The Benefits (and Disadvantages) of Metal Roofing
Whether you’re building new or if your current home or cottage roof needs an update, have you considered making the switch to metal roofing?
Traditionally, steel roofing has been used mostly for commercial, industrial, and rural buildings; however, due to advances in building materials, steel roofing is fast becoming an option for residential and cottage buildings as well.
With home renovation season upon us, we’re taking a closer look at the benefits and disadvantages of metal roofing, featuring one of our Canadian metal roofing suppliers, Ideal Roofing! Check out how sharp this Security Rib in black metal roof looks on this home.
One of the biggest benefits of metal roofing is its longevity. With fewer joints than conventional roofing materials, advanced-technology metal roofing fasteners and proper installation procedures, steel roofing is definitely a worry-free long-lasting roofing solution.
Metal roofs can last 40–70 years, depending on the material; whereas, traditional asphalt roofing materials have an estimated life expectancy of roughly 12-20 years. That means metal roofing lasts about 3–4x longer than asphalt shingles!
While asphalt shingles absorb radiant heat, metal roofs reflect the sun’s UV and infrared light rays that contribute to roof surface radiant heat, which can result in a 10–25% reduction in cooling costs.
In addition, the physical properties of steel, a common material used in metal roofing, can also help keep radiant heat in during the cold winter months, which will also help save on heating costs.
Metal roofs not only have 25–95% recycled content, depending on the material used, but they are also 100% recyclable at the end of their life as a roof. In contrast, most shingle tear-off waste ends up as part of the building-related waste stream — up to 20 billion pounds per year.
If you are in the process of re-roofing your home, you don’t have to remove your old shingles! Simply install 1”x4” lumber strapping at proper spans and fasten the steel panels over the old roofing material. Covering your old asphalt-shingled roof will help keep waste material out of the dump.
Metal is “green” even when it’s grey, black, or red.
Easy Installation & Maintenance
One of the advantages of steel roofing panels is the ease of installation. Both for new construction and renovations, they can be installed by an advanced Do-It-Yourselfer using the proper tools and taking care in handling the product.
Steel roofing requires little or no maintenance depending on the location and setting of your home. Roofing surfaces may be cleaned periodically with a simple garden hose to remove natural contamination such as soot spots from your fireplace chimney, natural gum droplets from neighboring evergreen trees, or imprints from fallen leaves.
To remove surface scratches, touch-up paint in all product colours can be used to restore the product’s original finish, shine, and beauty.
Beautiful & Durable
For the builder with an eye for detail, pre-painted metal roofing panels come in virtually all colour combinations. From bright reds, greens, and blues to neutral greys and browns, you can match your roof to your design style. Check out these samples of Ideal Roofing’s Americana & Canadiana pre-painted steel options.
Metal roofing is lighter than all other roofing materials, yet it’s stronger and easier to install and maintain… plus it can fit most architectural designs. However, it’s the durability of metal roofing that is appealing.
Not only does metal roofing resist punctures and shed snow (toss that roof rake!), it is weather tight and heat/fire-resistant. Ideal Roofing products are designed and developed in Canada, so you know they’re built to withstand Canadian weather
Under normal conditions, steel panels resist chipping, cracking, peeling, and perforating for 40 years. Although a metal roof may lose its initial shine with age, it can easily be repainted.
Some may see this next point as a disadvantage; however, for many there’s something so relaxing about the sound of rain on a metal roof. Metal roofs may be more noisy than other products during a heavy rain or hailstorm depending on the type of decking used during installation (spaced or solid). Adding more attic insulation can sometimes solve this problem.
To make an informed decision, it’s always wise to weigh the pros and cons. Here are some disadvantages of metal roofing.
- Upfront cost. Metal roofs can be more expensive than other roofing materials. Given their long lifespan, investing in a metal roof makes sense if you’re looking to increase the value of your home or if you plan to stay in your home long enough to enjoy the cost benefits.
- Expansion, contraction and fasteners. Metal roofing material assemblies that are attached as large panels are designed to expand and contract as they warm and cool. However, both exposed and concealed fasteners have varying lifespans. Depending on the climate, neoprene washers and the screws used during installation may degrade and become dislodged over time. If you have a metal roof, it’s always a good idea to get up there to (or have a qualified installer) check for any fastener repairs.
- Inconsistency of colour match. Similar to asphalt shingles, if a repair is required or a home extension is added years later, it may be difficult to find an exact match to the existing metal, especially if the original colour has faded. Fortunately, metal roofing can be repainted, so this could be a relatively simple fix.
If you’re interested in learning more about metal roofing options, our Project Experts would be happy to help. Bring in your roof dimensions and our team can help set you up with a building plan and materials price list.
Planning to build or renovate your camp? We can deliver all your building materials where you need it, when you need it.