For so long metal roofing has been associated with a zinc sheet tacked to shed roofs or as a fancy finish on architect-designed house. Metal roofing has come a long way and there are now some terrific options available.
Types of Metal Roofing Materials
The type of metal for your roof is a major consideration in terms of look and cost. One of the more affordable options available is Aluminum and is good value for money due to its durability and longevity whilst Galvanized steel has a proven long life. Zinc is always an option and is far more attractive than the shed roof sheet but there are also some different choices to think on including copper and stainless steel. Metal Shake is a style that has the look of authentic wood which comes in a variety of finishes and is naturally longer lasting than the wood it is mimicking. Metals with a faux stone finish are also available. If you have environmental concerns there are roofing options made from so called natural metals which develop a patina with age and naturally blend into their surroundings and are 100% recyclable.
As well as the range of metals available, there are plenty of style options for your new metal roof. No longer restricted to corrugated sheets, there’s a whole range of different types of metal panelling – ribbed, plain, snap locking and these usually come with the option of visible or invisible fixing. As well as panels and to complement the full range of metals and the colours and finishes that these metals now present, there are tiles and shingles with a whole slew of designs to provide your house with traditional or contemporary look. If you want a house with a roof that looks like it is made of Spanish tile or welsh grey slate, with a metal roof you can have it.
As well as giving your home a brilliant look, there are many practical benefits to metal roofs. Straight off, metal roofs are quick and easy to install especially if panels are used. They are also a lot lighter than conventional roofs being up to seven times less weighty per square metre than roof tiles. This makes metal roofs especially suitable for fragile buildings.
The other benefits are:
• Longevity and durability
Metal roofing doesn’t crack or rot and it doesn’t warp or curl. Neither panels or shingles split or break, they don’t break or burn nor are the finishes prone to peeling. Metal roofing is also the most resistant to freezing and thawing, snow, hail, wind and fire.
• Low maintenance costs
Other than maybe the occasional brushing down if leaves stick there is no maintenance required. If you have painted over the metal roofing’s natural finish that will require looking after or replacing in exactly the same way as any other painted surface.
• Long term warranties
Thanks to the longevity and durability of the materials used in metal roofing, manufacturers and installers are happy to provide very long warranties and guarantees.
Metal roofs help you save money with reduced heating and cooling costs and some materials have been shown to present costs savings of 40% compared to conventional roofs.
• Increased resale value
The use of metal means that no future delipidation factor has to be built in for the roof and potential buyers know they never have to think about a new roof in the house’s lifetime.
• Increased aesthetic appeal and curb value
With a range of style options, a metal roof perfectly complements any type of home and fits with any neighbourhood. They are also ideal for historic buildings that require replacement roofs as they can bring the building right up to date whilst retaining the original look.
• Environmentally friendly
As well as being energy efficient in their production, saving energy when in use, metals used in roofing are completely 100% recyclable and do not add to landfill sites.
• Ease of fitment
A new metal roof can also be laid over an existing roof without the need to remove the shingles or tiles that are already there. This will help reduce the cost of a new roof installation and save in a lot of mess having to be cleared up before the job can start proper.
Naturally, anything that has advantages has some downsides too.
Contrary to what you might imagine, noise is not a disadvantage of roofs made from metal. The materials and method of installation means there is plenty of sound insulation. One disadvantage though comes should the roof become, albeit unlikely, damaged. It is much easier to refix or replace a broken tile or shingle than it is to replace a large metal panel.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage is the cost. These installations are more expensive than other roofing types however, with the low maintenance costs, a reduction in energy bills, reduced insurance premiums and a potential increase in house value, the initial expense is easily offset by the future benefits.
Other minor disadvantages include the fact that walking on metal roofs is dangerous because they become slippery when wet and although most metal roofs are hardy and resistant to the elements, sever hailstorms may result in dents on roofs made of the softer metals like Aluminum and Copper.
The advantages of a metal roof far outweigh the disadvantages and choosing one is a fantastic addition to your home that will last a lifetime.