Metal Roofing Pros and Cons


Authored by Donna Johnson in Home Improvement 
Published on 10-08-2009

Many people these days are choosing to lead a “green” or environmentally-friendly lifestyle. When it comes to home remodeling, there are many green products you can choose from. The most well-known of these products are various appliances and insulation materials. But you can also choose an eco-friendly roof for your home, and metal roofing is a great example. Metal roofing does have several advantages and disadvantages to consider, however.

Metal roofing is considered eco-friendly or green for several reasons. Metal roofing can often be installed over your existing roof, which means you aren’t creating waste from your old roof’s materials being removed. Also, over half of a typical metal roof is made from recycled materials. Metal roofs tend to last a very long time, but when they do eventually need to be replaced, they can be recycled as well.

Metal roofing has other advantages as well. It will reflect sunlight and heat, which will help to keep your attic or upper floors cooler and reduce your air conditioning bills in the summer. Metal roofs are also fireproof, so if a neighboring home catches on fire, sparks from the blaze will not land on your roof and start a fire there.

Metal roofing is available in a wide variety of colors and styles. Some types of metal roofing are shaped and finished to look like other types of roofing. A metal roof can resemble a Spanish tile, slate, or wood shingle roof. If you prefer a cleaner, contemporary look, plain metal roofing is also available.

One of the biggest disadvantages of metal roofing can be its cost. Metal roofing prices can vary widely by area, but can be up to 4 times the cost of traditional asphalt shingles. It is also best to leave the installation of a metal roof to a professional, which will add labor costs to your project’s total. Although metal roofing is quite durable, if there comes a time when it needs to be repaired, you will need to call a professional again, and so incur additional labor costs. You must also be careful to choose a roofer who is experienced in metal roofing installations or repairs. Anyone who is not familiar with installing metal roofing can make costly mistakes. Depending on where you live, you may have difficulty finding a roofer with metal roofing experience.

Metal roofing also can be quite noisy. Rain and hail make much more noise when hitting metal roofing than other types of roofing. Hail can even dent metal roofing. Temperature changes may also cause some types of metal roofs to make noises as they expand or contract with the changes.

If you have the money up front to install a metal roof, you will recoup the initial investment over time through cheaper maintenance costs and lower utility bills. However, if you need to replace your roof with as little initial cost as possible, metal roofing is not a good choice for you. You should consider the short term and long term benefits and drawbacks of metal roofing prior to making your final roofing decision.


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