Not too many homeowners think about their roof until it’s damaged and leaking. When it’s time to make a change to your roofing system, why not look into other roofing material options available to you? Metal roofs are considered an upgrade from shingle roofs due to their superior performance quality. The purpose of this post is to point out metal roof advantages and as well as their disadvantages as a roofing material to help you make an informed decision about your own project.
Metal Roof Advantages
Resistant to Hurricanes, Moisture, & Rot Damage
Hurricanes can cause tremendous damage to a building. Protection against storms relies heavily on the strength of the building materials used as well as how they were installed. For example, venting and a solid roof deck and underlayment produce better results whether it be shingles, metal, or tile. This is why a quality builder adhering to all current building codes is vital to your building’s survival against tropical storms and hurricanes.
Metal roofing does have an advantage against storms because of its resistance to extremely high winds. In Florida, it’s been observed that metal roofs survived storms and hurricanes in the last few decades better than other roofing systems (source: FloridaDisaster.org). Many metal roofs throughout Florida survived the abnormally active 2004 hurricane season with little to no damage. When cases of severe damage to metal roofs were reported, it was usually due to installation problems such as not enough fasteners or internal pressure from other openings failing (source: FloridaBuilding.org).
Metal roofs do not attract pests such as insects and small mammals like other roofing materials do. Metal panels are very difficult for rats and the like to penetrate.
Check out the video below of a home in Miami, Florida with a bat infestation uncovered during a roof replacement project. This is a severe case of wild animals inhabiting a roof. If you notice bats living in your roofing system, contact a wildlife specialist for removal as it is illegal to kill this important species
Compatible With Protective Coatings
For added protection against UV rays, high temperatures, and even marine corrosion, roof coating is an option for flat or low-slope metal roofs. At Alliance Group, we prefer to use silicone-based roof coatings because they are a longer lasting superior product. Silicone roof coating stays in place even under ponding water, unlike acrylic roof coating products. Adding a protective layer of silicone would help extend the life of an already long-lasting roofing material. If you have an existing flat or low-slope metal roof, roof coating is a great way to save money and prolong its usable life.
Although Galvalume metal is already a durable material, manufacturer baked on coatings can increase the lifespan of your roof. Particularly if you reside in a coastal environment like many Floridians. Then the added coating can help against marine and salt corrosion.
Energy Efficiency & Tax Benefits
The metal roofing panels of today strive to keep buildings cooler. According to Florida Solar Energy Center, the two main features to look out for with efficient metal roofs or roof coating products is reflectivity and emissivity. Reflectivity refers to the amount of light bounced away from the material while emissivity refers to heat radiated away. Metal roofs are efficient in these two types of energy trade-offs.
To ensure energy efficiency with a new metal roof installation, the roofing system (as with any) must be properly vented. Cool Roof Rating Council has a helpful product directory to help find the reflective and radiative properties of many of the available roofing products on the market. There are also “cool roof” tax benefits available to building owners in Florida. Together with solar roof panels, Florida residents could enjoy multiple levels of home energy efficiency.
Due to Florida’s geographical location in the tropics and subtropics, a material with high reflective properties like metal can stand up to the degrading effects of ultraviolet light exposure from the sun.
Some insurance companies offer savings for having superior building materials in your home. Ask your insurance representative what discounts are available to you for switching to a metal roof. Typically, roofing systems that are hail resistant, fire resistant, or energy efficient qualify for discounts.
Flexible Style Options
Roofing manufacturers are now making paints and coatings for metal roofs that help reflect the sun and heat. This helps when you want a roof color to be something other than white, but still, want to gain the benefits of a reflective coating.
There are dozens of metal roof profiles available to fit your taste. Because of their popularity in Florida, people associate metal roofs with a tropical style, although a clean and contemporary modern look is easy to achieve with this roofing system as well. If the metal look isn’t your thing but you still want to benefits from this material for your home, look for metal tiles, shingles and shake. These metal roofing products look like natural shake, concrete tile, or shingles.
Knowing how much weight your roof can hold is very important if thinking about changing the roofing system to a heavier material (i.e. going from shingles to concrete tile) Relatively speaking, metal is a lightweight roofing material which shouldn’t require additional support if your current roofing structure is in good shape. Additional weight over time from absorbed water is never a problem with a metal roof.
After your roof’s usable life comes to an end, the metal panels are recyclable. Find a recycling center near you here.
Metal Roof Disadvantages
Cost is an important factor at the forefront of many building improvement decision. A metal roof will cost more than a typical shingle roof due to its superior physical qualities. Metal roofing is a premium material. This means you will be paying more upfront, but if you plan to occupy your building for the long term, you will get the return on investment. As a rough estimate, you can expect a metal roof project to cost you $6 per square foot versus a shingle roof at $3.50 per square foot.
Some homeowners with metal roofs notice an increase in sound during storms. Some report hearing noise during high winds but not with rain. This could be due to a ventilation issue or a loose component. A layer of quality insulation over a solid plywood deck should control the sound. Overall, noise is not a huge factor in most people’s decision to install metal.
When temperature and humidity are just right, condensation forms on the underside of the metal panels. Inadequate installation materials or techniques is the cause. It’s a good idea to make sure things like ventilation systems, vapor barriers, and insulation are made of quality materials with quality installation. If you’re concerned about this problem with an existing building, a roof inspection is the first step.
The term oil canning is used to describe the naturally occurring phenomenon that affects all types of metal. Oil canning looks like “waviness” or dimple-like impressions on the metal’s surface. Some consider it an “eye-sore”, but luckily is not something that undermines that metal’s performance. All metal panels will do this to some degree, but there are factors that increase the likelihood of it occurring.
What Causes Oil Canning?
Common factors that cause oil canning are installation over an uneven roof decking, improper handling or storage or panels, over-tightening the fasteners, and normal thermal expansion and contraction.
How To Prevent Oil Canning
One of the easiest ways to prevent oil canning is by choosing a panel design with striations. A flat panel will be much more likely to become dimpled over time. Another benefit of striated panels is they diffuse light and reduce glare. A design point of view considers them more architecturally appealing.
An experienced metal roof installer can also decrease the likelihood of oil canning by using proper panel installation methods. Changing unevenness in a roof deck, unless truly damaged, is not typically included in a roof replacement contract in order to reduce unnecessary costs to the homeowner. If you are concerned with the evenness of your roof deck, feel free to discuss it with your estimator so that they can incorporate extra preventative measures in your roof replacement contract.
Get Your Free Roofing Quote
Contact us to set up an appointment for a free roofing quote. At Alliance Group, we fabricate our own metal roofing panels on-site, ready for installation. This helps us increase efficiency and stay on top of quality control. We pass our savings down to our customers, allowing us to be competitive with our metal roof pricing.
Receive quotes on different roofing materials, styles, and colors in order to make an educated decision about your roofing project. Call our office at 772-492-8006 or toll-free at (800) 822-ROOF