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Do Metal Roofs Get Hot?

Aug 12, 2022

Summer is upon us, and you may be wondering how soaring temperatures are affecting your roof — especially if you own or are thinking of getting a metal one. Summertime can often bring about challenges that your roof will have to face. Some of these can include damage from UV rays, moss growth, and moisture damage. High temperatures can lead to unwanted moss or mold growth on your roof, and trapped moisture can be an ideal environment for mold, rot, and other issues to form as well.

Excess heat and moisture can also cause cracked shingles. These are no fun to replace, especially if you have to do it often and only find out about them after a leak.

Metal roofing can make these problems much less of a common occurrence, or even prevent them entirely.

Metal Roofs Are Designed to Lower Temperatures

Although it may seem that metal roofs would absorb heat, they actually do the opposite. Metal roofing is designed to reflect UV rays, heat, and light to help keep your house cooler during the summer months. How does it work? Metal roofs accomplish this through a combination of different factors, such as:

  • Color selection. The color you choose to paint your roof can have a large effect on how much heat a roof absorbs. Darker colors tend to absorb heat more efficiently, making the roof hotter. Lighter colors do the opposite, so if you’re aiming for a roof with the lowest possible temperatures, choose a lighter color.
  • Construction style. Any surface with direct exposure to the sun is going to be hotter, so taking steps to minimize the amount of roof with direct exposure can help to lower temperatures. The clever use of contrasting angles can help significantly in dispersing and reflecting heat. There is a lot of room for creativity here — modern designs and building plans are now starting to incorporate these ‘cool home’ concepts.
  • Type of finish. The finish that is used on a roof will affect how efficient it is at absorbing and reflecting heat, similar to how the color does. Selecting a finish that is specifically designed to reflect light and not absorb heat will strengthen your roof’s defense against high temperatures.

Metal roofs are designed to be as low maintenance as possible, meaning there will not be a need to frequently repaint the roof or replace damaged parts. In addition, these roofs are ideal candidates for eco-friendly opportunities like solar panels. Solar panels can generate energy for your home and work in combination with your metal roof to keep temperatures even lower. UV rays will be directed and captured by the solar panels, while also simultaneously being reflected away from your roof.

Will a Metal Roof Survive a Fire or Lightning Strike?

Summer storms can be a cause of concern for homeowners, as they can appear with short notice and cause considerable damage. The most dangerous storms can be lightning storms, due to their potential to spark wildfires that can destroy or severely damage your home.

A common misconception about metal roofs is that they are more susceptible to lightning strikes since they are made of metal. While it’s true that lightning rods are made of metal, that is where the similarities end. Metal roofing, on the contrary, is one of the safest options if you live in an area with frequent lightning strikes. When lightning strikes a surface or object, it searches for a way down to the ground. Damage can be done by the lightning strike if there is not a clear path for it to make contact with the ground, leading it to blast through different objects.

Thanks to the high levels of conductivity that metal roofs possess, they are capable of efficiently absorbing and transferring lightning strikes straight into the ground. Since metal is non-combustible, you don’t have to worry about a fire starting on your roof either. With wood or asphalt shingles, lighting can cause severe damage because there is not a clear way for the lighting to reach the ground. The risk of a fire starting is also high, as wooden and asphalt shingles can easily catch fire.

Keeping Your Home Cool

The cooler your roof is, the cooler your home is. Due to the energy efficiency and reflective properties of metal roofs, you can experience noticeably cooler temperatures in your home without the use of any fans or air conditioners. On average, a metal roof can lower the temperatures in your home by 20-25%. A metal roof can directly save you money that you would have had to spend to keep your house comfortable. Add this up over time, and you could be looking at a considerable amount of savings over the course of a metal roof’s 40 to 70-year lifespan.

Avoiding Excess Moisture

Excess moisture will often find a way to store itself within a roof, its framing, and the attic if given the chance. Poor ventilation can cause a moisture buildup, which can lead to a breeding ground for mold, mildew, rot, and other problems. Not only can these be annoying to deal with, but they can also be a safety hazard if left untreated for long enough. Metal roofing can combat this, as there is much less organic material for organisms to latch onto. The nonstick and anti-absorbent properties of metal also allow for moisture to seamlessly slide right off the roof, rather than puddle and eventually be absorbed by the shingles, insulation, or framing.

Are Metal Roofs Best Suited for Specific Locations?

Metal roofs are designed to be extremely versatile and durable in a variety of different climates. The choice of color, coating, and construction style of each roof can help better adapt it for specific areas. No roof is exactly the same, and there is a lot of room for customization to best fit your needs.

There is a lot to consider when deciding what roofing options are the best for you, and it can get overwhelming without help. Before you make a decision, talk to a professional who can help you make the best choice for keeping you and your home safe.

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