What You Need To Know Before Getting A Metal Roof

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If you’re considering putting a metal roof on your home, there are many positive aspects related to that decision. A metal roof has excellent curb appeal, is fire and hail resistant and can keep your roof from springing leaks for a number of years. Installing a metal roof also has other advantages. It increases durability as well as longevity.

Longevity And Durability

There are a lot of advantages to having metal roofing. While the life expectancy of an asphalt roof is about 12 to 20 years, metal roofs can last much longer—40 to 70 years, in fact. Metal roofs are also excellent at holding their own against strong wind gusts; in some cases, they can hold up to wind blowing at 140 miles per hour.

Metal roofs are also safe from sparks or flames that could occur during a lightning strike or wildfire. In addition, they are energy efficient and can reduce your cooling costs by as much as 25 percent.

Metal Roof Types

It’s important to know the type of metal roof that you are purchasing as not all metal roofs are created the same. Some have a standing seam. This type of metal roof has hidden fasteners that help it attach to the top of your home.

In contrast, when you do your investigating, you’ll also find some roof types that require exposed fasteners. These attach by going right through the metal material. Unfortunately, this type of attaching process exposes your roof to the potential for leaks. With the possibility of over 2500 screws, it increases the probability that a leak could occur, requiring repairs. Even though the price may be attractive, you may want to stay away from this type of roof.

Types Of Metal

You also need to decide the type of metal that will be used for your roof. For residential homes, you have a variety of choices: aluminum, galvalume steel, galvanized steel, or even copper.

Each of these metal types have their advantages and disadvantages. Many individuals choose to use aluminum as their preferred choice. The advantage of using this type of metal is that it’s lightweight, attractive, rust free and energy efficient. Aluminum is more expensive than steel, but it also has a longer lifespan.

Galvanized steel is another choice that many homeowners use. It’s strong, less expensive than aluminum and comes in a variety of looks. The disadvantage of choosing a galvanized steel roof is that it can rust prematurely if it’s not properly installed. This type of material does have a shorter lifespan than other choices.

If you like a shiny, bright metallic look, you may want to use galvalume steel. While it’s often used for commercial applications, it can be used for your home. This metal is very corrosion resistant and inexpensive. However, it is susceptible to “tension bend straining.” This occurs when tiny microscopic cracks form and moisture permeates these cracks. This can facilitate rusting, which may move its way below the metallic coating.


It’s important to use a metal roof that has kynar, mylar, or hylar paint. This adds a reflective coating and protects your roof from premature aging and degradation. It also creates a cooler roof that reduces energy costs.

Reflective roof paint will lower your maintenance costs and increase the lifespan of your roof.

Installer Qualifications

Choosing an installer is as important as the type of roof and material that you are going to use. The quality of the installation will make or break the longevity and durability of your roof throughout the years.

Does your installer have metal roofing certifications that come from trusted manufacturers? Often, installers will also need to have knowledge with add-ons. Are you planning on upgrading with a skylight, gutter protection or ridge venting? Ridge roof vents keep out pests and more. If your installer is not experienced with these type of add-ons, it raises the possibility of a leak occurring in the future.

In addition, before you sign on the dotted line and make your purchase, you will want to make sure that you have got a weather tightness warranty that guarantees the work of a certified installer.

By considering these aspects when you start shopping for a metal roof, it will help you with your final decision. Metal roofs can be stylish and come in hundreds of different color choices.

Written by
Terry Slate
Terry is the Vice President of Slate & Slate Roofing and has over 28 years of experience with both residential and commercial roofing. He specializes in metal roofing, composition roofing, and PVC membrane roofing.