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

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.

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.

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!

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

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