During severe storms, flying debris and high winds can easily damage and tear off traditional asphalt shingles. But metal roofing is engineered to withstand the impact of high, straight-line winds. Panels lock tightly via interlocking seams and fasten securely to the roof deck, creating a uniform layer that resists being torn off.
I’ve installed and serviced many metal roofs in my career, and I’ve always been impressed with the protection metal roofs offer against extreme weather. Let’s take a look at what makes them stand out.
Why Metal Roofs Are Durable During Storms
Unlike shingles, metal roofing panels are lightweight yet strong. Among other types of metal roofing materials, most panels are made from galvanized steel coated in a protective zinc alloy or corrosion-resistant aluminum. The panels also interlock seamlessly, eliminating shingles’ vulnerability to uplift during high winds.
Metal roofing goes up to a Class 4 impact rating, indicating durability against 2-inch hailstones. Even the largest hail won’t penetrate a metal roof or compromise its integrity, though metal is susceptible to dents. The slope and smoothness also allow hail to deflect and roll off rather than accumulate like on some other roofing materials.
Products like impact-resistant metal roofing provide an even higher standard of protection over run-of-the-mill metal roofing.
These systems can withstand 140+ mile-per-hour winds and hail strikes.
Metal Roofs Are Fire Resistant
Along with wind and hail resistance, metal roofing offers protection from wildfires. Strong winds can spread fires by blowing embers to ignite combustible roofs — a serious concern in some states.
Metal roofing has a Class A fire rating, indicating excellent resistance. The non-combustible panels can’t ignite from windblown embers. The smooth surface doesn’t leave any space for burning debris to accumulate. This helps protect homes and prevent community-wide fires.
In contrast, Class C-rated asphalt shingles are combustible and offer minimal fire resistance. Synthetic shingles can melt and ignite when struck by flaming debris.
For homeowners concerned about fire safety, a metal roof is extremely effective at preventing ignition and resisting flame spread. This helps protect homes and even prevent entire communities from burning.
Metal Roofs Repel Wind, Rain, and Moisture
Besides strength, metal roofing’s other key advantage is water resistance. During rainstorms, wind can blow water up under asphalt shingles. But metal roofing’s overlapping panels interlock along their entire length, eliminating gaps where wind-driven rain could enter.
Metal roofing is also excellent at preventing ice dams from forming. When installed on an insulated deck, interior warmth won’t melt overlying snow. This prevents re-freezing and ice backup at the eaves.
For coastal climates, metal resists corrosion from ocean air and salt spray. Robust marine-grade aluminum withstands these conditions for decades. Copper and zinc-coated steel also offer exceptional corrosion resistance.
Overall, metal roofing provides watertight protection from extreme weather, from Category 5 hurricane winds to winter blizzards. The panels remain securely in place, keeping attics and living spaces dry.
So, Are Metal Roofs Worth It Against Severe Weather?
For those in areas prone to severe or extreme weather, metal roofs offer a variety of advantages over other types of roofing.
Installation costs for metal roofing are higher than asphalt, often two to three times as much. But metal roofing is far more durable and lasts two to three times longer. That means, over the long term, the cost of metal roofing is similar to the cost of asphalt shingles.
A metal roof provides peace of mind in regions prone to high winds, hail, heavy snow, wildfires, and heavy rain, offering unmatched reliability. And unlike other materials, metal roofs are sustainable and recyclable. Overall, metal roofing is a great option, especially if you live in a region that experiences severe weather.
If your roof has been damaged by a storm, check out this article on repairing storm damage to a roof.
FAQs About Metal Roofs and Severe Weather
How do metal roofs hold up to hail?
Metal roofing resists hail very well and can maintain integrity even in large or extreme hail. While it’s susceptible to denting, it has a low failure rate in terms of maintaining protection.
Can metal roofs withstand hurricane winds?
Impact-resistant metal roofing meeting UL standards can withstand 140+ MPH sustained winds, equal to a Category 4 hurricane. The interlocking panels won’t tear off or separate. Building codes in hurricane zones approve specific metal products for roofs.
Do metal roofs help prevent wildfires?
With a Class A rating, metal roofing can’t ignite or spread flames. This effectively protects homes against windblown embers, discouraging ignition of the house and hampering the fire’s ability to spread in residential areas.
Can metal roofs withstand heavy snow loads?
Properly installed metal roofs support 60+ PSF snow loads. Interlocking panels distribute weight evenly. Homeowners in heavy snow regions can also add extra internal structure.
How long do metal roofs last compared to asphalt shingles?
Metal roofs last 50+ years, some over 80 years — two to three times longer than 25 to 30-year architectural shingles and three times longer than 15 to 20-year 3-tab shingles. This longevity offsets the higher initial cost.