Pros and Cons of Metal Roofs

If you are thinking of installing a metal roof, here’s what to know.


Whether your existing roof requires a total makeover or you are putting a roof on a new home, there are many metal roof materials available. Metal roofs are an attractive option for any home because they last longer than other materials, have minimal maintenance requirements and are energy efficient. Material choices include steel (galvanized, galvalume, or weathering), copper, aluminum, tin, and zinc.

Product types are standing seam, vertical seam, pre-formed panels and granular coated panels. Style choices allow you to have the look of vertical panels, shingles, tile, slate, or shakes. Make sure your metal roofing product is labeled, tested, and listed with a reputable testing organization such as UL, Intertek, or FM Approvals to meet rigorous wind, impact resistance, and fire rating requirements. Installation can vary from geographic location, so be sure to check manufacturer guidelines and local building code requirements. Moreover, if you have an HOA, make sure that they allow metal roofing and what styles and colors they will approve.

Advantages of metal roofs

Metal roofs offer many advantages, including:

  • Longevity. Metal roofs can last 50-70 years, depending on the metal material. Traditional asphalt shingle roofing materials have an estimated life expectancy of roughly 12-22 years.
  • Durability. When installed correctly, certain metal roofs can sustain wind gusts up to 140 miles per hour.  Metal roofs will not corrode or crack and are typically impact-resistant (depending on which metal roof product you choose). More importantly, metal roofs don’t need the costly periodic maintenance that other roofing materials often require. Having said that, metal roofs should be inspected periodically to make sure no repairs are required.
  • Energy efficiency. Metal roofs are better at reflecting the suns UV and infrared light rays that contribute to roof surface radiant heat. This can result in a 10-25% reduction in cooling costs.
  • Safety. If you have a wildfire or lightning strike, metal roofs will not spark and ignite into flames.
  • Environmentally friendly. Metal roofs are also 100% recyclable at the end of their life. Metal roofs can have 25-95% recycled content, depending on the material used. In contrast, most shingle roof tear-off waste ends up as part of land fill.

Disadvantages of metal roofs

While metal roofs have many advantages, metal roofs also have some potential drawbacks.

  • Affordability. Metal roofs are often the most expensive option available for roofing. They also have a much longer life span, but this comes at an additional cost that may not make sense if you plan on moving soon after installation.
  • Noisiness. Metal roofs can be quite noisy during rain or hail storms, but this is often due to the type of decking used for installation. If you add more insulation into your attic space it may help reduce noise levels, but that may increase costs.
  • Expansion, contraction and fasteners. Attached large panels metal roofing material assemblies are designed to contract and expand as they warm and cool. The fasteners, both exposed and concealed have varying lifespans. The screws and neoprene washers used during installation may degrade and become dislodged over time, depending on the climate.
  • Inconsistency of color match. It may be difficult to find an exact match to the existing metal, if a repair is required or a home extension is added later.
  • Performance. Water may accumulate on the roof because of poor-quality installation or seam connections, it can eventually cause serious damage. Only use compressed seams on slopes 2:12 or less. Some metals can rust in certain climates or thin metals can dent more easily than others during hailstorms or installation.

Trust GoTech Roofing in Northern Virginia

For over a decade, the team at GoTech Roofing has provided high-quality roofing services in Alexandria VA with roof repair and replacement services and in Arlington VA with roof repair and replacement services. Whether you need repairs or a roof replacement, you can count on our workmanship to take care of your roofing needs. Pros and Cons of Metal Roofs