When people think of metal roofs, they might picture old rusty barns or tin sheds. What they don’t know is that you can have metal roofing for your home as well.
“Wait,” you might ask, “Isn’t that noisy? What would the neighbors say?”
The truth of the matter is, metal roofing is not what you think it is – ugly industrial building solutions that are only suitable for warehouses. Metal roofing can be aesthetic and attractive, as well as durable and affordable.
We talked to Todd Miller of Classic Metal Roofing Systems to learn more about metal roofing for the home.
How much have metal roofs evolved in the past decade or so, and in what ways?
Alternatives to traditional “vertical seam” or corrugated metal roofs have actually been around for over 100 years. Metal shingles that look like roofing slate were produced as early as the late 1800s, and many of those roofs are still in existence in certain areas of the country. Starting in the 1980s, though, metal shingles were marketed more heavily for residential application. These products allow homeowners to enjoy the well-known benefits of metal roofing but yet still have their home fit well within their neighborhood.
The benefits include durability, high recycled content, wind resistance, energy efficiency, fire safety, and resistance to mold and mildew. In more recent years, we have seen more happen in terms of metal roofs that look more decorative, featuring special coatings that are more beautiful and multi-hued as well as those that have reflective pigment for energy efficiency.
What are some reasons a homeowner might consider going with metal shingles as opposed to the more traditional tarpaper variety?
Homeowners are increasingly serious about remaining in their current home for the long term. With traditional shingles usually lasting just 15 – 20 years, it makes great economic sense for someone to buy a longer lasting roof they do not have to worry about replacing in a few years.
Additionally, homeowners are concerned that most roofing materials are “future landfill” from the moment they are installed. Metal roofing’s sustainability and 100% recyclability play well to the public’s increasing interest in green issues.
How might someone go about finding someone to install metal roofing, in their area?
I would suggest going to the web and researching products that they like and then contacting the manufacturers for the names of local experienced installers. Great places to start include www.metalroofing.com and www.asktoddmiller.com. Always ask for references of past jobs, talk to past customers if possible, and verify the installer’s level of experience and training. Most manufacturers offer training programs.
Since metal tends to be environmentally-friendly because it is more energy efficient, longer lasting, and recyclable, do you imagine that metal roofs will continue to catch on in the years to come?
The residential market share of metal roofing has climbed form around 2% to around 10% over the past fifteen years. We anticipate continued growth and popularity of metal roofing. Homeowners are always seeking products that are more beautiful, durable, and energy efficient.
For example, if someone is remodeling a kitchen today, they probably are thinking of some sort of natural or solid surface product for the countertops rather than Formica. There is a natural evolution to building materials. Asphalt shingle technology has changed very little from the 1940s. Metal roofing is a great “next step” for homeowners looking to bring more value, beauty, comfort, security, and efficiency to their homes.
Are metal roofs noisy? Tin sheds can be deafening during a hailstorm. Any advice on how to noiseproof a metal roof, if that is a concern?
We really do not have noise complaints. Attic space and insulation make the situation with a house far different from a metal building or metal roofed barn. Additionally, many of the residential products have heavy texturing which also helps to deaden the sound. I always think it’s interesting how folks will have skylights on their homes, which are incredibly noisy when it rains, but then ask about metal roofs and rain noise. If there are areas of a home that make it particularly sensitive to noise, there are ways to deaden the sound even more; but we just do not see it being a problem.
Metal roofs can feature cool-pigmented paint coatings, which can be good for cooling a home. Can you recommend a brand or type of coating that is particularly good for keeping a home cool?
Most manufacturers of quality metal roofs now offer “cool colors” which include specially formulated pigments that reflect radiant heat even in dark colors. These products meet ENERGY STAR requirements and have been approved for past federal tax credits. The key is in asking if the colors are ENERGY STAR listed or meet ENERGY STAR guidelines. My company, Classic Metal Roofing Systems, manufactures numerous products and colors that include the energy efficient pigmentation.
While metal roofing might cost a bit more to install, can you give a rough estimate of how much it could save a homeowner over time?
A quality metal roof will initially be 2.5 – 4 times the cost of standard shingles in most cases. If tear-off of the old roof can be avoided because the low weight of metal roofing encourages installation over existing shingles, then the cost differential can be reduced a little sometimes.
However, roof jobs seems to about double in price every 10 years regardless of the product being installed. So, if a homeowner installs a metal roof now and then avoids re-roofing in 15 – 20 years, the metal roof makes great financial sense. Most of our customers want their homes to look great, but they also make decisions that make good financial sense. The energy savings, which runs about 20% during the air conditioning months, is an added bonus.