Over the past decade, metal roofing has become an increasingly popular option for commercial properties and homes alike. In fact, as of 2023, nearly a quarter of all homes in the United States have a metal roof, and that number is expected to continue to rise! The question, then, is why are so many homeowners abandoning traditional asphalt shingles for new, modern metal roofing styles? In this guide, we’ll take a look at the basics of metal roofing, including the variety of benefits it can offer your residential or commercial property, so you can decide for yourself if it’s time to make the switch.
What is Metal Roofing?
Metal roofing refers to general roofing systems that use various styles and designs, including metal shingles and metal sheets, to protect your home against the elements. A metal roof can offer unmatched durability, longevity, and simplicity compared to traditional roofing materials like asphalt shingles or clay tiles. Even better, modern metal roofing is available in a dizzying number of styles, colors, and finishes, so if you’re not after the post-industrial look, you can build your metal roof to match your style with a nearly limitless number of options!
Popular Metal Roofing Materials
Metal roofing is typically done with three primary types of metal, though there are more exotic offerings with their own pros and cons if you’re looking for something truly unique. For most homes and businesses, you’ll likely be deciding between one of the following metal roofing materials, so it’s important to take the time to learn about the benefits that they can offer, as well as understand the potential drawbacks of each.
Steel roofing is the most popular choice in the United States, and it’s also typically the least expensive option. There are a few reasons steel is the most common type of metal used in roofing, and they boil down to a healthy mix of value, cost, durability, and lifespan. Standard steel roofs are made from galvanized steel or stainless steel (though other options are available) and can be painted to match a style, enhance its environmental efficiency, and prevent rust. On average, they last anywhere from 30 to 50 years. The downside to steel roofing is that it’s heavier than some of the other options, and its overall longevity, while better than non-metal roofing materials, is less than some other metals can offer.
Aluminum is more expensive per square foot than steel roofing, but many homeowners and businesses find the increase in value worth the increase in cost! Aluminum roofs are lighter and softer than steel roofs, which makes them even easier to work with. Aluminum is also naturally resistant to rust and oxidation, which makes it an excellent choice for especially humid or coastal areas. The trade-off is that the same light and soft qualities that make aluminum easier to install and shape also make it more susceptible to dents over time, which can impact its overall durability. Aluminum has about the same average lifespan as steel (30 to 50 years) and can similarly be painted or coated to boost curb appeal and improve weather resistance.
Copper roofing is by far the oldest form of metal roofing and has been in use since at least 300 B.C. Offering unmatched longevity and aesthetic appeal, copper roofing is one of the most expensive metal roofing materials, but well worth the investment if you’re planning for the long haul. Copper roofs can be coated or left bare, and last up to 60 or 100 years if properly taken care of! They’re durable and undeniably unique, but not quite as strong as steel in terms of weathering damage. If it’s in your budget, a copper roof can be an investment that will far outlive you and be the capstone to a home passed down through generations.
What are the Benefits of Installing a Metal Roof?
Metal roofing offers several benefits over traditional roofing materials. While those benefits can vary according to the type of metal roofing you install, metal roofing is generally more durable, longer-lasting, energy efficient, and eco-friendly than asphalt shingles or clay tiles. Additionally, metal roofing is extremely fire and weather-resistant, which is valuable for homes but can be critically important for some commercial properties.
Longevity and Durability
One of the most significant benefits metal roofing can offer compared to traditional roofing styles is its increased longevity and durability. As we covered earlier, even the lower end of metal roofing longevity is at least 30 to 50 years, with some styles extending into triple digits! The design of metal roofing systems, whether it’s corrugated metal roofing or standing seam metal roofing, also enables enhanced durability against rust, weathering, and UV damage – and all of that is before any coatings or paint are factored in.
It might seem counterintuitive, but metal roofs are incredibly energy efficient, especially compared to asphalt shingles. It’s easy to think that all that metal would bake in the sun’s heat throughout the day and, in turn, raise the temperature of your home in summer, but the opposite is true: metal roofing actually reflects much of the incoming light and blocks heat from getting farther into your home, which lowers your summer cooling bill. For even more energy efficiency, special coatings and paints that block UV rays can be applied for better cooling.
Fire and Weather Resistance
Many commercial properties value metal roofing due to its ability to block smoke and endure higher-temperature fires than other roofing materials, and those same benefits apply to metal roofing on a home. Metal materials are also quite durable and able to withstand severe weather, including heavy rains, hail, and strong winds. Metal roofing can even provide extra protection from wildfires, extreme heat, and hurricanes!
Metal Roofs are Eco-Friendly
Unlike asphalt shingles or tile roofing, nearly every component of a metal roofing system is 100% recyclable, so when it’s time to replace or repair your metal roof, the old material can be reused, which helps the environment, limits waste, and keeps landfills from piling up with old, worn-out roofing material. Additionally, the long lifespans of metal roofing mean you’re replacing material less often – that, combined with metal roofing’s energy efficiency, adds up to an incredibly eco-friendly product!
FAQs About Metal Roofing
If you’re on the fence about making the switch to metal roofing, you may have a few common questions that other property owners share. Before you make the leap, it’s best to ensure you know exactly what to expect, so browse through some of the answers to the questions we get asked most often here at RoofPRO.
Is Metal a Residential or Commercial Roofing Material?
A common misconception about metal roofing is that it’s only for use on commercial properties like warehouses or shopping malls; this couldn’t be further from the truth! Metal roofs have been used on homes in America since the 18th century, and that trend has only increased in recent history. Metal roofing panels can be shaped, painted, and styled, and exposed fasteners hidden, to create a wide variety of looks suitable for both a decorative architectural style and a plain, professional commercial environment.
Is Metal Roofing Loud?
Many prospective investors in metal roofing have concerns that their home or business will suffer from the magnified sound of rain, debris, or wind striking the surface of metal roofing materials. In reality, while metal roofs are slightly louder than asphalt shingles, it’s only a difference of 1 or 2 dB. This is, in part, due to modern construction methods and engineered spacing between the roof deck and the metal panels.
How Long Do Metal Roof Panels Last?
Most metal panels, at a minimum, last for 30 years. If they’re taken care of and maintained properly, a new roof made from steel, aluminum, or copper will likely last as long as 50 years or more, with some designs going far beyond that! For many property owners, the cost of metal roofing is more than justified in the long run.
RoofPRO is a Trusted Roofing Contractor in Maryland
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your home to a new metal roof or have questions about getting your commercial roof back in top shape, RoofPRO is the go-to roofing contractor throughout Maryland. Our industry-leading roofing solutions are designed to meet and exceed the needs of both our residential and commercial projects.
Top-Rated Solutions for Residential and Commercial Roofing
As a top-rated professional roofing contractor, our comprehensive range of roofing solutions includes metal roofing installation, metal roof replacement, and metal roof repair for homes and businesses throughout Maryland. Don’t have a metal roof? Our roofing solutions also include asphalt shingling, tile roofing, and more! Reach out today for more information.
Metal Roof Repair, Installation, and Maintenance Services
Our top-rated team of roofing professionals are certified and trained experts in all aspects of metal roof installation, replacement, and maintenance. Whether you want to replace your old roof with a new metal upgrade or need your current roof refreshed, the pros at RoofPRO are here to help.
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To learn more about our top-rated metal roofing services, contact us today for a free estimate!