Metal roofs reflect the sun, which reduces the amount of heat penetrating the home. A reflective roof can reduce peak cooling demand by 10 percent to 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That, in turn, means the home’s cooling system needs less energy to cool the house.Some metal roofs can save up to 25 percent in energy costs compared to a dark gray asphalt shingled roof, according to the Energy Department’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.”The reflectivity of metal significantly reduces the heat gain experienced in most other roofing materials,” said Steve Dubeansky of Dubeansky Roofing in Indianapolis. “Even slate and tile have a greater heat gain. Heat gain for asphalt shingles goes through the roof, literally.”Some metal roofs come with warranties of up to 50 years, but can last for hundreds of years, whereas traditional roofs typically last 10 to 20 years. Metal roofs aren’t as vulnerable to hail, wind and fire damage and some insurance companies offer discounts on homeowner’s policies because of metal’s storm- resistant properties. “This is the last roof you’ll ever install on your home,” Burdine said.
He challenged the idea that metal roofs are noisier than others or that they attract lightning.”A metal roof is no (more noisier) than a traditional roof,” Burdine said. “When you have a metal roof, you’re going on top of a solid deck. In that solid deck, you have an attic space, insulation, a ceiling. If you don’t hear rain today, you won’t hear rain with a metal roof on.”Metal roofs don’t attract lightning any more than traditional roofs, said Burdine adding “if it does get hit by lightning, it will disperse the energy throughout the roof instead of being isolated to one spot where it can cause a fire.”If you are thinking about replacing your roof, get multiple, written bids from reliable, local roofers. Ask them for a cost-benefit analysis of traditional roofs, as well as metal ones, and then carefully evaluate that information.If you add a metal roof to your home, make sure the roofer has plenty of experience working with metal roofs. A metal roof system is interlocked and screwed down, as opposed to being nailed, and it typically takes about twice the time to install.
Homeowners who add qualifying metal roofs to their homes can receive a tax credit this year for 10 percent of its cost (for up to $500) through the federal government’s Energy Star program.
“Because of its benefits,” Dubeansky said, “metal is truly an investment in one’s home as opposed to a temporary protective covering such as shingles.”
Angie Hicks is a Fishers resident and founder of Angie’s List, a national provider of ratings in more than 500 categories of service. Visit www.angieslist.com.
Metal roofs are interlocked and screwed down, as opposed to being nailed. Metal Solutions installed this one on an area home. / Photo provided by Metal Solutions