Metal roofing is a rising trend for homeowners across America. If you’ve been driving around noticing a lot of bright, clean metal roofs on your favorite farmhouses, you might be wondering what the deal is. Whether you’re building a new home and haven’t yet decided what roof is best for your design, or it’s time for a new roof and you want to explore all of your options before you make a decision, we’re here to give you a rundown on all things metal roof. Let’s start by looking at why metal roofs have become so popular lately:
Why Are Metal Roofs So Popular?
Metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular for homeowners throughout the MidWest, and even throughout the country. But what’s the big deal?
In the old days, metal roofing didn’t have a great reputation. Often, it would stain or rust, making a home seem unkempt and old. These days, following major advances in construction and building materials, metal roofs are now available in a full spectrum of colors, and can even be designed to imitate the look of traditional asphalt or ceramic shingles. Best of all, they no longer rust or stain over time, thanks to new protective metal coatings.
Today’s homeowners are conscious of the environment. You appreciate energy-efficient appliances and home features and are always looking for ways to minimize your carbon footprint. Metal roofs are typically made from a combination of metals — like aluminum, stainless steel, copper, and tin — most of which are recycled, and all of which are recyclable. Choosing a metal roof means choosing a recyclable, environmentally-friendly roof.
On average, a new metal roof can save you anywhere between 10-25% on your energy bills. Instead of absorbing the sun’s rays, which asphalt shingles do, metal roofs reflect those rays, directing their heat away from your roof and your home. As a result, metal roofs can be as much as 100° cooler on the surface than asphalt roofs.
Metal roofing is one of the most durable, long-lasting roofing materials on the market today. When you invest in a metal roof, you can expect a lifespan of anywhere from 40-70 years. Best of all, metal roofs require very little maintenance. While you might choose to have your roof re-coated to protect it from UV rays every few years, that’s essentially the full extent of metal roofing maintenance. Since most metal roofs are installed in sheets, there are no shingles to curl or fall off.
Perfect For Winter
As you might expect, metal roofs are fairly slippery. This allows precipitation, especially snow, to slide right off, rather than build up. For homes here in snowy Michigan, that’s a big deal. When snow can slide right off your West Michigan metal roof, you don’t have to worry as much about ice dams or heavy snow building up and adding extra weight onto the structure of your home.
Easily Installed On Top of Existing Roof
Another benefit of metal roofs that’s often forgotten is that they can be installed over existing asphalt roofs. Since metal roofing materials are so light, it’s not always necessary to tear off the existing roof before your roofers put up the new metal roof. This can save you money and quite a lot of time on your re-roofing project.
Are There Any Downsides to Metal Roofs?
So, we’ve talked about all of the pros of metal roofing, but are there any cons? What reasons might a homeowner have for not choosing a metal roof?
The upfront cost of a metal roof is the number one reason a homeowner might choose not to install one. A metal roof is much more expensive to install for two reasons: 1) the materials are of a higher quality than asphalt and thus, cost more, and 2) not every roofer knows how to professionally install a metal roof, which means you typically end up paying a bit more for labor, too. That said, the overall lifespan and energy savings that a metal roof can provide will offset that additional upfront cost over the life of the roof. You won’t have to worry about routine maintenance like shingles falling off or curling as they age, and there’s the added benefit that a metal roof tends to have two to three times the lifespan of an asphalt roof. Essentially, you’re weighing the cost of installing one new metal roof against the cost of installing and maintaining two asphalt roofs.
When it comes down to it, some homeowners just don’t like the look of metal roofing. While we’re getting to the point now that some metal roofs (made to look like shingles) are nearly identical to asphalt roofs, some people just aren’t a fan of a metal roof’s reflectivity. And it’s your house, so the choice between an asphalt roof and a metal roof is always yours.
What Else Should I Know About Metal Roofs?
Since this is the guide to “everything you need to know about metal roofs”, we’ve got a little bit more information for you. While we’ve covered the typical maintenance, cost, and lifespan of a metal roof, along with the pros and cons of installing one, you might be interested to learn a little bit more about metal roofs.
The Different Types of Metal Roofs
Did you know that there’s more than just standard sheet metal roofs? There are also metal roofs made to look like slate, made to look like asphalt shingles, and even high-end metal roofing options made from luxury materials like copper and stainless steel. If you’d like to see some of those unique styles of metal roofing, be sure to check out our blog 5 Awesome Metal Roofing Styles You Haven’t Seen Before.
Metal Roofs and Cool Roofing Solutions
We’ve talked a little about the energy efficiency of metal roofs, but there are measures you can take to increase a metal roof’s natural energy efficiency. It’s called cool roof paint, or a cool roof coating, and it can save you a lot of money on your air conditioning bill while helping you reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. For more information about cool roofing, check out What’s Up With Cool Roof Paint?.
Metal Roof Myths
If you’ve been considering a metal roof, but are hearing a lot of scary stories about living with a metal roof, you might want to read 8 Metal Roof Myths Debunked. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about metal roofs, and if it’s an option you’re seriously considering for your home, it’s best to have all the facts. Have more questions about metal roofing? Talk to Werner Roofing. We’re a trusted, local West Michigan roofer specializing in standing seam metal roofs, and we’d be happy to help answer any questions you might have. Give us a call at 616-844-5382, leave us a message online, or, if you’re interested in seeing what the cost of a metal roof might look like for your home, submit your request for a free roofing estimate online today!