For years and years, metal roofs have been associated with industrial buildings and barns, making them a less popular choice for residential homeowners. Today, however, metal roofs are starting to gain popularity in the residential sector, and for good reason. Metal roofing is a durable, energy efficient, and aesthetically pleasing option for residential homes. But despite their growing popularity, there are still a lot of misconceptions about metal roofs. So, if you were considering purchasing a metal roof, but were worried about any of the following myths, we’re here to tell you that they’re just that: myths. Let’s bust ‘em:
Myth #1 – Metal roofs attract lightning.
The fact is, lightning strikes whatever it’s closest to. Lightning is an excess of electricity that’s looking to discharge, and in the case of lightning that heads towards earth, it’s looking to discharge into the ground. The quickest way to do that is to find the object closest to it. That’s why telephone poles and trees are struck the most often: they’re the tallest. While metal is a conductor, it does not in fact “attract” lightning, and the truth is that metal roofs are one of the best roofs to have in the event that your home is struck by lightning. The metal woks to disperse energy safely through the structure of your home, and more importantly, metal is noncombustible. This means that if your home is struck by lighting, a metal roof will not catch fire, something that can’t be said for many other materials.
Myth #2 – They’re really loud when it rains.
Maybe you’ve been in an old barn when it’s raining, and you noticed the sound of the rain on the roof was just deafening. While that’s true, you shouldn’t expect the same from a house with a metal roof. This is because metal roofing on a house is paired with a roof deck that adds structure to your roof, and insulates from sound. The roof deck and the insulation that fills it are what work to muffle the noise on any roof. So, the fact is that metal roofs are just as quiet, and sometimes quieter, than any other comparable roof system, whether that be asphalt or clay.
Myth #3 – Metal roofs are easily dented by hail.
Actually, metal roofs are more durable than asphalt roofs, and while it’s possible for hail to do damage to any roof when it’s large enough, hail won’t dent or damage a metal roof except in very extreme cases. In fact, in many areas where extreme weather conditions occur, metal roofs are a better choice for residential homes, since they’re so durable. Asphalt roofs have weatherproofing granules that are easily knocked off by even small sized hail, which can tarnish the appearance of your roof and affect its ability to keep out the weather. Metal roofs on the other hand, will only be visibly damaged by uncharacteristically large-sized hail, making them a better option for extreme weather.
Myth #4 – You can’t walk on metal roofs.
Whether you need to clean out your gutters, or you’re looking to chop down some overhanging branches, you shouldn’t be afraid to walk on your metal roof. While metal roofs tend to be slightly more slippery, and are supported differently than asphalt roofs, they’re still safe to walk on for any home improvement project you have going. It’s a good idea to talk to your roofing contractor, or the manufacturer about safety precautions, but once you understand the differences, you’ll be good to go.
Myth #5 – Metal Roofs heat up your house.
This one is just flat out wrong. Metal roofs actually work to reflect the UV rays that most asphalt roofs absorb. Additionally, metal roofs release solar heat much more quickly than asphalt roofs, which means that they reduce the heat load on your house. When you have a metal roof properly installed, it will maintain a more consistent interior temperature, and you can expect energy savings on heating and cooling costs of up to 40%.
Myth #6 – Metal Roofs will rust.
Technology has come a long way, and while metal roofs, that used to literally just be sheets of solid metal, did rust, this is no longer the case. Today’s metal roof materials are made specifically for roofing, which means they’re constructed to withstand poor weathering, like rusting. Today’s metal roofs are bonded with a galvanized coating that’s constructed of advanced alloys made to resist rusting. They’re then painted with special roofing paint made to withstand the effects of weathering, which means that once you install a metal roof, it will remain rust-free for decades.
Myth #7 Metal Roofs are too heavy for my house.
The fact here is that metal roofs are around 50% lighter than a standard asphalt roof. That makes metal the lightest roofing option out there. In many cases, when a homeowner needs their home re-roofed, but they don’t want to tear off their old asphalt roof, a metal roof is installed on top of the existing roof. This is done because metal roofs are considerably lighter, and will maintain the weatherproofing qualities of the roof, without threatening the home’s structural integrity. If you have ever been concerned about the structural integrity of your home’s roof deck, or if your home is getting older, it’s possible that a metal roof is your best option.
Myth #8 – Metal Roofs are too expensive.
If you’re looking simply at upfront cost, then yes, a metal roof costs more initially than an asphalt roof. But this doesn’t take into account the legitimate lifetime cost of either roof option. When you install an asphalt roof, it may be cheaper upfront, but you need to also consider repairs to be made: shingles that blow off, curling shingles that expose your home, mold and rot that occur when the shingles warp, and the inevitable re-roofing process that must occur after 20 years at the most. Conversely, a metal roof is guaranteed to last 40-60 years, and requires little to no maintenance. There’s no upkeep, no shingles to replace, no leaks to fix, just solid metal sheets, guaranteed to last you for decades. So when you consider the lifetime costs of both asphalt and metal roofs, metal roofing is comparably cheaper.
If you’re looking into metal roofing, or if you think it’s time for a new roof for your home, Werner Roofing is West Michigan’s first choice. Home of West Michigan Standing Seam roofs, we’re the local expert on metal roof installation, and we’d love to help you out! Whether you’d like a metal roof, or an asphalt one, we’ve got the experience, the tools, and the knowledge to get it done right the first time. Give us a call at 616-844-5382, or submit a request for a free estimate online!