Let’s keep it simple: Choosing the right roof is important.
But the type of roof that best fits you and your building might not be as simple to define. That’s where Sheffield Metals comes in to help.
In this article, we aren’t going to compare the different types of roofs, like shingles versus metal. Instead, we want to focus on the buyer and the individual characteristics or interests that might make them a good fit for a metal roof.
We’ll focus heavily on these two parts:
- What you should know before you buy a metal roof.
- Reasons that a metal roof might be the best choice for you.
What to Know Before You Buy a Metal Roof
Before we get into some of the reasons a metal roof could be the best option, you should have a set idea of your likes, dislikes, home attributes, and specifications. Not only will this help you choose a material, but if you do choose a metal roof, it’ll also help you decide on the final panel style and design.
Know Your Budget
Here is our biggest recommendation regarding the sensitive budget topic: Be realistic.
You want to get the most out of your money, but you also don’t want to spend money you don’t have. Take a detailed look at your finances and how much money you are able and willing to spend on a roof. It’s just that important.
If you can put down a larger sum of money at one time with the understanding that you won’t have to replace the roof for 40+ years, a metal roof might be your best option. Or if you’re strapped for cash and unable to put down a large amount of money at one time, you may not be in the market to purchase a metal roof right now.
Know Your Style & Design Interests
Have a good idea of what you want in the end product of the roof going on your building. What would the roof look like if you had to visualize your ideal home? Would the roof be a bright color or have more of an earth tone? What would the texture be? How about the finish?
With metal roofing, there are dozens of different combinations to choose from, such as:
- Panel style
- Standing seam (concealed fastener)
- Exposed fastener
- Stamped metal, including metal shake, tiles, shingles
- Paint type
- Specular gloss, which is defined as “…an optical property which indicates how well a surface reflects light in a specular (mirror-like) direction.”
- Seam type
- Mechanical seam
- Fastener flange/nail strip
- Tee seam
- Rib roller (structure between the seams)
There are even more metal roof parts available for buyers to choose from on top of the ones discussed above, allowing for more customization and versatility.
Know Your Roof
Knowing the specific aspects of your existing roof structure before you buy a new one can help you determine the style, profile, or seam best fit for your application. Be aware of the following:
- Roof pitch (slope)
- For example, standing seam metal roofing is not “one size fits all”. If you have a low-slope application (3:12 or less is typically the industry standard), it is important that you choose a mechanically seamed system that is double-locked. If you have a steep-slope application (above 3:12 is typically the industry standard), snap-lock, mechanical seam, or fastener flange systems can be used.
- It’s imperative to check the manufacturer’s minimum slope requirements before installation.
- Square footage of the roof
- Planes of the roof
- Valleys, hips, ridges, eaves, and gables
- Dead valleys and other points on your roof that may collect moisture or debris
- Number of potential penetration points
- Chimneys, vent pipes, or skylights
- Other potential problem areas
- Drainage issues
- Ice damming
- Existing leaks
- Snow retention over entryways
Know Your Environment
There are environments where a metal roof will perform better than any other material, especially those subjected to extreme weather events, such as:
- High wind
- High UV/sun exposure
- High moisture – rain, ice, or snow
But that doesn’t mean metal roofing can’t work in mild environments either. Metal roofing generally works well in any area as long as the correct panel type is used for the application and the installation details are followed. Just be aware that there are places where a metal roof can be installed, but does NOT qualify for one or more warranties. For example, you’ll always want to use an aluminum metal roofing system in a coastal environment; using steel on the coast will void any warranty because it does not stand up to saltwater corrosion.
Here are a few more items to look for in your living environment before installing a new roof:
- Shaded areas
- Tree cover
- Potential pollutants in the air
- Other nearby bodies of water (oceans, seas, bays, marshes, brackish water, etc.)
Know How Much Maintenance You Can or Want to Do
Any roofing material will require maintenance of some kind, but the frequency of such maintenance varies across the board. This is why knowing how often you want to or are willing to do regular maintenance on your roof is a key consideration to think about. We’ll talk more about metal roofing maintenance in the next section.
Reasons a Metal Roof Is the Best Choice for You
#1: You don’t want to buy or replace another roof.
It’s one of the most common reasons we hear from buyers of metal roofing: They don’t want to buy another roof in their lifetime. A metal roof is indeed more expensive in the short term as a one-time expense, but it actually becomes the more cost-effective solution in the long run because it won’t require replacement for at least 40 years or more. So if you’re planning to stay in the home or building you currently inhabit, buying a metal roof ensures that you won’t be purchasing a new replacement roof every 10 to 15 years.
#2: You want the best protection for your home and your loved ones.
The people and the memories inside your home are priceless and cannot be replaced. A leak or fire originating from the roof of a home can spell disaster in more ways than anyone could imagine. This is why it’s so important to be cognizant of how different roofing materials perform and are tested to resist potential hazards. Bias aside, a metal roof is one of the most protective options to use as your roof because:
- Most metal roofing is Class A fire-rated and noncombustible, making it the most resistant to catching on fire (your installer should confirm this with local building codes before installation).
- Many metal roofing materials are given a Class 4 UL 2218 rating, which means impact from hail won’t puncture or tear the metal during a storm with hailstones up to two inches.
- Reputable metal companies put their panels through additional testing to further measure their safety and performance, including wind uplift tests (UL 580), water penetration tests, air infiltration tests, and more. Learn more about metal roofing industry standards and testing here.
- Metal roofing actually weighs less than traditional asphalt shingle roofing or concrete tiles and puts less stress on the structure of a home over time.
All of these tests and facts sum up to metal roofing doing one thing: Protecting everyone and everything on the inside.
#3: You want to get the most out of your investment.
As we’ve mentioned, a metal roof is an expensive investment you want to benefit greatly from. Since metal roofing lasts longer and has a higher one-time cost in the short run, a building or home with a metal roof has an increased property value (typically anywhere from 1 to 6% higher). This can also contribute to how easy it is to resell a structure, especially if the roof is in good condition and wouldn’t need to be replaced by new owners. This can be handy if you plan to sell your home or building.
Additionally, metal roofing can lower home insurance premiums because metal is much less likely to fail from fire, high winds, and wind-driven rain damage than other types of roofing. On the contrary, insurance could also be more expensive because the roof itself is worth more and would make any replacements higher for the insurance company to cover. Many other factors play into the cost of insurance, such as location and other problem-causing risks, which should be discussed with the insurance company.
#4: You are worried about extreme weather events damaging your roof.
Weather events are unpredictable, but the best you can do is prepare ahead of time by purchasing exterior products with designed and tested durability; one of which is a metal roof. If you know you live in a high wind zone, a place with high snow or rainfall patterns, or a region threatened by hurricanes or tornadoes, it might be the best choice to buy a metal roof that can withstand the elements far better than other materials.
#5: You want your roof to be a brighter or more vivid color.
Perhaps one of the biggest selling points for purchasing a metal roof is that it can come in virtually any color, including bright/vivid colors and earth tones. Metal coil manufacturers partner with reputable paint companies, such as Valspar (Sherwin-Williams) or PPG, that develop paint systems specifically designed for metal panels. In addition to the variety of color options, these paint systems are thoroughly tested in a real outdoor environment to ensure they can last decades, which is why trusted metal roofs are backed by paint warranties.
#6: You want a sustainable, eco-friendly roof.
There’s no doubt that metal roofing is one of the most eco-friendly options in roofing, which applies in several ways:
- Metal roofing materials are highly recyclable, meaning leftover pieces, tear-off panels, or damaged parts can be recycled for future use.
- There are metal coils and sheets that are made up of previously recycled materials. This is especially true with aluminum, as nearly 95% of aluminum roofing is from already recycled materials.
- Metal roofing can provide a highly reflective color/finish, also called cool metal roofing, and therefore a higher Solar Reflectance Index (SRI). SRI measures a surface’s ability to reflect the sun’s solar energy (solar reflectance) and emit heat (emissivity). A higher SRI can lead to savings on energy bills.
#7: You want more time between maintenance responsibilities on your roof.
The level of upkeep needed to maintain a metal roof is generally limited. This is especially true if the roof was correctly installed to eliminate any of the common problems associated with metal roofing. General upkeep would include looking for leaves, branches, and other debris that could get stuck on the roof and in the gutters around once or twice a year and after strong storms.
Final Thoughts on Choosing a Metal Roof For Your Project
Knowing if a metal roof is the best choice for you can be easy for some and difficult for others. However, doing your research and knowing what to look for can shorten the process and lead to important discussions that could help you decide what type of roof may be best for you.
To help determine if a metal roof is the best choice for your home or business, start by asking yourself these questions:
- What is the worst-case scenario weather event that could affect my home or building?
- What is the most amount of money I am comfortable spending on a metal roof?
- Does my roof have simple planes and minimal penetration points? Or is it more angular with potential dead valleys and numerous penetration spots?
- How does a metal roof change the cost of my homeowner’s insurance?
- What would the end product look like if I chose a metal roof?
- How valuable or irreplaceable are the items inside my home or building?
At Sheffield Metals, we are here to answer your questions and help you choose the best metal roof that fits your needs, budget, environment, and beyond. Our team can answer your questions and get you on the path to the right decision.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation or speak with one of our knowledgeable metal roofing experts!