The following are typically asked questions asked by homeowners regarding the installation of a metal roofing system on their home.
Q. What are the major benefits of a metal roof?
A. The explosion in the residential metal roofing industry over the last five years is due to the homeowner understanding both the immediate and the long-term economic sense of metal roofing. Some of these benefits to the homeowner include: Metal roofs are 100% maintenance free. There is no mold, mildew, or staining. There is no cleaning, sealing, or painting required. A homeowner will reduce their monthly energy bill by a minimum of 25% or more guaranteed. This amounts to substantial savings over time even paying for the cost of the return and providing a return on investment. In addition to longevity metal roofs are fireproof, qualifying for discounts with many insurance companies. Metal roofs will also increase your property value by 5% or more. Metal roofs are strong and durable, withstanding winds in excess of 155 mph. Metal roofs reflect much of the sun's heat, compared to asphalt shingles that absorb it.
Because of their low weight most metal roofs often times are installed over existing roofing systems, saving you tear-off and disposal expenses. Installing a metal roof is also good for the environment. Each year, billions of pounds of old asphalt shingles end up in landfills. On the other hand, the recycled content of the steel in a metal roof is about 56% from production to installation to reuse - far superior to asphalt.
Q. Does a metal roof cost more than a typical roof?
A. Yes. Metal roofing is approximately twice the cost of the cheapest form of roofing today, asphalt shingles. The average life span of an asphalt shingle roof in Florida is 8 to 10 years. Made of oil coated paper or fiberglass, asphalt begins to deteriorate as soon as you expose it to normal weather. A metal roof, however, will never decompose.
Metal roofing has a life expectancy of 50 years to life. Metal roofing is a premium product for your home, where asphalt shingle is not. Metal roofing is comparable in price to tile roofing or cedar shake roofing. If you currently have a slate roof, you can expect your metal roof to cost less.
No matter what kind of metal roofing style you choose, you'll never have to worry about your roof again. Your new metal roof will add to the resale value of your home, save you money on your energy bills, and give you piece of mind that you'll likely never have to re-roof again.
Q. Will a metal roof match my home and roof styles in my neighborhood?
A. Absolutely, metal roofs come in many variations, styles, and colors. Metal roofs can resemble a shingle look, a tile look, a panel look, or other popular traditional roofing styles. Metal provides the homeowner with a solution to their roofing problems while enhancing the beauty of their home for years to come.
Q. Can I get a quote over the phone and how is pricing determined?
A. It is impossible to quote a homeowner over the phone a price to replace their roof. A consultant must carefully measure the roof. A number of factors are considered when estimating the cost of replacing a roof. Some of these factors are:
- PITCH: The steepness of your roof.
- NUMBER OF STORIES: The height(s) of your roof from the ground.
- ACCESSIBILITY TO THE ROOF: Can a dumpster or dump truck pull up to your garage, or must material be carried to and from the street?
- TEAR-OFFS: The removal and disposal costs of your existing roofing material.
- COMPLEXITY: Homes with dormers, valleys, chimneys, skylights, etc., require more flashing and labor to prevent leakage.
Q. How does a metal roof stand up to extreme weather?
A. A metal roof is strong and durable withstanding extreme weather like high winds, heavy rain, hailstorms, and even wildfires. SolarShield metal roofs withstand winds in excess of 155-mph. A typical asphalt shingle roof can start to breakup at winds of 70 mph or more. The structural integrity of a metal roof is far superior.
Q. Is metal roofing noisier than other roofing systems?
A. No. In fact it's less. When installed with solid sheathing (which prevents vibration and deadens sound), a metal roof will silence noise from rain, hail and bad weather as well - if not better - than any other roofing material.
Q. Is a metal roof environmentally responsible?
A. Not only is metal roofing great for your home, it's great for the environment. The recycled content of the steel in a metal roof is about 56% from production to installation to reuse - far superior to asphalt. According to the National Association of Homebuilders Research Center, 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles are dumped into U.S. landfills every year. If you loaded those shingles into tractor trailers, then lined them up end-to-end, they would make a line from New York City to Los Angeles, back to New York City again, then on to Chicago.
Q. Does a metal roof attract lightning?
A. Remember this: lightning is attracted to the highest point in the vicinity it hits, which may not necessarily be your roof. That being said, a metal roof has no greater chance of being struck by lightning than any other type of roof. However, if it is hit by lightning, a metal roof can help prevent a fire because it dissipates electrical charges. And more importantly, metal is noncombustible.
Q. Would a metal roof be too heavy for certain types of homes, or for smaller structures like a detached garage or porch?
A. You'll be surprised to learn that a metal roof is, on average, 50% lighter than an asphalt shingle roof, and 75% lighter than concrete tile, fiber cement shakes and slate. With metal roofing, weight on a structure is never an issue.
Q. Will my metal roof rust?
A. To increase longevity and protect against rust or corrosion, metals such as steel undergo special factory surface treatments. Contractor's Guide points out three common steel surface preparations, including:
- Galvalume™ (combination of the above two)
The galvanizing process, proven for nearly 300 years, is formed by a thin layer of molten zinc on the steel surface. The galvanized zinc topcoat bonds metallurgically to the steel's surface, forming a tough barrier that delays corrosion. Without this coating, steel would rust as it oxidizes from exposure to moisture and oxygen in the air. As an added bonus, zinc is more electronegative than steel, providing what's known as "sacrificial protection." This means that steel -- which under normal circumstances would be compromised by surface scratches or small nail holes -- actually repairs itself as zinc molecules migrate to protect exposed steel. The combined zinc-iron finish creates a practical, durable, long lasting surface. This is one reason that galvanized steel is commonly used in rain gutters exposed to frequent moisture and acid build up from fallen leaves and pine needles.
Aluminized steel is a more recent development, becoming commercially available in the 1950's. Similar to the galvanizing process, aluminum is metallurgically bonded to the steel surface, providing excellent heat reflectivity and corrosion protection. However, unlike zinc, aluminum lacks the "sacrificial protection" property discussed earlier. Therefore, scratches or exposed edges are likely to rust sooner compared to galvanized steel. For this reason, extra care is required in the handling and installation of aluminized steel panels to avoid damage to the protective surface.
Galvalume™ - the process of galvanizing steel with a zinc-aluminum alloy - offers the best of both worlds. Developed and trademarked by Bethlehem Steel, it was first sold commercially in 1972 according to U.S. Patent and Trademark records. The alloy is roughly 80 percent aluminum and 20 zinc by volume (or 55/45 by weight, respectively). The resulting surface coating is about 1 mil thick (0.001 inches) and provides the excellent corrosion protection and heat reflectivity of aluminum with the sacrificial self-healing properties of zinc.
Galvanized, aluminized, or Galvalume steel can optionally be coated with a layer of paint or a granular topcoat to provide even greater protection and lasting beauty. This gives architects total flexibility in color and textures to match a given design theme or style.
When comparing metal roofing to alternatives, several factors must be considered. This section examines properties of metals roofs and provides a comparison to other roofing products. In addition, several myths about metal roofs are dispelled.