Metal Roof

If you are of the generation that thinks metal roofing material is just for barns and outbuildings, then you have a surprise in store. Modern metal roofs come in a wide variety of styles and are smart enough to complement both urban and rural homes and businesses. While metal roofing systems may be initially more expensive than other types of roofing, they may work out less expensive in the long run because of their long life expectancy and low maintenance.

1. Why Choose Metal Roofing Material?

While many people choose metal roofing material because of its durability, wind-and-weather proofing, long-lasting and security qualities, more and more people these days are installing metal roofs because of the wide variety of colors and styles which can be made to suit most architectural styles. While metal roofing can be more expensive than some other materials, this is balanced by its long life span, durability, ease of maintenance, and the good warranties offered by most manufacturers and installers.

Metal roofing is also very lightweight, so it can be installed an all sorts of buildings without any need to worry that the weight will exceed the existing load-bearing capabilities of the roof supports.

Metal roofing material doesn't rot, warp, curl, crack, peel, or break. It is resistant to hail, wind, fire, freezing, and thawing - in fact, snow will often just slide off a metal roof. Some types can, however, be chipped, scratched, or dented, and in these circumstances, the damaged area may need to be replaced. Because metal roofing comes in panels, if damage occurs, it is only necessary to replace the affected panel rather than re-roof a large area.
It is also low maintenance, usually comes with a long warranty, and may even reduce your house insurance costs and increase the sale value of your home. Because a metal roof can usually be installed over an existing roofing material, you can also save the expensive process of removing the old roof.

Modern metal roofs also come in a wide range of colors and styles to suit most buildings.

2. What Kinds Of Metal Roofs Are There?

Metal roofs have long been popular for farm outbuildings and in commercial warehousing, etc., and most people think of the classic galvanized roof when they think of metal roofing. But, there are now several different sorts of metal roofing material. Some have built-in insulation, while others are laid over an "insulating blanket." Several different types of metal are used as roofing material - copper, steel, aluminum, and iron.

Iron metal roofs are used in some parts of Africa, because it is relatively cheap, but it has a tendency to rust easily and is not very popular elsewhere. Steel roofing material is very expensive and mostly used in industrial projects, although some homeowners choose it for its appealing "reflective" abilities and for its durability and security qualities. Steel metal roofs for homes frequently come in tile sizes, so it is easy to repair by just replacing one or more damaged tiles.

Copper roofing is very unusual and expensive. It also requires treatment with a chemical compound to keep it from corroding. Copper roofs are usually installed on very expensive homes where the cost of upkeep is not a consideration, and it does, of course, only suit certain types of architecture.
Aluminum roofing is generally the most popular because it is more affordable as well as durable and lightweight. It is rust resistant and still has the same reflective effects as other metals as well as being heat resistant.

3. What Are The Benefits Of Metal Roofing Material?

Metal roofing material now comes in a wide range of colors and styles. It is very rust resistant and is light enough to be installed on most buildings without needing the existing roofing structure to be re-enforced. It is durable and lasts a long time without needing a lot of maintenance - warranties for metal roofing materials are often as long as 35 years, and some are even 50 years.
Metal roofs are heat resistant and incombustible, reducing the risk of damage by fire.

Modern metal roofs are not noisy when it rains - studies have shown that there is no greater noise level from metal roofs than there is for asphalt shingles or clay tiles.

Metal roofs don't rust - the metal is treated or galvanized to prevent the metal roofing material deteriorating through rust. In fact, most metal roofs will outlast other types of roofing material.

Some people worry that a metal roof will attract lightning strikes, but the manufacturers claim studies have shown that metal roofing material is no more likely to attract lightning than other type of roofing - they point out that lighting strikes the highest point in the area, and homeowners in lightning prone areas should consider installing lightning rods, if their property is at or close to the highest point, no matter what their roofing material is.

While metal roofing material has very little by way of insulating properties, its installation provides lots of opportunities to install insulation material over the sub roof in a new building, or between the existing roofing material and the new metal roof in an older home.

4. Colors

Metal roofs come in a wide variety of colors to suit any home or building setting. Metal roofing material is available in colors from the traditional browns, greys, and whites to fashionable shades like barn red, ocean blue, and deep green. For traditionalists, there is also the classic silver-look galvanized finish. The paint used on metal roofing material is a high-performance polymer designed to be weather resistant. Sometimes, there may be a slight color change because of airborne pollutants, but washing the roof down with spray from a garden hose can generally combat this - and you can stay on the ground to do that!

5. Are Metal Roofs A Good Investment?

Along with the durability and weather and wind resistant qualities, metal roofing material manufacturers or installers offer warranties that compete favorably with those given for other roofing materials - warranties of up to 35 years or more for metal roofs are not uncommon. Ask your supplier or contractor for a detailed breakdown of the various metal roof warranties to be sure to get the best deal for your own project.

Many metal roof companies will also offer financing packages to make the cost of installing your metal roof more affordable.

A lot of modern metal roofing material comes with an "Energy Star" rating, which means it will help save you money on heating and cooling bills, as well.
These qualities not only make your home a nicer place to live, but they increase your home's attractiveness to potential purchasers and increase its "curb appeal." In this way, a metal roof can increase your home's value as your most important investment asset.

6. Is A Metal Roof Expensive?

While metal roofing systems may initially cost more than some other forms of roofing, there are long-term savings. For example, the metal roof is low maintenance - spraying it with water from the garden house will clean it and make it look good as new again - and the material is rust proofed so it is long lasting. In fact, some metal roofing manufacturers are so confident of the durability of their product that they offer warranties between 35 or even 50 years! This long lifespan may actually make your metal roof cheaper than other less expensive alternatives in the long run.

You may even save money on your insurance with a metal roof, because metal roofing material has a high resistance to damage from wind or hail, and is a non-combustible material, which makes it one of the safest fireproof materials.

A metal roof will also save the homeowner money on heating and air conditioning due to the metal's reflective qualities. In hot weather, the metal roofing material reflects away sunlight and reduces the heat entering the building; in cold weather, it reflects the heat in the building back inside from the underside of the metal roof.

Of course, as with every other major investment, it pays to shop around until you find a supplier or installer who offers a good price and has verifiable references.

7. Would A Metal Roof Be Too Heavy For An Older Home?

One of the big advantages of metal roofs is that they are actually lighter than many other forms of roofing. Manufacturers claim their product weighs less than one-third as much as asphalt or fiberglass shingles, and about 75 per cent less than slate, clay, or concrete roofing material.

Some homeowners worry that installing a metal roof will mean expensive reinforcing of existing roof trusses, beams, or supports, but the light weight of metal roofing eliminates the need for this.

8. Metal Roof Styles

Homeowners considering installing a metal roof are often concerned about whether there will be a style that will suit their home. This is especially true for owners of historic older homes who want to preserve the integrity of the house's architecture while modernizing the property.

Metal roofing comes in a number of sizes, shapes, and styles. These include panels that look like shingles or shakes. The material usually comes in panels of 36 or 24 inches wide, and is cut to length to suit the homeowner's requirements. The most popular is the classic rib panel, but there are a number of other systems including a snap-lock panel, vertical seam panel, and a "crimp" panel.

In addition to these, you can purchase simulated stone-coated shingle panels, simulated Spanish clay metal tile panels, simulated shingle panels, even panels that look like slate. There are also panels designed to simulate the look of cedar shakes or cedar shingles.

9. Metal Roof Installation

It is very important that your new metal roof is properly installed and that all seams are properly joined, and there are no leaks or gaps for wind or water infiltration. Panels tend to be large and therefore difficult to handle even though they are quite lightweight. For these reasons alone, installing a metal roof is probably a job best left to the professionals.

Ask for quotes from different contractors and follow up on references - if possible, go to view the work the contractor has already done installing metal roofing material, and talk to the client to see if they are happy with the contractor's work. This is a big investment and it pays to be picky!

Installation work requires specialist tools and fasteners, and it is important to remember that the metal roof panels will expand and contract with the weather conditions; therefore, an experienced installer will allow for this when installing the roof and fastening the panels.

In addition, a metal roofing system requires the installation of special starting strips, edge pieces, and caps, as well as special clips to go with the system you have chosen - you can't mix and match metal roofing systems, as this may lead to faults and problems with the roof, as well as possibly negating any warranty you might have.

One of the dirtiest - and most expensive - parts of re-roofing a building is taking off and disposing of the existing roofing material. It can be very labor intensive and time consuming, plus it can cost a lot to remove all the material to a disposal site or rubbish dump. On top of that, there is the site clean up of all the loose material and nails, screws, etc., that fall off the roof as the work is being done.

A new metal roof can eliminate that problem in most cases, because it can be installed over the existing roofing material such as asphalt, fiberglass, or composite shingles. In fact, this provides an opportunity to add insulation over the existing roof before the new metal roof is installed, which can help save money in heating and cooling costs. It is a good idea to talk to your installer, or to your local municipal building inspector, to make sure that your new roof can be safely installed over the existing roof.

Metal roofs are lighter, require less support from underneath, and as such can reduce construction costs. Installation of metal roofing typically takes less time too, as the metal sheets cover a large area.

Some installers recommend purchasing an extra panel or two of the metal roof panels that you have chosen, as it can sometimes be difficult to totally match up the color you want at a later date if a panel needs to be removed due to damage. As well, if you are considering building an extension at a later date, it would be advisable to talk to your supplier to see if the style you have chosen is likely to be available for some time to come.
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