When you think of metal roofing, you probably picture large industrial complexes topped with corrugated sheets of steel -- when in fact metal can serve as a perfectly good roofing material for homes as well. But why might you choose this material over other options, and what considerations do you need to keep in mind before you make your final decision? Here are some points that can help enlighten you about metal roofing installation and ownership.
Metal Can Mimic Other Materials
When thinking about metal roofing for your home, first forget any preconceived notions of what metal roofs look like -- because they can look like just about anything you want. Metal roofing can be stamped with all kinds of patterns and textures, fabricated or coated in a wide range of patterns and produced in styles that complement any type of home. If you don't want your house to stick out among a street populated by ordinary asphalt roofs, you can get a metal roof that resembles asphalt. You can even go for a sleek, modern look that shows off the metal for what it is. If you want to pretend you've installed ceramic tiles or some other deluxe option, you can do that too.
Metal's ability to accept so many shapes, styles and colors makes it uniquely versatile among today's roofing options. Simply by putting metal on your list of potential choices, you're giving yourself more freedom and flexibility to configure a home that reflects your exact tastes and aesthetic sense.
Metal Can Keep You Cooler
If you own a home in a hot climate, a metal roof can be your best friend when the summer sun sizzles overhead. That's because metal does a better job of reflecting solar thermal radiation than traditional asphalt. Even light-colored asphalt shingles trap a certain amount of heat energy; dark-colored asphalt absorbs even more of it, allowing it to pass through the roof into your attic -- leaving only the attic insulation to protect you against stifling heat and/or high air conditioning bills. By contrast, metal roofing tends to bounce those rays away from the roof. This can reduce your air conditioning expenses by as much as 40 percent in the summer months; add a reflective pigment to your metal roofing installation, and your home's interior temperatures may also drop by up to 12 degrees Fahrenheit.
You'll Pay More Upfront (but Less Down the Road)
There's no getting around the fact that metal roofs can be considerably costlier per square foot than their simple asphalt cousins. If you're working on a limited budget, you may have no choice but to go with asphalt for the time being. The good news is that you can often build a metal roof installation right on top of an existing asphalt roof in the future. Ask your metal roof contractor whether you can keep this option in mind down the road.
If you're willing to make the extra investment in a metal roof up front, you can actually enjoy tremendous savings in the long term. Metal roofs are one of the most long-lasting roofs you'll find anywhere, with the typical metal roof lasting anywhere from 40 to 70 years (depending on the choice of metal), as opposed to a mere 10 to 20 years for asphalt. This means that you very well be purchasing the only roof you'll ever need for the rest of your life.
As you can see, metal roofs have a great deal to offer, even if they're not necessarily for everyone. Take a look at your budget, weigh the benefits and talk to your local metal roof contractor with a company like BCI Metal Roofing about whether this form of roofing makes sense for your needs.