Everything You Need to Know About Metal Roofing


Metal is one of the lightest and most enduring roof materials. It is completely non-combustible, reduces overall roof weight, and requires minimum maintenance. These properties make metal roofs a great choice to use on most buildings and houses, and also make them as near-permanent a roof solution as possible.

Let’s have a look at some other extraordinary properties of metal roofs that make them one of the most functional and attractive roof choices on the market…

Physical Appearance of a Metal Roof

There are a variety of materials that can make up a metal roof, including galvanized steel, aluminum, copper, zinc, aluminum coated steel, stone coated, zinc-tin, and stainless steel. The style of a metal roof can either be in the form of vertical panels or interlocking shingles.

Many homeowners are worried that a metal roof will not fit the architectural style of their home, but metal roofs do come in over 100 different colors. If the possibility of choosing any color is not enough, then you can even opt for metal shingles which are produced to imitate the look of clay tiles, slate, cedar shake or even asphalt shingles.

Installation of Metal Roofs

Installing a metal roof is a faster and easier process compared to other conventional roof types. Tearing down an old roof and putting on a new one can be a hassle, but with metal roofs, it is possible to install them over an old roof, i.e., retrofit them. Whether you’re retrofitting a metal roof or installing a completely new one, there are numerous options when it comes to style, type, and material.

Types of Metal Roofs for Your Home

Metal roofs can be found in various colors and forms, fitting any home style, as well as any kind of roof you have. Steel and aluminum are the most common metal roofing materials used in new installations, but metal roofs also come in stainless steel, copper, and zinc alloys. Steel is very sturdy and durable. Aluminum is a bit less sturdy but very lightweight. And, both are resistant to rust and corrosion. Stainless steel, copper, and zinc alloys are among the more high-end, expensive materials but are also unmatched when it comes to durability and longevity.

Retrofitted metal roofing has become a very popular solution. If your roof is viable for a metal roof retrofit, there are several metal roofing systems you can consider:

  • Light-Gauge Steel Framing – For flat roofs, whether the existing roof is made of steel, wood or concrete, a metal roof can be retrofitted by using a light-gauge steel framing system. This system gets installed directly over the existing roofing membrane by creating a sloped plane.
  • Roofing Panels – If the existing roof needs improvement in its overall roofing performance, a low slope metal roofing system is a better choice. Roofing panels are an ideal solution for low slope to slope roofs, of 1/2:12 slope and greater. They are simply fastened into the old panels, so there is no need to tear the old roof out completely.
  • Standing Seam Roof – For sloped roofs that are at the end of their service life, a new long-lasting standing seam system is probably the best choice. Slope roof of 3:12 or greater is a good match for a new standing seam. The standing seam system gets installed directly over the old roof with a simple sub-framing system.

Durability of Metal Roofs

A standard roof will require replacement within 15-25 years, and the cost of replacing it is likely to double every 15 years or so. A permanent metal roof system, on the other hand, would be a smart, one-time, quality investment. The durability of metal roofs is very high, and by installing one on your rooftop, you are practically guaranteed a roof that will last you a lifetime. The warranties that come with most metal roofs are between 30 and 50 years which is a good indicator that metals roofs live up to their standards.

When it comes to harsh weather conditions, a metal roof is very resistant and will hold up against ice, snow, hail, and even stormy winds like hurricanes. With that said, you can be sure that rot, splits, cracks, warps, leaks, and other similar damages are not likely to occur with metal roofing.

Metal Roofs and the Green Factor

When thinking about installing a new roof, an important aspect to consider is the climate and the environment. Metal roofs are cool roofs that reflect the sun and do not absorb heat, which is beneficial in two ways. For your household, it means greater energy savings and lower utility bills, and when looking at the bigger picture, it is beneficial to the environment because it minimizes our carbon footprint. Energy-efficient cool roofs are a true asset, permanent, durable, and economical. If you are a homeowner and want to reduce your utility bills and energy consumption, cool roofs are the way to go. If you care about the environment, they should be your first choice because they are “green,” recyclable, and made of recyclable materials themselves.

One of the primary goals and features of energy-efficient roofs is reduced energy cost, and that is what we have in cool metal roofs. They can save money and also benefit the environment. The idea behind them is simple – they reflect most of the sunlight and do not absorb heat as conventional roofs do. For that reason, cool roofs are painted in lighter colors, usually white, to reflect the sun more efficiently, or they can come in the form of tiles and shingles with reflective characteristics.

Benefits of Cool Metal Roofs

Almost any type of building can benefit from a cool roof, and those benefits are numerous:

  • There is less need for air conditioning, so it reduces energy bills.
  • It decreases the temperature of the roof, which can extend its service life.
  • It can significantly reduce the heat absorbed from the sun – it’s not unusual for a darker roof on a hot, sunny day to reach temperatures of 160°F or more. A cool metal roof, on the other hand, can easily be 50 degrees cooler, and the difference of heat transfer, as a result, can be tremendous.

Cool roofs also have a significantly positive impact on the environment and the climate, especially when many buildings and houses in one area have them. They can:

  • Reduce the urban heat island effect, which is common in urban and industrial areas, by reducing the overall temperatures in that area.
  • Reduce energy/electricity usage, which helps prevent power outages.
  • Reduce the need for cooling in power plants, and therefore reduce their energy usage and emissions of harmful and toxic gases, such as carbon dioxide or sulfur dioxide.

Metal roofs offer great energy-efficiency and savings, as well as a high recouped value of your initial investment, which is important if you want to increase the value of your home. They are also durable, have a long service life, are good for the environment, and they will also adapt to your home style, and add some curb appeal.

Looking at all the facts of metal roofs, whether it’s a simple zinc roof, high-end stainless steel, or a retrofitted standing seam roof, Fortified Roofing – your local roofing contractor in Woodbridge, NJ – considers metal roofs to be an excellent choice for residential application.