As manufacturers improve the appearance and energy efficiency of metal roofing materials, they’ve become more popular. They’re not the best choice for a flat roof in Arizona, of course—Rosie recommends foam for flat roofs.
Today’s metal roofs don’t even resemble those rusty, old corrugated barn roofs you might have seen as a kid or if you’ve ever traveled tothe Midwest. Now, metal roofs come in a variety of colors and styles—and can even look like Spanish tile, wood shakes or asphalt shingles. Manufacturers also are coating them with sun-reflecting granules and glazes that keep them from absorbing so much heat that they’ll pass it through to your attic.
Durability. Metal roofs are durable, fire retardant and almost maintenance-free. They are also energy efficient; metal reflects heat and blocks its transfer into the attic. Research by the Florida Solar Energy Center in 1985 showed that metal absorbed 34 percent less heat than asphalt shingles, and homeowners switching to metal roofing reported saving up to 20 percent on their energy bills.
Energy efficient. Metal reflects heat and prevents it from seeping into your attic. In fact, one study shows that metal roofing absorbs one-third less heat than roofs covered with asphalt shingles.
Recycled. Many steel roofs are made from recycled materials.
Lightweight. Metal roofs are lightweight, so there’s no need to add reinforcements to support one.
Long-lasting. A properly installed metal roof should last as long as your house. Most manufacturers offer 20- to 50-year warranties.
Other. Metal roofs resist mildew, insects and rot.
Cost. A good-quality metal roof will set you back between $900 and $1200 per square. (A square is a 10-foot by 10-foot area. The pitched roof on a 2,400-square-foot house is about 35 squares). Add $50 to $70 per square to tear off your old roof if necessary. A copper roof—the most expensive kind—costs around $1,500 per square.