Metal Roof 101: How to know if a metal roof is for you

In recent years, metal roofs have jumped from just commercial buildings to a residential roofing option for more and more homeowners. In fact, the Metal Roofing Alliance estimates double-digit market share growth for the last decade.

And now, metal roof manufactures are creating materials that look less industrial and more residential. Metal roof materials now mimick traditional roofing styles like asphalt shingles, shake, shale and tile styles. Finally, lack of style options won’t compromise the benefits of metal roofing.

So what do you need to know to decide if a metal roof is right for your new home or an updated roof on your existing home? Here’s the good and bad and all you need to know to decide if a metal roof is for you.

The good: Metal roofs are extremely durable.

On average, a metal roof will last you about 60 years. (That’s 6-0!) Compared to the typical asphalt roof that will last 15-20 years, a metal roof clearly is a durable option if you’d like to install a roof that will be the last one you ever have to worry about. If you are in your forever home, a metal roof is a great choice for you.

The good: Metal roofs don’t require much upkeep.

Because of this durability, metal roofs are exceptionally low maintenance. The biggest maintenance we recommend is to remove any debris like fallen limbs to avoid any damage. Outside of that, metal roofs are practically maintenance-free.

The good: Metal roofs are much more environmentally friendly than other roofing options.

First, metal roofs are more energy-efficient for homeowners – the metal reflects the hot summer sun away from the interior of the home while the metal roofing actually acts as an additional insulator to trap heat in the winter.

Even more, metal roofing produces significantly less waste during installation. And, metal roofing uses recycled metal in almost 95 percent of roofs. And, when it does need to be replaced in more than half a century, the metal can be used again, unlike its asphalt counterparts that end up in landfills in half the time.

The good: Metal roofs are fire-resistant.

With a Class A fire rating, metal roofs add a layer of safety and protection from fire not found in other roofing materials. A metal roof is non-combustible, and this can help slow the spread of a fire if one happens in your home. And, living in often-hot, often-dry, often-high fire danger Oklahoma, having a metal roof could be an advantage.

The bad: Metal roofs are significantly more expensive, initially.

For the initial installation and materials, a metal roof will set you back about double or triple the cost of a more traditional asphalt roof. However, since you will replace an asphalt roof three times during the life of one metal roof, the long-term costs are offset quite a bit. If you will be in your home long enough to see those savings, a metal roof could be worth the initial higher price.

The bad: Large hail can leave damage.

While metal roofs are known for durability, large hail can leave dents and dings. However, talk with your roofer about what can be done to minimize this possibility.

The bad: You can’t clomp around on it like an asphalt roof.

The common thought is that metal roofs can not be walked on at all. However, that’s not true. Roofers must instruct homeowners where and how they can walk on certain areas of the roof. Without proper instruction, the weight from walking in certain areas can damager or dent the metal roof.

Read more about what roofing material would be right for your home: Pros and cons: What are the best roofing materials for my roof?