Metal Roofing Options
Today, more homeowners that are updating their homes are considering metal roof vs regular roof when it comes to the exterior. Metal roofing has been commonplace in rural areas, but in the city and suburban areas, a regular roof may be asphalt shingle or tile roofing.
We’re going to answer some common questions about metal roofing, if a metal roof with gutters is standard and what to do when a metal roof is leaking. We intend to provide answers and explanations that will allow you to make an informed decision next time you have a roofing job done.
Are metal roofs noisy?
This is probably the most common question of all when it comes to metal roofing. And yes, they can be noisy, but if they are installed properly, they are typically quieter than an asphalt shingled roof. And when it comes to noise pollution, they are also can prodigiously provide defense, in addition to being eco-friendly and energy-efficient.
If you are wanting a roof that is energy-efficient, quiet, and sturdy, metal roofing is the one to choose. Too often, people misjudged them as being too heavy, susceptible to lightning strikes, and in general, noisy. The fact is, if your dream is to have a quiet, soundproof home against the busy streets and noise pollution of today, metal roofing is the answer to that dream.
Simply because they are metal doesn’t mean they are automatically going to be noisier than the average asphalt roof. Yes, there is the legendary barn roof that is loud when it rains, and especially when it hails. What you may not realize is that metal roofing is they are installed directly to the rafters, with the fasteners exposed.
Today, metal roofing is not installed in that manner when it comes to houses or even commercial buildings. Today, they are installed with a strong sheathing between the metal roof and the existing surface which drastically and effectively reduces the noise that comes with hail, rain, and windblown debris.
Do metal roofs leak?
Metal roofing offers more than other roofing products in the way of durability, performance, and strength. Now, this does not mean they aren’t indestructible, and they can’t leak, but, as we stated earlier, they must be properly installed. Six of the most common reasons that metal roofing may leak.
1. The Screws
If metal roofing leaks, it can usually be traced to the screws used for installing it. There is a rubber washer attached to metal roofing screws that seals any water out. If the screw is inserted into the metal roofing and it that rubber washer isn’t right, the roof may leak. Some of the things that can go wrong:
- Screws Over Driven: If the contractor that installs the metal roofing applies too much torque, to a screw in the attempt to confirm a tight seal, the rubber washer can slip out to one side.
- Screws Under Driven: This is just the opposite of the reason stated above. If the contractor doesn’t apply enough torque, the rubber washer can’t seal to the metal roofing because it wasn’t compressed to form the needed gasket.
- Screws Mis-Angled: The rubber washer can’t seal properly if the screw is inserted at an angle.
- Screws Missed the Framing or Strut: When screws do not go into the metal struts or wood frame below, it isn’t sealed against anything. These make it hard to find a leak because the screw is there, but it isn’t touching anything to create a seal.
Even with properly installed screws, the rubber washer is still subject to cold winters and hot summers. They can begin to lose their sealing ability as they degrade, making it a challenge to determine which screw is leaking. So no, metal roofing is not fail-proof.
2. Stacked Flashings
Just like asphalt roofing, metal roofing is subject to have flashings installed wrong around the chimney, pipes, and vents. The areas around the air vents, HVAC vents, and plumbing pipes that come up through a roof must be waterproofed and that is the job of the flashing. With metal roofing, that flashing is typically a rubberized material placed flat to form a seal while squeezing around the chimney, pipe, and vent to form a seal.
As metal roofing moves with contraction and expansion with the weather will constantly test the seals. Exposure to the hot sun degrades the rubber seals, which is why most contractors will use a caulking or additional sealant such as tar behind and around these areas. However, this can create a catch 22 problem – water often ponds there, thus creating a leak. You can anticipate the need to replace rotten or worn stack flashings every-so-often.
3. Sealants Missing
Sealants for metal roofing that is installed at the same time seldom have the same lifespan as metal roofing and will need replacing as part of our roof maintenance. These sealants are located under trims like the counter flashings, metal ridge caps, reglets, roof transitions, pitch pans, and Z flashings. Each of these will need topping off as they wear out.
Only a sealant made for metal roofing should be used as other types of materials won’t adhere to the type of paint used on the metal roofing panels and trims. Metal roofing also needs a sealant that can work with the daily contraction and expansion that metal roofing goes through.
4. Flashings for Curbs
HVAC units installed on metal roofing typically sits on curbs, a test for the flashing. There isn’t much room for error on the flashing around the HVAC. The side going up the curb and the two corners going up are the difficult areas and when they aren’t installed correctly, water will get trapped behind the HVAC unit and will erode the sealant as it “stands” there and a leak begins. Again, a catch 22 is the problem because more caulking and sealing can only allow it to hold more water.
5. Overlapping Seam
Seams are where two pieces of the metal roofing overlap. If a Capillary Draw is created while installing the metal roof, a leak is created because it allows water to travel upward between the two joined metal pieces. The Capillary Draw can be broken with butyl tape or sealant, but if it isn’t installed properly, the problem can make it worse than if it were left alone.
Do metal roofs dent easily?
When it comes to metal roofing, there are many misconceptions, such as the noise factor and concerns of leaking, which we covered both earlier in this piece. And yes, if there is a significant weight to a metal roof, or it is hit with a powerful velocity, like large hailstones, or a tree limb, then yes, it can dent.
Some types of metal roofing will dent easier than others, like aluminum or copper. Today though, there are more reputable materials for metal roofing that are guaranteed against denting. As you shop for metal roofing, it is recommended that you inquire about those materials and make the best decision for your budget and your home.
Do metal roofs need gutters?
No, not specifically. Metal roofing is more resistant to the issues that the typical asphalt roof is subject to, thus why gutters are highly recommended for them. The purpose of a gutter system is to funnel the water that runs off the roof out and away from the structure of the house itself, and toward a drainage area.
However, with that said, there is an important role for gutters even for houses with metal roofing: they protect your property surrounding the house. A properly installed and working gutter system will prevent ice, rain, sleet, and snow from causing severe damage to your property in the areas of the foundation, landscaping, and siding.
Whereas with an asphalt shingled roof, the ice, rain, sleet, and snow can back up under the shingles and through to the decking below, then into the attic, on the ceiling, and down the walls. With metal roofing, those worries are gone.
However, that water will still run down and pool up around the foundation of your home. From there, it will seep under the foundation, into the basement, and thus, weakening the overall structure’s stability.
Does a metal roof increase home value?
The competition in the real estate market can be tough, no matter what the economy. This is why you need to take the steps that will make your home stand out from the others, and metal roofing can do that.
Not only will a metal roof make your home stand out, but it increases the value because of the things it decreases and increases. Metal roofing increases its insulating capabilities over asphalt roofing. It is a durable material and has been used to roof structures as far back as the 1700s and is fire retardant. Metal roofing is almost maintenance-free and is better for the environment.
Is a metal roof worth the cost?
If you’re considering have your current roof replaced or you’re building a new home and not sure what type of roofing material to use, consider metal roofing. This material is an appealing option because of the long lifespan and minimal maintenance they offer as well as the eco-friendly and energy efficiency features that they offer.
If you’re thinking a galvanized steel metal roofing isn’t for you, there are other types of metal as well, such as aluminum, copper, tin, and zinc, each offering a different look to any home.
Yes, metal roofing is more expensive compared to other materials for the installation. But the overall lifetime of the roof, it is the less expensive option. As you shop for metal roofing, check with the contractor if it is tested and regulated. You should also check with your local building department for any code requirements.
If you still aren’t sure if metal roofing is for you, there are many options to choose from. Some questions you need to ask yourself that could help you make this determination:
- How much money do I have to spend comfortably for a new roof?
- How important is using recycled materials or recyclable materials for me?
- Am I in an environment that is subject to severe weather?
- Do I want a bright and vibrant color on my home in the long run?
- Are there HOA restrictions?
The answer to these questions is 100% individual decision, every roof is different, and every homeowner is different. Remember to ask any questions you may have and have all your concerns answered by a reliable roofing contractor. The Pro Roofing and Restoration team is always available to assist you. Give us a call today at 770-214-4788 for your metal roofing questions in Duluth, GA.