Roofing 101: Metal Roofing Pros and Cons

Published 09.29.2017

For homeowners in South Florida, determining which type of roof to choose can be a big decision. Given Miami’s often unpredictable weather patterns and other factors, it’s important to choose a roof that can withstand all types of conditions and meet your needs. One popular contender when it comes to roof types is a metal roof. If you’re in the market for a new roof, you should consider the pros and cons of metal roofs so that you can make an informed decision.

METAL ROOF BENEFITS

  1. Longevity: Metal roofs can last 40 to 70 years, depending on the material. Traditional asphalt roofing materials have an estimated life expectancy of roughly 12 to 20 years, so this is considerably longer. South Floridians planning on staying in their home for the long haul can certainly benefit from selecting a metal roof.
  2. Durability: Some metal roofs can sustain wind gusts up to 140 miles per hour, will not corrode or crack, and may be impact-resistant, which is particularly important during hurricane season in Miami. In addition, metal roofs don’t need the periodic costly maintenance that other roofing materials often require. However, they should be inspected periodically to make sure no repairs are required.
  3. Safety: Metal roofs will not spark and ignite into flames in the case of a lightning strike or other potentially dangerous South Florida weather conditions.
  4. Energy Efficiency: Most metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which may reduce cooling costs by 10% or 25%, which is especially important in hot cities like Miami.
  5. Environmentally Friendly: Metal roofs not only have 25% to 95% recycled content, depending on the material used, but are also 100% recyclable at the end of their life as a roof. In contrast, most asphalt tear-off waste ends up as part of the building-related waste stream – up to 20 billion pounds per year. Metal roofs are a good option for environmentally-conscious homeowners in South Florida.

Based on the above points, it’s clear that there are a number of significant advantages to selecting a metal roof for your South Florida home. That said, it’s important to consider potential disadvantages as well. Metal roofs are not for all homeowners, and below are a few reasons why.

METAL ROOF DRAWBACKS

  1. Affordability: Metal roofs can be as much as two times more expensive than other roofing materials.
  2. Oil Canning: Due to the thinness of metal roofing panels (24 gauge), any deflection on the existing wood deck may result in wrinkles on the metal panels known as oil canning. Oil canning cannot be prevented without costly modifications to the existing wood deck.
  3. Color Matching: If a repair is required or a home extension is added years later, it may be difficult to find an exact match to the existing metal.
  4. Denting: Just as your car will dent if it’s hit by something, a metal roof will also dent if a large object falls on it. Aluminum and copper, much softer than steel, are more prone to denting. That said, there are some types that are guaranteed not to dent.

As you can see, metal roofs are a great option for some homeowners yet not for others. These types of roofs certainly have their pros and cons, which should be taken into consideration before making a purchase.