Consumer tastes change over time. People begin to see new products. They check out reviews, and gradually, over time, begin to accept and even embrace the new. We have seen shifts from horses to cars, from gas lamps to electricity, and the shift in roofing is coming as well. Experts don’t always recognize what consumers want. Here is a well-known quote by an expert who would be shocked by today’s world.
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” Chairman of IBM, 1943
Times change, and times are changing for metal roofs. As metal roofs are growing in popularity, there are more textures and colors to choose from, and while there are still the larger panels familiar to many, new styles are evolving with some that look similar to shingles.
Metal roofs outlast asphalt shingles. Shingle roofs have a lifespan of 12-17 years, maybe a little longer; nevertheless, they often have to be replaced before their estimated life is up. Metal roofs can last for 50 years. Unless someone plans on being a centurion, he will probably only have to put on one metal roof in his lifetime. On the other hand, if he plans on passing on the home as a legacy, he can put on that second roof, live past the 100-year mark, and still have roof life to spare. While the initial cost of the fifty year roof may be a bit more, over time, the cost differential between metal and asphalt is about the same, plus there’s not all the hassle of having to deal with 3-4 asphalt roofing jobs during the same period of time.
Asphalt is more susceptible to the elements. Shingles go bad from weather exposure, snow, and wind. Shingles can be blown off. On the other hand, metal is durable, even against hail. And, in the unlikely event of hail damage, there is usually a way to repair the roof easily. There should be a warranty with a metal roof. A metal roof is not going to be blown off like shingles, unless you are talking very high winds, like Katrina, and then nothing is safe.
Metal roofs are non-combustible. Asphalt tiles are made from oil, and can burn. It is possible to save on home insurance with a metal roof and the roof can also increase the home’s value. It will protect the home from external fires, plus, its low weight can minimize cave in problems with interior house fires.
People sometimes wonder if metal roofs interfere with cell phone reception. No, not really…if there’s bad reception, it’s probably a problem that would occur regardless of the roof and needs to be solved some other way.
Another perk of metal roofs is that they can help keep the house cooler as they reflect the heat of the sun. Plus, they can often be installed over the existing roof. For those who are concerned with recycling, some metal components are made of recycled materials.
You definitely want a professional to install the roof. There can be a big difference in the quality, design, and coating of materials purchased by a homeowner, and those supplied through a professional. There are also installation techniques the professional knows how to address. One is the need for proper venting to protect against moisture, mold, and attic heat that could interfere with air conditioning. In snowy climates, snow guards need to be installed so that snow does not slide off the roof in one sheet. Proper insulation can help mitigate the “pinging” sound that comes from rain. If you are thinking of a metal roof, talk to your professional and discuss your questions with him. He knows how to install the roof that will meet your needs.