Metal roofs are a popular alternative for both new construction and replacing an existing roof. Metal roofing products are available in a range of metals, including galvanised steel, copper, aluminium, and tin, and can be installed using a variety of methods. A metal roof has numerous benefits, but it also has a few drawbacks to consider.
Surprisingly, one of the most common concerns regarding metal roofs is unfounded: they do not attract lightning.
Metal Roofs and Lighting
The belief that metal roofs attract lightning is most likely due to the fact that metal is a good conductor of electricity, therefore people think that a metal roof must attract lightning. To put it another way, when lightning strikes, it’s looking for a means to get to the earth, and it’s virtually always going to strike the tallest object in the area. Because your metal roof is not grounded, lighting will not strike it.
A metal roof will not increase your home’s vulnerability to lightning strikes.
Metal Roofs Have Some Real Drawbacks
Although the fear of lightning strikes may be unfounded, metal roofs may have a few real drawbacks.
The fact that metal roofs are slippery when wet or coated in snow is the only downside that constitutes a real safety risk. Climbing on a metal roof while it’s wet or covered with snow is never a good idea. They’re so slick that snow “avalanching” from the roof is a real danger in locations that get a lot of snow in the winter. Snow that falls from the roof cannot build up on top of it, which has certain advantages. In heavy snow locations, homeowners with asphalt-shingled homes may need to rake snow off their roofs in the winter, but this is never an issue with a home with metal roofing. However, snow can avalanche down a metal roof in such large amounts that it damages decks, bushes, cars, and even persons.
Metal roofs with snow guards—metal or plastic clips or even horizontal bars fastened to solid brackets—are common in ski locations known for heavy snowfalls. Homeowners may use the same technique to keep their roofs safe from avalanches.
Other downsides of metal roofs are not safety-related, but rather convenience or affordability-related:
Metal roofs are vulnerable to fading and discoloration over time
Metal roofs might fail at the seams if they are not built properly. A trained and experienced contractor is required to install a metal roof.
Metal roofs are much more expensive than the majority of other options. A metal roof, for example, is at least twice as expensive as an asphalt shingle roof. But keep in mind that a metal roof will endure considerably longer than an asphalt shingle roof.
Advantages Greatly Outweigh the Drawbacks
Metal roofs are becoming increasingly common, and one of their “disadvantages” actually turns out to be a benefit in the long run. Although initially more expensive than, say, an asphalt shingle roof, a metal roof lasts much, much longer and is usually the superior investment in the long run. (Some insurers even give metal roof owners a discount on their premiums.)
Among the many benefits of a metal roof are the following:
- In comparison to an asphalt shingle roof, which has a life expectancy of 15 to 25 years, a metal roof has a life expectancy of 50 to 75 years or even longer.
- In hot areas, the surface reflects heat, cutting cooling expenses.
- When properly put, they are less prone to leaking than shingles.
- They are more resistant to wind damage than other roofing options.
- Metal roofs are fire-resistant, making them ideal for places where wildfires are a concern.
- When metal roofs reach the end of their useful life, they can be recycled.