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Install Metal Roofing

Is Metal Roofing Right For Your Home--Or Just a Novelty?


Image of Metal Roofing

Metal Roofing

Courtesy The Aluminum Assoc., Inc.; Courtesy The Aluminum Association, Inc.

Metal roofs used to be found only on architect-designed houses. Now, you'll find metal roofing on more conventional houses. If you want to install metal roofing, let's look at both the ups and downs of this increasingly popular roofing material.

Metal Roofing Can Be Installed Over Your Existing Roof

While this is not unusual (conventional roofing products can be installed over existing roofs), it is good to know that metal roofs can be installed over your existing roof without the need for tearing off shingles. Ripping off shingles in messy and raises the cost of the job. But when installing metal roof over shingles, discuss with your roofer using specially vented materials.

Metal Roofing is No Noisier Than Asphalt Roofing

Surprisingly, properly installed metal roofing is no noisier than any other type of roof. Metal roofing is typically installed over a solid substrate. Additionally, the attic and insulation provide a sound barrier. If you wish to install metal roofing over your existing roof, the metal roof will most likely be raised over the existing roof by means of furring strips. These furring strips will create an air pocket which will further deaden sound.

Walking on Metal Roofing is Difficult and Dangerous

A metal roof is slippery and becomes even more slippery when wet.

Metal Roofing Does Not Attract Lightning Any More Than a Conventional Roof Does

Not only that, but if metal roofing does happen to get struck by lightning, it is less combustible than conventional roofing materials such as shake shingles.

Metal Roofing Has an Expected Life Equal to or Greater Than Conventional Roofing Products

If you live in fire-prone areas, such as Southern California, metal roofing will extinguish any embers. Insects such as termites can never eat metal roofing. It's impervious to rot and mildew. And because it conducts heat quickly from the sun, snow slides off more quickly than with conventional roofing. Still, most metal roofing manufacturers will warrant their products for an average of 30 years, which is about the same as conventional roofing manufacturers.

When You Install Metal Roofing, Expect to Pay More

In sharp contrast to asphalt shingles (the cheapest type of roofing product), you may pay up to $600 per square (a square is 100 square feet).

Low-Pitch Roofs Are Perfect for Metal Roofing

Because metal roofing comes in larger sheets and the pieces are so tightly sealed together, you can install metal roofing on gently pitched roofs.

Metal Roofing Not the Best Material for Severe Hailstorms

Metal roofing will weather pea-sized hailstorms. But if your area ever experiences severe hailstorms with larger stones, your aluminum or copper roof may get dented. Steel is harder and will fare better in the event of a hailstorm.

Modifying Metal Roofing is More Difficult Than Conventional Roofing Materials

Asphalt shingles are fairly easy to replace because they are available at your local home improvement store and because you're working with small pieces. Metal roofing, on the other hand, is generally available only through select retailers. Also, the large sheets are difficult to handle and fabricate unless you are a professional.

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