If you're in the market for a new roof you might want to consider a metal roof as an alternative to shingles or tile. Metal roofs have evolved dramatically from the days when they were most commonly used as outbuilding for agriculture and farms. Today's metal roofs come in a variety of styles and colors and can look like wood, clay tile, slate and even asphalt shingles.
The average metal roof cost is nearly double that of an asphalt roof - but a metal roof also offers a greater return on investment. A metal roof will last two to three times longer than a traditional asphalt roof. Once apt to corrode, especially in seaside applications, metal roofs now come with specialized finishes and coatings to handle salt spray.
Features of a Metal Roofing System
- They have great energy savings;
- Metal roofs reflect the sun, which reduces the amount of heat penetrating the home;
- They reduce your energy use in the summertime (or in Florida every month!);
- Many styles and colors to choose from;
- Will increase the value of your home in many cases, up to 80 percent of the initial cost of the investment;
- Special coatings process resists dirt and environmental aging;
- Lightweight: less than 1/3 the weight of asphalt
- Won't rot, crack, split, break or burn
Greening the Roof
The Pros focused on sustainable design, metal roofing's recycled content and ability to be recycled also can be attractive. The recyclable and aesthetic qualities, plus the longevity and potential to harvest rainwater, are sustainable features of a metal roof. Metal is the most commonly used surface for rainwater harvesting, according to the DOE, in part because algae and mold don't grow on metal. That's a big LEED point getter! Proper installation is important of standing-seam metal roofing. It should seal up real tight if installed right. Another green benefit of metal roofing is that it allows for easy attachment of solar panels without penetrating the roof.
It's the last roof you'll ever install!
The metal industry concedes that its products cost more, but the group counters that the long-term financial benefits offset price. Because of metal's fire resistance, home buyers in almost 20 states can receive up to a 35 percent discount on their insurance premiums. Additionally, the metal industry says metal roofing can save up to 40 percent in annual energy costs, and some systems qualify for the 2006 Energy Tax Credit.
Some metal roofs come with warranties of up to 50 years, but can last for hundreds of years, whereas traditional roofs typically last 10 to 20 years. Metal roofs aren't as vulnerable to hail, wind and fire damage and some insurance companies offer discounts on homeowner's policies because of metal's storm- resistant properties. In short, it costs more initially, but the attributes and the long-term cost benefits make it more than worth it. Plus, it will likely be the only roof your building ever needs.
Aren't metal roofs noisy?
A metal roof is no (more noisier) than a traditional roof. Remember, when you have a metal roof, you're installing it on top of a solid deck. In that solid deck, you have an attic space, insulation, a ceiling. If you don't hear rain today, you won't hear rain with a metal roof on. Also, metal roofs don't attract lightning any more than traditional roofs. If it does get hit by lightning, it will disperse the energy throughout the roof instead of being isolated to one spot where it can cause a fire.
Finding the BEST Roofer is Key!
If you are thinking about replacing your roof, get multiple, written bids from reliable, local roofers. Ask them for a cost-benefit analysis of traditional roofs, as well as metal ones, and then carefully evaluate that information. If you add a metal roof to your home or building, make sure the roofer has plenty of experience working with metal roofs. A metal roof system is interlocked and screwed down, as opposed to being nailed, and it typically takes about twice the time to install.