Metal Roofing Myths: Separating Fact from Fiction

mountain home with metal roof
Metal roofing comes in different styles and colors to match just about any home’s architecture. (Credit: Drexel Metals)

Metal roofing’s long-term durability and low required maintenance are just a couple of reasons why many people prefer it to alternatives. But long-held misconceptions may be keeping some homeowners from giving it a try.

Listen to this special Today’s Homeowner Podcast, brought to you by the Metal Roofing Alliance, for five common myths about metal roofs — debunked.

  • [0:46] The Truth About Metal Roofing
  • [01:42] Myth #1: Styles and colors are limited
  • [03:47] Myth #2: It’s not as energy efficient.
  • [06:13] Myth #3: It won’t perform well in extreme conditions.
  • [09:55] Myth #4: It’s not as sustainable as other materials
  • [11:33] Myth #5: It will be noisy

metal roof in shake style
Stone-coated metal roofing mimics the look of shake yet offers metal’s exceptional performance. (Credit: DECRA Metal Roofing)

1. Options are limited.

Gone are the days of metal just topping barns. The latest designs match the architectural style of just about any home. You can get the look of shakes, slate and clay tile, with the added durability and performance.

A wide range of color options is available, as are raw organic hues such as copper, titanium and bright stainless steel.

Rural home with metal roof
Even darker metal roofs are much more energy-efficient, thanks to high-performance coatings. (Credit: ATAS International)

2. They’re not energy-efficient.

To the contrary! Metal roofs are Energy Star-qualified “Cool Roofs.” Even unpainted ones reflect more solar radiation than asphalt, which typically absorbs and holds heat.

And those roofs with oven-cured, pre-painted organic coatings use “cool pigment” technology. So, even roofs with darker colors deliver high solar reflectance and high infrared emittance, cooling homes and saving energy.

medallion style metal roof
Metal roofing’s durability makes it popular in hurricane-prone areas like Florida and the southeast U.S. region. (Credit: McElroy Metal)

3. They’re less durable.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth! Metal roofs can withstand hurricane-force, 140-mile-per-hour winds and extreme storms.

Quality roofs stand up to hail and hold up under heavy snow and ice loads. Naturally, metal is a top choice for areas prone to severe weather and wildfires.

metal roof closeup
Asphalt shingles end up in a landfill — recyclable metal roofing does not.

4. They’re not environmentally friendly

Actually, quality metal roofing can last you more than 50 years (almost three times longer than other materials) and can be recycled rather than dumped into a landfill.

Quality roof coatings resist moss and fungus, which means lower long-term maintenance and fewer chemical treatments that can harm the environment.

Metal roof closeup
This metal roof was installed over an asphalt shingle roof and it won’t make more noise than the old roof.

5. They’re noisy.

(Especially on rainy days, right?) The truth is, a professionally installed metal roof is as quiet as an asphalt roof.

Of course, attic space, insulation and proper installation methods are key factors in reducing any roof’s noise transmission. Quality underlayment and tightened fasteners are crucial to noise management.

For more facts about metal roofs and to download a Metal Roofing Buyer’s Guide, visit the Metal Roofing Alliance website.


    • Hi, Dibenardo, features home improvement advice from the nationally syndicated TV show “Today’s Homeowner” and its experts.
      We don’t offer information on individual home builders, repairers and suppliers, but we encourage checking your local phone listings for this information.
      Thanks for your question, and good luck!

  1. Yes you can have gutters with your metal roof. When I had my roof installed I also had gutters installed. I was told that the gutters needed to be larger in size than the standard home gutter because of the water runoff faster than with shingles.

  2. My metal roof was installed in Sept. 2015. It is beautiful, my neighbor called and said she is in love with my roof. I have gutters and no issue as a result of metal roof. There are varying styles of roof, mine is stone coated steel not the corrugated style. It is a premium roof so if you are replacing a premium roof e.g. wood, with help of insurance company, know that you can afford this. Many installers try to charge a significant amount more $3k-$9K over an asphalt/composition shingle (?); this is because they do not install metal themselves and instead hire a subcontractor. This may change as more roofers gain experience installing these metal roof products.

    • Hi, Sheila!
      When properly installed, metal roofs make just about the same noise as any other roofing material when it rains.
      Metal roofing has changed over several decades — it’s no longer like the roofs we’ve all seen (and heard, during rain) on barns and storage sheds.
      Thanks for your question.

  3. I understand that screws can back out or become loose with cold and heat. Is there any way to secure the screws? It is a real burden to tighten each one every year.

  4. About 10 years ago a contractor who was acquired by my ex put a metal roof on my cabin. This is exclusively my property which I have owned since 1983. It seems to me that I am now colder in the winter and hotter in the summer, so much so that I have had central A/C installed. But that does not speak to the colder winters and increased amount of wood burned.

    I am interested in your thoughts, please.

    Thanks, bj

    • Hi, Bj,
      Metal roofs are extremely energy efficient.
      The amount of heat absorbed into the house is limited and, in most cases, less than other roofing materials.
      In addition, what heat is absorbed will quickly dissipate, so you should require less heating and cooling.
      If that’s not the case, we recommend checking for cracks around your windows and doors.
      It sounds like your home needs additional insulation.
      Here’s more information on how to do this:
      Good luck!

  5. I have had a metal roof on my house that is now 20 years old. I would do this again. I chose to use French Drains instead of gutters because gutter guards are not 100% effective on deflecting leaves. I do have gutters and guards on my entrance porch to avoid being drenched by a waterfall when entering the house. I still have to remove some leaves periodically from the entrance porch gutters. I have a full basement that has never leaked.

  6. I grew up with the old type of metal roof. When I bought my 1920’s craftsman in 1995 and it needed a roof, I went with metal. I have had it since 1997. Sturdy, beautiful. You also do not have to replace them as often. We recently replaced the one on the house where I grew up….only because my sister wanted a colored metal roof. My family has lived in that house since 1964..and the roof was there before we got there. I totally recommend them

  7. I want to learn if Metal Roof can go onto Manufactured Homes?
    Do the metal roofs “fust” as they age?

    I live in a 55+ gate community over 400 + Manufactured Homes where we own our homes and lots. The HOA refueses to allow Metal Roofs due to the myth that they rust similar to old style mobile homes back in the 60s adn 70s. I failed to get info from any local Metal Roof Contractor.

    • Hi, Don,
      Metal roof coatings naturally resist rust, moss, and fungus, keeping your roof in great shape for decades.
      They last 50-plus years; that’s nearly two to three times longer than asphalt.
      And it’s why, regardless of the type of home, we recommend metal roofing.
      Thanks for your question.

  8. We have a metal roof on our house. We also have trees around it that leave the roof with tree sap and dirt. We have had the trees trimmed. We need the roof cleaned. What is the best way to clean a metal roof.

  9. They are dangerous in areas prone to a lot of snow. When it starts to warm up, the snow will .avalance” off the roof and can be dangerous and can trap you inside because you can’t open the door. Not good!

    • It’s always a good idea to have a small roof overhang above any doors to the outside. This keeps snow and rain away from your doors. I made mine of corrugated steel and painted PVC pipe. Functional and stylish!

      • Thanks for sharing your experience with the Today’s Homeowner community!
        TH community members helping other TH community members — we love it. 🙂

  10. Question in reference to metal roofs…
    Is it true in a fire that metal roofs are a hindrance because it’s hard for them to vent them and how does that affect your homeowners insurance because of the fire Factor?


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