Metal Roofing Pros & Cons

There are many options to adding a new roof onto your existing home or if you’re building a new home.  Metal roofs are an option but let’s go through some of the pros and cons of metal roofing to asphalt shingles.  But no matter what roof style you choose, a metal roof can be an attractive option because of their longevity, low maintenance costs, and energy efficiency. In Wisconsin, metal roofs are a popular option, especially in the northern county’s of the state.  Many luxury cabins in northern Wisconsin have metal roofing because of all the longevity and durability they offer in harsher climates.


Metal roofs can last between 40-70 years which for many homeowners is a game changer.  You would have gone through at least two new asphalt roofs in that time frame. The durability of metal roofs is an amazing positive for any homeowner. They can handle 120 mph winds and metal roofing will not rust, crack, or corrode.  Another advantage is that every homeowner can easily inspect their own roof if they don’t mind climbing onto the roof.  Damage is easily seen and oftentimes a visual observation can be seen from the ground, if there is any damage.


One of the big concerns is the conductivity of metal roofing in a lighting storm.  Will a metal roof attract lightning like a giant lightning rod? No! Metal roofing is no more likely to draw lighting than any other conventional roofing material. 


Metal roofing choices have improved dramatically over the years.  Metal roofs come in all shapes and sizes and some designs even look like Spanish tiles. The energy efficiency of metal roofing is a major attraction for most homeowners and almost all metal roofing is 25-90% recycled material. Metal roofing also reflects the sun’s UV rays and can reduce your cooling costs by 25% each year.


When the life of a metal roof ends it can be 100% recycled where an asphalt roof contributes approximately 20 billions pounds of waste EVERY year. 


Depending on your choice of manufacturers metal roofing can come in all different colors and styles and if you’re in need of a new roof I would research metal roofing as an option for your new roof.


Here are some of the negatives associated with metal roofing. To start with, metal roofing is as much as 2-3 times more expensive than other roofing materials.  This is going to take some convincing for most homeowners to choose this option. One of the reasons this is a bitter pill to swallow is most homeowners live in their homes 8-10 years and will never enjoy the cost benefits that a 50 year roof will bring them. You’re basically putting on a very expensive roof for the next homeowner.  


Noisiness is another downside to metal roofing.  Have you ever been in a home with a metal roof during a heavy rain or even hail?  There are ways to dampen the sound such as added insulation and additional decking material but this will add to the cost.

Expansion is a concern as metal roofs expand and contract which will increase the wear and tear on the fasteners which means these items may need to be replaced by a professional service company.  Some panel fasteners are exposed and some are hidden and each one has a varying life expectancy.  Hidden fasteners look better and last longer.


Color matching can be a problem, or at least it was years ago, but newer designs have improved color fading and mismatchingpanels where this problem is not nearly as bad as it was several years ago.


To conclude, metal roofing products today are amazing  and if you can afford the costs this is an option worth considering.