The popularity of metal roofing has been on the rise this past decade, what with builders and home owners growing more aware of its benefits. Moreover, the past 20 years have seen a variety of new roofing materials enter the market. These are a world away from corrugated tin roofs that come to mind immediately as metal roofs are mentioned!
Benefits of Installing a Metal Roof
The preference for metal roofs arises from their fire resistance, durability and ease of installation. It doesn't stop there. Consider that they also are lightweight and reflect the sun's heat well. The latter quality helps home owners save on energy bills and may also be eligible for tax credits.
Several metals and alloys are used in metal roofing. Each possesses properties that affect longevity, aesthetics and price.
The most popular materials to build a metal roof with are steel and aluminum.
The most common among metal roofing materials owing mainly to its lower cost, steel is weightier while also being sturdier than aluminum. A number of variations are seen including galvanized steel, galvalume steel (coated with aluminum and zinc) and stone-coated steel. Galvanized steel is a thinner kind used in low-cost corrugated panels, the disadvantage of which is that it corrodes in time. This is especially the case when it is exposed to the moist, salty air typical of coastal regions.
Second in popularity is Aluminum, whose durability is more than that of steel. Aluminum roofing is easily the most preferred option for beach homes and other seaside installations, where salt spray is a concern. Also, these are far more economical than roofing that uses premium metals like zinc or copper.
Copper roofing is extremely expensive. That said, it comes with some merits that others can't beat. For starters, you need not worry about it rusting away. What's more, it also weathers into something beautiful – a verdigris patine is what we're talking about! Also, it comes without a “finish” that can peel off or scratch.
- Alloy Products
Although pricey, alloy roofing is made for graceful weathering, longevity and strength.
- Stainless Steel
Very expensive once again, stainless steel roofing won't corrode or rust. Terne – an alloy made of tin and lead – can be used to lend a lead patina look (matte-grey finish) to the surface of the steel.
Ever sat under a tin roof in the rain? It can be deafening! Beware of this effect when opting for metal roofing. These can be controlled using insulation material beneath the roof though.
If you live in a region that's prone to hailstorms, a metal roof may not be the best option as it dents due to the hail stones falling on it. Copper and aluminum are prone to dent thus. Some types of metal roofs do come with a guarantee against this happening, though.
Although the initial cost of installing a metal roof can be on the higher side – anything between $100 and $600/sq. (100 sq.ft.) - the material's durability ensures that you save money on maintenance and replacement cost in the longer term. This advantage is obviously lost if you plan on moving homes in a couple of years after installation.