How does a metal roof work and what does it mean for you as a homeowner? As a fairly new residential roofing option, you may have a number of questions about metal roofs and their ability to serve as the roof over your head. Here are answers to many of the common metal roofing questions we get; hopefully we cover any questions you have, and give you the information you were looking for.
1. Is Metal Roofing More Expensive?
If you are comparing the initial investment of a metal roof to an asphalt shingle roof (the most common roof option in today’s home construction), then yes. The material and labor required to roof your home with metal will cost double, sometimes triple, that of standard asphalt shingles.
However, that is only when comparing the initial investment. It’s important to compare lifetime expenses as well. Asphalt shingles need to be replaced at least every 20-30 years, while metal roofs will, at minimum, double that lifespan. Long term, metal roofs are arguably a more cost-effective solution.
2. Will a Metal Roof Ruin the Look or Style of My Home?
Metal roofs are most commonly paired with modern, contemporary, and even cottage-style homes – though their increase in popularity has them popping up on all style homes, providing a new, upscale look for the home and the neighborhood. If your roof is the first in the neighborhood to go metal, you’ll be noticed for enhancing your roof style and home value – but you won’t stand out like a sore thumb. There are a ton of options – style (panel vs. shingle), color, pattern, etc. – when it comes time to choose what your metal roof will look like. Your selections will determine how brightly your metal roof shines in the sea of asphalt!
3. Will a Metal Roof Last Longer?
Definitely – a modest estimate for the lifespan of a metal roof is 30-50 years. But as we noted above, 50+ is standard, which is why most metal roofs come with a 50-year warranty, give or take. Standard asphalt roofs are designed to last 20-30 years (at best), though your climate and weather will have a say in this. Asphalt shingles deteriorate as they are exposed to the sun, wind, rain, heat, cold, and other Minnesota elements, whereas a metal roof will never deteriorate. Any damage or imperfections that happen over time can generally be painted, or small sections can be replaced to repair.
4. Are Metal Roofs Louder During Storms?
They can be, however, if your home has standard attic insulation this is generally a non-issue. The insulation will absorb the sound – the same as it does for all other roof options – keeping your home dry and quiet during Minnesota storms.
5. Will My Metal Roof Attract Lightning or Light/Heat?
First, lightning. This is a very common question when it comes to metal roofs – but the answer is easy: no. Your homes’ risk of being struck by lightning has nothing to do with the material it is made of – rather its size, height, and proximity to other tall objects. Here’s an article that dives deep into this topic if you’d like to know more: MCA Technical Bulletin – Lightning & Metal Roofing
Second question – do metal roofs attract light or heat? Another short, easy answer: no. In fact, many metal roof materials have a coating that reflects the sun. In comparison to asphalt roofs, metal keeps your home cooler and can even save you money on your energy bills (another cost-benefit to factor in to question #1)!
6. Are There Any Requirements for Metal Roofing?
The pitch and design of your roof, plus your geographic location, will have an impact on the cost to install a metal roof on your home – but all homes meet the requirements for metal roofing.
7. Is a Metal Roof Bad for the Environment?
No, quite the contrary. Most metal roofs are made using some recycled material – and then at the end of its life, it can be fully recycled. That, in addition to its longevity and ability to conserve energy make it an environmentally friendly roofing option (especially in comparison to an asphalt alternative).
8. Will my Phone or Wifi Service be Impacted by a Metal Roof?
Unless your service is spotty or non-existent to start with, your metal roof will not interfere with your ability to call, stream, download, surf, or use your cell phone and wifi in any way you choose.
9. Can I Still Use Gutters and/or Skylights with a Metal Roof?
We’ll keep this answer short: yes & yes. As with all roofs, there are proper installation techniques that need to be used to accommodate the metal roof material as well as its long lifespan. But to answer your question – yes, you get to keep control of the light entry and water flow happening on your roof.
10. Does Metal Roofing Change My Insurance at All?
If you are changing your roof at all, you should chat with your homeowner’s insurance policy provider. The age and material of a roof can affect your insurance coverage and cost – and a metal roof generally has a positive impact. Insurance providers like the durability and longevity a metal roof provides, which allows them to offer you a better rate. You’ll just want to double-check the coverage outlined in your policy to make sure it covers the repair extent you expect.
11. How are Metal Roofs Installed?
If you are replacing an existing roof, a metal roof can often be installed right on top of what you already have there – as long as the current roof weight isn’t an issue with your home’s support or structure. If you are installing a new roof (on a new home), the process is pretty standard. A layer of underlayment will be laid on top of the decking, and then your metal roof – sheets or shingles – will be installed on top. This provides you with a beautiful roof that meets building code(s) and keeps your home safe and quiet for decades to come.
12. What Should I Know About Snow and a Metal Roof?
As a Minnesotan, this is an important question to ask – and we think you’ll like the answer. With a metal roof, your days of ice dams and roof raking are over! Snow and ice slide right off the roof, preventing roof damage caused by any sitting water or the weight of heavy snow. Because snow and ice slide off so easily, there are products you can install on your roof to make snow/ice exit your roof safely (i.e. heating cables and snow guards) so as not to damage anything below. These are not always necessary, and your roofing installation team should advise based on your unique home.
If any of your questions went unanswered here, please contact us and we’d be happy to help provide the information you need to make a decision about a metal roof. Otherwise, good luck!