By and large, traditional shingle roofing remains the norm in the United States, but the use of metal roofing on residential properties may be on the rise for several reasons.
Last June David Wagler opened Wagler Metal Sales, which specializes in cutting metal roofing to size and distributing the product to contractors. According to Wagler, metal roofing is most commonly utilized on industrial structures, but the durable alternative to shingles is gaining traction in the residential market. He attributed that to a number of benefits provided by metal roofing, ranging from positive environmental impacts to long-term cost savings.
According to Wagler, the biggest benefits homeowners experience thanks to metal roof installation largely relate to the material’s durability.
Whereas normal shingle roofing is required to be replaced every 10 to 15 years, which in some areas is required by insurance companies, metal roofing far outlasts its counterpart. Wagler noted that a properly-installed metal roof can last between 40 and 50 years.
This is positive, said Wagler, because a metal roof’s lifespan can help offset the higher up-front costs associated with metal roofing.
On average, metal roofing will cost homeowners between 10 to 15 percent more to purchase and install than medium-grade shingles. However, with metal roofing lasting more than twice as long under ideal conditions, Wagler said homeowners will experience a long-term benefit.
Other factors come into play for long-term savings as well, such as metal roofing’s resistance to wind and a relatively lighter weight than a normal shingle roof. Metal roofing is wind-resistant up to 140 miles per hour, whereas the threshold is much lower for shingles. Repairs to shingle roofing are much more likely to be required due to wind damage than with metal roofing, said Wagler.
Additionally, Wagler said metal roofing can help homeowners save in energy usage as well.
“Whereas a lot of conventional roofing absorbs heat, and metal roofing reflects it, which keeps your attic cooler and keeps stress out of your attic,” said Wagler.
This translates into a cost-savings in energy usage of about 10 to 25 percent, said Wagler.
And for the environmentally-conscious, metal roofing may be preferable for multiple reasons as well.
Unlike shingles, metal roofing is 100-percent recyclable. For those who utilize roof-top solar panels, metal roofing also may be preferable thanks to the longer amount of time afforded to homeowners between installations.
While there are benefits in long-term costs and environmental impact, aesthetics play a role in homeowners’ decisions as well.
Wagler acknowledged that metal roofing used to have its issues. Primarily, the paint commonly used on the product was prone to fading due to sun exposure. But, according to Wagler, that issue largely was eliminated in recent years thanks to advances in the industry.
“The quality of the paint that’s going on the roof, they’re always increasing that,” said Wagler. “In 2006 they made a major upgrade to the paint quality and the fade resistance to the metal roofing.”