Why metal roofing? That’s the question that many homeowners have to ask when friends discuss the roofing material. For crafting a roof system that provides lasting protection, their are few roofing systems that can provide the same impressive protection and efficiency. While the material does require a deeper initial investment, the superior waterproofing and energy efficiency is certainly worth the cost.
How Energy Efficient is a Metal Roof?
According to industry professionals, metal roofing can help you save as much as 40% on your air conditioning energy costs. Considering your heating and cooling systems account for almost half of your daily energy expenditures, that percentage represents hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in savings. By insulating your interior air against outside temperatures, a metal roofing system drastically reduces the amount of electricity and gas needed to condition your home.
As long as you faithfully complete seasonal maintenance (which is negligible), you can expect that impressive energy efficiency to last. That’s why so many homeowners and businesses choose a reflective rooftop. It’s also one reason why families use metal to reroof…
Can Metal Roofing Go Over Shingles?
Yes. In most cases, metal paneling can be easily placed over shingle roofing. The metal roof installation process is slightly altered in reroofing cases, but it’s a fairly simple job for experienced pros. After placing a special covering over the shingles, beams are affixed to the roof to serve as the attachment points for the new paneling. After the metal panels are connected to their respective anchors and the attachments are tightened.
Presto! Installation is complete and your roof is ready to go! You won’t have to worry about tearing off the underlying shingles until the metal roof needs to be replaced, 50 to 60 years down the road. In the meantime, you’ll enjoy resilient storm protection and exciting energy savings.
What are the Different Types of Metal Roofs?
Believe it or not, there’s more than one way to install a metal roof! There are multiple metal materials available on the market, as well as varied style types. Finding the right roofing system for your home will hinge on your family’s budget and functional needs. The environment will also play a role. Below are a few prominent types of metal roofing.
Metal Roofing Sheets
This method of metal roof installation comes in two varieties: corrugated and standing seam. Both offer impressive weather protection and energy efficiency, but their methods of installation vary somewhat. We’ll quickly break down their respective perks.
One of the most accessible forms of metal roofing in Berlin and Cherry Hill, NJ, corrugated panels provide very capable protection against hail, wind, and fire. Panels vary in terms of gauge (thickness) and design, so you’ll want to consult with an expert about which sort would work best for your home. Maintenance requirements are minimal: only a tightening of the fasteners every ten years.
Benefits of Corrugated Metal
- Excellent Storm and Fire Protection
- Very Affordable (Compared with Other Metal Roofs)
- Easy to Install
- Good Design Variety
One step above corrugated paneling, standing seam metal roofs utilize a series of vertically aligned locks to bind panels together without leaving any exposed seams. This creates a powerful waterproofing shield, and it makes for a very sturdy roofing system. There are two forms of standing seam metal roofs.
Mechanical lock systems are utilized for steep rooftops, and these must be crafted folded by hand at the installation site. Snap lock roofs are for gently sloped rooftops, and they can be prefabricated ahead of time. Snap lock panels need only be “snapped” into place during installation. For either form of paneling, the upkeep requirements are practically non-existent. If the metal does start to fade (for whatever reason), a simple restorative coating can restore the color.
Benefits of Standing Seam Roofing
- Superior Waterproofing Capability
- Fast Installation Process (Snap Lock)
- Excellent Weather and Fire Protection
A very common form of residential metal roofing, metal shingles represent a happy union between traditional asphalt shingles and metal paneling. For homeowners that have grown fond of shingles in the past, this is an ideal metal roofing solution. Should you desire it, shingles can be covered with your choice of finish that simulates other premium materials, such as stone, wood, or tile. Metal shingles come in a wonderful array of colors for your style preferences, and they provide the same high standard of protection offered by other forms of metal roofing.
Benefits of Metal Shingles
- Beautiful Shingle Design
- Finishes Simulate Wood, Tile, or Stone
- Available in Many Colors
Residential Metal Roofing Materials
While there are a good variety of metals available on the residential roofing market, aluminum, steel, and copper are three of the most popular. Each has unique benefits that appeal to different homeowners, so it’s crucial to decide your family’s functional priorities ahead of time. Below, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each metal in brief detail, so that you can make an informed choice!
For homeowners that prioritize energy efficiency and cost-savings above all else, aluminum roofing is the perfect choice! As a naturally reflective metal, aluminum delivers impressive savings for your heating and cooling costs by deflecting a very high percentage of sunlight away from your home. The metal is also highly resistant against rusting and other forms of corrosion, so you won’t have to worry about rusting.
Aluminum does start to fade after so many years, so it’s essential that you recoat or paint when it starts to lose its sheen. That way, you’ll enjoy those energy savings without interruption.
Summary of Aluminum
- Very Reflective Metal
- Practically Immune to Corrosion
- Malleable for More Complex Roof Designs
- Requires a New Coating or Repaint (Every 10 Years)
Steel offers the most affordable material solution for metal roofing. Because steel is so plentiful and historically proven, its high value-per-square-foot is ideal for large roofing projects. Steel is particularly great with fancy finishes, which can be used to mimic other classic premium materials. As with any other metal, steel provides very strong weather protection. While the metal rarely shows signs of aging, steel needs to be galvanized or coated with a protective material to avoid rusting.
Summary of Steel
- High Value-Per-Square-Foot
- Great Weather Protection
- Needs to be Coated to Avoid Rusting
Considered by many to be the creme de la creme of metal roofing, copper provides outstanding long-term value. The metal is very pricey when compared to steel and aluminum, but copper roofing systems often last over a century. This material is highly resilient against weather damage and corrosion. As copper oxidizes over the years, it naturally develops a beautiful greenish-blue patina. This is why no copper roofing system looks the same.
Summary of Copper
- Can Last Over a Century
- Great Material Resell Value (Around 95%)
- Incredibly Durable Against Weather and Corrosion
- Very High Material Cost
Which Metal Roofing is Best?
While copper may be considered the “best” in terms of longevity and value, choosing the right metal roof installation will ultimately depend on your budget and functional priorities. If you need to cover a large house on a tight budget, consider steel roofing. Should energy-efficiency and corrosion resistance be your ultimate goal, try aluminum instead.
Overall, it’s easy to see why metal roofing has become so popular. The peace of mind brought by the long-term protection alone is worth the price! When you add in the alluring energy savings and the fantastic customization options, it’s practically unbeatable.