While metal roofing only became popular in the US during the 19th century for use in agricultural and industrial buildings, it has been used for millennia to protect some of the most sacred and culturally significant buildings around the globe. For example, ancient Babylonians and Egyptians used aluminum compounds beginning in the first century. European architects have included zinc roofing in their designs over the past three centuries. Romans used copper to construct the Parthenon in 27 BCE. In fact, copper was used extensively for European Medieval churches during the 14th century. Recent research on European copper roofing systems from the 1700s shows they can last for up to 1,000 years!
Metal roofing systems are incredibly durable and have long lifespans, but they also offer a variety of other benefits for homeowners, from enhanced energy efficiency and weather resistance to minimal maintenance requirements and improved home value. Unfortunately, there are several misconceptions about metal roofing that have led many homeowners to overlook this option. Consider the information below to learn the truth about metal roofs and the numerous advantages over traditional asphalt shingle roofs.
Top 7 Misconceptions About Metal Roofing
The seven most common misconceptions about metal roofing are:
- Metal Roofs Are Inferior to Asphalt Shingle Roofs
Because so many homes feature asphalt shingle roofs, it would seem to the casual observer that this is the best option for roofing materials. However, asphalt shingles have dominated the roofing industry not because they are the superior option but because they are cheap, quick, and easy. Asphalt shingles take less skill and craftsmanship to install than metal roofs, allowing roofers to save money by hiring less-experienced workers who are willing to work for cheaper wages. When comparing these two roofing materials, metal consistently comes out on top in terms of durability, longevity, weather resistance, energy efficiency, and environmental friendliness.
- Metal Roofs Are Too Heavy
Some people are reluctant to install a metal roof over their existing asphalt shingle roof because they think this will make the roof too heavy for their home to support. The truth is that metal is one of the most lightweight roofing materials available and weighs far less than a traditional asphalt shingle roof. While aluminum roofs weigh approximately 50 pounds per square, asphalt shingles can weigh from 200 pounds per square for basic shingles to 500 pounds per square for high-end shingles.
- Metal Roofs Are Hot in the Summer
Modern metal roofs can keep your home cooler in the summer, reducing the indoor temperature by up to 25 degrees. Asphalt shingles absorb and store almost 80 percent of the sun’s light and heat and then transfer this heat into your attic over time. In contrast, metal roofs are highly reflective and feature high thermal emissivity. This means that the majority of sunlight that hits the surface of the roof will be directed away from your home, and the heat energy that strikes the surface will be almost immediately deflected, reducing your energy demand, and saving you money. In addition, research shows that the surface of metal roofs can be almost 100 degrees cooler than the surface of asphalt roofs!
- Metal Roofs Are Noisy During Rainstorms
When most people picture a metal roof, they imagine the heavy, corrugated tin roofs found on barns from half a century ago. While that kind of roof does magnify the sound of falling raindrops, this is because the metal was installed directly on the roof surface without any additional padding to reduce the sound. Modern metal roof installation methods involve placing the material over layers of plywood decking for improved ventilation and insulation. As a result, any noise you hear during a rainstorm likely originates from your walls, windows, and doors, not the roof.
- Metal Roofs Attract Lightning
Metal is a well-known electrical conductor, so it makes sense that people believe a metal roof will attract lightning. However, there is no difference in the likelihood of your home being struck by lightning regardless of your roofing material. If lightning does strike your roof, the conductive nature of the material means the effect of the strike will be spread out over the roof rather than significantly impacting one specific point. Additionally, metal roofs are not combustible, so even if a lightning strike occurs, the risk of causing a fire is significantly reduced compared to asphalt roofs.
- Metal Roofs Do Not Work for All Homes
Although metal roofs are prevalent in modern buildings, they offer a sleek, sharp appearance that can enhance the curb appeal of homes with any architectural style. In addition, metal roofing materials are available in multiple textures, styles, and colors, so you can easily find the right option that works with the other architectural elements of your home. For example, you can choose from metal shingles that look like traditional asphalt shingles, wooden shakes, or Spanish clay tiles to fit your home while still taking advantage of metal’s performance, longevity, and low maintenance requirements.
- Metal Roofs Are Too Expensive
Metal roofing is more expensive than asphalt shingles, but this price difference results from the increased cost of high-quality materials and increased labor costs as installation requires more skill and experience. The overall cost will vary based on location, materials, finish, roofing style, and roof size, slope, and pitch, among other factors. However, this cost quickly pays for itself, as these roofs are more durable, energy-efficient, and resistant to sun and extreme weather, eliminating the need for costly repairs that you would expect with an asphalt roof. In addition, while asphalt roofs are susceptible to fading, chalking, peeling, and curling and typically only last about 20 years, metal roofs can stay in peak condition for 50 to 100 years with proper installation and very little maintenance.
Consider Upgrading Your Home With a Metal Roof
After being used extensively throughout history around the world, metal roofs have become the preferred choice for many homeowners looking to renovate their properties. They are incredibly durable, long-lasting, energy-efficient, safe, and available in a variety of styles to fit any home. Although metal roofing requires a higher up-front cost than asphalt shingle roofing, this investment ensures your home will be protected for as long as your family resides there. And if you decide to sell your home in the future, a metal roof seriously boosts curb appeal, increases home resale value by over 60 percent, and offers a return on investment of up to 95 percent. A metal roof may be just the upgrade you need to improve your home!