Metal Roofing Pros and Cons

Metal roofing pros and cons. Although metal roofs can be noisy, ugly and hot, they have some good points, too. Here are some tips for evaluating and repairing metal roofs.


| March/April 1984



Learn about these metal roofing pros and cons before repairing your roof. If properly maintained, metal roofs don't have to be eyesores. Understand metal roofing pros and cons, and spot "tin tops" on just about every style and size of building around. For example, painted steel "shingles" on a beautiful older house.

Learn about these metal roofing pros and cons before repairing your roof. If properly maintained, metal roofs don't have to be eyesores. Understand metal roofing pros and cons, and spot "tin tops" on just about every style and size of building around. For example, painted steel "shingles" on a beautiful older house.


Photo by Cathy J. Flamholtz

Metal roofing pros and cons, includes tips for for evaluating and repairing metal roofs.

A Guide to Metal Roofing Pros and Cons

When my husband and I first moved to the country, I was amazed at the number of homes in our neck of the Georgia woods that had metal roofs . . . and at the number of those tin-topped abodes that displayed "For Sale" signs out front. So the next time I spoke with a local realtor friend, I asked him if he found it difficult to market metal-roofed houses. At the question, his face cracked with a knowing smile.

"Anything with a tin roof is going to sell for less . . . if you can find a buyer for it at all," he told me. "Even your typical back-to-the-lander doesn't want to take one of those buildings on. And most of the people to whom I do manage to sell metal-topped homes tell me they plan to replace the roof as soon as they get the money together."

"Well," I said to myself, "if my friend is right, and if my area is typical, it seems that buying a home topped with tin might be one way to save a good bit of money . . . and such a move could make it possible for a would-be ruralite to settle in the country that much sooner." In short, my curiosity was whetted, and — since we had some city friends looking for a bargain-priced house near us — I decided to learn all I could about metal roofing pros and cons. I wanted, above all, to discover why they suffer such a poor reputation . . . and if they deserve it. It's taken some time, but what I've learned has really opened my eyes to the hidden benefits of tin-tops . . . and I'd like to share some of that knowledge with you here.

Metal Roof Materials

First of all, most "tin" roofs aren't made of tin. You see, there are several metals used for roofing. Below, I've listed those you're most likely to encounter, along with some of the strong and weak points of each.

Tin. The more accurate term here is terne, or even terneplate . . . but no matter what moniker you hang on the stuff, it's one of several soft metals treated with a coating of lead and tin. A tin roof that's properly installed can last a good 40 to 50 years.

smackers48
7/23/2017 2:37:11 PM

My ex husband and best friend has a big problem with raccoons breaking into the roof and basically moving in. On many occasions he has had them humanely removed and than have the roof repaired only to have them chew their way back into the attic, one time through the garage. Is having a metal roof a good option in this case? Please send me any suggestions you have for this very expensive problem. It is also very unsafe.


hollietruesdale
2/11/2015 9:21:58 PM

Metal roofs have piqued my interest for a while now, so I was glad to come upon this article that gave some pros and cons. I really like the look of copper roofs, but they are expensive, like you mentioned. Steel roofing is something I haven't heard of as much, but I have heard of aluminum roofing. I live in an area that gets a lot of sun, so I've considering metal roofing because it would keep my house cooler in the summer. I'll have to take these tips into consideration though! http://www.wproofing.com/services


jerry cartwright
2/5/2015 2:07:17 PM

I read your article on the metal roofs and thought it was pretty good even though I had to smile to myself some of the times. I'm 51 and have lived here in the South all my life. I grew up in house that were topped with galvanized "tin" roofs. The noise of rain on these tin roofs has always been a form of "white-noise" that lulls you to sleep. It might bother some folks at first but once you get used to it, it won't bother you a bit. And as long as I can remember, I don't remember a house getting struck by lightning because of a metal roof. Well, no more than houses topped with shingles. It's become common place these days for folks that own houses with conventional shingles to replace those with metal once they wear out. In fact, when my roof needs replacing I will be putting the newest painted metal roof on it. From a replacement standpoint you can't go wrong. These new painted metals have a 50 year warranty on them. I guess what I'm trying to say that for folks that know, metal roofs ain't a bad thing. Good article though, I look forward to more. Thanks


murray
2/4/2015 2:02:15 PM

Out here they are called "iron" roofs (from galvanised iron) and are common in the majority of houses up to 15 years ago. The recent financial boom (pre 2008), brought in many more tile roofs. I've lived with an iron roof most of my life - from a house with 100 year-old Scottish made iron (still water-tight) and all sorts. The construction for iron is much lighter than for tile - a massive saving in timber and labour costs. The iron (now either galvanised steel or a steel substrate coated in an aluminium/zinc coat - then with a colour electro-coated over the top), is traditionally in the wavy pattern (though there are many others) and is available in almost any length, thus with far fewer points of entry for water. Secondly - in this earthquake zone, the iron is well screwed down, in effect forming a full "box-construction" and reinforcing the timber structure. In the Christchurch earthquake, tile roofs "exploded" with the tremor, iron roofs flexed, but remained in place. Chimneys fell THROUGH tile roofs but slid off iron - totally wrecking the iron of course, but not crashing though on the occupants. I chose galvanised coating - in the heavy grade (2 grades available), as I draw my drinking water from the roof and also as it was cheaper than the Colorbond. In this area this plain iron lasts between fifty and seventy years. It is important with galv' iron to paint the points where the sheets overlap to forestall electrolysis - simply over lay the sheets sequentially, upside down so that the area that will overlap is exposed and coat with a good non-toxic paint. The overlap I allowed was for 1.5 ridges. When fitting I also double screwed the bottom edge on every second rise rather than the alternating 3rd and then 4th rise - as further up the roof. So, cheaper construction, cheaper to roof (and you can DIY) and safer. What is it about tile you like?


winddancer
2/4/2015 12:46:41 PM

I have tar roof tiles now and due to being in northwest the moss grows tremendously. Cost involved in hiring someone to clean it. Was thinking of installing metal roof over it but not touching the current roof. As in putting in 3" supports to hold up a metal roof to let air flow thru between current roof and new one. Would that work, I wonder?


stephen
2/4/2015 10:18:36 AM

You didn't mention condensation. On my metal (ProPanel) roof condensation forms on the underside of the valleys and moves to the low edge where it pools (very low pitch). The house is in the desert so there is little humidity and the damage is slow and slight. I think the roof should be grooved, flashed and caulked (on the high side) at the edge. That is, a groove cut so that the edge of the flashing (bent 90 degrees) is not sticking up for water to go under.


matt
1/21/2015 9:41:34 PM

I prefer the galvanised roofs, I just had one installed and it's awesome.. thanks to the guys at www.no1roofing.com.au , hope you don't mind me mentioning these guys.. please remove if I shouldn't link to another site...


matt
1/21/2015 9:35:58 PM

you don't see many copper roofs around anymore...


2088bob
4/29/2014 12:52:20 PM

I have just recently had a metal roof installed on my home lets clear one thing up from the get go my metal roof is much quieter than my shingle roof ever was I now no longer have the sandy material that was coming off my shingle roof clogging my gutters the type of roof I had installed cut the seams in the roofing material surface by 75% less seam less places for moisture to get in my roof is of a aluminum type material warrantied forever or put it this way I will be long gone before I ever need to worry about my roof again lastly in the area where we live a metal roof is a highly desirable upgrade to a home in fact it helps to bring the value of your home up a definite bonus for someone shopping for a home


augustinearran
3/28/2014 12:45:06 AM

It's surprising to see a realtor suggest that metal roof actually hinders home sales. While real estate can vary greatly between markets, metal roofing has consistently proven to be a leader if best value and longevity, actually increasing home value. Metal roofing is one of the oldest http://www.schulteroofing.com/ around. Some metal roofs in use today were built over 100 years ago. If that doesn't say anything about value and longevity, what will? In the College Station roofing market, metal roofing is directly correlated with increased home value and lower overall cost due to lower maintenance and repair costs as well as increased energy efficiency.


aleksandrb
1/6/2014 3:41:23 PM

Nice article on Metal Roofing. I would also mention the following metal roofing materials that can be used: Galvalume Steel - has a better quality zinc & aluminum coating than, which makes for a longer lasting roofing system compared to galvanized steel. There are also bare metal roofs that have not been mentioned. Namely: Zinc and stainless steel. Zinc roofing is more affordable than stainless steel and can last for hundreds of years. I would also suggest the following resource that covers every type of a viable metal roofing system available to homeowners: http://www.metalroof.us/top-60-metal-roofing-facts-consumer-purchasing-guide-2013/


aleksandrb
1/6/2014 3:38:40 PM

Nice article on Metal Roofing. I would also mention the following metal roofing materials that can be used: Galvalume Steel - has a better quality zinc & aluminum coating than, which makes for a longer lasting roofing system compared to galvanized steel. There are also bare metal roofs that have not been mentioned. Namely: Zinc and stainless steel. Zinc roofing is more affordable than stainless steel and can last for hundreds of years. I would also suggest the following resource that covers every type of a viable metal roofing system available to homeowners: http://www.metalroof.us/top-60-metal-roofing-facts-consumer-purchasing-guide-2013/


aleksandrb
1/6/2014 3:37:47 PM

Nice article on Metal Roofing. I would also mention the following metal roofing materials that can be used: Galvalume Steel - has a better quality zinc & aluminum coating than, which makes for a longer lasting roofing system compared to galvanized steel. There are also bare metal roofs that have not been mentioned. Namely: Zinc and stainless steel. Zinc roofing is more affordable than stainless steel and can last for hundreds of years. I would also suggest the following resource that covers every type of a viable metal roofing system available to homeowners: http://www.metalroof.us/top-60-metal-roofing-facts-consumer-purchasing-guide-2013/


trapezsac
11/17/2013 6:36:02 AM

Thanks for your nice information about roofing. http://www.trapezsacfiyatlari.org






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