Common Metal Roof Myths

metal roof mythsOur blog post on metal roofing generated a lot more interest that we would’ve ever thought. We got a few emails and a couple of phone calls, mostly from homeowners wanting to learn more about this roofing option. One caller (from Lake Zurich) had a standing seam roof installed this summer and said they loved the way it looks. We can’t agree more!

In addition, some of those wanting to learn more raised a few concerns, which prompted us to write this follow up blog post about common metal roof myths.

1. Metal roofs are heavy. Therefore, they’re not recommended in the areas that experience heavy snow accumulation or on structures that are not specially prepared for a metal roofing system.

Despite the common misconception that metal roofs are heavier roofs, the light-gauge metals used for roofing are among the lightest weight roofing materials commonly used today. In fact, only single ply systems are consistently lighter. Metal systems are appropriate not only for new construction, but for retrofitting a new roof over an existing roof, especially where roof deck designs require a lighter-weight roof covering (although we don’t recommend the latter option for a primary residence).

2. Metal roof is more likely to get hit by a lightning strike.

The short answer to this question is "absolutely not". Although metal conducts electricity, lightning is not drawn to it. It’s unusual for lightning to hit buildings. Lightning typically strikes the highest object in an area. That’s why it often strikes trees, power poles, antennas, and towers.

But if your home were hit by lightning, your metal roof would disperse the energy safely through the structure. Since metal roofing isn’t combustible or flammable, it’s a low risk and desirable roofing option where severe weather is concerned -- especially for lightning.

3. Metal roofs are loud, especially when it rains.

This may surprise you -- metal roofing is often quieter than an asphalt shingle roof. When installed with solid sheathing, a metal roof on your home will actually silence noise from rain, hail and bad weather better than other roofing materials. This myth stems from the metal roofs that were traditionally used to cover barns and sheds. In these instances, the roofs were installed over the open barn frame and produced a louder sound when it rained. However, when a metal roof is installed on a house, it is installed over a solid wood roof deck, which absorbs most of the sound produced by rainfall

4. Metal roofs are bad for the environment.

Metal roofs typically have a minimum of 25% recycled content, with some manufacturers boasting as much as 80% of recycled content. This level of recycled content allows metal roofing to be routinely included on listing for "green" and recycled content products. It is also 100% recyclable when ultimately removed as part of building renovation or demolition. Other roofing materials are routinely removed and disposed of by the ton in a landfill, but metal roofing can be recycled by its entirety. Almost any kind of metal is valuable, so there is always going to be someone willing to take your old roof and recycle it.

5. Metal roof is going to rust and eventually lose its curb appeal.

Today’s metal roofing systems are built to last. Steel metal roofing has a "metallic coating" made of either zinc or a combination of zinc and aluminum. This metallic coating prevents rust from forming and is bonded to the steel at the factory. Paint is then applied over the metallic coating to provide the long-lasting color homeowners desire.