Articles » Metal Roofs: a classic technique comes back into vogue

Metal Roofs: a classic technique comes back into vogue

Tags: Roofing, Replacement, Commercial, Metal, Installation

Metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular as homeowners and builders make metal a plausible choice when working toward energy efficient homes. Although metal roofs work well in any part of the country, they are especially advantageous in wet and tropical areas. Florida and the Gulf Coast enjoy a climate where metal roofs come into their own thanks to high humidity. Metal roofs are also becoming popular in coastal areas where salt damage is common.To single out a common demographic where metal roofs excel, the deep south takes center stage. Metal roofs go back a long way and with technological advances in materials such as steel, copper and zinc, they remain traditional. Remodeling can emulate historical times while newer construction follows along the same lines. Commercial buildings will last longer with newer metal roofs, a plus in southern industrial areas.

Metal roofs are resistant to rain and mildew. Installed as large sheets they offer resistance to hurricane force winds, since shingles of any kind offer easy targets to the lifting force of high winds. Metal roofs can also be made corrosion-resistant in climates where rotting, dampness and salt damage are formidable enemies. That includes the northwest in the Washington and Oregon areas where dampness is extremely common.

Energy efficiency is a hallmark of metal roofs. They can reflect sunlight and keep interiors cooler. They can also keep heat from escaping when the weather turns cold. Steel has become the most popular material for metal roofs. In case you think metal presents a boring expanse on a roof, fabrication techniques can make the metal look like traditional asphalt shingle roofs. Special coatings have been developed to make metal roofs even more impervious to heat and radiation.

For all their practicality and energy efficiency, metal roofs have some drawbacks. The following provides some pros and cons:

  1. Metal roofs can be noisy in rainstorms although new techniques are able to provide a soundproofing layer underneath. Then again, some people actually like the sound of rain on a metal roof.
  2. Metal roofs require professional installation. They require extra preparation and many roofers find them hard to install. Of course, once in place, they are long-lasting.
  3. Installation tends to be more expensive than the standard practice of installing common roofing materials. However they never need to be replaced due to deterioration.
  4. Seams must be handled carefully to prevent seepage. With proper installation and maintenance they are permanently waterproof.
  5. The metal used is costlier than other materials. The installation should last as long as the building and once again replacement is unnecessary.
  6. Metal roofs can suffer dents. Nevertheless, any roof can suffer damage from large hailstones and falling objects.