Your Complete Guide to Residential Metal Roofing | Element Roofing
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Everything You Should Know About Residential Metal Roofing

Everything You Should Know About Residential Metal Roofing

Metal roofing has become more popular in Pleasanton than it used to be. You may have seen a metal roof as you were driving through your neighborhood. Why has your neighbor chosen this roofing type, and is it a good choice for you? This guide will help you answer these questions and many more. We’ll explain everything you should know about metal roofing.

It’s probably no surprise to you that metal roofing is a big topic. So, we have divided this complete guide into three major parts. In the first, we’ll explain what metal roofing is and how it works. In the second, we’ll tell you what you need to know to decide if metal roofing is the right choice for your home, garage or other building. Finally, in the last section, we’ll explain how metal roofs should be installed.

Part One: What is Metal Roofing?

Metal roofing is an alternative to asphalt shingles, wood shake, and other types of roofing. Metal roofing is made from large, thin sheets of coated metal that is screw onto your roof. There are many metal options for roofing, including:

  • Steel: As you’d expect, steel lends strength to metal roofing and a great deal of temperature resistance.
  • Aluminum: Highly recyclable and naturally corrosion-resistant, aluminum is a great material for metal roofs.
  • Zinc: Zinc is often added to steel or other metals to improve their resistance to corrosion.
  • Copper: Copper is a very old roofing material and valued for its durability. However, it’s also expensive.

There are also different types of metal roofs, including:

  • Standing seam metal roofs: This type of roof is characterized by vertical ridges where the metal panels join.
  • Seamless metal roofs: Seamless metal roofs lack the seams you see on other kinds.
  • Metal shingles: Metal shingles were popular in the United States for a brief period of time.

Metal Roof from Element RoofingIs Metal Roofing New?

Though naysayers may argue metal roofing is “new” and therefore not “proven,” metal roofing is actually a very old concept. Standing-seam metal roofs and even shingle metal roofs were available in the United States pre-Revolution, which is long before asphalt shingles showed up. Still, they weren’t terribly common until recently, as they were expensive.
Of course, things have changed a lot since then. Modern manufacturing techniques and coatings have made metal roofs even more durable and weather-resistant than they were in the past. They’re also much more affordable than they used to be.

How Does a Metal Roof Work?

A metal roof is fairly simple. Metal is naturally impermeable to water and strong enough to resist hail and other impacts. In fact, in cold areas, metal roofs also easily shed snow. The coatings we apply to the metal add color and prevent cracking, chipping and rust.

Part Two: Should I Buy a Metal Roof?

If you’re wondering whether or not a metal roof is right for you, explore the benefits and disadvantages of them below.

What are the Benefits of a Metal Roof?

  • Longevity: Metal roofs can last more than 50 years, which is five times the lifespan of some asphalt shingles. This is an incredible benefit, as it means that after you’ve installed a metal roof, you may not have to get a new roof for the rest of your life.
  • Low Maintenance: Metal roofs rarely need maintenance or repairs, so long as they were installed properly in the first place.
  • Strength: Unlike some other roofing materials, metal is strong enough to resist impacts such as hail and even being stepped on.
  • Fire-resistance: Metal roofs will not fuel a fire that starts in your home. They may also protect your home from stray sparks from a wildfire. Unlike some roofing materials, a metal roof will not ignite after being struck by lightning.
  • UV Reflectivity: While asphalt shingles soak up heat, in the form of ultraviolet radiation, metal roofing reflects it. This helps your home cooler in the summer, so you may end up spending less on cooling costs. Some metal roofs are even treated with a coating that reflects even more UV rays.

Does a Metal Roof Lower Your Insurance?

As a metal roof provides a lot of weather-resistance, including fire-resistance, it could lower your home insurance rates. If you’re interested in lowering your home insurance, you should ask your insurance company whether or not they offer reduced rates for metal roofs before you invest in one. Only certain insurance companies, in specific areas, will offer this benefit.

What are the Disadvantages of a Metal Roof?

  • Expense: Metal roofs are, on average, more expensive than a metal roof. However, the gap may not be as large as you’re expecting. See our explanation below.
  • Inconsistent quality: As you’re making a long-term investment in your metal roof, it’s important to choose a roofer who offers a quality roof system and has the experience and dedication to install it properly. Some companies skimp on costs by using metal sheets that are too thin.

How Much is a Metal Roof Compared To Shingles?

According to Home Advisor, metal roofs range in price from $5,000 to $12,000. New asphalt shingle roofs cost between $5,000 to $10,000. A premium shingle installation may cost the same as a metal roof installation. But, typically, you should expect a higher price tag on a metal roof than an average asphalt shingle roof.

How Much Does Metal Roofing Cost?

It’s understandable that you want some hard numbers about the cost of a metal roof if you’re considering one. Unfortunately, the price varies based on the kind of metal roof and the size of your home. Element Roofing is happy to give you a personalized, accurate roofing quote, but we can only speak for our own prices. Give us a call, and we can give you an estimate. Don’t forget that we have financing options that can help you afford a metal roof now, so you can reap its benefits for the long term.

Finishing A Metal RoofPart Three: Metal Roofing Installation

You should always have a trained professional install your metal roof, for safety, insurance, and warranty reasons. That being said, you may want to learn about the process of installation so that you know if your roofer is following best practices, or if they’re creating a headache for you down the road. If your roofer does something you don’t expect, you can always ask them why they’ve chosen to do what they’re doing. A professional, honest roofer should be happy to explain their process, or why your home or roof is an exception.

What Gauge of Metal Roofing is Best for Residential Homes?

Metal gauge refers to the thickness of a metal sheet. The thinner a piece of metal, the lighter and more flexible it is. The thicker, the more resistant to impact and durable it is. When you’re getting a metal roof, you want to aim for all four of these qualities. A metal roof has to be light enough that the home can support it. It needs to be flexible so that roofers can shape and cut it into panels. That being said, it needs to be thick enough to withstand impact and the ravages of time.

So, exactly what gauge of metal should your roofer be using? There’s no easy answer. First, the metal has to meet your local building code’s guidelines, which may list a minimum gauge. From there, the right gauge depends on the type of metal and the quality of the system. No thickness of metal can make up for a poorly designed system. Plus, a great metal coating can make up for some of the disadvantages of a thinner metal.

How to Cut Metal Roofing

Metal roofing sheets should really only be cut by a professional with the right equipment. If you’re a homeowner and you’re tempted to cut your own metal roofing sheets to cut costs, let your roofer know that you’re worried about the price point. They may be able to work with you to reduce your costs.

How to Install Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is composed of several layers of roof materials, just like asphalt shingle roofing. The first step of any installation is to measure the roof and determine how much material you need. That depends on what kind of system you’re installing, and your roofer will handle it. After that, it’s just a matter of removing the old roofing and laying on the new. Here’s the step by step process to installing each layer.

1. Remove Old Roofing
You don’t always have to remove the old shingle layer before you install metal roofing, but it’s preferable. Also, if you happen to have two layers of shingles already, you’ll have to remove at least one, as most building codes only allow two layers of roofing materials on a building at a time.

2. Inspect the Decking
Once all of the old roofing material has been removed, your roofer will be left with the decking. This wooden material is the base of all roofs. If it has suffered water damage or has another problem, it needs to be fixed before the metal roofing is installed.

3. Underlayment
Metal roofs start with a layer of water-proof material called ice and water protector and a layer of felt or another underlayment. Your building codes dictate how much ice and water protector you need. Typically, it is applied on the edge of the roof, around roof features like skylights, and in any roof valleys. Felt underlayment goes next.

4. Metal Panels
Now you have to install each panel step-by-step. Again, how you do this depends on the specific system you’re working with. No matter what, you will need to screw in each panel, with screws specially intended for the roof. You may also need to apply a sealant tape.

5. Inspection
The last step your roofer should compete it a roof inspection. They should look over their work and ensure everything was done properly. If you have questions about how your metal roof was installed, this is a good time to ask them.

How to Install Metal Roofing Over Shingles

In select circumstances, a metal roof can be installed right on top of an existing shingle roof. The process is the same, except that your roofer has to inspect your shingle roof before they start. If the current roof has ventilation issues, they need to be resolved before you install the metal roof.

How to Choose a Metal Roofing Company?

Metal roofing is becoming more and more popular, and new metal roofing companies are opening all of the time. How do you know which one you should choose?

  • Quality of the roof: Ultimately, you want the best quality roof you can find for your budget. Compare the roofs, their guarantees, and warranties, to ensure you’re getting the best roof for your home and climate.
  • Customer service: Your experience during roof installation is important. Does the company answer your questions honestly? Will they try to make the roof installation more convenient for your family? Strong customer service will benefit you even years down the road if you need help with some aspect of your roof.
  • Financing options: Few families can pay for a metal roof in cash. It’s wise to work with a roofing company that has financing options.

Reach Out to Element Roofing

Do you have more questions about metal roofing? Or, are you ready to get a quote? Either way, reach out to the team at Element Roofing. We’re experienced, honest roofers who will tell you if a metal roof is the right option for you. Unlike other roofing companies, we do both metal and asphalt shingles, which means we don’t try to sell one over the other. If a metal roof isn’t right for you, we can always help you get a shingle roof instead.

Contact us today.