Debunking Myths: Top 10 Misconceptions about Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are popular among homeowners for their durability, energy efficiency, and low maintenance. A properly installed and well-maintained metal roof can last 50 years or more. However, there are several misconceptions about metal roofs that tend to dissuade homeowners from considering metal roofing for their homes.

Here are the top 10 misconceptions about metal roofs—and why they are false:

1. Metal roofs are noisy when it rains

While metal roofs can produce more noise during rainfall compared to other roofing materials, this does not necessarily mean that the sound is significantly loud. A properly installed metal roof would incorporate underlayment and insulation, which can significantly dampen noise. Furthermore, there are several factors that can influence the sound level of rainfall: the design of the roof, the type of metal used, the thickness of the panels, and the pitch of the roof. For example, steeper or complex roof designs tend to be quieter. However, it is also important to recognize that the perception of noise can vary from person to person. With proper installment and insulation, the sounds produced by metal roofs during rainfall are typically not loud enough to be a major disturbance for most people.

2. Metal roofs are prone to lightning strikes

It is important to note that lightning does not strike objects based on their composition. Instead, lightning is more likely to strike tall or pointed objects, such as tall buildings or communication towers. However, in areas that are prone to lightning strikes, it is important to incorporate safety measures for all buildings. Grounding systems and lightning protection systems can provide a controlled path for lightning to dissipate safely into the ground. While metal is a conductor, a metal roof does not attract lightning any more than other materials in its vicinity.

3. Metal roofs are not energy efficient

Metal roofs are known for their reflective coatings and properties, which bounce back a significant portion of the sun’s heat. This reduces the amount of heat that enters the building. In addition to these reflective properties, a properly installed and insulated metal roof can help maintain a consistent and comfortable indoor temperature, reducing the need for excessive heating or cooling. Moreover, metal roofs can be designed to accommodate solar panels, which can enhance the overall energy efficiency of the building.

4. Metal roofs are susceptible to rust and corrosion

Modern metal roofing materials are designed to be highly resistant to rust and corrosion. Some metal roofing materials, like steel and iron, have galvanized coatings that prevent moisture from coming into direct contact with the underlying metal. There are also metal roofing materials, such as aluminum and copper, that are naturally resistant to corrosion. Metal roofing panels are typically finished with durable paint and coatings that can withstand the elements and maintain their integrity over time. These various coatings protect the metal roofing materials from rust and corrosion. Finally, a properly installed metal roof will have the appropriate fasteners, sealants, and flashing, to prevent water infiltration and protect from significant water damage.

5. Metal roofs cannot be installed over old shingles

In general, metal roofs can be installed over existing shingle roofs. Removing an existing roof can be labor-intensive and time-consuming, so installing a metal roof over the existing roof can introduce cost-savings and time efficiency for roofing projects. However, there are several factors to consider before undertaking such a project. Some local building codes and regulations may dictate whether you can install metal roofing over an existing roof. In addition, it is important to verify that the existing roofing material is compatible with metal roofing. It is crucial to thoroughly inspect and assess the condition of the existing roof and to address any issues before installing a metal roof over the existing structure. Working with a professional for a metal roof installation can help address these considerations as well as weight and ventilation considerations.

6. Metal roofs are too heavy for most structures

Proper installation of metal roofing materials includes ensuring that the roof structure can support the additional weight. It is important to work with professionals who can assess the structure as well as take appropriate measures to accommodate metal roofing materials. Some roof designs can influence the structure’s weight-bearing capacity. Furthermore, different metal roofing materials have varying weights. Many modern metal roofing materials are designed to be lightweight while still offering durability and longevity. While metal roofing materials can be heavier than other roofing options, it is not accurate to simply claim that metal roofs are too heavy for most structures. Consulting with roofing professionals is crucial to properly plan and ensure a successful metal roof installation.

7. Metal roofs have a cold, industrial appearance

Metal roofs are available in a wide selection of materials, including aluminum, steel, copper, and zinc, that offer distinct aesthetic qualities. Metal roofing systems can also come in different profiles and can mimic the appearance of other roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles or clay tiles. Finally, metal roofing can come in a broad range of styles, colors, textures, and finishes. Homeowners can choose from a variety of metal roofing options to find the one that complements their homes and suits their preferences.

8. Metal roofs are more expensive in the long run

While the upfront cost of installing a metal roof can be higher than other roofing materials, metal roofs can be more cost-effective in the long-term. Metal roofing is popular among homeowners due to its durability and longevity. Properly installed and well-maintained metal roofs can last 50 years or longer, which is significantly longer than the lifespan of other roofing materials like asphalt shingles. This means that homeowners are less likely to incur the costs associated with frequent roof repairs or replacements. Furthermore, metal roofing is low maintenance and can contribute to your home’s energy efficiency, which can contribute to more savings over time.

9. Metal roofs are not fire-resistant

Metal roofs are made from non-combustible materials, such as steel, aluminum, or copper. These materials are not prone to catching fire. Metal roofs are also known for their ability to resist ember intrusion, preventing embers from igniting the roof or entering the attic. In addition, metal roofs do not provide a fuel source for fires and are less likely to contribute to the spread of a fire in the event of an adjacent fire source. Metal roofs are highly resistant to the spread of fire and can be effective at protecting the structure from external sources of fire.

10. Metal roofs require frequent maintenance

Metal roofs are known for their durability and low-maintenance. They are resistant to weather-related damages, such as those from rain, hail, or snow, as well as to common roofing issues, such as rot, mold, mildew, or insect infestations. This reduces the need for ongoing maintenance to address such issues. Since metal roofing materials are resistant to the growth of algae or vegetation, metal roofs have low cleaning requirements. While metal roofs are low maintenance, it is still important to check for potential issues from time to time. Maintenance tasks for metal roofs are relatively infrequent and less intensive than required for other metal roofing materials.

If you are considering metal roofing for your home, consulting with a skilled and experienced professional can help you assess your roof and properly install your desired roofing material.