Are Metal Roofs Worth The Cost?

Apr 14, 2021 | Roofing

More homeowners select metal as the material for new roofs or roof installation. Metal roofs have gradually become more popular over the past few years, as metal is used in 15% of all new roof installations — up from a mere 4% in 2018.

Still, those Googling for “roof replacement near me” come upon an ordinary reality about metal roof installations in their search results: They can be pricey. That’s because the installation process for metal roofs is a little more complex and time-consuming than it is for asphalt shingles or wood shakes.

Is Metal Roofs Worth The Additional Cost?

When considering roof installation, homeowners have multiple options, some of which may appear more convenient or inexpensive than metal. But several compelling and proven benefits give a metal roof a clear advantage over more traditional styles. We feel metal roofing is a superior choice compared to more conventional roofing materials for three compelling reasons:

  1. Durability
  2. Energy efficiency
  3. Long-term cost savings

Why Metal Roofs Are More Durable

Lifespan. The main reason most homeowners opt for metal roofing is how long it lasts.  If installed correctly, metal roofs come with an expected lifespan of between 40 and 70 years. A metal roof made from copper or zinc can last 100 years.

Roofs made from other materials pale in comparison to metal. Slate and tile roofs of the highest quality can last up to around 50 years, but the life expectancy of wood-shake roofs is only approximately 30, and tops made from asphalt shingles max out at 20 to 25 years.

Resilience To The Elements

Metal roofs stand up against the elements extraordinarily well. They can withstand oncoming winds up to 140 mph and are structurally made to shed snowfall during winter. Traditional roofing materials like asphalt shingles and wood shakes don’t last as long and are particularly suspect to adverse weather conditions.

Fire Resistance

Metal roofs are entirely non-combustible. Slate and tile roofs are also fire-resistant, but since they’re much heavier than metal roofs, they’re more likely to collapse. Modern asphalt and wood shake shingles must be modified or chemically treated to make them fire-resistant. Even then, they become less able to withstand fire damage as they age and deteriorate.

Pest Control

Wild animals like raccoons and rodents are known for eating anything they can sink their teeth into — including asphalt or wood shingles. These critters can’t bite down on metal roofs.

Mold & Fungi Resistance

Asphalt shingles naturally absorb moisture. They also have granular components that are easy for mold spores to latch onto. On the other hand, metal roofs are built to shed the buildup of organic matter and are easier to keep clean than different roof styles. That makes it easier for metal roofs to repel and stem the growth of mold and fungi.

Are Metal Roofs More Energy Efficient?

A metal roof is an excellent means of insulating your home during winter, as it’s a superior thermal conductor that can move heat to colder parts of the house. In summer, a metal roof reflects radiant heat instead of absorbing it as traditional roofing materials do. It can also be treated with reflective pigments that further deflect heat away from home, and add you can add an R-factor barrier to increase heat deflection.

Eco-Friendliness

Metal roofs are far more sustainable than traditional roofs. The materials used in metal roofing are 100% recyclable and usually consist of up to 25% recycled materials. A metal roof is more manageable when supporting other environmentally sound features, like solar panel installations and rainwater harvesting setups.

Manufacturing asphalt shingles require the use of petroleum, a substance that emits harmful greenhouse gases like carbon monoxide. Since asphalt shingle roofs are less durable than metal, they need to be replaced more frequently, compounding the harm they already wreak on the environment.

Are They More Cost-Effective?

Many metal roofs, especially those made from zinc, copper, or high-grade aluminum, don’t need too much in the way of extreme post-installation care or roof repair. They don’t need a supplementary coating for protection. Some materials like steel require roof inspection and maintenance to ensure they’re still intact on an annual basis.

Lower Utility Bills

Since metal roofs are better at keeping homes comfortable during hot or cold weather, one can slash your home’s utility bills. One can save as much as 25% in summer cooling costs, for example. These cost savings can help homeowners recoup the original installation expense more quickly.

Other Benefits of Metal Roof Installation

Besides a metal roofs’ longevity, energy efficiency, and potential cost savings, other advantages can make it more attractive to homeowners needing a new roof.

Lightweight

Even though they’re tougher and sturdier, metal roof materials are surprisingly lightweight. A piece of metal roofing is about one-third the weight of asphalt and as little as one-fourth the weight of other common roofing materials. Because of this, metal roofs can be implemented over existing roofs without weighing too heavily on their structural support.

Style & Attractiveness

Metal roofs have come a long way from the corrugated tin shacks of the past. Modern metal roofs come in a selection of over 100 colors. Some metal materials like steel and aluminum can maintain paint finishes, making them capable of supporting a wider color palette. Metal shingles can also be fashioned to resemble more classic roofing materials, like slate, wood shake, and clay. They can also be used in standing seam construction, a popular choice for the architecture of many contemporary buildings.

Other Types of Roofs

Homeowners who opt for metal roofs aren’t limited to just a few specific manufacturing options. They can choose from zinc, copper, aluminum, or galvanized steel, whichever metal suits their roofing needs the most. All metal roofing materials have high durability and resistance to elements.

Complications of metal roof installation — and why it’s worth the trouble

Even with the advantages it provides, we’d be remiss not to acknowledge some of the reasons that homeowners shy away from metal roof installation. They’re all valid concerns — but we still believe a well-constructed metal roof is worth the extra expense and effort to those searching for “roofing services near me.”

High Material & Installation Cost.

There’s no getting around the fact that metal roof installation runs higher than that of asphalt shingles. A metal roof costs an average of between $4,500 to $12,000, factoring in all materials and installation costs. That’s been 25% and 50% more than asphalt shingle installation — and it doesn’t include laborers’ fees.

Why metal is worth the expense: It all comes down to durability. Correctly installed, a metal roof can last for 50 or more years. It’s entirely conceivable that the homeowner will never have to replace the roof as long as they own their house. Asphalt shingles, on the other hand, must be replaced after 15 to 20 years of usage. Especially considering that installation costs are subject to inflation as any other product or service, a metal roof will wind up saving a longtime homeowner much more cash.

Also, consider that metal requires less roof maintenance, thanks to its natural resistance to elements and overall strength. Don’t forget about metal roofs’ energy efficiency and the possibility of saving more money on heating and cooling. Homeowners stand to recoup their investment in metal roofing much more quickly than asphalt or other traditional roofing materials.

Dents, Water Damage & Leaks

Although metal roofs are resilient against most adverse weather conditions, they can get dinged and dented by blunt impacts from storms, like hailstones or falling tree branches. Some metals are also more susceptible to rust and corrosion, especially if the roof is on a home near the ocean or other bodies of saltwater.

Why metal is worth the trouble: All these conditions are easily repaired on metal roofs, far more quickly and cheaply than asphalt shingles. It’s easier to contain weather damage on a metal roof, especially in moist conditions asphalt shingles don’t stand up well against. Rust can be sanded off metal roofs and coated to offer more protection against corrosive elements.

You also have more options with metal roofs, and the right choice can prevent many of these problems before they start. Certain metals stand up more strongly to blunt impact, and some are better equipped to resist the buildup of moisture that leads to rust damage.

Noise

This is an infrequent complaint, but it comes up occasionally, especially when roofers haven’t installed the metal roof correctly. Some homeowners contend that metal roofs are noisier during rainstorms, as the water hits the reverberant metal and resounds throughout the house.

Why metal is worth the noise: Whether a roof is made of metal, asphalt, or any other kind of material, a quality installation includes the placement of insulating materials between the roof surface and the interior ceiling of the home. When properly supported by underlying insulation, the sound of a rainstorm on metal roofing is only 6 decibels louder than raindrops of asphalt. That’s a minimal difference, unnoticeable to all but the most sound-sensitive.

Trust Division Kangaroof

When Habersham County residents search for “roof repair near me,” they come across dozens of options in their results. Only Division Kangaroof contractors have the combination of expertise, diligence, and attention to detail necessary for consistently high metal roof installation.

The next time you need a “roofer near me,” contact Division Kangaroof online or over the phone for an estimate on metal roof installation or any of the other roof maintenance services we provide.