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Q. Does a steel roof cost more than a shingle roof?

Although a steel roof initially costs more than asphalt shingle roof, you will never have to worry about putting another roof on your building!

Q. How long will a steel roof last?

Reputable steel manufacturers offer a true 30 to 50 year warranty. You will only get 12 to 20 years life from an asphalt shingled roof.

Q. Won’t a steel roof be noisy?

With properly installed insulation, a steel roof will silence noise from rain as well as any other roof type.

Q. Is steel environmentally friendly?

Steel is at the core of a green economy, in which economic growth and environmental responsibility work hand in hand. Steel’s durability also allows for the reuse of countless products, which is enhanced through proper design. This saves natural resources.

This article, from ABC Action News and Angie’s List, details the many advantages of metal roofs:

The term "metal roof" can conjure up images of dull, flimsy corrugated sheet metal rusting away on top of an old dilapidated house. But times - and metal roofs - are changing.

"Metal roofs have been around for years, but over the last few years they’ve really evolved," says Angie Hicks, founder of the consumer group Angie's List. "They come in different styles and colors - some look like wood, slate tile, clay tile, even asphalt shingles.”

Asphalt is the most popular roofing material. It comes in a variety of styles and colors and can be installed in a day or two. But more companies today are specializing in metal roofs. Angie’s List, the nation’s premier provider of consumer reviews, asked highly rated roofing contractors about the pros and cons of metal roofing.

A metal roof is going to be more expensive in the short term than an asphalt roof, up to three times more, depending on the style you choose. Hicks says that is the major disadvantage of metal roofing material. However it more than makes up for the cost with a much longer life-span. “A metal roof will cost more than an asphalt shingle roof, but if you’re planning to live in your home a long time, you’re likely to get a good return because a metal roof is going to come with a 50 year warranty.” Compare that to a typical asphalt shingle roof that lasts only 10 to 20 years.

There are a number of metal roofing myths out there: They're too heavy; they attract lightning; they're too noisy. Not true says roofing contractor Michael Burdine. He busts those myths, starting with the noise factor. “A metal roof is no more noisy than a traditional roof," he says. "I say that because 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, ceiling... If you don’t hear rain today you won’t hear rain with a metal roof on."

What about lightning? All that metal must surely attract dangerous bolts. Again, not true. "It doesn’t attract lightning anymore than any other roofs do," Burdine says. "The benefit of a metal roof is 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.”

Burdine also dispels the myth of heavy metal roofs. He says they actually weigh much less than traditional asphalt shingles. “The average weight of an asphalt shingle roof is about three pounds per square foot. We have systems that only weigh a half of a pound per square foot or up to one pound per square foot. So we are really a quarter to one-third of the weight of an asphalt shingle roof. In most cases, depending on the local codes, we can go right over the top of an existing asphalt shingle roof because we don’t have that added weight that they do.”

Here are a few other advantages to a metal roofing system:

• Metal roofing is available in a number of colors and styles. You can find products that look similar to common roofing materials such as asphalt, slate, tile and cedar shake.

• Energy savings: Homeowners can cut their energy bills as much as 40 percent with metal because of its reflectivity – which decreases the amount of heat transferred into your home.

• A federal tax credit is available for metal roofs with appropriate pigmented coated that also meet Energy Star requirements. The tax credit does not include installation costs.

• Weather-resistant: Some metal roofing products have been tested and proven to hold up to hail, ice, and heavy wind. There are also products that are fire-resistant.

• Insurance savings: A metal roof might net you a discount on your homeowners' insurance due to its storm-resistant properties. Talk to your insurance agent.

• Low maintenance: A metal roof requires very little maintenance. You should inspect it twice a year. You can hose it down, but this should be tackled from the ground because metal can get slippery when wet.

• Green roofing alternative: An estimated 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles wind up in landfills each year so choosing a metal roof, which can come with a warranty of up to 50 years and can be recycled, can help reduce consumer waste.

Hicks adds, "If you're unsure if a metal roof is right for you, have an energy audit done on your home and then talk to several roofing contractors who can give you an analysis of different types of materials that can be used on your roof.”

As always, talk with a contractor about their experience and knowledge. Installation errors can lead to roof leaks. Do they specialize in metal roofs? How many metal roofs have they installed? Check if the company is licensed, ask for proof or workers’ compensation and liability insurance, and get a detailed contract that includes cost, payment terms, start date/expected end date, job description, materials to be used with manufacturer’s name including length of warranty, and provisions for charge orders or extra.

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