Custom Quality Roofing
Syracuse Roofing & Siding Contractors since 1973
Quality Roofing, Insulation, Vinyl Siding, and Seamless Gutter Systems
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On the surface, it seems obvious. Metal is stronger than asphalt so a metal roof is better, right? While it is true the tensile strength of metal far exceeds that of a roof shingle, residential metal roofing tends to be made of lighter weight steel which is more affordable, but not as durable as commercial metal roofing. These characteristics can make residential metal roofing susceptible to wind and hail damage. Higher quality metal roofing products which approach commercial-grade metal roofing are available, but typically cost three to four times as much as composite shingles.
Composite asphalt shingles are made using multi-layer, fiberglass reinforced construction techniques. They are designed to withstand impacts from hail by 'bouncing back', whereas a metal roof may be dented. Composite shingle is also designed to be flexible, which allows it to withstand high winds and rapid temperature changes that frequently occur in the Syracuse area
No roof is 'leak proof'. Metal roofing and composite roofing operate in different ways to shed water. Composite roofing is most prone to leaking when it is improperly installed, is damaged, or becomes frail from excessive age beyond it's operable life (new generation composite roofing now carries warranties up to 50 years). Metal roofing is prone to leaking if it is improperly installed, suffers damage, or develops rusts or corrodes. Metal roof panels join using seams which may separate due to wind, ice, or rapid expansion or contraction in extreme temperature changes, allowing water to flow freely under the length of the panel. All roofing is susceptible to damage from ice dams, a significant threat in the Syracuse area.
Much like the cost of gas, oil, and other commodities, in recent years the the price of steel has fluctuated dramatically from month to month and year to year due to changes in global supply and demand. Composite asphalt does fluctuate slightly, but overall the price has remained stable. If considering a metal roof, be sure the estimate states that the price is guaranteed not to change.
As a metal tuning fork resonates, so do metal roofing panels. Even the best metal residential roofing materials will still sound 'tinny' in rain and hail, ranging from reasonably quiet to unnervingly loud, depending upon the construction of your home. This is a common remark of metal roof owners. Special insulating underlayment is available to reduce the sound transmission into the house, but at added cost.
Metal roofing cannot be 'reroofed' or 'roofed over'. Metal roofs can not be installed over existing shingle roofing.
Metal roofing can rust or corrode if the protective paint or other coating is scratched or damaged. When selecting a metal roof product select the one with the best protection and resistance to scratches and nicks.
Metal roofing may require periodic cleaning. Staining and residue from leafs and mold/mildew (particularly in shaded areas) may be more visible on some metal roofs.
Metal roofs may cause snow fall hazards. All roofs accumulate snow. In the Syracuse region we can easily get over a foot of snow accumulated on a roof in single storm. Composite asphalt has a granular texture which holds the snow in place. Metal roofing, particularly the types with smooth surfaces allow the snow and ice to slide off. Several hundreds pounds of snow and ice can 'avalanche' off a metal roof. When installing a metal roof be sure adequate snow and ice guards are installed to protect people and property from snow shedding.
There are many appropriate applications for metal roofing, typically geared for upscale housing or commercial buildings. When considering metal or shingle for your home, remember that modern composition roofing systems now carry 50 year and lifetime warranties and come in a wide array array of colors, shapes, and sizes at affordable prices.