Just like any roofing material, home and business owners need to weigh the advantages and the disadvantages before making a decision. Nowadays, people are looking for sustainable, eco-friendly roofing solutions. Metal roofing (also known as steel roofing), unlike asphalt shingles and cedar shakes, is completely environmentally friendly and durable. As amazing as it is, steel roofing does have some drawbacks. Let’s take a look in the section below.
Disadvantages of metal roofs
- Affordability. When compared to other roofing solutions like asphalt shingles, a new metal roof can be two to three times more expensive. However, a steel roof can last over five times longer than an asphalt shingle roof, so the durability far outweighs the cost. While a metal roof does last longer, it only makes sense to invest if you plan to stay in your home long enough to reap the benefits.
- Metal Panels Expand and Contract. Metal roofing panels expand and contract as them warm and cool. Most hidden fastener panels are made to allow for some expansion and contraction. However with exposed fasteners, the screws need to be replaced every 10 years because they shift and degrade when the metal moves.
- Noisiness. During heavy rains or hailstorms, metal roofing may be more noisy than other roofing materials. However, this is only an issue depending on the type of decking used during installation (spaced or solid). The noise level can be reduced by adding additional insulation to your attic, but this can be costly.
- Performance. Just like any roof with poor installation, metal roofs can experience damage from standing water. Low-grade metals are also thinner and less durable. Some metals can also rust in certain climates and are prone to denting. When choosing a metal roof, you should consider all the metal types before buying.
- Colour Match Inconsistency. In situations where you need to add or replace sections of your metal roofing, it may be difficult to find an exact colour match.
- Appearance. Most metal roofs will keep their colour for decades. However, some steel roofs are susceptible to staining and colour fading.
Advantages Greatly Outweigh the Drawbacks
As metal roofing is growing in popularity, more home and business owners are making the switch. One of their “disadvantages” actually turns our to be an advantage when viewed from the bigger picture. Although a metal roof is more expensive upfront, they will last so much longer and prove to be a better investment in the future. (Some insurers even offer homeowners a discount on their premiums for metal roofs.)
Among the many advantages of a metal roof:
- Longevity. The life expectancy is at least 50 to 75 years, as opposed to the 10 to 15 year lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof.
- Reflect Heat. The surface of a metal roof reflects heat, which lowers cooling costs in hot climates.
- Leak Proof. When installed correctly, metal roofing is less susceptible to leaking than shingles.
- Hail and Wind Resistant. Steel roofing is hail, heavy rain and wind resistant. Some metal roofs can sustain wind gusts up to 140 miles per hour.
- Won’t Crack or Corrode. They will not corrode or crack and can be impact-resistant.
- Little Maintenance. A metal roof needs little to no maintenance.
- Fireproof. Metal roofs are fireproof, making them good choices in areas where wildfires are a risk. They will not spark and ignite into flames during a wildfire or lightning strike.
- Eco-Friendly. They are recyclable and economically friendly. Metal roofs not only have 25-95% recycled content, depending on the material used, but are also 100% recyclable at the end of their life as a roof.