Metal roofs used to be a novelty, reserved for barns and other commercial or industrial uses. Now, they’ve become mainstream as a preferred roof replacement alternative to the popular asphalt shingles commonly found on homes.
Metal roofs are no longer limited to their old “metal looks”, either. You can buy metal shingles that mimic the appearance of asphalt shingles but without the weaknesses of the latter. Metal is more available now as a roofing material than it used to be, allowing its market share to increase at an annual rate of about 3%. It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that up to 15% of all roofing installations today use metal as the primary material.
Not all metal roofs are made the same, however, so it’s important to consider a few factors before you sign up for a metal roof replacement. Here’s a list of what you should look for in this type of material.
1. Premium and Certified
There’s a Quality Certification Program developed by the Metal Construction Association. This program aims to recognize the manufacturers and the products that meet certain high standards surrounding the processes and materials used in the manufacture of metal roofing products. Find contractors that offer products with this certification.
2. Strong Warranties
It’s not enough to receive a warranty for your new roof. You don’t want to be left footing the bill for a roof repair due to a workmanship error, a manufacturing defect, or a raw material issue. Make sure to get a warranty for the product (and its raw materials) and one for the workmanship.
Poor attic ventilation can damage an asphalt roof and shorten its life span. While a metal roofing system is a lot more durable than an asphalt roof, attic superheating can still cause problems. The lack of proper ventilation can lead to ice dam formation, which can force water to back up and enter the underside of your metal shingles. It can also support the growth of mold or cause the wood components of your roof to rot. To make the most of your metal roofing system, make sure the contractor installs your roof with enough ventilation.
4. Open Valleys
Many metal roofing systems have hidden or closed valley systems to allow water to drain quickly from the roof. However, these valleys can fill up with debris when leaves, pine needles, and dry branches fall on your roof. Open valleys are better because they are “self-cleaning”. No clogged up valleys that can start a leak.
5. Resin-Based Finish
Asphalt shingles are prone to streaking and staining. This is one of the reasons many people decide to replace them with metal shingles. To further enjoy your spotless metal roof, get metal shingles with a resin-based finish that lasts longer. Kynar 500® and Hylar 5000® PVDF resin-based finishes are the best options in terms of streak and stain resistance.
You can further enhance your enjoyment of a new metal roofing system by following these pieces of advice that will keep it looking great and prolong its life:
Observe Your Old Roof
Timing is an important part of replacing your type of roofing material. If your roof is old and leaky, and well past a condition where roof repair is enough, chances are high that most of its structure is damaged. Mold and mildew growth, rust, wood rot, water-damaged drywall, and termite damage can put your entire roofing system out of commission. You’ll be spending more money when you replace your roof because the old structure will be completely torn off and replaced. Avoid these problems by getting a proper roof inspection.
Don’t Install Your New Roof Over the Old One
Tearing off an old roof can take more time and cost more money, so some homeowners install their new roof over the old one. A metal roofing system can be installed over an existing roof. However, there are some possible issues.
In some jurisdictions, this is illegal. If you are caught doing it, you are liable for hefty fines. You might also be forced to remove the new roof.
Another issue is that a new metal roof over an old roof is a perfect condition for the accumulation of water vapor between the two roofs, and that can lead to mold growth and rot. Even if your contractor suggests installing a vented metal roof to eliminate the water vapor problem, not removing the old roof means they won’t be able to completely inspect your roof structure for problem areas.
Maximize the Energy Efficiency
Metal roofs are known for their energy-efficient qualities. They have high solar reflective properties and do not puncture or break easily. Increase your attic insulation for better roofing performance in any weather. Make sure your roof has ample ventilation, as well, to prevent attic superheating that can bake and damage roofing components from below. Poor ventilation will also make your home uncomfortable and increase your home’s heating and cooling costs.
Avoid DIY-ing Your Roof
Roof installation and repairs are popular DIY activities for many homeowners. However, a DIY installation or repair is not likely to be better than a professional one. This is particularly true for metal roofs. To maximize your investment, call a pro to work on it.
Metal roofs are very durable, but if your roof ever suffers storm damage, it’s always best to call a professional contractor to inspect and repair it. Storms can cause damage that goes beyond the outer material of the roof, so to prevent complications that would lead to a shortened service life and that could affect other parts of your home, trust only a pro to repair it.
Regularly Maintain Your Roof
A metal roof is tough in any weather, but if you want to maximize its service life, sign up for regular professional maintenance. You can also rid your roof of debris like leaves and pine needles. All you need is a regular garden hose. There’s no need for a power washer. Clean your gutters and downspouts at least once a year to further protect your home from water intrusion and expensive repairs.
If you have problems with roof storm damage or would like to install a metal roof, get in touch with Redemption Roofing. Call us at (936) 226-0658 (Montgomery), (281) 241-3026 (League City), (830) 522-4145 (Hill Country), (409) 403-5073 (Golden Triangle), or (337) 305-7705 (Lake Charles). You can also contact us here.