The Cold Weather Benefits of Metal Roofing

Reuben Miller

With the winter season now upon us, homeowners frequently ask us about how a metal roof handles the two most damaging cold weather elements: ice and snow. In order to help homeowners better understand the benefits of metal roofing year round, including extreme cold and winter weather, we’ve shared some of the most common concerns and their answers below.

Snow on a metal roof

Will snow easily slide off of my metal roof, is there a chance it could freeze and pile up?

In almost every case, snow and ice slide right off of a metal roof in a clean sweep. For this reason, metal roofing continues to be a very popular roofing choice in even the coldest and snowiest of climates, including the very cold regions of the US and Canada.

Fortunately for the homeowner with a metal roof, the destructive effects of ice damming — when snow backs up against your roof eaves and forces water into your home under the shingles, will never be a concern.

Because metal roofing is so durable and is designed to efficiently shed snow and ice, you’ll also be free of worry in regard to icicles or ice buildup that can damage or even destroy your gutters.

Which brings us to our next question…

If snow and ice shed from metal roofs so easily, what prevents large and potentially dangerous chunks from falling onto nearby walkways and traffic areas?

In addition to the beneficial design of metal roofing which allows the shedding of snow and ice, it can also be installed with snow guards or heating cables. Both of which will help to break up large snow and ice chunks to avoid the “avalanche” effect that might otherwise occur in extreme cases outside your home during the winter.

One important consideration when it comes to this issue is where whether or not you have heating sources within your attic could cause ice on both metal and asphalt roofs by melting snow in one area and allowing the runoff to re-freeze in another.

We recommend that you strategize with your metal roofing contractor to locate any heat sources within the attic of your home. Once these heat sources have been identified, you’ll be able to tailor the installation of your new metal roof so that snow and ice shed easily and safely.

Is it possible to install a metal roof during the winter months in a snowy region, such as Ohio in the middle of January?

Metal roof installations are not at all uncommon even during the most brutal winter seasons. This is especially because a heavy winter snow can be the breaking point for an old roof that needs to be replaced. In many cases the winter weather will make for a more difficult installation, but it by no means makes them impossible to install.

The bottom line is that regardless of what time of year it is, there are wonderful benefits to investing in a durable metal roofing system. Homeowners who have invested in a metal roofing system, can rest assured that whatever this winter has in store for them, their home’s roof can stand up to it with ease.

Shingles Vs. Steel

Reuben Miller

When you stop and think about the invaluable job a home’s roof does, you likely come to the conclusion that it is one of the most important construction components of your entire home. Despite the importance of our roofing system, aside from shielding it from potentially damaging falling objects, we seldom appreciate its value until there’s a problem.

These days when the time comes to build a home or replace the roof of an existing home, there is a great split of opinion when it comes to which materials are best. Architects and designers often favor form over function while homeowners and builders opt for what gets the job done in the most cost-effective manner, while maintaining a high level of functionality.

These days there are just a few roofing materials that dominate the industry, asphalt shingles and metal are the front runners. Those in the asphalt industry maintain that their products are easier to install, more affordable, and last up to 30 years. Asphalt has long been a traditional choice, as well.

In recent years however, metal roofs have made a huge comeback. The early tin roofs you might remember, were common on barns and sheds, as well as homes. They were known for their durability, and easy installation. At some point during the 1970s homeowners began to lean away from metal roofs to asphalt shingles.

These days however, the steel roof is back. According to the Metal Roofing Alliance, “Longevity is one of the top reasons consumers report choosing metal roofing for their homes. Metal roofing can last as long as 50 years or more, requiring very little maintenance and looking beautiful all the while.”

Weather conditions are another big consideration when selecting the right roof for your home. Many parts of the country are prone to wind and rain or snow and ice, which can wreak havoc on an asphalt roof. And depending on a home’s architectural style, one choice might simply be the better option from your particular aesthetic point of view.

We invite you to take a look at this list of some of pros and cons for both asphalt shingles and steel roofing materials.

Asphalt Shingles – The Pros

  • Initially, it’s a bit cheaper

  • Some builders like to use it because it is quicker for them to install as that’s primarily all they’ve worked with

  • When damage and wear occur, it can be fairly inexpensive to repair

  • There are numerous style and color options to suit every taste and budget

Asphalt Shingles – The Cons

  • It has been used so much that many new homeowners want something different

  • Harsh weather is its enemy, especially hail

  • Can trap moisture and promote the growth of moss, mildew, and algae

  • Even though a warranty may extend up to 30 years, other factors dictate how well the roof holds up, such as ventilation, climate, and routine upkeep

  • It is not considered environmentally sustainable. EPA studies show shingle waste makes up 8% of the total building-related waste stream.

Steel Roofing – The Pros

  • It is lightweight so prevents excessive pressure on a home’s framework

  • Very durable and last for decades-depending on which type of metal is chosen, some can last well over 50 years

  • Many metal roof manufacturers provide 50-year warranties

  • Certain grades of steel roofing are virtually fireproof

  • Because they offer such a high degree of protection from the elements, some insurance firms offer homeowners as much as 30 percent off their premiums when they opt for a metal roof.

  • There are numerous style and color options to suit every taste and budget

  • It is virtually maintenance free

  • They are deemed environmentally conscious due to their energy-efficiency and are also recyclable

Steel Roofing – The Cons

  • The initial cost is slightly higher than shingles

  • If not installed properly, it may expand and contract too much, which might hinder its effectiveness as a moisture barrier

  • Public misconceptions and skepticism about some metals rusting on coastal climates which can happen with some low-end steel roofing materials that are still on the market

The bottom line is this, homeowners must do their own research, discussing the pros and cons based on their climate, and buy the best roof with the best warranty that you can afford. Whatever you do, just don’t take the situation lightly; remember, your roof is one of the most critical components of your home.

The Green Benefits Of Metal Roofing

Reuben Miller

These days more and more consumers are becoming aware of the need for sustainable living, and as a result a growing number of homeowners and home-buyers are prioritizing Eco-friendly living in their home purchases and renovations. In order to meet this increasing demand for conservation and the ability to recycle, homeowners are seeking solid alternatives that will adhere to even the most rigorous standards of sustainable living. Of the various green home improvement solutions available, metal roofing is one that’s gaining popularity even among the most skeptical homeowners.

Many metal roofs contain up to 40 percent recycled steel, not to mention the fact that the content of metal roofs in itself is 100 percent recyclable. As a result of its high recycle-ability and re-usability, metal roofing materials rarely become waste in a landfill. When compared to the estimated 11 million tons of asphalt shingles that end up in landfills, it is clear why those in the government agency and home improvement industry are calling metal roofing an Eco-friendly solution for every homeowner.

Metal roofing, as a recognized green home product, is a cost-saving and energy efficient investment. Metal roofs are commonly known for improving home value by 1 to 6 percent. With this in mind, it’s easy to understand why public interest in green homes is certainly on the rise.

By many indications, the trend for going green isn’t going to be slowing down anytime soon. In fact, many studies have found a growing interest in Eco-friendly and sustainable living among both homeowners and buyers. An overwhelming number of home buyers are making energy efficient appliances, lighting and other home accessories the top priorities in their home purchases. In fact according to one survey of home owners some 94 percent are looking for Energy Star rated appliances, and more than 90 percent specifically declared their desire to have an Energy Star rating for the whole home.

So, as the public continues to move forward to a more sustainable lifestyle, we should expect to experience a rise in in anything and everything that’s recyclable and renewable, and metal roofs among both commercial and residential buildings will be no exception.

Have You Looked At Metal Roofing Lately?

Reuben Miller

One tough choice almost all homeowners eventually face is what type of material to use to build or replace their roof. Popular choices are asphalt or fiberglass shingles, wood or cedar shake or shingles, clay tiles, slate, fibrous cement – and steel. Steel roofs? For some, this arouses thoughts of commercial buildings with the kind of big, clunky, and dull looking metal roof that you find almost exclusively in an industrial park. Now, while you may not have noticed, but these days more and more homes are being roofed with steel. One reason you may not notice this shift in roofing selection is because newer steel roofs are coated to look every bit as beautiful as a shingled roof. They even come in a variety of colors.

So, why are people selecting steel roofs over all of the other materials, even with a higher initial investment in some cases? Well, for a number of reasons, and for many that list starts with beauty. While looks certainly aren’t everything, let’s face it—nobody wants an ugly roof. Fortunately for the aesthetic-minded homeowner, a metal roof will satisfy even the most discriminating of tastes. With a vast array of colors to choose from, and several style options are helping to ensure that buyers’ homes become as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside.

But what about longevity? Will a steel roof really outlast the competition? The simple answer is a resounding yes! The beauty of a steel roof doesn’t stop with mere aesthetic appeal. A quality metal roofing system provides unmatched durability, lasting 2 to 3 times longer than conventional roofing materials. With longevity like this, the chances are good that a steel roof will be the last roof you’ll ever install on your home.

These days buyers are educating themselves on the roofing options available to them and the facts about those options because they have to. They can’t afford ignorance; none of us can. They’re discovering that continuing to buy conventional roofing simply because that’s what’s always done, may not be the best thing to do. As a homeowner or business owner you owe it to yourself to make the right decision about the best roofing option for you. So before you make a decision, do some research, you’ll be glad you did.

But regardless of what’s on the ‘must haves’ list for their next roof, homeowners who put in the time and effort to do their homework are coming to the same conclusion, metal roofing is the way to go. When you compare pricing, consider warranties, energy efficiency, longevity, and factor in beauty and style the choice becomes obvious; steel roofing simply has so much to offer it’s simply impossible to ignore.

Standing Seam – One tough roof!

Reuben Miller

For the home or business owner who is looking for a roofing system that’s both beautiful and durable, then I would look no further than metal roofing, and depending on the application, standing seam to be exact. I know of few materials more capable of protecting a home or building from the elements than a durable and energy efficient standing seam metal roof. Wind, rain, hail, fire, and rot are worries that the average home or business owner who’s chosen a metal roofing system.

For some, the initial cost investment to install a standing seam metal roof may seem a bit expensive. But when you consider the fact that it is virtually maintenance free and can last 50 years or more, a standing seam metal roof quickly rises to the top of the list for many buyers in the market today.

Standing seam metal roofing can also be an excellent choice for buildings located in places where weather and temperatures can drastically change from season to season. Standing seam roofs are renown for their ability to withstand high humidity and heat, just as well as it can weather even the coldest winter months. Thanks to an innovative design and durable materials, a standing seam roof can expand and contract according to ambient temperatures without doing damage to the roof.

Many ecology-minded citizens refer to a standing seam roof as, ‘the environmental roof.’ The life expectancy of a standing seam roof is 40 years or more on average, making it much longer lasting than almost all of its competitors. It is usually made of 20 percent recycled material and if any part of your standing seam metal roof should need to be replaced, it is fully recyclable. In contrast, asphalt requires a huge amount of oil to produce, with an average life expectancy of 15-20 years. At the end of their life, they are then disposed of in landfill sites.

Metal is the fastest growing type of roofing material in the nation, and for good reason. A metal roof can also save up to 40% on energy costs. It’s all in the color coating. Our color coating systems are ENERGY STAR® rated which means our products help to reduce the solar heat load on your home reducing energy expenditures for cooling. Bear in mind, that a standing seam metal roof of today is by no means the metal roofing system of days gone by. Finishes typically have a 40 year warranty, with a life expectancy that often times outlasts the warranty.

With these facts in mind, it’s easy to see how metal roofs have lost their “barnyard” image. Available in a host of colors, matte finishes, and profiles, the end product is a roof that is not only beautiful, very protective, and long lasting, but does so with little to no expense for maintenance.