In the United States, second to the most used type of roofing material is metal. It provides a number of long-term benefits that homeowners would reap in the long run, including its ability to endure extreme weather and its life expectancy of up to 50 to 75 years.
Metal roofs, on the other hand, are not all roses. It also comes with a few disadvantages that you, as a homeowner, should know and be wary about that too. Still, that does not mean it is not a worthy roofing material to use!
That being said, to help you weigh things down, this article covers everything you need to know about the disadvantages of a metal roof.
But first, what exactly is a metal roof?
What Is a Metal Roof?
Also used as a component of the building envelope, a metal roof is a type of roofing system that is mainly made from either metal pieces or tiles sheets. It is sold in several forms of metal such as copper, aluminum, galvanized steel, alloy, and tin. Metal roofs are sometimes sold in corrugated galvanized steel as well. It is an iron steel sheet that is wrought and is coated with zinc which is then rolled to form corrugated sheets.
Moreover, depending on the type of metal roof, it can also be installed in several ways.
The Downsides of Metal as a Roofing Material
As mentioned, a metal roof is not all roses. Along with its number of perks, it also has a few drawbacks that make it not suitable for certain areas, situations, and weather conditions.
Dents in Metal Roof
While it is proven that metal roofing is durable and sturdy enough to withstand extreme weather better than other types of material, it does not mean it is not indestructible. It is because the metal roof is susceptible to dents, specifically during an extreme hailstorm.
Pea-sized hail is manageable. But large, golf-ball-size hails can leave shallow to deep marks on the metal roof. And it is particularly common if the material is made of copper and aluminium. That said, if you reside in a region where mild hailstorm is common and if metal roofing is what you prefer, then it is best to install one that is made of steel.
On the other hand, if extreme and catastrophic hailstorm is usual in the area where you live, then it is best to ditch metal roofing and use a different material that can withstand such a weather condition instead.
Metal Roofs Are Loud
Aside from it being susceptible to dents during a severe hailstorm, metal roofs are also loud be it during a hailstorm or rainstorm. In fact, any object that is heavy enough to make a sound creates noises on a metal roof. It is also louder compared to objects falling on wood shake roofs or asphalt shingle.
Such a problem can be solved by proper sound insulation, however. Although many homeowners find it a problem in the long run, particularly if the insulation system is not working as it used to be.
Another downside of metal roof is it is relatively expensive compared to other types of roofing options.
These days, the average amount you would spend on metal roof installation starts at $9, 000 and can go up to $17, 000. And if you calculate it per square foot, it would be $5 to $14 square foot. On the flip side, installation of a standard asphalt roof is three times cheaper compared to a metal roof.
But do take note that there are various materials used for metal roofing. And depending on the material, the price may vary as well.
Here’s an estimated price for each metal type:
- An aluminium metal roof, for instance, costs between $3 to $6 per square foot while a corrugated metal roof costs $2 to $3 per square foot.
- Tin metal roof costs between $3 to $15 per square foot while steel metal roof costs $3 to $5 per square foot.
- The price of standing seam metal starts at $4 per square foot and can go up to $12 per square foot while zinc-based metal roof costs $6 to $11 per square foot.
Requires a Qualified Repairman and Installer
Roof damages are inevitable. And the process of installing a metal roof is not a piece of cake. And in such times when you need someone to do the job, homeowners find it difficult to find the right person who can complete the task accurately.
Generally, it is because metal roofing typically requires a qualified installer as well as a repairman.
Metal roofs are not easy to install and fix if damaged. And qualified folks who specialize in metal roofing installation and repair are not that many. In fact, there are only several contractors that offer it.
On the other hand, if you are thinking of DIY-ing it, I suggest you avoid it as the job needs specialized tools and the risk of incurring damage is high. In return, it will only cost you more money than the actual amount of paying a qualified installer or repairman.
Lastly, metal roofs in terms of aesthetics are not as “pretty” as other types of roofing options. If you prefer a classic look for a home, for example, metal roofing is not ideal. And you may need to choose between asphalt, shake, or slate.
However, if you are into modern and industrial aesthetics, then a metal roof is a great choice.
Note: Aside from the downsides mentioned above, a metal roof is also susceptible to staining and fades over time. If installed inaccurately, its seams may fail eventually as well.
While a metal roof offers a number of perks, it is also important to assess whether its downsides would cause bigger problems eventually. It helps to measure as well whether it is the right roofing option for your home as it is vulnerable in certain places, situations, and weather conditions.
But overall, its benefits outweigh its drawbacks.