The Durability and Longevity of Metal Roofs
Asphalt can require re-roofing every 12 to 20 years, with the average age of roofing replaced in the U.S. being only 17 years. That's because asphalt roofing, being made of oil impregnated paper or fiberglass, begins to deteriorate as soon as you put it on your roof. Just normal weather and the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays add to an asphalt roof's deterioration. A metal roof, however, will not decompose. And unlike asphalt and other roofing styles, a metal roof can withstand just about everything Mother Nature throws at it.
Other roofing materials such as wood shingles and tile have varying degrees of weather related problems also. Wood shingles dry out, cracking and curling over a relatively short time. Recent wood shingle and shake roofs have needed replacement before twenty years. Concrete tile roofs have experienced problems with free/thaw cycles, especially in northern climates. Both of these products are outlasted by metal roofing that retains its good looks, whether that be shake, tile or vertical seam panels.
Long-Term Value of a Metal Roof
A metal roof is a premium roof system, which adds value to your most important investment-your home. Initially, a metal roof will likely cost more than an asphalt roof, comparable to some other systems like tile or shake, and less than slate. While these premium roof systems look good initially, they breakdown over time and you wind up having to install two or more while your metal roof will keep on providing the protection for you and your home. A metal roof will indeed save you money over time-in fact; most metal roofs come with a true 30 to 50 year warranty. Then, consider what you'll save in roof maintenance costs. To make sure asphalt roof lasts as long as possible, extra roof maintenance is essential. But a metal roof is just about maintenance-free. All you have to do is occasionally hose it down from the ground. Metal roofs not only save you money - they'll save you time and worry, too.
Q. Would a metal roof be too heavy for certain types of homes, or for smaller structures like a detached garage or porch?
A. You'll be surprised to learn that a metal roof is, on average, 50% lighter than an asphalt shingle roof, and 75% lighter than concrete tile, fiber cement shakes and slate. With metal roofing, weight on a structure is never an issue.
Q. Is metal roofing noisier in bad weather than asphalt, cedar shake, tile and slate roofing?
A. When installed with solid sheathing, a metal roof on your home will silence noise from rain, hail and bad weather as well - if not better - than any other roofing material.
Q. Is a metal roof environmentally responsible?
A. Not only is metal roofing great for your home, it's great for the environment. The recycled content of the steel in a metal roof is about 56% from production to installation to reuse - far superior to asphalt.
According to the National Association of Homebuilders Research Center, 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles are dumped into U.S. landfills every year. If you loaded those shingles into tractor trailers, then lined them up end-to-end, they would make a line from New York City to Los Angeles, back to New York City again, then on to Chicago. That’s a lot of wasted asphalt. But because a metal roof can often be installed over your current roof, without tearing off what's already there, metal roofing helps to reduce this excessive shingle waste.
Q. How will a metal roof stand up to extreme weather?
A. A metal roof can withstand decades of abuse from extreme weather like high winds, heavy snow, hailstorms, and even wildfires. Metal roofing has a 120-mph wind rating, meaning it can withstand wind gusts up to 120 miles per hour - equal to an F2 tornado.
That gives us a sense of relief in that we can use the best material to meet those criteria." In locations that see heavy snow, metal roofing has been the choice of homeowners for years. It sheds snow fast, which protects the structural integrity of the roof. And it can eliminate ice damming at the eves, so water can't back up and collect under the roof then leak into your home.
Q. How much longer will a metal roof last than common roofing like asphalt or wood shingle?
A. You can expect a metal roof to last at least 2 to 3 times longer than a regular roof. In general terms, count on a metal roof lasting 40 to 60 years and beyond. To put it in context, the average life span of an asphalt roof is 12 to 20 years. That lifespan can be shorter depending on the pitch of your roof and the climate in your area. Made of oil impregnated paper or fiberglass, asphalt begins to deteriorate as soon as you expose it to normal weather.
A metal roof, however, will never decompose. Other roofing materials like wood shingle, shake and tile have varying degrees of weather-related problems that lead to breakdown. Wood shingle and shake roofs often need replacement before twenty years. Concrete tile roofs can crack and warp in the freeze/thaw cycle of more northern climates.
All of the above roofing materials are well outlasted by metal roofing, which retains its good looks and durability decade after decade after decade.