As the demand for energy efficiency continues to grow, more and more homeowners and potential home buyers are exploring an ancient option. According to historians, metal roofing has been around, in one form or another, for thousands of years. The Romans, for example, used copper as a roofing material for the Pantheon in 27 B.C. In modern times, metal is capturing a growing share of the residential re-roofing market. Even so, misconceptions about the material abound. Here are five that simply don’t hold water.
Myth 1: They Attract Lightning
Although metal conducts electricity, lighting is not irresistibly attracted to it. As a general rule, lightning bolts are drawn to the highest object in any area. It is for that reason that they often strike telephone poles and trees instead of houses. That said, even if a bolt were to strike a metal roof, the electricity would safely disperse through it. In any case, a grounded lightning rod is a reasonable addition to any building that’s not surrounded by taller structures.
Myth 2: They’re Heavy
It might surprise you to learn that materials like copper, tin, and aluminum are up to 50 percent lighter than asphalt shingles. As such, weight is never an issue when you use them to protect your home. By comparison, heavy tiles made of asphalt, concrete, or slate can increase your risk of a roof collapse during the winter, when heavy snow accumulates on the already hefty structure.
Myth 3: They’re Expensive
While it is true that metal roofing costs more than asphalt shingles, it is actually less expensive than slate and about the same price as tile or cedar shake shingles. While metal can be relatively expensive up front, the extended life of metal roofing will save more money in the long run as it needs less maintenance and lasts longer.
Myth 4: They Stand Out
Many homeowners who consider replacing shingles with metallic products worry they won’t match the roofing style in their neighborhood. Fortunately, many of today’s residential options are made to resemble more common materials such as shingles, tiles, or slate products. The average onlooker probably won’t be able to tell you have a tin, copper, or aluminum covering. It’s also important to note that most residential materials are protected by a coating made of zinc, aluminum, or some combination of the two. This coating helps prevent corrosion and rust from forming, which further extends the product’s lifespan.
Myth 5: They’re Noisy
Contrary to popular belief, metal roofing doesn’t sound like a tin drum during a rainstorm. As long as it’s installed with solid sheathing, the material is actually as quiet as asphalt shingles. The myth that they make a lot of noise comes from less complex installation methods with insufficient insulation. In the kind of applications used in American suburbs, this option won’t result in the kinds of noises you’d hear in a tin covered chicken coop.