Metal roofs are made from a variety of metals. These include the traditional aluminum and steel, as well as copper and a variety of alloys. Modern ones can be formed into shapes that imitate Spanish tiles, wood shakes, and even slate. They can be given a variety of finishes such as granulated stone topcoats to complete a realistic facsimile of almost any other material.
Metal roofs have some downfalls. One is cost, with a typical square running from one hundred fifty dollars to six hundred dollars. Another is the necessity of professional installation and maintenance, again adding to the overall cost. Despite these negatives many feel that they have benefits that make them worthwhile. Speaking of cost, a properly installed and maintained metal roof can last as long as the house. That means, over a typical home’s life time, the cost is low compared to the cost of other types of roofs that might require replacement after 15 to 20 years.
Metal roofs are light, fifty to one hundred fifty pounds per square compared to 750 pounds per square foot for tile or nine hundred pounds per square foot for concrete tile. They can be installed right over existing roofs without installing additional support. They withstand high winds, snow slides off them, and they are resistant to mildew, insects and rot.
Another major concern with a roof is roof pitch. Other types of roofs require a steep pitch to ensure water flow so that the roof won’t leak. The pitch for a metal roof can be more shallow, with a typical recommended minimum being 3-in-12, which is three inches of height for every horizontal foot. Consider the benefit of a less steep roof next time you have to climb onto it to clean the gutters, or retrieve a ball or Frisbee a child throws onto it.
Word of mouth is perhaps the best way to locate a metal roofing professional. Talk to friends and neighbors, or look around the neighborhood and ask the home owners for the name of their contractor. The Internet is a good source to find pre-screened contractors, as are architects who design homes with metal roofs. The National Roofing Contractors Association can also help. Their number is 1-800-USA-ROOF.
A cat on a hot tin roof may not be a good thing. But if you want great roof for your home, consider that traditional wood and shingles are good, but metal may be better.