Recently while I was visiting relatives in North Carolina, I noticed a lot of homes with brand new corrugated metal roofs. Some were red, others green.
Apparently a couple of years ago, they had some bad weather in the area with high winds and a lot of hail damage.
How does Hail Damage Roofs?
If you ever wondered how frozen ice balls can damage a wooden roof, it cannot. It damages the shingles. If the hail is really large with a lot of velocity, it can tear or dent shingles, however, the most common type of damage from hail occurs when it removes the gritty granules that are made into the shingles. These granules are actually important because they extend the life of shingles by shielding the asphalt coating of the shingles from UV rays from the sun as well as adding color to your roof. They also add to the fire resistance level of your roof.
Hail is not the only thing that can destroy these granules on the asphalt shingles. Over time, rain, wind and changes in temperature can cause the loss of granules. Most roof shingles have a lifetime of between 10 and 25 years.
Hail impact is not the only element that can cause granule loss. Normal rainfall, wind or temperature change, and even foot trafficking can cause granule displacement from a shingle
So the next time you have a hail storm at your home, visually inspecting the roof from the ground is not enough to determine if you have issues. It is best to call in an insurance adjuster who will probably tell you to get an estimate or evaluation from a roofing company.
Having said that, be suspicious because a lot of roofing companies simply want to put a new roof on your home at your insurance companies’ expense, whether it needs it or not. And while that may seem ok with your at first since you are not paying for it outright (except for any home owner’s deductible), it may show up later in your home owner’s insurance rates.
So within this area of North Carolina, a roofing company had come into the area and offered estimates to get a metal corrugated roof replacement. Apparently they are a lot cheaper than regular asphalt shingles, so either the home owner or the roofing company (whichever the insurance company wrote out a check to) pocketed the difference in cost.
However, I am not sure it is going to be worth it in the long run. I can only imagine what rain on a metal roof sounds like.
Benefits of a Metal Roof
If you are thinking of a barn with a tin roof, the new metal products are more robust and look much better. First off, they are also much easier to install than traditional asphalt shingles and they are durable with some lasting as much as 50 years. After which, they are completely recyclable.
Additionally, they are fire, snow and ice resistant when built to code, and the metal tiles and shakes offer aesthetic appeal in many colors. They are designed to reflect heat from the sun reducing energy bills.
What is galvanized metal?
Most types of steel or metal roofing panels are galvanized. Since steel is prone to rusting, the galvanization process coats the steel and actually changes its chemical composition so that it will not rust. If you were wondering how this is done, they dip nails, metal sheets, posts or whatever, into baths of chemicals.
Types of Metal Roofs
Metal roofs are made from aluminum, steel , copper or other alloys. Steel and aluminum are the cheapest and offer the best value, and they can be painted as well.
I personally would not touch an aluminum roof. I know that the metal pieces are made thicker than say an aluminum can, but aluminum is still prone to dinging and I would not want to risk it. On the plus side, aluminum does not rust like steel that has not been galvanized.
How to Install a Corrugated Metal Roof
In the scenario I mentioned above, the roofing company came in and left the old roof shingles on, then built a wood frame over the existing roof. Next, they laid the metal panels on the new frame. So there was about a 2 inch gap between the metal roof and the old roof which would help negate any noise issues during heavy rains and act as an air insulation barrier during summer heat.
However, installing a metal roof over shingles is not standard and I personally would not have allowed them to do that type of installation on my home.
The type of metal roofing that is installed on residential home is either in the form of a sheets or a vertical panel and metal shingles, shakes or tiles.
How to Install Standing Seam Metal Roof
The metal panels or sheets have raised lips every 12 inches or so and are laid on the roof in a vertical alignment. The panels are overlapped so there are no exposed seams and gravity does the rest allowing rain water to simply flow between the raised lips. This is the cheapest type of metal roof.
The other option is a metal shingle which resembles the type of Spanish tile or slates that you see in the southwestern part of the United States. They are overlapped in the same way as the roof tiles or the cedar wood shakes you might see on a cabin or outdoor shed.
After seeing what I saw in the North Carolina country side, I have an opinion on metal roofs. If I owned a country cabin or perhaps a restaurant with a certain type of theme, I might consider a metal roof, probably the metal shingles. They are low maintenance, energy efficient and easy to install. Some of the metal designs actually look decent and from a distance, you really can't tell the difference other than perhaps an odd color such as green.
However, there is no way I would put any type of metal roof on an older or historic home. They would look terrible on any type of Victorian style or any type of cottage. I would consider building and outdoor shed with a metal seamed panel roof though and I will actually look into that option next time because I have already had to replace some asphalt shingles on my shed after only seven years.
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