natural resources that damages the environment, and when these roofs require replacement, old shingles are thrown into landfills. Every year, nearly 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles wind up in American landfills. Homeowners who switch to metal roofs not only help to curb this astronomical amount of waste, but also reap the benefit of increased long-term value. The seemingly high initial installation cost of a new metal roof is easily offset by the very low long-term cost of ownership.

Q: How Long Does a Typical Metal Roof Last?

A: A standard asphalt shingle roof will last for 20 to 25 years at most, but the lifespan of the average asphalt shingle roof is much shorter due to severe weather and unexpected roof damage. By comparison, a well-maintained metal roof can last 75 years or longer, depending on weather conditions. These roofs are incredibly robust and provide superior weather protection compared to asphalt shingle roofs. They stand up against high wind better than standard roofs by a wide margin; the average metal roof will exceed wind protection standards substantially, and some metal roofs also provide moderate fire protection.

Q: Will Solar Panels Work on a Metal Roof?

A: Many American homeowners are choosing to install solar panels out of environmental concern as well as the practical benefits these devices can provide. Modern solar panels can not only provide power to many types of buildings but can also feed excess power into the local grid. It’s common for homeowners who install solar panels to see increasingly lower energy bills for the months following installation, and some even receive payments from their local energy companies for the power their homes supply to their local grids!

Metal roofs allow for very easy installation of solar panels, and they provide a sturdier foundation for solar panel installation than typical asphalt shingle roofs provide. If you are curious about solar panels for your home, you should carefully assess your existing roof before investing. Installing a new metal roof along with solar panels may be a bit expensive at first, but the investment will easily pay for itself over time with the lower maintenance cost the metal roof offers and the energy savings your solar panels provide.

Q: How Do Metal Roofs Influence Home Energy Consumption?

A: Even homeowners who do not choose to install solar panels typically see decreased energy bills in the months after installing their new metal roofs. Due to the reflective properties of most metal roof types, homes’ heating and air conditioning systems don’t need to work as hard to keep homes at comfortable temperatures. Metal roofs absorb heat from sunlight during the winter, effectively creating a buffer zone around the home that prevents cold air from entering. During the summer, metal roofs will absorb and reflect sunlight, preventing the home from heating up due to direct sun exposure.

Asphalt shingle roofs incur damage little by little over time. It’s possible for a small crack or gap to develop that not only allows interior air to escape, but also allows moisture to enter through the roof bed. Over time, this will force the home’s heating and air conditioning systems to work harder than necessary, not only leading to higher energy bills but also increasing the likelihood of heating and air conditioning system failures.

Metal Roofs Repay Homeowners While Being Easier on the Environment

Metal roofs made from sustainably sourced metals and installed by professionals offer homeowners several significant benefits. The average metal roof will be more expensive to install than a typical asphalt shingle roof, but it will last more than three times as long and entail a fraction of the maintenance and repair costs during its lifespan. Homeowners can save a tremendous amount of money in the form of lower maintenance and repair costs and energy savings by installing their new metal roofs, and these are investments they can feel good about when it comes to environmental responsibility.

Asphalt shingle roofs contribute to landfills and require outdated and potentially harmful resource gathering and manufacturing methods. They fail to offer the same level of performance as metal roofs and typically cause many more problems and greater overall expense for homeowners by comparison. Homeowners looking for sustainable upgrades to their homes should consider metal roofs as one of the best available options.

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