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FAQ

Metal roofing has increased in popularity significantly over the last several years because it’s durable, attractive, and saves on energy bills. In Hometown’s Metal Roofing Guide, learn about advantages, disadvantages, styles, and frequently asked questions related to metal roofs.

[toggle title=”Advantages of metal roof installation”]

  • Durability – Metal roofing lasts longer than shingles when installed properly.
  • Long term warranties – Many metal roofing manufacturers warranty their product for 50 years or even longer. That compares favorably to asphalt shingles, which may need to be replaced every 15 to 20 years. If you compare the average annual metal roof prices to shingles, metal is competitive over the long haul because you need to repair and replace it less often.
  • Lower energy bills – Metal reflects heat from the sun helping your roof and home stay cooler, using less energy.
  • Fire resistant – Residential metal roofing has a Class A fire rating, which means it receives the designation of “most resistant” to fires.
  • Weather resistant – Metal roofs can withstand extremely high winds and climate changes.
  • No removal of old shingle roofing – In many situations, a metal roof can be installed directly over the old shingle roof. Not having to remove and dispose of one or two layers of shingles helps make metal roofing more cost competitive.
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    [toggle title=”Disadvantages of a residential metal roof”]

  • Metal roofing costs – The upfront cost of installing a new metal roof is generally more expensive than shingle roofing.
  • Possible denting – Denting and marring can happen with metal roofs. Many new metal roofs are guaranteed against denting and marring, but some are prone to damage in the right conditions, such as extremely large hail or falling tree limbs.
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    [toggle title=”Metal Roofing Materials”]
    Most of the metal roofing products available today are made of steel or aluminum. There are also specialty applications for other metals such as copper, titanium and zinc.
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    [toggle title=”Steel Roofing”]
    Steel roofing is a light weight roofing material and is covered by a protective coating to prevent it from rusting. Metallic coatings on steel roofing are either 100% zinc (“galvanized”) or a mixture of zinc and aluminum (“Galvalume” or “Zincalume”). The mixed coating is the most effective at preventing rust. Depending upon the exact product chosen, steel roofs are often about 20 percent cheaper than aluminum roofing.
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    [toggle title=”Metal Roofing Styles”]
    Today’s metal roofing systems are available in more styles than ever. Since metal can be formed into virtually any shape, you can get any style or color you have with other types of roofing, but with the advantage of increased durability metal offers. This includes shake-style roofing, shingle, slate or tile.
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    Metal Roofing FAQ

    If you’re just starting to research metal roofing, we lay out the most common questions and answers here. If you have additional questions, contact a qualified metal roofing contractor for answers. Keep in mind, it’s particularly important to choose a roofer that is experienced working with metal, because metal roof installation requires expertise and tools that are different than shingle roofing.

    [toggle title=”How does metal roofing stand up to extreme weather?”]
    Metal roofing systems are built to withstand a variety of extreme weather conditions. Most metal roofs are rated to withstand 140 mph winds. Metal also sheds snow better than asphalt shingles, so it helps prevent excessive stress on your roof structure and reduces the risk of ice damming. Metal roofs also protect against burning embers in the event of a house fire or wildfire.
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    [toggle title=”How does the weight of a metal roof compare to other roofing systems?”]
    Metal roofs are surprisingly lightweight. On average, a metal roof is 50 percent lighter than a traditional shingle roof and 75 percent lighter than concrete or slate tile roofing. The lighter weight material puts less strain on the roofing structure.
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    [toggle title=”Steel or aluminum roofing?”]

  • Steel and aluminum both perform well as a metal roofing material. However, aluminum roofing, depending upon the exact product chosen, can run up to 20 percent higher in price compared to steel roofing.
  • One determining factor is how close you live to the ocean. Aluminum is extremely resistant to corrosion caused by seawater, while steel is bit more susceptible to seawater damage over time.
  • Aluminum is also lighter than steel if weight is a critical factor in determining your optimal roofing material.
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    [toggle title=”Do metal roofs rust?”]
    As with any type of metal, the potential for rust is possible. However, metal roofing systems typically have a special protective coating that protects it from rust. The paint used on metal roofing products are also designed to last long and prevent rust. Be sure to check the warranty of the particular roofing product to make sure rust is covered as part of the warranty.
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    [toggle title=”Are metal roofs hot?”]
    Actually, metal roofs reflect 70 percent of the sun’s rays, on average. This helps keep your home cooler in the summer. Studies have proved that houses with metal roofs experience 34 percent less heat gain compared to homes with asphalt shingles. This can help reduce costly energy bills.
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    [toggle title=”How often do metal roofs need to be replaced compared to asphalt shingles?”]
    Traditional asphalt shingle roofs typically need to be replaced or repaired every 10 to 17 years. Metal roofing can last two or three times longer. The increased durability of a metal roof makes it a more cost-effective choice over the long term, although asphalt shingles carry a much more affordable upfront cost.
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    [toggle title=”Is metal roofing an eco-friendly choice?”]
    Generally, yes. Most metal roofing products are made from recycled metals, such as aluminum and steel. Additionally, metal roofs are energy efficient since metal is effective at deflecting the sun’s rays. Less heat generated means lower energy bills for you.

    Since metal roofs typically last 50 or more years when installed correctly, it helps reduce the amount of materials used in the long term.
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    [toggle title=”Is metal roofing loud during rain and hail storms?”]
    Installed correctly using the proper sheathing, a metal roof is as quiet or quieter than other types of roofing materials.
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    [toggle title=”Can metal roofing be installed over my existing roof?”]
    Because of its lightweight properties, metal roofing can be installed over an existing roof. However, many roofing contractors prefer to tear off the old roofing material to ensure the proper sheathing and insulation is installed. This helps optimize the performance of the new metal roof, and it can help extend its lifespan.
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    [toggle title=”Does metal roofing corrode?”]
    Metal roofing products are coated with protective paints and enamels designed to prevent corrosion; however, corrosion is still possible without proper maintenance. Certain chemicals – fertilizers, animal waste, acid rain – can damage metal roofing over time. Pine needles left to decompose on a metal roof can also lead to corrosion due to its acidic properties. Luckily, it’s easy to maintain a metal roof – simply spray it down with fresh water using a garden hose or low-pressure power washer to remove harmful chemicals.
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    [toggle title=”Why does the gauge of the metal roofing product matter?”]
    The gauge of the metal is a measurement of its thickness — the thicker the metal, the lower the number. For instance, a 29 gauge metal roofing product is thinner than one that is 24 gauge.

    Lower gauge metal roofing products are more durable in extreme weather conditions compared to higher gauge choices. Since they are more durable, lower gauge products also cost more. For residential applications, 29 gauge metal roofing or thicker (lower gauge) is recommended.
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    [toggle title=”How long do metal roofs last?”]
    Metal roofs are extremely durable and stand up well to precipitation, UV rays and weather. The top-quality metal roofing systems carry a 50-year manufacturer’s warranty and can actually last longer than that.
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    [toggle title=”What type of metal is used to manufacturer metal roofing?”]
    Various metals are used in manufacturing metal roofing systems and a combination of metals may also be used in some cases. The most common metals include aluminum, steel and copper.
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    [toggle title=”Are metal roofs susceptible to lightning strikes?”]
    It seems like a metal roof would attract lightning strikes and leave the roof at risk of damage, but that’s not necessarily the case. According to the Metal Roofing Alliance, the opposite is actually true. Metal roofing does not attract lightning more than other types of roofing material.

    Metal roofing may actually help distribute the electrical charge in the rare case lightning does strike the roof, which helps reduce the risk of damage compared to other roofing materials.
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    [toggle title=”What are advantages of metal roofing?”]

  • Residential metal roofing – metal is durable, when installed properly, a metal roof will outlast most other materials in the home.
  • Long term warranties – many manufacturers warranty their metal roofing for up to 50 years. That compares favorable to asphalt shingles, which may need to be replaced every 15 to 20 years. If you compare the average annual metal roof prices to shingles, metal is competitive over the long haul because you need to repair and replace it less often.
  • Lower energy bills – metal reflects heat from the sun helping your roof and home stay cooler, using less energy.
  • Green roofing – metal roofs are a “cool roof option”
  • Non-combustible and fire resistant – residential metal roofing has a Class A fire rating, which means it receives the designation of “most resistant” to fires.
  • Lightweight roof material – metal can withstand extremely high winds and climate changes.
  • Will not rust or fade in color – steel roofing panels are protected by layers of metallic and polymer coatings. Industry studies have repeatedly shown them to outperform the corrosion resistance of other coated metals.
  • No removal of old shingle roofing – installing the metal roof over existing asphalt, fiberglass or composition shingles (maximum of two layers thick). In most situations, the metal roof can be installed directly over the old roof.
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    [toggle title=”What are disadvantages of metal roofs?”]

  • Metal roofing costs – the upfront cost of installing a new metal roof is generally more expensive than other common roofing products.
  • Possible denting – denting and marring can happen with metal roofs. Many new metal roofs are guaranteed against denting and marring, but some are prone to damage in the right conditions.
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    [toggle title=”Can metal roofing be used for low-slope applications?”]
    Metal roofing is a durable and low maintenance choice for low-slope roofs having a slope greater than 1:12 (one-inch drop every 12 inches in length).
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    [toggle title=”What are the most common reasons for metal roof repair?”]
    Although metal roofing systems tend to be more durable than most other roofing materials, they can still become damaged in certain instances. Common reasons for damage include tree limb falls, hail, wind storms and improper installation. Local areas of the metal roof can be fixed in many cases without having to replace the entire roof.
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    [toggle title=”What’s the cost of fixing a metal roof?”]
    As with any roofing repair, the cost is directly related to the amount of work involved, material costs, your location and the overall time involved in the fix. However, fixing an isolated leak in a metal roof with some localized ‘patchwork’ can save thousands of dollars over replacing the entire roof. A small leak repair on a metal roof may cost as little as $100 on up to $1,000 or more based on the aforementioned factors.
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    [toggle title=”What styles of metal roofing are available?”]
    Today’s metal roofing systems are available in more styles than ever. Since metal can be formed into virtually any shape, you can get any style or color you have with other types of roofing, but with the advantage of increased durability metal offers. This includes shake-style roofing, shingle, slate or tile.
    [/toggle]