The roof is your home’s most protective layer against the outdoor

elements. Your roof protects all of the valuables in your home, maybe
even the car that’s depreciating in the garage! In my opinion, we should
all make choosing the best roofing material to protect our most valuable
assets a top priority!

Because we are homeowners, not roofing contractors, gaining
knowledge about roofing products is probably not on the top of the list
for most of us. In fact, most of us don’t know what type of roof we have,
what it’s made of, or how long it’s expected to last. Many of us won’t
address a roof issue until the problem has shown itself inside of the
home.

Shopping for a roof is certainly not as fun as shopping for a new kitchen
counter or fixture for the inside of our home, but what if you knew that
shopping for a new metal roof can be exciting? Would knowing that
choosing a metal roof will add style, protection and value to your home
change your point of view?

Just as transportation, communication and technology have evolved, so
have home products, including the products available for roofing.
Around 1911, a push by the National Board of Fire Underwriters to
eliminate wood shingle roofs created a demand for asphalt shingled
roofs.
Ceramic-fired granules were introduced around 1930 and asbestos was
added to increase fire resistance. Temporary asphalt shingles were used
in replacement of wood shingles and despite their high rate of failure;
they have dominated the residential roofing market since their
introduction.

Permanent metal roofing has always been a popular choice for
durability and protection from harsh elements.

Installed in 1884, The Washington Monument has the oldest metal roof
in the United States.
Like former products, metal roofing continues to evolve. Residentially,
products like stone coated steel are rapidly replacing temporary asphalt
shingles while vertical standing seam panels are a popular choice for
many commercial applications.

Savvy, environmentally conscious consumers are becoming informed
about the advancements in roof technology. The future in roofing is
here. Environmentally friendly, energy efficient and affordable metal
roof products are now protecting homes and buildings nation wide.
Asphalt shingles are a thing of the past because they just don’t last!!
Compared to the benefits of metal roofing, the problems with asphalt
shingles are seemingly endless. Similar to what happens when we drive
our shiny new car off the lot, asphalt shingles begin to depreciate and
deteriorate the moment they are installed.

They require maintenance, and are subject to weather such as high
winds, ice damming, and UV rays and despite the fact they are less
flammable than a wood shake, they will catch fire and burn when
subjected to lightning or flames. A metal roof will not catch fire, period.

This photo, taken after the 1991 Oakland, California firestorm shows the
devastating damage to a neighborhood. Burning embers destroyed all
of the homes in the neighborhood, except the masonry home that was
roofed with Stone-Coated Steel Roofing. While all of the neighbors
fought (without success) to save their homes by watering down their
asphalt roofs, burning embers could not ignite the steel roof. This house
with the steel roof survived while all others around it were destroyed.
Asphalt roof stains are sweeping the country in alarming proportion.
Until recently most of us thought this to be purely cosmetic.

This however is not the case. The stains that appear on your roof are
living organisms that are methodically reducing the lifespan of the
investment you made in your homes roof shingles.

These organisms feed on the base of the shingle (primarily the
limestone filler) causing the reflective ceramic granules to loosen and
end up in your gutter.

As these granules ‘disappear’ you will notice a rise in your homes utility
bills. Unable to effectively reflect the suns rays away from your home in
summer your air conditioner will find itself working overtime to keep
your house cool. The black streaks also cause the shingles to absorb
and hold heat to your roofs surface.

We can see why an infected roof reduces your homes curb-appeal and
property value.

We would like to believe that our promised warranty on our shingle
roof would cover the failure of shingles caused by the elements since a
roof by design should protect our home from the elements. Not so.
Anyone who has actually tried to file a claim with most shingle
companies will tell you that the limited warranties are in fact VERY
limited and prorated in a scientific manner. In fact a home must be
“adequately” ventilated – to the shingle manufactures satisfaction –for
the warranty to even be in effect. Do you know if your roof deck is
adequately ventilated to a shingle manufacture’s specifications? I don’t.
The limited warranty does not provide protection against normal wear
and tear caused by the elements or neglect. I am pretty sure I am guilty
of neglecting my roof. I wonder what the rules of neglecting a roof are
anyway? I obtained this information from a popular shingle
manufacturer warranty that was six pages long, in small print. In
contrast I read a one-page warranty from a popular stone coated steel
manufacturer and plain and simple, it looks to be a true 50 year,
transferable warranty. The four limitations that fit on one page were
sensible and the coverage clearly warranties weather issues such as
wind and hail.

A global push toward our planet’s sustainability has many consumers
making informed environmental choices on everything they purchase.
We should also be evaluating our homes for their sustainability. The
National Association of Homebuilders estimates that 1.36 billion
pounds of asphalt singles hit landfills every year. These days, the
average lifespan of an asphalt roof is 12 to 15 years, a very short-term
solution with a long-term impact on the environment.

A better choice would be a metal roof, which is made from recycled
metal and is fully recyclable at the end of its long life. Also, metal is a
third of the weight of asphalt, making it acceptable for re-roofing
projects. A metal roof can be applied over your current roof. This avoids
removal and disposal of existing shingles, saving costs and reducing
waste in our landfills.
In many instances a metal roof is installed on a batten system. Lumber
is used to add a space between the existing roof deck and the metal roof.
The official term for this application is Above Sheathing Ventilation or
ASV as it is commonly referred to. Research has shown that the benefits
of this air space are many.

In areas that experience cold winters, ASV is responsible for preventing
ice dams. Snow-covered roofs and freezing weather often leads to ice
dams: thick ridges of solid ice that build up along the eaves. Dams can
tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and cause water to back up and pour
into your house.
The batten system which metal roof products are installed on creates
natural convective airflow which acts as insulation and reduces heat
transfer. Unlike direct-to-deck roof products such as asphalt shingles, a
metal roof installed on battens reduces heat loss and significantly
reduces ice damming.

In tests conducted by the independent Oak Ridge National Laboratories
(ORNL), it has been shown that a metal roof can save up to 25% in
cooling costs. The field tests indicated that the combination of venting
and reflectance with stone coated steel roofs can reduce heat
penetration by 45% in certain climates.

Above sheating ventilation is key to achieving year-round benefits for
roofing. Instead of costing time for maintenance and money for
replacement as an asphalt roof surely will, I like to refer to a metal roof
system with ASV as, “the roof that pays you back”.
In light of my research, it appears that owning an asphalt roof is a
liability. I consider my home to be an asset and want the products and
materials I choose for improving my home to be investment grade. It is
true that the cost of a metal roof can be higher initially, but if you were
to compare the life cycle cost of a metal roof vs. an asphalt roof the value
of owning a metal roof is clear.

For example, if you paid $15,000 for your metal roof in 2014, 30 years
later, you have still only spent the initial $15,000 and you still have 20
years left on your transferable manufacturer’s warranty. Let’s say you
spent half the cost of a metal roof on an asphalt roof in 2014, $7,500.00.
You will most likely need to replace it again in 15 years. The cost of
asphalt will have gone up in price and you will need to tear-off, dispose
of and re-roof with another asphalt roof. Perhaps that will cost
$9,500.00. This whole process will need to be addressed again in 15
years. I’m going low here, but let’s say, in 2044 the cost of a re-roof will
be $11,500.00, so the 30 year roofing cost of a metal roof is $15,000 and
the 30 year cost of an asphalt roof is $28,500.00!

Financing is a great way to afford a new metal roof. Just as you might
finance a reliable car, spreading out the payment on a reliable roof
makes great sense. A metal roof qualifies as an energy efficient home
improvement and may be eligible for tax credits as well as lower
interest rates.

A metal roof provides energy savings, beauty, and protection for your
home that can last a lifetime. While your neighbors may re-roof their
home many times, a high-quality metal roof will likely be the last roof
you'll ever need. A metal roof will appreciate the value of your home.
As reported by Sal Alfano of Remodeling Magazine, homes renovated
with metal roofing show a rate of 85.9% cost recouped in the national
average with up to 95.5% for homes in the Eastern states.
Recognizing the roof as the largest design element of a home, I believe
that a roof’s contribution to the architecture and character of a home is
just as significant as the siding design or paint color. Today’s residential
metal roofs are much different than those you may see on barns and
commercial buildings. We can now choose from a variety of styles
including shakes, shingles and tiles that will blend in or stand out in any
neighborhood.

I have spent many years studying return on investment for home
improvement projects, and I am a firm believer that installing an energy
efficient, sustainable metal roof is one home purchase that can do more
for the environment and a household budget than any other single
investment.