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Pros and Cons of Metal Roofs (2024 Guide)

Author Icon Written by Angela Bunt Updated 04/02/2024

If your shingles are showing their age or the roof has sprung a leak one too many times, it may be time for an upgrade. As you research roof replacement options, you’ll learn that metal roofing has grown in popularity over the last decade.

Metal roofs offer some compelling advantages over traditional roofing materials, including a unique blend of style and durability. But are they worth the investment? We’ll break down the pros and cons of metal roofs to help you make an informed decision.

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What Are The Benefits of Metal Roofs?

They may not have been on your radar when you first realized you needed to replace your roof, but metal roofs can be a practical and cost-effective option. The benefits of metal roofs often outweigh their disadvantages. We’ve listed a few of their most impressive features below.

Does Metal Roofing Last Longer?

One key difference between shingles and metal roofs is their life spans. A traditional asphalt roof with three-tab shingles might last 15–20 years while architectural asphalt shingles typically max out at 30–50 years. Regardless of the type of shingles you choose, replacing an asphalt roof is troublesome, noisy, and expensive.

Installing a metal roof may be just as noisy and disruptive, but you won’t need to replace it as often. A metal roof could last 40–80 years or longer, making it a worthwhile investment.

To learn more about how the longevity of metal roofs compares to other popular roofing materials, check out the video below. General contractor Tom Silva provides a quick overview of asphalt shingles versus wood shingles, metal roofing, and clay tiles:

Are Metal Roofs Durable?

Metal roofs are made of strong metals including tin, aluminum, zinc, copper, and steel. They’re more durable than asphalt shingles, so they have longer life spans.

Metal roofs can withstand extreme weather such as heavy snow and radiant summer heat. They can even endure winds of up to 140 mph. These roofs are sturdyespecially the steel ones, which score on the higher end of hardness scales. Most metal roofs have a Class 4 impact resistance rating, meaning they can withstand hail up to 2 inches in diameter.

Do Metal Roofs Increase Curb Appeal?

Metal roofs have come a long way since their tin-plated iron predecessors. Roofers didn’t always consider curb appeal, but metal roofs are much more attractive today. A metal roof system also maintains its visual appeal well. Because it sustains minimal damage, your roof will look new for years to come.

There are several metal roofing styles and they span a variety of colors and types. If standard metal shingles aren’t your style, you have several other options to choose from including shake-inspired, tile, panel, and ribbed metal roofing.

Are Metal Roofs Sustainable?

Asphalt shingles create a lot of waste, with over 12 billion square feet of shingles ending up in landfills every year. Metal roofs offer a more eco-friendly option. A roofer can install them directly over your existing roof, eliminating the debris associated with a traditional roof replacement. Metal roofs also consist of 35–95% recycled materials and are 100% recyclable if you need to swap them out. 

Are Metal Roofs Energy Efficient?

Metal roofs are a good option if you want to save on energy bills. Traditional shingles trap solar heat and increase the need to cool your home by up to 15%. Metal roofs reflect the hot sun, so you don’t need to spend as much on your home’s cooling costs.

You’ll also spend less on heating bills because most roofing companies insulate under metal roofs, keeping your home warmer in the winter. Metal roofs improve your energy savings by approximately 10–25%. You can also install solar panels on metal rooftops, making them even more energy efficient.

Are Metal Roofs Safe?

It’s a common misconception that metal roofs are more likely to have issues during extreme weather. Metal roofs don’t attract lightning during a thunderstorm any more than traditional asphalt roofs. Plus, most metal roofs have a Class A fire rating, meaning they resist surface flame spread. These roofs are as safe as asphalt shingles, even if you live in an area with a high wildfire risk.

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What Are the Drawbacks of Metal Roofs?

Metal roofing comes with a few disadvantages that may turn off some homeowners, especially those on strict budgets.

Are Metal Roofs Expensive?

Metal roofs are more expensive than shingles. Most new roof installations cost $5,582–$13,022, with the average hovering around $9,300. Factors such as the roof’s size, the type you install, and the roof’s pitch will determine how much you pay. Using expensive materials such as clay tile, slate, or synthetic wood shakes could drive the price above $30,000.

The cost of a metal roof is typically $5,670–$17,350, but you could pay $40,000 or more for copper or other high-end metals. A metal roof may cost you less overall, but the upfront costs can be intimidating.*

*Cost data sourced from contractor estimates used by Angi.

Can Metal Roofs Dent?

Although metal roofs are sturdy, they can still experience damage. Steel roofs are strong and don’t get many indentations, but aluminum and copper are prone to issues. Hailstorms and falling tree branches increase the likelihood of dents and could also cause paint finishes to chip or fade. As you’re reviewing options, check the warranties to learn what different roof companies cover.

Are Metal Roofs Noisy?

You’ll likely hear noise from your metal roof during a storm. Although some people find the sound of rain hitting a metal roof calming, this is something to consider, especially if you’re sensitive to certain noises. An experienced roofer will know how to reduce noise effectively by installing the proper underlayment or insulation to minimize sound.

Will Metal Roofing Rust?

Some types of metal roofing are prone to rust, especially when placed in coastal climates. Here’s how different materials hold up:

  • Steel can rust, but roofing companies use galvanized steel to offset the chance of rusting.
  • Aluminum is rust-resistant but may not be suitable for some residential homes because of its aesthetics.
  • Copper is also rust-resistant but more prone to corrosion over time.
  • Zinc resists both rust and corrosion but can be expensive.
  • Galvalume steel is reinforced with aluminum and zinc, making it the best solution for rusting roofs in humid climates.

Are Metal Roofs Widely Available?

Metal roofs are growing in popularity, but it can still be difficult to find roofers who know how to install them properly. Make sure to do your research before hiring a contractor to install a metal roof.

Make sure that your roofer has metal roof installation experience, proper insurance and licensing, and a history of positive reviews. For added peace of mind, you can hire an independent roof inspector to evaluate your roof before and after installation.

Are Metal Roofs Worth The Cost?

Metal roofs are an attractive and durable roofing option compared to traditional asphalt shingles. Although a metal roof’s upfront cost is high, the cost of a new roof is always expensive. You’ll save money in the long run if you choose to go with a metal roof due to its endurance. We recommend going with steel roofing over tin or aluminum to get the most longevity out of your roof and considering Galvalume steel if you live in a coastal region.

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FAQs About Metal Roofs

Do metal roofs attract lightning?

Researchers haven’t found any evidence that metal roofs attract more lightning than asphalt alternatives. Properly grounded metal roofs can conduct lightning energy over a broader area, reducing the risk of damage or fire.

Do metal roofs leak more than shingles?

Metal roofs only leak more than shingles if roofers don’t correctly install them. Metal roofs will shed snow, ice, and rain and are less likely to build up moisture, especially since they aren’t prone to weather damage like shingles are.

What is better, a metal roof or shingles?

Metal roofs are increasingly popular due to their long life spans and durability when compared to shingles. Metal roofs also come in a variety of shapes and colors and don’t require much upkeep once installed. They’re a low-maintenance alternative to an asphalt shingle roof.

Is it worth it to put on a metal roof?

Whether a metal roof is worth it depends on your circumstances. Metal roofs offer superior longevity and durability but have a higher initial cost than asphalt shingles.

Does a metal roof devalue a house?

No, a metal roof does not devalue a house. According to 2023 data from Remodeling by JLC, a new metal roof can add over $23,000 to the value of your home. However, depending on how much you end up paying, new asphalt shingles could give you a better return on investment.

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