Are you in the market for a new roof? Unfortunately, roofs don’t last forever, so there comes a time when a replacement is necessary. And while most people don’t look forward to replacing their roof, due to the cost associated with replacement, it can be a good opportunity. Instead of replacing it with a standard, boring, cheap asphalt roof like you had before, you can upgrade your home’s efficiency and aesthetic with metal roofing sheets.
Metal roofs are growing in popularity as a more durable, energy-efficient roofing option. And thanks to modern sheet metal fabrication, installing a metal roof is actually a quick and easy process. Wondering if sheet metal is right for your roof? Keep reading to discover what sheet metal is, and why it may or may not be the right option for your home.
What Is Sheet Metal?
When it comes to producing metal parts and products, it all starts with sheet metal. So much of what we see and use on a daily basis, both in the home and in the workplace, originate as sheet metal.
So what is it? Sheet metal is thin, flat pieces of metal formed during industrial processes. Sheet metal can be made from metals such as steel, aluminum, brass, or copper. Decorative metal sheets can be made from precious metals such as gold or silver.
Once the metal has been flattened, it can be used to make a limitless number of different products or parts. It can be bent, cut, or shaped in order to fit any application.
Depending on the application, sheet metal may be cut using a sheet metal cutter. These use either lasers or wires for precise cutting of even the smallest parts or thinnest metals.
In fact, sheet metal has a variety of applications that go far beyond roofing materials. You’ll see sheet metal used as the body of a car or airplane. You’ll find steel tables in hospitals and commercial kitchens also made from sheet metal.
But one of the most common uses, and one of the most important as far as homeowners and commercial property owners are concerned, is the sheet metal roof.
Types of Metal Roofing Sheets
When it comes to installing a metal roof, you have many different options. Most will common in large sheets, making installation quick.
But the exact metal used, the design of the roofing sheets, the color, and so forth, will give you plenty of options when choosing a roof. Here are the most common types of metal roofs.
1. Vertical Ribbed Panels
The most common option for homeowners looking to install a metal roof is the vertical ribbed panels. They are typically the most affordable and offer a simple, yet modern appearance. As a result, this is one of the fastest-growing residential roof types.
You can choose either exposed fastener panels or standing seam systems. The exposed fasteners connect the panels together and are typically painted the same color as the metal panels, so you don’t even know they’re there. This is the cheaper option.
For a more elegant, cleaner-looking option, standing seams use panels with male and female legs. These lock into each other, negating the need for an exposed fastener.
Metal panels are often three feet wide. This means that fewer man-hours are required to install it, helping to save money on installation costs.
If you prefer the look of roofing shingles, but still want the benefits of a metal roof, then you’re in luck. You can also have metal shingles installed on your home.
You’ll be able to choose from metal shingles that mimic the look and color of traditional shingles. But they are going to far outlast traditional shingles. And they keep their fresh appearance for many years, so you can always enjoy curb appeal.
Passersby may not notice your roof is metal, but they will notice how clean and nice it looks compared to the other homes on your street.
And if you want something a little more unique than standard shingles, but still more traditional than vertical panels, you can choose metal tiles. These can be made to look like any number of roofing tiles that are typically made from ceramic or stone.
But the metal tiles are going to offer far more protection against the elements, particularly hail and debris in heavy winds. Plus, they are more lightweight than traditional stone tiles, so you won’t need to add extra structural support to your home.
4. Corrugated Steel
Galvanized steel is a popular product for many applications looking for a rustic or western appearance. The corrugated ribs throughout the panels add strength and durability.
This is also what gives it a classic appearance. As a result, these are often used on smaller buildings, such as sheds, garages, or horse stalls.
They are also commonly used for other DIY projects around the home, including accent walls, fences, cabinets, and many other types of projects.
They are cheap, lightweight, and exceptionally durable. You can usually find panels at your local hardware store.
Pros of Metal Roof Sheets
So you’re interested in installing a metal roof on your home and building? Here are a few good reasons you should do it.
If you have experience with standard asphalt roofing shingles, you know they don’t last long. Because they are the cheapest roofing option, you get what you pay for.
Which is usually between 12 and 25 years of use before it becomes apparently too old. This is especially unfortunate considering it’s the most commonly used roofing material.
Not only will it jeopardize the integrity of your home by allowing moisture and critters beneath the surface, but it will begin to deteriorate and become unsightly.
Contrast that with a new metal roof. Properly installed metal roofs can last more than 50 years. In fact, many manufacturers or installer warranties for metal roofs are at least 30, if not 50 years.
So the roof is most likely going to outlast your time in the home, and the benefits will extend to the next homeowners.
It does well to protect your home against rain, snow, high heat, bitter colds, strong winds, and debris and hail. It resists holes and obviously won’t tear like an asphalt shingle can. And rust-proof coatings on the metal can keep it from experiencing any corrosion for decades.
Homeowners also love the fact that metal roofs are virtually maintenance-free.
One of the biggest benefits of a sheet metal roof is its energy performance. Metal is a much more efficient option than other roofing materials.
Because metal is naturally reflective, it repels the sun’s rays rather than absorb them. Plus, they are typically coated with reflective pigments and colors to boost the reflecting power. This helps to keep your home cooler in the summer, and saving money on air conditioning.
Metal roofing sheets are also much more eco-friendly than other roofing materials. Asphalt comes from petroleum, which results from fossil fuels. And since they don’t last that long, they need to be tossed and replaced more frequently.
Metal roofs, while not perfect for the environment, are a much better option. Much of the metal used in creating the sheets comes from recycled metal sources. And when the roof is no longer needed, the metal can be completely recycled, rather than sent to the landfill.
And if you’d like to install a metal roof, but would hate to send that old asphalt roof to the landfill, you can likely install the metal sheets directly over the old shingles. Since the metal sheets are lightweight, removing the old sheets may not be required during installation.
Boost Curb Appeal
Most people would agree that a metal roof looks good. They add a touch of elegance to your home and can help increase the overall appearance of your home since the roof is extremely visible.
You’ll feel much more proud pulling into your home every day when you see it capped with a beautiful roof.
Increase Value of Home
A new metal roof can also boost your home’s value. While it’s likely you won’t recoup your entire investment, a metal roof is still very attractive for buyers.
They will be drawn to the benefits of the metal, including the unique appearance and the knowledge that they will likely never need to replace the roof while they are living there.
Lots of Options
A metal roof gives you near-limitless flexibility and design options. As mentioned above, you can choose from many different panels and styling options.
But you can also choose from over a hundred different color options. You may be able to have a custom color made just for your home. Metal naturally holds paint very well. This makes it easy to offer this material in a large number of colors, unlike most other roofing materials that generally only come in a handful of color choices.
Cons of Metal Roofing Sheets
While the benefits of a metal roof sound too good to be true, there are also some drawbacks. Here are some of the downsides of metal sheets.
The biggest drawback to a metal roof is the cost. Though metal is comparable to other high-end roofing materials, the initial installation cost will be significantly more than a standard asphalt roof. This is the main reason more homeowners aren’t choosing metal.
The materials themselves cost a lot more money to produce. And the specialized labor and tools needed for installation add to the cost as well.
You may be eligible for tax savings and credits when installing a more energy-efficient roof, such as a metal one.
Not Perfect In All Climates
Each climate is going to have its own unique concerns. While metal roofs generally do very well in cold climates, it’s important to install a snow guard.
When the snow begins to melt, it can start sliding and cause an avalanche effect, due to the slickness of the metal surface. This can be dangerous above walkways or doorways but can be prevented with a proper snow guard.
Also, some types of metal roofs may not fare as well in coastal climates, where excess salt in the air can cause faster corrosion. Choosing a more corrosion-resistant metal, or an option treated specifically for that climate, may make metal a good choice.
Metal Can Dent
Your metal roof isn’t going to break, fall apart, or have a hole torn through it. However, it can dent. Heavy hail or a stray baseball has the potential to damage standard metal sheets.
If you live somewhere that experiences regular hail or regular hurricane winds, you could invest in dent-free metal which will cost more.
For those who like to get up onto their roof to clean it off or clean out their gutters, you’ll have to be careful when walking around. Stepping on the wrong spot could also lead to denting.
A Pro and Con of a Metal Roof
Some residents may see the noise associated with a metal roof as a con, while others view it as a pro. How would you feel in your home during heavy rain when all you can hear is the pitter-patter of raindrops hitting your roof?
Some find it soothing and look forward to the rains. Others find it aggravating and wonder why they chose a metal roof.
If you’d prefer not to hear the noise, or want to minimize it, you can have extra sheathing of insulation under your metal sheets during installation to absorb the sound.
The Last Roof You’ll Ever Need
Metal roofing sheets aren’t for everyone. but for a rapidly growing number of homeowners, it’s the right decision. Whether it’s the clean atheistic, the energy savings, or the knowledge that your roof is environmentally friendly, you’ll most likely be glad to have chosen metal.
Especially since you’ll never need to replace it. That’s really the best gift you can ask for when choosing any roofing material.
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