For Springfield, MO Residents: The Long-Term Cost of a Metal RoofJul 19, 2018
Metal roofing is durable, long-lasting, and great for resisting the elements, so why aren’t more Missouri homeowner’s switching? If you ask them, it’s probably something to do with the cost. Initial investment on a metal roof is very expensive, and this can be prohibitive to homeowners who might otherwise consider a metal roof.
As any good roofer knows, however, there is more to a roof’s cost than the initial price of installation. Selecting a metal roof, for example, is an investment in a material with a life expectancy of up to 60 years, with minimal repairs necessary. Lifecycle costs and other savings, when compared to asphalt, mean homeowners need to look at the longer-term cost estimates to determine if they should switch to a metal roof.
There’s no getting around it – metal roofs cost much more than asphalt to install. One estimate shows that, for an equal-sized roof, installing a metal roof can set a homeowner back $19,000 compared to asphalt’s $13,425. Metal is a more expensive material to manufacture and install – this is undeniable. But it’s also not the whole story.
Lifecycle Estimates by the Numbers
One study of roofing materials found that, compared to asphalt’s estimated 23-year lifespan, metal roofing averaged at about 40 years. When the study broke down costs per year, researchers found that metal roofing costs 30 cents per square foot, annually. This compares to 37 cents for multi-ply asphalt, and 57 cents for single ply. Furthermore, maintenance costs were only 3.5% of initial investment for repairing a metal roof, again compared to 28% for asphalt during the expected service life.
Taken as a whole, these numbers are huge. Metal roofing lasts longer, requires less maintenance, and is cheaper to repair when it does need it. Considering that metal roofing is about 33% more expensive at start, for a 50% improvement on lifecycle and expense costs, those savings add up fast.
It’s important to remember that warranties on metal roofing can sometimes last as long as the house itself! Most companies offer a minimum 30-year warranty, with some going as high as a 50-year guarantee. Considering that the estimated lifespan ranges from 40 to 60 years, a majority of a metal roof’s life is, therefore, protected by warranty and means repairs due to defect or protected damages are completely risk-free.
Metal roofs last as long as they do because of their engineering, design, and materials. By nature, metal is a strong material that can handle the elements. It is waterproof, immune to rot, mold, and mildew, and does not split, crack, or break the way an asphalt shingle will. This durability and material strength goes a long way in explaining why metal roofing has such low estimated lifecycle costs.
Maintenance on a metal roof is usually much easier than asphalt. Common reasons for maintenance are issues like repainting or replacing screws. Manufacturers design modern standing-seam metal roofs specifically for longevity, so beyond these minor requirements, there is little to their maintenance requirements.
Metal, as a material, is sturdy and strong – particularly against impact from hail and wind. High-velocity winds and storms can blow shingles off on a traditional asphalt roof but are very unlikely to remove a solid metal panel that’s screwed into place. During hailstorms, a metal roof may get a few dents, but will hold up without holes or major damage.
Other Cost Factors
Beyond the lowered lifecycle costs, metal roofing can save homeowners money in other ways. Because metal reflects the sun, for example, it tends to heat up slower than asphalt. That may seem surprising, as we all know that metal can burn to the touch in the heat but remember that asphalt is a petroleum-based material, which means it absorbs heat much easier. Metal may not be a cold material, but compared with asphalt, it can insulate much better. This lower heat absorption means that metal roofs do not heat your home as much, which of course, directly translates into lowered electric bills for air conditioning.
Since metal roofs are strong and sturdy, insurance companies love them, which often means that homeowners can get discounts on their insurance because of hail and wind resistance – further lowering your costs! Taken as a whole, from lifespan to heating bills, metal roofs may start expensive, but recoup their cost quickly by saving money in other ways.