A metal roof isn't always a homeowner's first choice of roofing material when they need to have a new roof installed, but it's a choice that should be considered. While it's not always the most standard option, a metal roof can mean better insulation for the home and a longer lifespan; some metal roofs may outlast the home itself! If you're thinking about getting a metal roof installed, note a few questions you might have and then discuss this option with a metal roofing contractor as needed.
Why does a metal roof require a special roofing contractor?
Not all roofing contractors can offer a metal roof installation because installing a metal roof is much different than installing standard asphalt shingles or tiles. A metal roof needs to be fastened to the roof with bolts rather than simply nailed into place, and a metal roof involves long pieces of metal and not individual shingles. The metal may also need to be bent around the sides of the home's roof to keep those pieces in place and offer more insulation. All of this requires certain skills and knowhow that a standard roofing contractor might not have.
Is metal really more eco-friendly than asphalt?
Asphalt tiles can be recycled after they're removed from a roof, but note that the process is difficult as they need to be melted down. This means heat, which creates fumes and emissions, whereas metal can simply be cut and fabricated when removed from a roof. Note, too, that the difficulty in recycling asphalt tiles means that they're often just tossed out even though they can be reused. It's estimated that some 20 billion pounds of asphalt tiles are dumped into U.S. landfills every year alone. Since metal is easier to reuse and recycle, a metal roofing contractor may be more likely to take it to a recycling facility if you should ever need to have the roof replaced.
Does metal make the home hot?
Note that a metal roof is not applied right to a home's roof rafters and joists, but there is typically an insulating material that is put under the roof and over the flashing or roofing paper. This insulating material keeps the metal roof quieter and also helps to insulate the home. A lighter color for a metal roof may also mean that the sun's rays are deflected off a home, keeping it cooler than one with standard, dark asphalt tiles.