Metal roofing, says this advocate, has major "eco advantages" over other types of roofing.
Whether it’s time to replace your existing roof or you’re thinking about upgrading your home in the future, chances are you haven’t heard all that much about metal roofing. Although wood and asphalt shingles are the most popular materials out there, they pale in comparison to the benefits a metal roof can provide. Unmatched in longevity, durability, and cost-effectiveness, metal roofing is also gaining popularity for its myriad eco-friendly benefits as well. Below, we’ve listed the four biggest advantages to installing a metal roof, and why this is one upgrade you seriously need to consider during your next home renovation.
1. Recycled and "Over the Top" Installation
Metal is the most eco-friendly roofing material on the market, for a whole host of reasons. Firstly, most metal roofs are made from recycled material, and they can be recycled again at the end of their lives. They can also be installed over your existing roof, which cuts down on waste and minimizes installation time. There are also fewer emissions released in the production of metal roofing, and its light weight reduces emissions released during transport as well.
Finally, metal roofing can have up to 95% solar reflexivity, which means it’s dissipating heat from the sun more efficiently — especially compared to the 5% reflexivity of asphalt shingles. This means your home, particularly your attic, won’t over-absorb solar heat and get too warm, particularly in the summer. This means big savings on your energy bill since you won’t have to crank up the AC!
2. Extreme Durability
The lifespan of wood and asphalt shingles is about 15-20 years. While this may seem like a long time, it’s actually extremely short considering the lifespan of your house, plus the fact that both materials need frequent and costly maintenance in the interim. Metal roofing, on the other hand, can last up to 70 years or more, and the maintenance is minimal at best. In addition to being incombustible, metal roofing is extremely resistant to high winds, and its interlocking construction makes it virtually impervious to leaks and pests. Also, because of the slick nature of metal and its high reflexivity, a metal roof is the ideal choice for areas with heavy snowfall — the white stuff melts in no time, and any remaining buildup simply slides right off. So, if you’re tired of worrying about the health of your roof when the weather starts to turn, metal is an option you need to consider ASAP.
3. Low-MaintenanceNot only will your metal roof last a lifetime, the upkeep is also minimal. Clearing debris, touching up paint, replacing old gaskets, and keeping your gutters clean are the only major things you’ll really have to worry about, in addition to resealing the roof every 20 years or so. Under normal conditions, you shouldn’t have to worry about any rust or corrosion, as metal roofs are designed to be impervious to water and are extremely good at drying out. However, if you have a lot of debris on your roof and if your gutters are clogged, water can pool up and can cause holes and other damage over time. Although these can often be easily repaired, they’re also easily preventable — just keep your roof clean and you’ll be all set.
4. Beauty and VersatilityThe most common metals used for roofing are tin, zinc, copper, aluminum, and steel, with the latter two being the most popular and the most durable. The style options for metal roofing are also virtually endless. Shakes and tiles come in a wide variety of shapes and textures and can even mimic the look of wood or other materials. You can also get your roof painted in nearly any color imaginable, and re-painting is simple as well. Copper, in particular, is sought out for its beauty, as it develops a stunning green patina over time. Although this is the most expensive metal roofing material on the market, its natural beauty is a worthwhile investment for many homeowners.
Now that you know some of the advantages of metal roofs, think about the area you live in and how it may help prevent some of the issues you have with your current roof. While the initial upfront cost may be high, the money you’ll be saving over time due to the low maintenance, energy efficiency, and longevity will far outweigh the initial investment.
Paul Kazlov is a “green” home remodeling enthusiast and an industry pioneer for innovation in home renovation. Paul writes for the Global Home Improvement blog. Follow him on Twitter @PaulKazlov