There’s a bit of a buzz around metal roofs at the moment. More of us are starting to choose them over their shingle counterparts, as we look to improve our home’s energy efficiency and make savings in the process. We’re not all sold just yet, however. It’s always a good idea to exercise caution when it comes to something that we don’t know much about, so I’ve delved a little deeper to help you decide if they’re for you.
First of all, there’s no such thing as a flat, shiny one-for-all sheet that glares in the sun. You can choose ranges that replicate slate and clay tiles across aluminium, copper and steel – so you’ll get the benefits of the metal but keep the visual look of other popular materials. At least that’s the idea. I can’t help thinking that the metal designs are obvious waxy looking copies which don’t quite live up to the appearance of an authentic slate or shingle roof. What do you think?
The main priority with any roof always lies with its shelter. A metal roof isn’t a lightening hazard despite what you may have heard. It does conduct electricity but it won’t draw electricity towards it and turn your home into a fireball. If lightening were to strike your roof, the energy would be absorbed throughout the structure, keeping you safe. The hailstones in the UK aren’t large enough to dent either!
As for rust, steel sheets have metallic coatings of zinc or a combination of aluminium and zinc to prevent against corrosion and a painted finish that’s baked on to keep it looking nice afterwards. Copper doesn’t need special treatment and aluminium comes ready protected too.
Maintenance of metal roofing
On average, a metal roof will last two to three times longer than typical roofs like asphalt. Many companies will offer a lifetime warranty of 30 to 60 years, whereas you’d expect to reproof other roofs at least once every 20 years.
If you choose metal, you might need to varnish it but it’s not a given and it certainly won’t cost as much. The thicker the original coating, the longer your roof will last. Even the weakest acrylic mixes should protect you for 20 to 30 years.
When you hit a metal saucepan, the clanging sound can be deafening. Luckily, you wouldn’t have to put up with the same noise every time rain hit your roof! The combination of the solid sheathing and the design of the roof slows down the rate of sound diffusion and minimises the noise. It wouldn’t silence it altogether but it wouldn’t be any louder than a non-metal product.
Energy efficiency of metal roofing
Up to a third of your home’s energy can be lost through the roof and add a significant amount on to your heating bills in winter. New metal roofs reflect heat in the summer saving you money by not needing to dissipate the heat in another way. The roof also insulates during the winter but it’s the insulation underneath or on top of your attic flooring that truly counts in warming your home. The roof’s eco credentials actually come with it being at least 30-60% recyclable. Aluminium and copper are often made to be 95% recyclable nowadays too. Other than its recyclable nature, it gets a bonus point for reducing waste as it can be installed on top of many original roofs.
Cost of metal roofing
A metal roof is by no means a cheap option but remember that you’re paying for its longer life. Depending on the style and metal that you choose, you’ll be paying out between £1,000 to £3,000 for materials and the labour costs for installation. Stainless steel and aluminium price in at around £40-75 per square metre, while copper is the luxury option at £85-110 per square metre.
There’s also one other thing to consider. With all the talk of metal thieves operating, it might not be so great an idea for a bungalow where there’s quick access to the roof. If your home’s set over more than one storey, I doubt it would be much of a risk. By the time the thieves had climbed onto your roof and started banging to dislodge the material, there’s a very good chance that you’d wake up before they were close to taking your roof off!
What’s your opinion on metal roofing? Could you forgive the initial cost for the added benefits? Let us know by commenting below or sending us a tweet @RatedPeople.
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