Metal Roof: What’s True and What’s False

metal roof

My parents recently looked into a metal roof for their island home.  So I put on my brick&batten hat and investigated what’s true and what’s false about a metal roof! 

I love the look but questioned that loud sound when the daily rain falls in south Florida.  Every once in awhile a small patter on the roof would be peaceful and relaxing but that Florida rain really comes down… Would my parents mind the banging from above?  That’s when my brilliant dad so nicely informed me that the whole a metal roof is loud scenario is a complete myth and actually there are benefits to a metal roof.  What?   It just doesn’t make sense!  My dad knows his stuff, so I decided I needed to look into the myth I believed forever, pick his brain, talk to contractors, and do my own research.

 

That’s when I discovered some interesting information.

FALSE: 

When it rains, metal roofs are loud.

TRUE:

Metal roofs are NOT noisy.  This misconception refers to the sound the rain makes on old buildings, and barns, with a metal roof.  There is a difference between metal materials on a barn v. a residential roof. The base or foundation that the underlayment and roofing material are attached to is called decking.  The decking on a residential structure or roof is solid, and the deck, combined with underlayment below the metal, lessens the noise, resulting in a roof that isn’t any more or less noisy than a shingle or tile roof.


FALSE:

Metal roofs are heavy.

TRUE:

Turns out metal roofs are NOT heavy.  Generally, a metal roof is about 50% lighter than an asphalt shingle and 75% lighter than concrete tile.  


FALSE:

You can’t walk on a metal roof.

TRUE:

Of course you CAN walk on a metal roof.  It all goes back to that roof deck.  If your roof deck is solid and stable, just as any other roof, the metal is durable and will withstand your weight.  


FALSE:

Metal roofs get really hot.

TRUE:

Actually, the opposite is true… well, not exactly the opposite. Metal roofs do get hot; however, some metal roofs have reflective properties that keep your house cooler in the summer.  To make a long explanation short:  Asphalt shingles absorb heat, keeping it hotter, longer.  Metal reflects light and heat because of the low thermal mass, so when the weather cools off, the roof cools off.  

 


FALSE:

Metal attracts lightning and the roof will get struck more easily.

TRUE:

Nope.  Lightning strikes the highest point, so if your roof is tile or asphalt it has an equal chance of being struck as the metal roof. 

metal roof does not attract lightning

FALSE:

Home resale value is lower because people don’t like metal roofs.

TRUE:

In the right environment and on the right home, a metal roof actually INCREASES a home’s value by 1 to 6 percent over a home with asphalt shingles.  


FALSE:

Metal roofs don’t have the colors or design options an asphalt shingle or concrete tile do.

TRUE:

The color of your metal roof should match the style of your home.  There are tons of choices to accomplish this goal! Color choices.  Style choices.  Design choices.  That said, your options are limitless!


FALSE:

A metal roof is less durable.

TRUE:

What?  No way! Through my research I found a metal roof is actually extremely durable.  The cost is higher; however, the life expectancy is 60+ years without major signs of wear and tear.  If properly installed, a metal roof will withstand wind, hail, rain, mildew, rodents, etc.  A metal roof is also noncombustible, meaning its fire resistance is the highest grade possible. 

metal roof durability

FALSE:

The cost of a metal roof is the same price as a high quality metal shingle.

TRUE:

I wish that were case; however, a metal roof is typically 2-3x more than an asphalt shingle roof.  Yes, it’s an investment but with correct installation a metal roof will last 60+ years. Below is a generic idea of the cost to install:

Cost of Metal Roofing

After learning more about metal roofs, I can honestly say my dad was right!  A metal roof is the way to go on their island home.  The design options are limitless, they are extremely durable, will never burn in a fire, and the sound of heavy Florida rain won’t be an issue.  


That said, I know there are pros and cons of every roofing material, and I’m not naive enough to think it’s a one and done kind of investment.  Next, finding the best installer to give sound advice and quality work will eliminate many issues.  Would you like a metal roof on your home?  Our brick&batten designers can recommend a style and color that works best with your architecture.  So,  come on dad, let’s do this!