You may have heard about one of the latest home improvement trends — moving away from a traditional asphaltroof and upgrading to a metal roof. But why are many homeowners (and business owners) so eager to do this? What are the benefits in terms of durability and longevity and how do you even know when it’s time to replace your roof? Here are 6 questions you should ask before you switch to a metal roof, for either your home or business.
1) How Do I Know if My Roof is Past its Prime and What Damage Can Occur If I Don’t Replace It?
A roof doesn’t have to leak to be at the end of its functional life. Warning signs might include missing shingles or missing granules in the shingles that show up as bald spots. Shingles may be cracked or otherwise damaged. Moss growing on the surface will retain moisture, and if the roof regularly freezes, this can cause damage to the shingles’ granules. If your roof is at least 20 years old, it may just look old and worn out. If it is leaking, this can cause serious problems such as damaged ceilings or mold and mildew inside the house. It might cause a fire hazard if water comes into contact with electrical wires in the attic. Water can also damage insulation and even compromise your home’s structural integrity.
2) How Does a Metal Roof Compare to a Traditional Asphalt Roof in Terms of Durability?
Durability is one of the key benefits of a metal roof. A metal roof won’t crack, split, warp, leak, rot or dry out like other commonly used roofing materials such as asphalt. A metal roof also provides the greatest protection against snow, ice and potentially damaging ice dams. Metal roofing is designed for gradual shedding of snow and ice, helping to prevent buildup. It is also possible to add metal roof snow guards to aid in minimizing damage or injury due to falling ice and snow. Metal roofs are recommended by FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Association) in locations that are prone to high wind conditions.
3) Which Lasts Longer — An Asphalt Roof or a Metal Roof?
Typically, asphalt shingle roofs will last approximately 20 years, according to a report published by the National Association of Home Builders and referenced in U.S. News & World Report. By contrast, a metal roof made from aluminum or steel shingles has a lifespan of at least 50 years. Copper, the most durable of the metals used for roof construction, can sometimes last for more than 100 years. That’s 5 times longer than asphalt shingles!
4) How Will Changing from Asphalt Shingles to a Metal Roof Affect My Utility Costs?
While asphalt roofs absorb energy and trap heat, a metal roof reflects the heat and blocks ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This is especially critical in a warmer region, as an asphalt roof will make an air conditioner work harder to keep the home cool. Since the metal reflects heat, your home will stay cool and you might not even need to turn on that air conditioner. This will greatly reduce your energy costs in the summer. In the winter months, the metal will act as an insulator, keeping the warm inside air circulating without escaping. Again, the result will be lower utility costs.
5) What are the Environmental Considerations, Such as Energy Efficiency?
As already stated, a metal roof will keep your home better insulated, resulted in lower energy usage during both hot and cold months. Besides saving you money, less power generation leads to less carbon dioxide released into the environment. Asphalt production generates tons of toxic gases every year. Metal roofs frequently contain recycled material, so not only do they not contribute to greenhouse gases which are directly responsible for climate change; they also help to reduce waste material by reusing metal.
6) Can Replacing Asphalt Shingles with a Metal Roof Increase the Value of My Home?
Most definitely! Lower power bills will be a key selling point when showing the home to a potential buyer. Having an innovative, modern roof significantly adds to that all-important “curb appeal,” where first impressions really count. Since a metal roof lasts so much longer than asphalt shingles, that’s one less future cost for a prospective homeowner. A metal roof, since it weighs far less than an asphalt roof, puts less stress on your home’s infrastructure, which is another huge benefit.