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Metal roofs are durable, cost-effective, and attractive, making them one of the best roof types on the market today. Below, we’ll cover the pros and cons of metal roofs and dispel myths about this popular roofing material.
Benefits and Drawbacks
Homeowners like metal roofs for their strength and style, but up-front installation costs can be expensive. Review the primary benefits and drawbacks of this roofing type before we dive into the details.
➕ Lasts 50 years or more
➕ Boasts sustainability and energy efficiency
➕ Comes in various color and style options
➖ Costs more to install than asphalt roofing
➖ Isn’t accepted by some HOAs
➖ Is prone to denting
Benefits of Metal Roofs
Homeowners don’t have to defer to traditional asphalt shingle when they’re ready to replace their roofs—there are other materials to choose from. Here are several reasons why metal roofs are a popular choice.
Metal roofs are available in different styles and paint finishes that will instantly improve curb appeal. A standing seam metal roof gives off a modern and sleek look, while corrugated metal panels fit a country-chic style. Metal roofs also come in metal shingles for those who want to mimic a traditional asphalt roof design.
Metal roofs are made out of durable materials such as steel and aluminum, which generally have long life spans. They’re weather-resistant and can endure heavy rain, storms, and even winds up to 140 miles per hour. Metal roofs are safe to use in wildfire-prone areas because they carry a Class-A fire rating.
Metal roofs can save homeowners up to 40% in energy costs by reflecting solar energy, which keeps your house cool and energy costs down. A roofer may also outfit your metal roof with a batten system to help improve airflow.
A traditional shingle roof, by contrast, often traps heat and creates more work for your air conditioning system, increasing energy costs.
Metal roofs have a longer life span than traditional asphalt shingles. While homeowners must typically replace their shingle roofs every 12 to 25 years, metal roofs can last up to 50 years. This is more cost-effective considering the cost of a new roof.
The Metal Roofing Alliance estimates that 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles end up in landfills each year, but metal roofs are 100% recyclable. They’re also made with at least 25% recycled materials, and roofers can install them directly over your existing roof to cut down on waste. Homeowners can install solar panels onto metal roofs, making them an exceptionally sustainable option.
Drawbacks of Metal Roofs
Metal roofs aren’t perfect. Here are the main disadvantages of metal roofing materials:
Dents and Peeling
Certain types of metal roofing, such as aluminum and copper, are prone to dents and can suffer damage from fallen tree branches or hailstorms. The paint can also peel, and you may have to replace panels. Roofers in areas that are prone to extreme weather may offer related warranties.
Many homeowners associations (HOAs) have strict rules about their communities’ architectural designs. Some HOAs forbid metal roofing, claiming it’s unsightly. If this is the rule under your HOA, you may find it worthwhile to request a meeting to share the benefits of metal roofing.
Many roofing contractors don’t have the knowledge necessary to properly install a metal roof. If your metal roof isn’t connected the right way, it can fall apart and require extensive repairs. Ensure that the professionals you’re considering have experience installing metal roofs and carry the proper licensing and insurance coverage for a smooth installation process.
Some people find the sound of rain on a tin roof relaxing, but others find it irritating. If you’re particularly sensitive to noises and sounds, try listening to a recording of rain on a metal roof before installing one. You can also ask a roofing company if they have advice to fix a noisy metal roof.
A metal roof costs between $7,000 and $110,000, with an average price of $11,000.* A traditional roof costs between $5,700 and $12,500, with an average price of $10,000. Specialized labor and more expensive materials account for the higher cost of metal roofs. However, metal roofs last longer than traditional roofs, so you won’t need to replace them as frequently.
*Cost data in this article was averaged from multiple sources, including HomeAdvisor and Angi.
Metal Roof Myths
Metal roofs have a bad reputation, but much of this is due to untrue myths, such as the following:
- Metal roofs are ugly: In fact, there are various metal roof styles to choose from to suit different aesthetics.
- They attract lightning: Metal roofs are no more susceptible to lightning strikes than asphalt shingle roofs. Asphalt roofing is actually likelier to catch fire if lightning strikes than fire-resistant metal roofing.
- They’re heavy: Metal roofs are lighter than slate and clay tiles and don’t require a structural assessment.
- They rust easily: Builders cover metal roofing panels with a special coating to protect them from rust.
- They’re too expensive: While installation is expensive, a metal roof is more cost-efficient because it lasts longer and is more durable than other roofing materials.
Metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular because of their durability, longevity, and style. They may cost more, and expert contractors can be difficult to find, but metal roofs are still a practical option. Investing in a metal roof will save you money because you won’t need to replace or repair your roof as frequently as you would a traditional shingle roof. Metal roofs are also eco-friendly and energy-efficient.
Metal Roof FAQ
Do metal roofs leak more than shingles?
Metal roofs leak more than shingles only when installed incorrectly. If you hire an experienced contractor who knows how to install a metal roof, it shouldn’t leak.
Do metal roofs interfere with cell phone reception?
Metal roofs don’t interfere with cell phone reception. If you notice that your cell reception is weak, it’s most likely a problem with your service provider.
Is it better to have a metal roof or shingles?
Metal roofs are more durable and have a longer life span than shingle roofs, and they come in a variety of styles to choose from, making them an attractive option for homeowners who need a roof replacement.