Why is a Metal Roof Better than Shingles?

Metal sheet wall panels and roofs against clear blue sky

Are Metal Roofs Good?

Metal roofing has changed the roofing landscape. There are many different varieties of roofing shingles available. Prominent among these varieties, metal roofs shine through as an example of longevity, value, and low-maintenance. At the outset, metal roofs are more expensive than traditional residential asphalt shingles, but after that initial investment, metal roofs pay dividends in terms of truly being reliable roofs. For parts of the country that experience torrential rain and hail, few options are better than a metal roof.

Can I Put a Metal Roof Over Shingles?

Metal roofing enthusiasts rejoice. Unless the building codes require it, there is usually no need to tear off the old, asphalt roof. This leaves homeowners with the option to keep their old roof or to tear off the previously-installed asphalt roof and start anew.

Do Metal Roofs Need Maintenance?

As an excellent, long-lasting option for buildings, metal roofs give owners a well-deserved sense of security. That doesn’t mean that metal roof owners can rest on their laurels, however. All roofs need maintenance, even metal roofs. Regular inspections are the ideal method of confirming roof integrity. Inspectors check for signs of distress caused by movement and damage from the elements. Panels can shift, fasteners can loosen, seals, gaskets, and surface coatings can fail especially in areas susceptible to hail and high winds. Don’t sleep on regular roof maintenance.

Is it Cheaper to Get a Metal Roof or Shingles?

In a nutshell, asphalt shingles typically are cheaper than metal roofs. Asphalt shingles, or composition shingles, as they are sometimes known, are composed of a fiberglass mat core with a crushed rock embedded asphalt coating. These shingles are flexible and allow a certain degree of fire resistance. Asphalt shingles are a very popular roofing material as they boast a low cost and a variety of design options. Metal roofs, typically made of steel, are best suited to areas prone to high winds and extreme weather patterns, such as hail.

Metal roofs are more expensive due to the cost of materials and labor, but carry incredible advantages, such as weighing about one seventh of the total weight of asphalt shingles.

The roof of corrugated sheet. Roofing of metal profile wavy shape. A view from above on the roof of the house.

Can You Install a Metal Roof Yourself?

It is certainly possible to install a metal roof yourself, however it is an incredibly difficult and laborious process not to be undertaken lightly. You will need to measure the area of your roof, to begin with. Once you have an accurate measurement, you can then order materials (allow for an extra ten percent in waste.) Part of the measurement process means calculating the slope of your roof, also known as rise over run.

Once you have made all the appropriate calculations and done your research, you can move on to collecting your materials. You will need all the appropriate tools, such as a power metal shear, a staple gun, a drill, and assorted bits. Without getting into too much detail, the process requires many steps, such as preparing a work site, removing the old roofing (if applicable), and repairing any damage. Installing the edging comes before adding the metal panels.

Consult your local roofing professional to ensure that before you become your own roofer, you are performing all steps correctly and with expertise. While you are undertaking important projects around the home, solar gates are a viable option for an energy efficient home.

Metal Roof Issues

There are several common roofing problems that occur with metal roofs. These problems span the spectrum of roofing materials, and should be looked out for regardless of material.

  • Roof leaks are one of the most common problems. Leaks grow over time, and are exacerbated by poor craftsmanship, which can occur if a roof is not installed properly the first time.  
  • Blow-offs are another form of roofing problems that occur due to poor installation. If the flashing is poorly attached, open seams and laps cause parts of the roof to blow off.
  • Punctures and tears also occur. If there is a lot of foot traffic on your roof, these are far more likely to happen.

Metal Roof with Gutters

All roofs require gutters of some kind, whether they are metal roofs, slate tile roofs, or asphalt composition shingle roofs. Without gutters, the water will simply run back along the eaves of the house, eventually making its way down the wall of the home and damaging the exterior of the house. Gutters for metal roofs are precisely as necessary, and install in the same fashion as other roofs.

Metal Roof with Insulation

To help with noise pollution and to conserve energy, many commercial buildings and residential homes use metal roof insulation as a way to control these issues. While metal roofs have become popular, so has using insulation to block out sound on the metal roof, and conserve energy. Additionally, installing such insulation is not a difficult project if undertaken during your metal roof installation. The process requires foam batting. Consult with your trusted roofing contractor to get an accurate estimate.

Metal Roof vs. Shingle Roof

While asphalt shingles make up as much as eighty percent of the roofing market in some areas of the country, a new horizon is emerging for metal roofs. One of the important factors to consider when weighing your options is the fact that metal roofs are more environmentally friendly. Aluminum panels are typically produced from ninety percent or more recycled content. Steel panels vary by supplier, but usually contain 10% recycled content. Both types of metal last for decades and are 100% recyclable after use. Alternatively, asphalt shingles are produced from petroleum products and are typically 19-36 percent asphalt by weight.

In conclusion, the advantages of owning a metal roof are remarkable:

  • A metal roof is durable and maintenance is limited.
  • Metal roofs increase property values.
  • Metal roofs have coatings that prevent 75 to 80% of the sun’s energy from being absorbed into the roof.

Consult with our roofing professionals MKCS Roofing in the Austin, TX area for your metal roofing needs. Call: (512) 524-3011 today!