A recent trip to north-central Arkansas revealed something new and interesting in the landscape – an abundance of homes with metal roofs. Bright blue, natural green and outstanding red roofs cued an interest in finding out more about the pros, cons and feasibility of metal roofing.

A metal roof is made from a variety of materials, including zinc, copper and steel alloy, and can be used in the replacement of an aging roof or in new construction. When considering putting a metal roof on your home, everything from durability to cost must be studied.

So what are some pros of a metal roof? According to internet blogs – including Thespruce.com, Hometips.com, and BobVila.com – some advantages to having a metal roof include:

The life expectancy is 50 to 75 years or even more vs. the 15 to 25 years of life for an asphalt shingle roof. Plus, there is sometimes a nice manufacturer’s warranty that will run to nearly the end of the roof’s useful life.

The surface reflects heat, lowering cooling costs in hot climates. Money spent on the installation of a metal roof can be recouped from the savings in monthly cooling and heating costs thanks to this type of roof’s reflective properties. Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat instead of absorbing it, which – year-round, but especially during the long days of summer – can reduce cooling costs by as much as 25 percent, according to the Metal Roofing Alliance. Furthermore, some metal roofing comes coated with special reflective pigments to minimize heat gain, keeping occupants comfortable without having to crank up the air conditioner.

A metal roof is less susceptible to leaking and fire than shingles when installed correctly. Metal roofs offer an advantage that they can keep out moisture, high winds, insects and mold/mildew. In areas where wildfires are prevalent, a metal roof might be a good choice for your home. “Thanks to the material’s unique durability, you can count on it to withstand the elements – including gusts of wind up to 140 miles per hour – and not corrode nor crack thanks to rust-proof coatings,” says an article in BobVila.com.

Compared to the weight of tile at 750 pounds per square (an area equal to 100 square feet) or concrete tile at 900 pounds per square, metal roofing is very lightweight. Most varieties run from 50 to 150 pounds per square, according to Hometips.com.

Metal roofs are recyclable when they reach the end of their useful life. “Traditional asphalt shingles are a petroleum product and, as such, increase dependency on fossil fuels. Plus, they require replacement every 15 to 20 years, which means that nearly 20 billion pounds of old asphalt shingles are sent to U.S. landfills every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency,” BobVila.com says.

There are also several cons to choosing a metal roof. For instance, metal roofs must be properly installed or they can fail at the seams and allow moisture and insects to damage the home structure. During storms, a metal roof can be louder than a traditional asphalt shingle or wood shake roof. This can be frustrating to homeowners and sometimes scary for children and pets. Also, the color of a metal roof can fade or even stain over time.

One con that could actually be a pro in the long run is the cost of a metal roof. They are considerably more expensive initially than traditional materials. However, the metal roof is expected to last about twice as long, which could make a metal roof a great investment.

What is the cost of a metal roof? According to HomeAdvisor.com, professional metal roofing installation costs an average of $9,643. Most homeowners pay between $5,182 and $14,107. The prices vary by material, style and labor rates in your area.

If you’re considering installing a metal roof on your home, you can have a ton of fun choosing the perfect color. DesignerRoofing.com suggests several things when you embark on this choice. For instance, they suggest you look at the colors in differing light situations – especially in natural light. Look at the other elements of your home to see what matches. Consider the exterior home features such as wood, stone, brick, trim and other decorative accents, and also the architectural style of the home (ranch, Mediterranean, modern, etc.)

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