You might thing that metal roofs are a recent fad, but they have actually been around a lot longer than you might think. Much of the buildings in the United State and in European countries that are still being used everyday have roofs that are made from lead and copper. The reason metal roofs have been around so long is because of their benefits. So, what types of homes need metal roofs?
Homes With Low Or Steep Pitches
Homes that have a steep pitch would be a good prospect for a metal roof. Your home’s pitch is the angle or slope of your roof and is usually expressed as ratios ranging from 1:12 through 12:12.
In the roofing industry, the second number will always be 12 and the first changes based on the height of the roof. So for example, a roof that is 6:12 has a height of 6 feet and a base length of 12 feet.
The United States has homes that range anywhere from a moderate pitch (4:12) to steel pitch (8:12), but can be higher or lower than that based on the age of the home and preference.
Asphalt shingles and clay tiles are the main choice for homes that have a specific pitch, but metal roofs and more functional and can go on roofs that are nearly flat (1:12) to very high (19:12). In some cases you may need a special type of metal when dealing with roofs any higher than that.
If your main concern is that your home is “green” then a metal roof is the best choice. Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used materials for roofing, but they tend to leave the biggest footprint on the environment. For example, they don’t last long, they can be heavy and aren’t very good at insulating your home or reducing your home’s heat signature. It’s also listed with other dangerous substances that OSHA regulates. The fumes from asphalt can be irritating to your eyes, nose and lungs and can cause burns or abrasions when coming in contact with you skin. It can also cause nausea, dizziness and lead to bronchitis.
There are many benefits to the environment and your family when using metal roofing:
• Virtually no health concerns and no emissions of harmful gases.
• Lightweight so it’s easier to transport
• Reduces stress on a building it’s a new roof thereby adding years to its lifespan.
• Much better than shingles for rainwater harvesting
If you ever needed to replace a metal roof, which you likely never will, rest assured that it’s 100% recyclable and can often outlive most buildings. Also, metal roofs can lower the temperatures in attics which means that heaters and air conditioners won’t have to run as much which not only reduces the money you spend but also extends the life of your HVAC units.
When the temperatures are high, it can really test your roof. Of course, roofs everywhere are subject to punishment, but those homes in hot climates are subject to particularly extreme heat and UV radiation. Traditional roofing materials don’t stand up well to all this heat and sunlight and ultimately break down which leads to a shortened lifespan subjecting the home to wind damage and leaks.
But metal is virtually invulnerable to heat. Some metal roofs, especially older ones, might tend to lose their color in the sunlight, but that was primarily due to bad paint jobs, not the metal itself. More modern metal roofs have a special coating that keeps the metal from fading or looking chalky. Although it’s possible, however unlikely, that a metal roof may need a new paint job sometime in the distant future, the chances of need to replace a metal roof are slim to none no matter how hot it gets.
The more common roofing materials tend to dry out as they age, thus becoming more susceptible to fire and putting you and your family as risk. On top of that, they’re heavy and can collapse during a fire. Metal roofs are virtually fireproof and since it’s a lighter weight material, it’s likely not to cave in. The reason this is so important is that firefighters tend to stay outside while putting out a fire because they don’t want to be caught in a cave in. But they are more willing to go inside a burning house to salvage more of your belongings if you have metal roof.
Homes That Are Subject To Extremely Hot Summers
We all know how our cars can be scalding hot in the summertime, so you might think that a metal roof would not be a good fit. But this is one of the best choices given they reflect the sunlight much better than asphalt shingles consequently keeping the temperatures inside your home much lower. It doesn’t even matter the color of the metal roof, darker colors can reflect radiant heat just as easily as lighter colors. And since they don’t retain heat like traditional roofs, they cool down much faster in the evening when the sun sets. Also, because there is a clearance of air between the metal and the decking, there is no transfer of heat to your home.
Homes At High Risk For Natural Disasters
One might think that a metal roof wouldn’t be the best option during a lightning storm, but this isn’t the case. Since lightning prefers to strike metal objects that are grounded (ie, has a direct path to the ground, like trees for example), it’s as if metal roofs are invisible to lightning.
They are also much more resistant to high winds, so homes that are built in the coastal areas that are subject to hurricanes… or homes in the Midwest who are tested by tornadoes would be much better off with metal than with asphalt.
Metal roofs are a good choice no matter the type of home you have. At The Roof Troop, we are committed to building a strong community that will be around for a while. So give us a call today so that we can chat about your roofing needs.