Today, roofing is available in a wide range of materials and one of your most sustainable and long-lasting options is metal. A properly installed and maintained metal roof can last for up to 50 years or more. This material excels in durability, meaning it can protect your home against harsh weather and the elements. You don’t need to worry about corrosion or cracking because it has special coatings designed to prevent these problems.
No matter which material you go for, you should always prepare for the cost of your new roof. Read on to find out what factors affect metal roof costs.
Kind of Metal
Steel and aluminum are two of the most popular metals today, but you can also choose copper or zinc. Moreover, steel roofing products usually come with an aluminum corrosion-resistant coating or zinc corrosion-resistant coating. Galvanized or zinc coatings perform better and scratch through the paint surface. Aluminum roofing weighs less than steel and naturally resists rust, while copper and zinc are known for their natural metal look.
Type of Coating
A lot of people choose clear-coated steel with a zinc or aluminum coating because of their “natural steel” appearance. This type of coating can last between five to seven years, and it protects the metal from damage during roll forming, transportation, and installation, but it doesn’t affect the lifespan of roofs.
Another popular option is aggregate or stone coatings, which are available on some steel shingles. While they are appealing, they are prone to roof algae in specific environments due to their textured surface. These metal roofing coatings wear away over time and can also impact the recyclability of metal.
Fasteners and Interlocks
Metal roofs can either have exposed screw heads or all concealed fasteners. Products with concealed fasteners consume more metal per square foot, and they also need more complex and slower equipment for production. These fasteners take more time to install because of the way the panels must be fitted.
Unlike exposed fasteners that overlap on the edges, concealed fasteners come with interlocks on two or all four sides. Exposed fasteners may cost less than concealed ones, but they require more maintenance and tend to loosen and leak over the years. On the other hand, concealed fasteners offer better strength, wind resistance and durability.
Vertical seam and modular panels are the most common styles of residential metal roofs. Usually, vertical seams are available in steel, aluminum, copper and zinc. Standing seam panels have concealed fasteners, but they may be driven through clips, allowing full movement of the panels for thermal expansion of contraction. They may also be through nail helms, which doesn’t allow as much movement.
You can get modular panels in various designs, such as shingle, shake, tile, and slate. Many of these panels feature concealed fasteners and interlocks on every side. You must know if the product you’re getting has these features because some do not, and it can affect the roof’s cost and performance.
You need to consider your roof pitch and roofline when getting a new metal roof. Generally, residential and commercial roofing specialists don’t recommend modular panels for roofs that have a pitch of below 3:12. For roofs under 2:12, the best option is a seamed standing seam metal. Contractors crimp these roofs tightly for added water tightness.
Moreover, the more complex your roofing system, the longer it will take your contractor to replace it. If you have a complicated roof design, it pays to invest in materials that are low-maintenance to save on labor costs later. You should choose a metal roofing system that has a self-cleaning valley system, so you don’t need to worry about clogging due to tree debris, ice, or snow. This type of valley system brings water on the top of the roof, instead of concealed channels beneath the roof’s surface.
One more thing to consider when getting a metal roof is the amount of water your roof carries. Take note of if your upper-level roofs bring water down onto lower roofs as well as the length of the rafters. These factors are especially vital to vertical seam metal roofs as these roofs will carry water in between the seams of long panels, which can flood out due to heavy demand.
For your new metal roof to last long, it must be installed properly by a skilled roofing contractor. You must carefully hire a company that will install your roof because this project involves significant costs. When looking for a contractor, request for photos on how they will handle every flashing area on your roofing system. If they can’t provide this, think twice about hiring them. Focus on how they will be flashing pipes, skylights, electrical conduits, chimneys, sidewalls, hips, gables, valleys and eaves. Ask if the flashing will have low dependence on sealants and if there are areas where metal can take the place of sealants.
Experts also suggest that you obtain at least three estimates from different contractors before hiring one. Referrals from friends, neighbors, and family are also helpful. Always do your research and skip contractors who do not have licenses, insurance, or physical address.
When planning a roof replacement, you must also consider improving the ventilation in your attic. Metal roofs typically work well in most types of attic exhaust vents. Your roofing contractor can help you determine if you have enough ventilation.
With a sufficiently ventilated attic, outside temperatures are less likely to affect your home, and warm, moist air can easily escape. As a result, your HVAC system doesn’t need to work as hard to reach your desired temperature, saving you on energy costs. Proper attic ventilation can also help ice dams in the northern climates and prevent mold growth.
At Turner Home Improvement, you can count on our residential and commercial roofing specialists for your roof replacement needs. We specialize in various materials, including standing seam metal, cedar, and asphalt. Give us a call at (860) 633-1400 or fill out our contact form to get a free estimate.