The distinctive quality, durability, and virtual lack of maintenance requirements of metal roofing have propelled its popularity among homeowners in recent years.
The New Look of Metal Roofs
Today, metal roofing bares little resemblance to the corrugated "tin" shed roofs of the not-so-distant past. Metal roofs are available in numerous colors and textures. The following metals are available:
- Stainless steel
Materials Used in Metal Roofing
Steel is the most commonly used material for residential metal roofing . Most manufacturers galvanize the steel with a zinc or zinc/aluminum coating to enhance corrosion resistance. Steel roofs are also painted with a pigmented polymer or acrylic topcoat to give the roofing color and another layer of protection. Stainless steel roofs require no coating for protection and are completely rust proof. They are also the most expensive metal roofing material available. Copper is a traditional roofing metal that is naturally rust proof, needs no finishing, and ages to a beautiful patina. Like stainless steel, it is very expensive, but can be appropriate for historical renovations or custom roofing treatments.
The Benefits of Metal Roofing
A properly installed metal roof can last up to 50 years or more, is lightweight, can provide better energy efficiency than asphalt shingles or tile roofing, and is fireproof. Cool metal roofing systems that provide enhanced solar reflectance and infrared emittance can help keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter and be engineered specifically for your local climate.
The (Initial) Costs of Metal Roofing
This type of roofing quality comes at a price though; a metal roof can cost 3 times as much as an asphalt shingle roof. The cost for a metal roof may initially seem high, but over the life of the roof, considering the maintenance and repair factors of alternatives such as shingles and tile, metal roofs prove to be an economically sound choice.
Structural and Aesthetic Uses of Metal Roofs
Metal roofing can be structural or non-structural (architectural) depending on whether the roofing requires an underlayment or attaches directly to purlins. It comes in sheet-metal panels that run horizontally or vertically along the roof line or in metal shingle panels. Because metal roofing can accept color coatings, be imprinted with patterns, and be formed into profiles ranging from wood shakes to clay tile, it can match the style of almost any home.
It is highly recommended that homeowners use a qualified professional metal roofing contractor to install metal roofing due to the complex and unique requirements inherent in the roofing materials.