Why Is Everybody Talking About Metal?
If you’ve been exploring material options for your roof installation or next roof replacement, chances are very good that you’ve heard metal mentioned more than once. Metal roofing is far from a new invention – copper roofing has been in use since at least 300 B.C., and it is believed that the original Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem was actually covered with gold metal roofing!
You may not be in the market for a gold roof, but if you’re someone who’s considering metal roof options, you are certainly in good company. Metal roofing is one of the fastest-growing areas in the residential roofing industry, and many businesses continue to turn to metal roofs as well. Why the current attraction to metal? Perhaps it has something to do with some folks’ nostalgic memories of hearing raindrops pitter-patter on an old tin roof. More likely, though, metal’s resurgence probably has more to do with the benefits of metal as a truly effective, long-lasting roofing material.
Let’s take a look at some of the more popular choices for metal roofing that are currently being chosen by homeowners and business owners alike.
3 Top Materials for a Metal Roof
While there are many available metal and metal alloy products, some rise to the top as being more practical choices for residential and commercial applications. Three metal roofing materials that are commonly installed by professionals include aluminum, copper, and Galvalume steel. Here are some more details on each:
Aluminum is lightweight, fairly easy to manipulate, won’t rust, and comes in many colors. Aluminum is also typically one of the most economical options. Because aluminum is a softer, less rugged metal that is more prone to ding or bend, it isn’t the best metal roofing solution for all applications. Most professional roofers don’t recommend aluminum for main residential or business structures, but aluminum can be an adequate solution for sheds or other outbuildings.
Copper is a tried-and-true material that really does make for a gorgeous roof. It’s rust-proof, needs no paint or color additives, and starts out with that distinctive, metallic copper tone. Over time, copper then develops a signature green patina. Copper isn’t the cheapest of materials, and does requires custom welding for roof seams and joints. It may not be the best solution for common applications, but copper is a fine choice for higher-end projects and historic restorations.
Galvalume steel has become a very popular metal roofing option for several reasons. It’s stronger and much more rugged than aluminum, is significantly cheaper than copper, and offers a nice range of color options. Galvalume is also preferred to plain galvanized steel, as galvalume is coated with a combination of zinc, aluminum, and silicon. This combination makes galvalume much more corrosion-resistant and durable. Galvalume is a great metal roofing choice for homes and businesses alike.
What Makes a Metal Roof Better?
If you’ve shopped for asphalt shingles, slate, tile, or other types of roofing materials, you may be asking yourself the question: What are the advantages to considering a metal roof? While other roofing materials have their own sets of benefits and features, there are lots of things to like about a metal roof. Here are a few things to note about metal:
Durable & long-lasting
This is one of the main reasons that people are drawn to a metal roof in the first place. A well-installed roof that’s fabricated with quality metal products can last a lifetime. The low-end longevity estimate for most metal roofs is around 40 years, and some have been known to last considerably longer. Installing a roof that you’ll never have to replace is a good reason to consider metal.
Metal isn’t a petroleum-based product, so it has less of a carbon impact than asphalt shingles. Metal roofs are also produced with at least a percentage of recycled materials, and the metals used are also recyclable in the future. Metal is truly one of the more eco-friendly options when it comes to choosing a roofing material.
You may not think of metal as being energy-efficient since metal is a conductor. However, metal roofs can be insulated such that they really can help conserve energy use. And metal’s reflective properties can actually help you save on air conditioning costs in the summer months. Metal roofs are also well-suited for mounting solar panels or rainwater harvesting systems.
Color & style options
Metal roofs carry a distinctive look which can increase the curb appeal of your home or business. Some metal roofs can also be customized to mimic the appearance of other materials, like wood shakes or tiles. And what about color options? Kynar resin-based coatings can be applied in a full palette of attractive, long-lasting colors.
Lighter than other materials
When it comes to choosing roofing materials, metal is truly one of the most lightweight options. What are the advantages of going lightweight? Metal is simpler to apply and requires less labor for installation than some other materials. Lighter materials also mean less weight for your roof to have to support. Less strain on your building’s infrastructure can result in helping to boost its structural integrity and longevity.
Metal roofs tend to go up faster than comparable roofing materials, and can sometimes be completed with less labor. If speed and ease of installation are a concern, metal roofing can even be applied directly on top of an old roof. Still, roofing experts do recommend tearing off the old roof first to make sure that the underlayment and support structures are sound before applying a new roof. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
More effective at shedding rain and snow
The makeup and texture of metal roofs is such that rain and snow can be directed off your roof much more efficiently than with other roofing materials. And a well-installed metal roof really doesn’t allow rain or snow a chance to penetrate, so the chances of leaks are greatly minimized as well.
Strong in the face of extreme weather
Another of metal’s advantages is the fact that a well-installed metal roof is very wind-resistant. Some metal roofs can effectively endure hurricane-force winds without budging. Metal is effective at shedding rain and snow, and metal can also help to dissipate the impact of a direct lightning strike. Metal is inflammable too, so it offers better fire protection as well.
No moss or fungus worries
Ineffective roof systems that retain water can become ripe breeding grounds for mold, mildew, and moss. Standing water also creates more opportunities for moisture to infiltrate your roof and cause real structural damage underneath. A standing seam metal roof applied at the proper pitch doesn’t retain water. Moreover, metal is a very poor host for the development of mold, mildew, or moss.
Looking for the Right Local Professional to Handle Your Metal Roofing Needs?
Choosing the right metal roofing material is important, but even having the best materials is no guarantee of having the most effective roof if it isn’t installed properly. You need to find the right local roofing professional who can provide the best level of metal roofing workmanship! If you’re located in North Carolina or southwest Virginia, Skywalker Roofing is a name you can trust.
Skywalker is the premier roofing provider serving the NC Piedmont Triad, Piedmont Triangle, Charlotte Metro, and Roanoke, VA areas. Skywalker has all the tools, training, and experience to take care of your metal roofing needs, and we also work with all other popular roofing materials. And we don’t just provide a superior level of workmanship – our customer experience and customer service are second to none!
Reach out to us at Skywalker roofing today by calling (336) 338-8620, and let one of our friendly experts answer all your questions. We’ll be happy to schedule your FREE home inspection and personal consultation, too. Let’s get started on getting you the last roof you’ll ever need!