Are Metal Roofs Loud? Top Metal Roof Myths Explained.
There are a lot of common misconceptions about metal roofing. Even though these roofs are durable, attractive, and green-friendly, the rumors you may have heard might deter you from moving forward with purchasing a metal roof and choosing a different material like asphalt shingle instead.
At Western States Metal Roofing, we are often asked about the myths people hear about metal roofs. We’ve written this article to tackle 10 of the most common falsities often heard about residential metal roofing.
What Are The Most Common Metal Roofing Myths?
- Metal roofs are noisy
- Metal roofs attract lightning
- Metal roofs affect cell service
- Metal roofs make your home really hot
- Metal roofs develop rust
- Metal roofs dent easily
- Metal Won’t perform well under extreme weather conditions
- Metal roofs are expensive
- Metal roofs cannot have solar panels installed on them
- Metal roofs are too shiny
Is A Metal Roof Noisy?
While a metal roof can be noisy, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, a metal roof can block out just as much noise as most other types of material. It all depends on the installation of the metal roof.
Residential metal roofs are generally installed over solid wood decking with a protective underlayment. Any attic space is also insulated. These additional layers absorb and muffle the sound of rain hitting the roof. The protective barrier makes it much quieter than if the roof was installed directly on an open frame as shown below.
In addition to reducing noise, certain underlayments have additional benefits. The Sharkskin Ultra Radiant® has a unique patented design that uses multiple layers of blended polypropylene with a reflective layer to reduce roof and attic temperature which also lowers energy costs. It also provides additional moisture barrier protection and protection against hurricane-force winds.
Does A Metal Roof Attract Lightning?
Metal is known for being a good conductor of electricity, so we have to assume that is why this common misconception exists. If you live in an area with extreme weather where a lightning storm is a regular occurrence and have heard that lightning is attracted to metal roofs, we understand why you'd be hesitant to install a metal roofing system on your house. Luckily, there is no truth to this lightning myth.
Lightning seeks a path to the ground and almost always will strike any object that is highest in the area, but that also has a direct path to the ground. Since a metal roof is not grounded, lightning has no reason to strike it.
Long story short: if lightning strikes your house during a thunderstorm, it will not be because of your roof. The odds of a lightning strike hitting a metal roof are the same as any other type of roofing material.
In the unlikely event that your house was struck by lightning, you would actually be safer with metal roofing since it’s not combustible and will not ignite and catch fire.
Does A Metal Roof Affect Cell Phone Service?
Have you ever answered a call or text message while shopping at the mall or eating at a restaurant? If so, then there is a really high probability that you’ve already used your phone without problems in a building with a metal roof.
Metal roofing materials do not cause poor cell phone service on commercial roofing or residential roofing. However, they can amplify an existing disruption that is already present, such as utility towers. The roof can create a shield that blocks the radio frequency (RF) signals used by cell phones.
It’s important to note any type of thick roofing material can disrupt cell phone service, including wood and asphalt. Several factors can affect cell phone reception such as:
- Your home’s location
- Distance from a utility tower
- Heavy cellular traffic
- Weather conditions
- Cell phone service provider
If you are experiencing difficulties with your service, cell phone signal boosters can be purchased to correct the issue.
Will A Metal Roof Make My House Hot?
While it’s true that metal exposed directly to the sun will heat up, the same is true of any roofing material. High-quality metal products are now made to combat solar heat that is known as “cool roofing”.
A cool roof is a roofing system that delivers higher solar reflectance and high thermal emittance (the ability to radiate absorbed, or non-reflected solar energy) than standard designed roofing products. These products have heat-reflecting coatings that can fully reflect even 50% of infrared wavelengths.
Color is another factor in how much heat is absorbed. A light color, such as white, will absorb less heat than a roofing material in a dark color.
Also, once the sun goes down and is not hitting a roof directly, the lightest material will lose its heat fastest. Metal is the lightest roofing material available, so it will cool down quicker than other roofing materials on the market.
Metal is actually one of the most energy-efficient roofing materials on the market. It reflects heat away which naturally keeps homes cooler and reduces the need for air conditioning.
Do Metal Roofs Develop Rust?
Most metal roofs have a protective Galvalume substrate and a painted coating that allows them to fight against oxidation and the formation of rust. While most metals will rust eventually, metal roofs are a durable material that are designed to resist rusting for decades. In fact, the paint warranties for metal roofs are typically 20 years and longer.
Metal roofs, such as copper and zinc, that develop a layer known as patina that protects the metal from rust. Corten steel is another type of metal that has a naturally oxidizing finish that is corrosion resistant.
Do Metal Roofs Dent Easily?
Some people think of metal as being brittle, but metal roofs are anything but. Metal has great durability and a Class 4 impact resistance which is the greatest impact resistance a material can have.
During average hail storms, metal roofs are able to resist being dented or punctured. It typically takes hail over 2 inches in diameter, which is larger than a golf ball, for any kind of diameter to potentially occur.
Will Metal Perform Well Under Extreme Weather Conditions?
We spoke earlier about how well metal roofs can handle extreme temperatures and lightning storms, but they can handle other extreme climate conditions too.
Certain metal roofs, like mechanical standing seam, are excellent in snow country as they have maximum durability and weathertightness to prevent leaks during heavy snowfall.
Metal roofs can also be designed to withstand gale force winds of up to 140 miles per hour. Long story short- these roofs can handle almost anything that nature can dish out.
Are Metal Roofs Expensive?
Metal roofs are more expensive than shingle roofing, but also provide greater long term value as they last 2-3 times as long.
The price of a metal roof depends on which type of metal roof you get. For example, a standing seam roof is up to twice as much as a corrugated metal roof.
Other factors that affect metal roof cost include:
For a deep dive into the cost of a metal roof, we recommend reading:
Is It Difficult To Install Solar Panels On A Metal Roof?
Solar panels are extremely popular today so we understand why you’d want to avoid a roof that is not compatible with solar panels. Good news- solar panels can be easily installed onto metal roofs thanks to solar mounting systems.
When used with a standing seam metal roof, these solar solutions, such as the S5!, can be installed directly onto the panel without the need to drill into the roof or create any holes.
Are Metal Roofs Really Shiny?
While there are metal roofs, like galvalume, that are shiny, this is not all metal roofs.
The shininess of a metal roof can be predicted by its colors’ SRI value, or solar reflective index.
The scale is from 0 to 100, 0 being standard black and 100 being standard white. Using this scale, it’s pretty easy to determine that a matte black roof color will have a lower SRI value and be less shiny than a Regal White colored roof.
Learn More About Metal Roofing
There are many misconceptions about metal roofing. Now that you've read this article, you know that:
- Metal roofs do not attract lightning
- Metal roofs aren't noisy
- Metal roofs are rust resistant
- Metal roofs do not dent easily
- Metal roofs will not make a home hotter
- Any type of thick roofing material can disrupt cell phone service
- Metal roofs perform well in extreme conditions
- Metal roofing has a wide range in price
- Metal roofs are compatible with solar panels
- Not all metal roofs are shiny
Now that you know these potential deterrents aren’t true, learn more about what is true about metal roofing by reading our blog below and visiting our learning center.