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Metal Roofing Systems Frequently Asked Questions
Metal roofing systems are a sophisticated, cost-effective, efficient and dependable alternative to any other roofing system available on the market today. But with so much to know about this smart roofing solution, being well-informed is the first step in making the right choices for your metal roofing project. Take a moment to browse our frequently asked questions, loaded with the facts and resources you need to ensure your metal roofing system goes above and beyond!
Why is a metal roof better than shingles?
The average life span of an asphalt shingle roof is only 12-20 years compared with up to 50 years for a metal roof. In addition, a metal roof is more environmentally friendly since it is made up of at least 25% recycled content and then becomes 100% recyclable at the end of its life. Asphalt shingles on the other hand contain crude oil, and due to their low life-cycle, end up as part the 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles that are dumped into US landfills every year. In warm climates, asphalt shingles absorb and retain heat increasing the temperature inside a building by 20-25%, while a metal roof will reflect much of the sun’s heat away from a building while also re-emitting heat that is absorbed.
Will a metal roof provide better protection from extreme weather conditions, like hurricanes, ocean air, or fire than other roof types?
Yes! A properly installed and secured metal roofing system is a superior choice for a variety of weather and environmental threats, including hurricane and other high wind zones. Since metal roofing is non-combustible it also offers a greater level of protection from wildfires. In marine and coastal environments prone to corrosive salt air and sea spray, aluminum and copper offer a lifetime of protection and will not rust.
Do metal roofs leak?
A properly installed metal roof will not leak and should give you years of enjoyment and peace of mind. However, if leaking does occur, it is usually due to incorrectly installed fasteners on an exposed fastener system. It is important that your contractor follow manufacturer instructions precisely. If screws are not installed properly, not attached in the correct location, or don’t have the resilient washers required to create a water-tight seal, leaking could occur. Talk with your roofer or contractor about water-tight guarantees they offer on their installation services.
Is a metal roof noisy when it rains?
It is a modern myth that a metal roof is terribly noisy when it rains. Today’s metal roofing is installed with solid sheathing, which will actually silence noise from rain, hail and bad weather as well as any other roofing material, and in some cases better. Sound absorption is also supported with insulation and attic airspace.
Is a building with a metal roof more susceptible to lightning strikes?
According to the Metal Construction Association, “metal roofing does not in any way increase the risk of a lightning strike”. This is because the height and size of a structure and its surroundings play a part in where lightning will strike, not the material the roof or any other part of the building are made from. In fact, in the unlikely event that lightning does strike your roof, having a metal roof can decrease the impact of the strike. Since metal is a non-combustible material, a metal roof can significantly reduce the chances that a lightning strike would lead to one of the most destructive consequences of lightning, the igniting of fire.
Is it cheaper to get a metal roof or shingles?
How much do metal roofs cost?
When you factor in the long life cycle of a properly installed metal roof compared to asphalt shingles, the true cost of a metal roof offers the best value. You can expect to pay more up front for a metal roof over asphalt, but the cost is comparable to tile roofing or cedar shake roofing. Ultimately, what makes a metal roof the best value is the total cost of ownership over the life of the roof. A properly installed metal roof is virtually maintenance free and can last up to 50 years or more. In addition, a metal roof is more energy efficient, especially in warmer climates, than other roofing materials saving on energy costs. Insurance companies also offer rate discounts on metal roofs because of their superior performance in tough weather conditions.
Do metal roofs add value to your property?
Can a metal roof be installed over shingles?
How long will a metal roof last?
My clients don’t want a white or silver roof? Is metal roofing available in more colors?
Modern technology and manufacturing processes mean that the protection of a metal roof can now be as beautiful as it is strong. From Regal Red to Island Blue, Extreme Metal offers over 70 standard and premium metal roof color coatings to choose from. We’re sure to have the perfect color to meet your clients’ specifications. Optional custom color matching is also available.
What is the difference between a concealed fastener and an exposed fastener metal roofing system?
A standing seam (also called concealed fastener) metal roof system uses hidden fasteners underneath metal panels to secure them to each other and to the roof deck. Because the fasteners are hidden, this type of metal roof offers clean, uninterrupted lines. An exposed fastener (sometimes referred to as screw-through) metal roof system uses a screw to nail through the metal panels and secure them to the roof deck. Since these fasteners are installed over metal panels, they are exposed and therefore are visible.
What’s the difference between a steel roof and an aluminum roof?
Steel and aluminum both perform well as a metal roofing material and have many similarities, but there are differences that should be considered when selecting a material for your metal roofing project.
Aluminum is extremely resistant to corrosion caused by seawater, while steel is bit more susceptible to seawater damage over time. Aluminum is lighter than steel if weight is a critical factor in determining a roofing material. It is also more malleable allowing it to be used more effectively in complex or intricate profile designs.
Steel is inherently stronger and less expensive than aluminum. It is more fire-resistant and can withstand winds up to 150mph with some steel roofing approved for use in high velocity hurricane zones (HVHZ), including Florida and Texas due to its resistance to wind uplift. If not using a coating, a “bare” steel roof will age much more aesthetically than aluminum which tends to look washed out and spotty over time.
What is reflectivity and how does it affect energy costs?
Heat (sun energy) that bounces back off a roof instead of being absorbed is energy that is reflected away from a structure, similar to the way your reflection bounces off a mirror. This reflectivity keeps your roof and your home cooler, so the air conditioning doesn’t have to work as hard, saving energy and saving you money on your electric bills.
What is emittance?
The ability of a surface (roof) to radiate absorbed heat back into the atmosphere allows the roof to cool itself. This efficiency of emittance, especially when combined with reflectivity, also works to keep your roof and the rooms beneath it cooler, reducing the energy needed to run your air conditioner.
How much can I save in energy costs by installing a metal roof?
Will a dark metal roof save less energy than a light-colored metal roof?
In general, lighter color roofs naturally reflect heat as well as emit heat better than darker colors. However, advances in finish technology have led to the development of high-performance paint and other coatings, such as Kynar500®. These coatings, including dark colors, are made with special pigments that are highly reflective making a dark colored metal roof still a smart choice.
Is a metal roof better for the environment than a shingle roof?
Yes! Metal roofs can be made from mostly re-cycled content and have a minimal carbon footprint. The coatings reflect heat to lower cooling costs, reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and other pollutants at power plants, and can be integrated with solar panels. The longer life-span of a metal roof creates increased sustainability and is 100% recyclable if replaced.