Metal Roofing is a popular choice for homes, business and commercial buildings of all sizes. There are obviously Pros and Cons to choosing metal:
Pros Of Metal Roofing
- Minimal Maintenance
- Cost of ownership overtime
- Resell Value (Property Value)
Cons Of Metal Roofing
- Installation Time
- Walkability (ability to walk and service roof)
- Maintenance (down the road)
Great things about metal roofing.
Strength- Obviously metal roofs are strong. They have the highest rated values for impact (called “F” factor). Imagine a branch impacting a roof facet (section of a roof) with the pointed end of the branch and hundreds of pounds of force behind it. The surface of the roof (whether it’s metal or shingles) will determine a lot at this point!
Metal Roofs are known and sometimes preferred in situations where the look of the roof (aesthetics) is important. And metal is (as they say) timeless. Copper roofs, gutters, scuppers and downspouts make some of the most beautiful roofing systems around. In fact, a lot of the most historical building have all copper or some copper in their roofing systems. Today, although copper is an option, the most popular varieties of metal roofing comes in panel systems and a wide range of colors. From blue to red, black and so many other colors, metal can be purchased in a lot of colors. If your wondering what the most popular is? It is actually the color galvelume. There is also the factor of the style of the panels (which also has a big impact on the cost). Metal panels are available in 5V, Max Rib and Standing Seam. Together, these three panel types make up the most popular types that are currently sold and installed in the US.
We regularly service roofs in the Savannah area that are over 125 years old. Especially in the Victorian and other downtown areas, you can find an array of metal roofs that are ranging from 50 to 150 years old. So focusing on the longevity of metal roofs, it is important to know that all roofs (including metal) have to be maintained in order to last. The difference with metal roofs is that they will basically last a lifetime (or multiple lifetimes) if properly maintained. The main way to maintain a roof is to: a- treat any rust b- apply a rust inhibitor c- coat the roof surface with foundation coats and finish coats. There is a LOT more that could be discussed about coatings. If you want to read up on metal roof coatings, check out our section on coatings here.
Cost of ownership
Metal roofs typically cost at least 40% more than shingle roofs for the least expensive options and can be many times more expensive than traditional shingle roofs if (for example) the standing seam or copper options are chosen. This being said, you can definitely plan to spend more on metal for the initial installation cost. But, if your not replacing your roof every 20 years, then at some point, your saving money. If you spend $12,000 on a metal roof that doesn’t cost anything for the first 35 years to maintain, your annual cost of ownership is $342.00 per year to that point. If you purchased 2 single roofs in that same time period, (with inflation set at 5%) you would pay a little over $20,000 for the same time period with a general annual cost of ownership at roughly $600 per year.
The above cost comparison doesn’t take repairs into consideration. And since most people experience leaks near the end of the asphalt roof life, it is pretty common to also be affected by repair costs as well as potentials of mold, and interior damages.
Overall, metal roofs are viewed positively by re-sellers, buyers and insurer’s. Many insurance companies have policies in place where they actually can require their home-owners to renew their asphalt shingle roof systems in order to maintain an existing or renew a given policy. This is not the case with metal. It is also generally expected that the resell value of a property will increase with metal given the substantial upside (some of them mentioned here) to metal roofs.
So now the Cons to metal roofing.
Cost and installation time
The cons to metal roofing are pretty simple and most people now about two of them: Cost and Installation time. As outlined above, the cost of metal roofs is more. You can also expect the overall time needed to install metal roofing to be about double that of a standard shingle roofing system. That said, we average 2.25 days per metal roof.
This is one that not everyone would think of immediately but it makes a difference. Metal roofs are difficult and sometimes dangerous to walk on. And the steeper they are (the pitch), the more difficult to walk on. You may be thinking, I won’t ever need to walk on my roof. That’s great. But chances are, other people eventually will. Like painters, gutter and window cleaners and more. So if your a service pro that gets on roofs, you know the dangers of metal roofs (especially of they are the least bit wet). This point by itself will likely not determine your decision to install a metal roof but it is still something to consider!
Down The Road
If you own an older metal roof, your probably aware of some of the options to maintain your roof. The most popular of these options are:
- Galvanized Coatings
- Acrylic Coatings
- Silicone Coatings
Each of these options have there own Pros and Cons as well. Our top choice overall is the Acrylic Coatings options manufactured by HydroStop. This is a built up layered system with renewable warranties ranging from 5 years to 25 years!
Silicone also has a place at the table but isnt currently designed for steep slopes. It is also a fairly new technology and is still findings it’s way into the market.
Galvanized coatings while being the least expensive, lasts the shortest amount of time. And since galvanized coatings requires roughly the same amount of time and labor to apply, can prove to be non cost effective over time.
In the end, there are options when it comes to maintaining a metal roof and your best option is always to contact a pro to help determine the best solution for your situation. Ready to get a quote? Schedule a free inspection by one of our pros.
Be sure to check out our complete gallery of images which includes metal roof repairs and full installations we have performed.