Experience with metal roofing.

13 Replies

I am needing to replace the roof on a rental and I'm contemplating going with metal. The expense for me is about the same as conventional, but I'm concerned about longevity. This is in Arkansas and we have storms, which include hail, damaging winds, sleet, layers of ice and snow. The options are architectural shingles and metal roofing. Your experience is appreciated and please tag me in the comment as I'm on a phone and don't get notified. Thanks

@Perry Ivy Your insurance should cover hail regardless of the roof you select. Architectural shingles should be significantly cheaper than metal. Standing seam metal roofs are durable but not indestructable - wind damage that might just tear off some shingle tabs can peel a metal roof like a banana if it's not fastened properly. Rubber washers under the fasteners can deteriorate and leak. Dents can encourage rust. If the roof is not well insulated, or you have a nice resonance chamber underneath (i.e. a good sized attic) it can be loud. Walking on them to clean gutters or check things out can be seriously hazardous unless you have fall stops installed. 

I like metal roofs but they're not a panacea. I wouldn't do it on a rental unless it had fantastic potential as a rehab and flip property. 

Thanks Michael McCartney and Jd Martin for taking the time to respond.

Michael, I have a friend that owns a business that makes the metal roofing.

jD, I think you talked me out of the metal :)

Originally posted by @Perry Ivy :

Thanks Michael McCartney and Jd Martin for taking the time to respond.

Michael, I have a friend that owns a business that makes the metal roofing.

jD, I think you talked me out of the metal :)

 Tell your friend I apologize :D

I put architectural shingles on my house, and had a metal put on a rental about 5 years ago.  I live in tornado alley.  neither will protect against a tornado.  If I remember the shingles and metal on my roof was pretty close to the same price years ago.  was a quoted siding  and roofing job by a contractor I had dealt with in the past.

I think if I ever replace it again I will go Metal. 

Reason. I live in a rural area,  I am on the volunteer fire dept.  Metal roofs don't catch fire. we don't plant large number of trees and shrubs close to the house either. 

The rental I had , metal was the right answer. due to condition and tear off and disposal. At that time you couldn't go anywhere around here with old shingles.  The roof looks as good today as it did when we put it on. no leaks yet. (neither has the shingle).  

I don't know which is better.

I really thinks it's a toss up. , I worry about fade? but you can paint it. I worry about screws leaking but so does nails or those staples pull out of shingles.  high winds tear up bioth of them. Hail damages shingles also , that's why I bought a new roof last time. and yes I agree metal is very slick if you get up there when it's wet.  so we wait till the sun dries off the roof.  And of course I wear tennis shoes that have rubber grip bottoms.  I am going to replace a shingle roof on a house I put one on about 20 years ago.  there telling me a metal is about a 25 to 30 year roof.  We really don't have a history of any in the area that old to compare to.  It's a hip style roof and the metal options is looking really strong to me this time. 

 I tell everyone I'm in sales have been for 30 plus years.

You pick the side, ill take either why or why not you should buy something.  lol     

If your interest in metal is more related to durability or fire safety than the appearance of smooth metal, consider the stone-covered steel roofing from Gerard.

Corrugated Metal Roofing is designed for sheds where an occasional small leak won't destroy drywall and cause mold...  It is not acceptable for homes because the small rubber grommets on the screws are the only thing between water and your home's interior.  At least one of the thousand installed will be overtightened, which leads to cracking.  You will have a hell of a time finding a leak and repairing it.  I've encountered this numerous times...


Shingle-like metal may be another story, but I am still leery.  There is a reason that asphalt has been so popular for so long. It's a great product that's easy to install and creates a tight exterior envelope for a long time (if installed properly).

If you get a heavier  hail resistant asphalt shingle you can get enough discount here to pay for those.  Plus if you get a light hail, your okay.  A HUGE hail storm and your looking at replacing anyway.  Insurance dont like to pay,,,but they will.  But beware of the scamming roofers that follow those storms.  POOR FAST work is the best I can say about them.  None had a track record to look back on.

Metal roofs are subject to hail also.  PLUS hard to ridge vent.  MOST shingles and roofing doesnt last as long as it should BECAUSE of bad attic venting.  Open the soffits, push a insulation baffle in 'every' attic rafter space.  Ridge vent on top with a 2 1/2 to 3 inch gap.  Directions say less but the angle of the roof lessons the gap inside.  No matter the material,,make sure of the venting. Most 'roofers' will laugh at you for such extremes,,,but they work.(and the roofer is gone)

Im just going to say I LOVE my metal roof! It not only looks nicer, it will last so much longer than traditional. It was a little more expensive (not by much) AND it qualified for a tax break! I love in Minnesota so lots of strange weather around here...daily lol!

Originally posted by @Lisa Filiatrault :

Im just going to say I LOVE my metal roof! It not only looks nicer, it will last so much longer than traditional. It was a little more expensive (not by much) AND it qualified for a tax break! I love in Minnesota so lots of strange weather around here...daily lol!

Metal roofs are totally awesome. If installed properly, it will last longer than the building itself. People tell all the time that the heavier the shingle the better, however more weight is more load on the trusses. With steel roof snow just slides down which reduces the change of creating a dam on the roof and causing a leak. Plus, steel roof is a "cool roof" meaning the attic space stays cooler. In summer time it reduces the A/C costs. Steel roof is virtually indestructible in hail storm. My personal property has architectural shingles installed however, when time comes I will definitely go for steel roof.

No, if you are not planning to keep the property for the long run, it would be cheaper to use architectural or 3 tab shingles.

There are 3 types of metal roofing.  There is an architectural standing seam system and a structural standing seam system and then there is metal shingles.  If you go with a standing seam metal roof you want concealed fasteners not exposed fasteners for the problems stated above on the rubber washers.  A concealed system does not have these types of fasteners.  The seal at the rib of each panel. Metal roof are considered a 50yr plus roof.  The color / paint will fade/fail before the metal will.  I would consider going with metal shingles like from Gerald USA https://www.gerardusa.com/.  They have a variety of styles.  A metal roof should give you an insurance discount.   If you are worried about hail damage then go with a heavier gauge of metal like 24 or 22.

One commercial product I use quite bit for metal roofs is Centria.  The link below shows the difference between the two types of standing seam metal roofs.  I typically go with a structural system.  For a house you should not have any joints within each panel run.  Standard lengths is 40' long and an architectural system will more than adequate for you.  There are other mfr out there that make metal roofs. www.centria.com

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