The Pros and Cons of Metal Roofing

If the time has come to get a new roof for your home, you might like to consider the option of metal roofing. This important improvement project is something most long-time homeowners will eventually have to undertake, and choosing the proper roofing material should not be taken lightly. A functioning roof will protect your home from harsh outdoor elements like rain and snow and ensure its structural integrity.

Asphalt shingles are common, but the one type of covering that is catching the eye of an increasing number of homeowners is metal roofing. “Metal roofing is gaining in popularity,” reports Todd Miller, president of Isaiah Industries in Piqua, OH. It had a 14% market share in 2016, up from 11% the year before, according to FW Dodge. Only asphalt shingles outpace metal in the remodeling market.

In terms of style and utility, metal roofing gives any other material a run for its money, but does it suit your home (and budget)? Take a look at the best and worst things about metal roofing before you commit to it.

Pro: Metal roofing lasts 50 years—or longer

Metal roofs are by far one of the most durable, typically lasting 50 years or more, says Andrew Hecox, owner of Air Capital Roofing and Remodeling in Wichita, KS.

“Rubber and asphalt shingles are fine for 15 to 20 years, but they’ll deteriorate over time, due to weather, wind, heat, insects, and rodents,” says Cedric Stewart, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties in Washington, DC. And metal won’t corrode, crack, or catch sparks and ignite into flames from a lightning strike.

“Metal roofing also doesn’t need periodic costly maintenance, like other materials,” says Lonnie Hagen of Accent Roofing and Construction in Dallas.

Con: It’s noisy

The pitter-patter of raindrops may be soothing for some homeowners, but on a metal roof, the noise factor can be a serious drawback. The good news is that there are ways to mitigate the sound—but you’ll have to pony up. Materials can be installed to reduce the drumming effect for an additional fee.

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Roof Replacement

Whether you’re planning to sell or remain in your home for quite some time, a roof’s condition weighs significantly on the value of your home. A few simple criteria will help you determine if it’s time to repair or replace.

How old is your roof?
Depending on the material, a normal roof’s lifespan can range from 20 to 50+ years. Asphalt shingles generally last 20 to 30 years, wood shingles can remain intact for up to 40 years and newer synthetic materials usually have a life of 50 or more years. It is important to know the history of your home, when it was first built and when the roof was last replaced.

Has your neighborhood experienced any extreme weather conditions?
Heavy hail and powerful storms can rip a roof apart. Even if the shingles aren’t terribly damaged, it is wise to get an inspection. Sometimes only a few shingles need to be replaced, but the effort will save the roof from even greater damage in the future.

Have your neighbors started replacing their roofs?
Generally all roofs in a neighborhood will begin wearing out at the same time. If you notice your neighbors beginning to upgrade their roofs, it’s probably a good time to begin gathering quotes. Aside from replacing an old roof to better protect your home from the elements, it is important to keep up with the value of comparable properties. A new roof can return up to 65% of the cost as value added to the home, and priceless peace of mind from the risk of leaks.

Does your home need a cosmetic upgrade?
Even if a roof has yet to reach the end of its lifespan, an outdated style or original architectural error may warrant a replacement. On a home for sale, an unsightly exterior is a serious deterrent for buyers. New shingles emphasize a home’s soundness as shelter as well as its modernity.