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Your Top 15 Questions About Metal Roofing, Answered

Is a stone coated steel roof noisy in the rain? Will a standing seam roof block your cell phone signal? These are the top 15 questions we get asked about metal roofing.

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We’ve found that more and more of our customers are interested in the beauty and durability of metal roofing – and also, that they have a lot of questions about it!

Well, we’re here to help. We’ve compiled the top 15 questions we get about metal roofs and answered them here. And if we somehow missed your question, feel free to ask us!

What is stone coated steel roofing?

Stone coated steel roofs are made of shingles, just like composition roofs are, but these shingles are pretty amazing. They have a steel base coated with stone particles and epoxy, and can mimic traditional shingles, wood, slate, and ceramic tile.

We use stone-coated steel shingles from Boral and Decra, two of the most reputable names in the business.

What is a standing seam metal roof?

Standing seam metal roofs are made of long panels crimped together to create a “seam” that “stands” up from the roof. The seams travel vertically down the roof to create a bold and beautiful aesthetic.

The metal sheets are typically aluminum, galvanized steel, or even copper, all of which are incredibly lightweight and durable. These panels can be painted or left to weather naturally.

What metal roof styles can I choose from?

Metal roofing gives you a huge number of style options to choose from!

A standing seam metal roof can be a statement piece, with its bold vertical lines. , while stone coated steel tiles come in a variety of profiles, from wood shakes to slate to barrel tile. Standing seam metal roofing can be painted in a variety of colors, and stone coated steel has a wide range of colors to choose from.

Want to see more? We have a whole post on the Best Metal Roof Colors for a Standing Seam Metal Roof!

Are metal roofs more expensive than asphalt shingles?

Yes, there’s an up-front cost to investing in metal roofing. A metal roof typically costs two to three times as much as a standard composition roof — but it will also save you money in the long run.  

Metal roofs last for decades, increase the value of the home, and help you save money on energy bills and insurance premiums. Ultimately, only you can decide whether the benefits are worth the initial up-front cost.

Can I get an insurance discount for my metal roof?

Yes, although it depends on your insurance company. The metal roofing products we use have a Class 4 impact-resistance rating, the highest rating UL offers. Many insurance companies provide a discount on your homeowners insurance when you install a Class 4 roof, so check with your agent.

Is a metal roof more energy efficient?

Yes, a metal roof can help reduce your energy bills. Metal roofs reflect radiant heat from the sun more than composite roofs do, and the color you select also makes a difference. This helps to keep your home cooler and can cut energy costs 10-25%.

How long does a metal roof last?

Composition roofs have to be replaced every 10-20 years, while a metal roof can last 40-70 years or even more. They are incredibly durable and should last the entire lifetime of your home, meaning that you’ll never have to replace the roof again.

Does a metal roof get hail damage or weather damage?

Hail: Metal roofing is far more hail-resistant than traditional asphalt shingles. The metal roof products we use, both standing seam and stone coated steel, are rated Class 4 for insurance purposes, the highest rating. While that doesn’t mean they’ll never, ever be dented by hail, it does mean that they’ll take a lot less damage than traditional roofs.

Sun: Metal roofs are also very durable and weather-resistant. They won’t corrode, crack, peel, or fade like composition roofs, even when subjected to the scorching Texas summer heat. They can also withstand wind speeds up to 140 mph!

Mold: Both kinds of metal roofing are mold-resistant. Standing seam metal roofs contain zinc, an anti-fungal, and stone coated steel tiles have an anti-fungal in the adhesive binder. Plus, both surfaces are smoother than composition shingles, giving mold fewer nooks and crannies to start growing.

What happens when lightning strikes a metal roof?

While it may seem counter-intuitive, metal roofs are actually better at handling a lightning strike than composition roofs are.

Lightning strikes (or, more correctly, originates from) the highest structure in an area, no matter what it’s made of, so a metal roof is no more likely to be struck by lightning than any other kind. And if your home is hit by lightning, a metal roof is the safest bet. As an electrical conductor, the metal will efficiently discharge the lightning through the home to the ground, and a metal roof can’t catch fire in the same way a composition roof can. Our metal roof products have a Class A fire rating, the top fire-resistance rating.

Are metal roofs noisy or loud in the rain?

Actually, no! You may be thinking of an old corrugated sheet metal roof on a barn, which certainly would be very loud during a storm, as it’s just a piece of metal installed over rafters. Today’s metal roofs are installed over an underlayment of insulation and sheathing, and there’s no discernable difference in the sound of a metal roof versus a traditional composition roof.

It shouldn’t! Consider that you likely already use your cell phone in buildings with metal roofs (shops, restaurants, churches) without even noticing. If you already have very weak cell phone reception in your home, it’s possible that a metal roof could be the last straw, and you’ll need to buy a repeater system or phone signal booster – but we’ve never had this happen with any of our clients.

Do metal roofs interfere with wi-fi signals?

It’s possible. Metal does interfere with wireless signals, just like a metal file cabinet between your router and computer can obstruct the signal, and a small percentage of customers do report issues with their wi-fi after installing a metal roof. A top-quality router with a long range and a wireless repeater will generally fix the issue.

How do I clean a metal roof?

The short answer is: you don’t. In general, a metal roof will stay cleaner than an asphalt roof because it is smoother, so dirt and particles will be more easily washed away by the rain.

If you’re in an area with lots of trees, pollen, or other airborne particles, you may get a layer of grime just as you would on an asphalt roof, or on your car for that matter. Most of our clients do not clean their metal roofs, but if you want to, a metal roof (unlike an asphalt roof) can be safely cleaned with a light power washing.

Is metal roofing environmentally friendly?

Very! While old composition roof materials go to landfills (up to 20 billion pounds per year), metal roofing is typically made with 25-90% recycled materials and is 100% recyclable when it’s no longer needed.

Can any roofing company do a metal roof installation?

Absolutely not! In fact, if you go on metal roofing forums, you’ll find a significant number of people who are very upset that their stone coated steel roof is leaking because it was incorrectly installed. (Even worse, improper installation typically isn’t covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.)

In the case of stone coated steel roofing, the underlayment must be installed correctly and the attic needs to be correctly vented. Most importantly, the shingles need to be cut, layered, and screwed to battens correctly, or it can leak and cause all kinds of mold and mildew problems in the attic.

For standing seam metal roofs, the edges must be carefully crimped to allow the panels to expand in hot weather without buckling, and exposed fasteners must be correctly installed to avoid the possibility of leaking or rusting. Finally, the installers must be careful not to scratch or dent the metal panels during installation, which could also create rust problems.

But don’t let that scare you off! Designer Roofing specializes in residential metal roofing, and we have a trained team of experts who have done this many times before. If you’re interested in a metal roof for your home, please contact us. We’d love to help you get the roof of your dreams.