Roofing Helper Title
The New Roof Buyer's Guide

Metal Roofs

A new roof is a major investment in your home. What roof you select depends on many factors, including your budget, style and your local weather conditions. Certain roofs are better suited for various situations.

Metal roofs can be both a money-saving and environmentally conscious choice. They come in a variety of colors and textures and can save up to 40% in energy costs for your home. What we learned is that this is done through the "reflect and re-emit" process: unlike an asphalt roof, a metal roof can reflect much of the solar radiation from the sun and even re-emit the absorbed radiation back into the atmosphere. This can result in hundreds of dollars in savings in energy costs! Another environmental benefit is that metal roofs are often composed of recycled materials, thereby reducing landfill volume as well as energy required to manufacture a roof made from all-new materials.

Another benefit of metal roofing is its longevity. A life span of up to 50 years for a metal roof is quite possible. This can mean a greater resale value on a home with a metal roof.

There are some serious disadvantages to metal roofs, too. They can be noisy when it rains or when people or pets walk upon them. We've heard that some homeowners hear a popping noise when the sun heats up the roof due to the roof expanding and contracting with temperature changes. To minimize these problems, we learned that installers can put in a sheathing between the new metal roof and the existing roof.

Aluminum Roofs

Aluminum is a choice for virtually any roof where steel or other materials are being considered. It is light weight, strong and durable. We learned that, because it is lightweight, it does not require structural reinforcement like tile and slate roofing. Re-roofing with aluminum can reduce the weight on a house. The other important factor to consider is that aluminum roofs can resist rust and corrosion over time. They are often used in coastal environments where there is sea mist and salt spray.

Aluminum roofs can be an ecologically smart choice also. Aluminum roof shingles are recyclable and many times already contain a significant amount of recycled materials. Our research revealed that shake shingle roofs require three mature trees to be destroyed for one roof. Composition shingles that are buried in landfills can take hundreds of years to decompose.

Aluminum roof manufacturers also state that aluminum is a more flexible material that can be shaped into different custom designs more easily.

One of the main disadvantages to aluminum roofs is its cost; although this may be recouped in the resale of the home.

Steel Roofs

Steel is another metal roof we considered because of its strength, outdoor corrosion resistance and longevity. Manufacturers of steel roofs will cover the steel with a zinc-only or zinc/aluminum blend to provide corrosion resistance. They also protect from rust. Steel roofs also are highly wind resistant. They are quite strong and apparently do not crack and peel under sun and various weather conditions.

We weren't sure we wanted a steel roof because we thought the look would be very industrial. However, we learned that steel roofs can be painted and they come in different finishes. Steel roofs are generally less expensive than aluminum roofs.

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Buyer's Guide Contents
How Roofs Work
Causes of Roof Problems
Composite and Tile Roofs
Metal Roofs
Roof Price Comparison
Roofing Estimates
Roof Shopping Tips
Our New Roof Installation
The Finished Product
Roof Replacement Checklist
Do-it-Yourself Roof Repairs

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