Metal roofing ideas are very popular and we see them on residential, commercial and industrial buildings. There are different types of metal profiles and styles which can fit to almost any building. Metal roofs can be manufactured from different materials and can have different patterns – clay tiles, wood, wood slabs or Victorian metal plates. A metal roof meets the highest requirements for durability, strength and stability. Many manufacturers claim that metal roofing is virtually maintenance free, inexpensive and has a longer life span compared to other roofing materials. We shall look at the pros and cons of metal roofs, the most popular materials and their properties. There are many materials used for the manufacturing of metal roofs – copper, titanium zinc, aluminum, stainless or galvanized steel or titanium.
Metal roofing ideas – what are the advantages of metal roofs?
When looking at the wide variety of metal roofing ideas you have to realize that despite the variety in material options, metal roofs have more or less the same pros and cons.
Long life span of metal roofing is one of the major advantages. Many manufacturing companies offer a guarantee period of twenty to fifty years. This is a much longer life than the service life of more traditional materials such as shingles of the bitumen.
Lightweight is another major advantage of metal roofing. Metal roofs weigh significantly less than clay or concrete tile. In addition, the lightweight of the material allows a perfect installation even on the most complex roof shapes and will save money on building a supporting structure. Metal roofs are relatively easy and quick to install which also saves you money on installation costs. Metal roofing can be fitted directly on top of an already existing roof which will lower additional costs for roof renovation.
Metal roofing is noncombustible which means that it has excellent fire resistance properties. Further to that it is practically impervious to rain and snow and external influences like high and low temperatures or strong wind, do not have an impact on its integrity.
The roof determines the appearance of the entire building so in terms of design options metal roofing is offered in a wide variety of colors, finishes and profiles so that it complements the architectural style of the house.
In terms of environmental friendliness, metal roofs have a significant advantage as very often manufacturers use recycled material in the production process.
Metal roofing disadvantages and facts to consider when choosing your metal roof
Despite that metal roofing ideas are so popular, metal roofs have a number of drawbacks which you should keep in mind when choosing a metal roof. One of the main cons of metal roofing is the slippery surface and the noise. Unless insulated and soundproof, metal roofs can be very noisy. Raindrops may sound calming to many people but in a rainstorm, the sound will be really loud.
Metal roofing is susceptible to denting and can be damaged by a hailstorm. Some materials like copper and aluminum are softer and more prone to denting while others are resistant to denting, so you need to choose the type of material.
Expansion and contraction of metal roofing materials may cause damages and twisting of the roof if not properly installed. When the coating of the metal roof is damaged there is a high risk of corrosion. Low grade thin materials are less durable and prone to various types of damage.
Another drawback of metal roofing is that painted metal roofs may peel, chip, fade or scratch despite the many years of guarantee. You need to take care that the roof is not scratched during installation.
How to choose metal roofing – useful tips for customers
Residential metal roofing is manufactured mainly from aluminum and steel, as they are the most affordable materials while copper and alloys can be significantly more expensive. When choosing metal roofing for your home there are some considerations which is good to keep in mind. On the first place – think for the appearance of your metal roof. Residential metal roofing usually comes in two varieties – sheet-like panels and shingles.
Metal roof panels have the unmistakable look of what they actually are – metal panels with raised ribs. However you need to consider the style of your house since the appearance of metal roof sheets works very well with contemporary architecture and mountain cabins but will look weird when combined with colonial styled exteriors. Sheet metal roofing is offered in two main types – standing-seam roofing and batten roofing. The price of sheet metal roofing will vary wildly depending on the material, the finish, etc. When purchasing sheet metal roofing you need to check what exactly is included in the price – sometimes labor and freight are not included and those may add significantly to the final price.
Metal shingle roofing offers the appearance of shingles. The metal sheets are formed to resemble tile, wood shake, slate and come with a factory finish and the metal is textured which gives the shingles a really authentic appearance. Metal shingle roofing is designed and manufactured in large panels which are installed quickly as well as shingles which can be installed individually. An advantage of the panels is that the installation does not require to remove an existing roofing while the individual shingles need to be installed on a firm and flat surface, which means that a previous roofing needs to be removed prior installation.
Copper, stainless steel or alloy metal roofing are considered as high-end metal roofing options and if you can afford it you will have an outstanding appearance, all the advantages of metal roofing and best quality.
Metal roofing maintenance and repair
Despite the fact that metal roofs are extremely durable they may bear damage from weather conditions, storms, rust, extreme temperatures and sooner or later your metal roof may need to be repaired. Luckily, you can easily replace a metal sheet, i.e. an entire section of the roof, when the damage is substantial. However, before undertaking any repairs, it is advisable that you check if the warranty period for your roof is still valid, as well as what type of repair costs are covered by the warranty.
When you think that the problem is insignificant and you can handle it by yourself, make sure that you have the tools and knowledge to repair your roof. Sometimes the problem may be just loose nails. You can easily pull them off and re-nail them.
If you notice rust you need a wire brush or steel wool to remove it. The surface needs to be primed and after that painted with a coat of paint. Try to match the color of the paint as close as possible to the existing roof color.
Roof leaks should be sealed immediately. You can either use urethane roof cement or self-stick waterproof flashing membrane. However, both of these will solve the problem temporarily as they deteriorate over time. A solution is to replace them when and if needed.