Will Metal Roofing Make My Home Hotter?

Posted on: June 3rd, 2017 by Lori Smith

It is a well known fact that the most popular roofing material in the U.S. is asphalt shingles. They are relatively light, easy to install, and best of all they are affordable.

However, there is another option that, even though the initial cost is high, it has a ton of perks—metal roofing.

Metal Roof Being Inspected

Wikimedia Commons

Let’s look at some of the advantages to using metal roofing panels:

  1. Their life expectancy is above and beyond most other types of roofing.
  2. Sheets of metal roofing are extremely light weight, so the structural support is minimal.
  3. Metal panels are fire resistant, which is also a plus for your home owner’s insurance.
  4. They are quick and easy to install.

Another pro that many consider a con is heat conduction of a metal roof. Even though many people may wonder, “Will metal roofing make my home hotter?”, this is a total myth.

Metal reflects radiant heat from the sun, minimizing heat gain and air conditioning costs. Ironically, asphalt shingles absorb heat, causing the indoor temperature to rise.

The following post reiterates this fact:

What’s more energy efficient for warmer climates: shingles or a metal roof?

Both metal and asphalt roofing get the job done when it comes to sheltering a building, but they really part ways when it comes to durability, energy efficiency and cost. Asphalt shingles absorb a lot of heat, and that heat doesn’t stop at the roofline; it streams into the structure and increases the indoor temperature by 20 to 25 degrees [source: Florida Solar Energy Center]. Metal roofs, on the other hand, reflect the sun’s heat away from a building, leading to energy savings of about 50 percent, and they can be about 100 degrees cooler on the surface than traditional asphalt roofs [source: MRCA].

Read more here:  What’s more energy efficient for warmer climates: shingles or a metal roof? | HowStuffWorks

When you discuss metal roofing with a contractor, they will tell you that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. One point any unbiased roofer will bring up is whether you or not plan to stay in your home for a long time, as most metal roofs have a 50 year warranty.

If you are planning to sell your home in the near future and just want a less expensive option, that also has to be considered. However, a metal roof can increase the value of your home, making it sell quicker and at a better price.

The question of whether a metal roof is energy efficient is answered at around 35 seconds, but  the contractor in the video goes on point out more benefits of installing a metal roof:

The point that metal roofing can be made to imitate other types of roofing materials such as slate, wood, clay, and even asphalt shingles makes them even more versatile. The belief that they are only used on a barn or shop has changed as metal roofing has evolved.

Two important terms when determining whether a roof is going to be energy efficient are refectivity and emissivity.

Reflectivity – The roof surface’s ability to reflect rays from the sun.

Emissivity – The ability of a roof to re-radiate any energy absorbed back to the sky.

A cool roof will usually have a reflectivity rating of higher than 65% or .65 and an emissivity of as close to 1.0 as possible. Studies done on these two factors show that apparently a white metal roof has the best rating, but in general light-colored roofing is better:

Staying Cool with a Metal Roof | GreenBuildingAdvisor.com

Sun Reflecting on a Roof

Wikimedia Commons

EPA Energy Star bases its ratings on initial and aged reflectance but also reports emissivity values. Not surprisingly, the best performers are white metal roofs (ACM Regal White metal roofing with initial reflectance – 0.68; emissivity – 0.86) with some asphalt shingles qualifying, but with much lower reflectance values and similar emissivity (CertainTeed Star White shingles with initial reflectance – 0.29; emissivity – 0.90). You can download a pdf or excel file for all qualified products with their performance properties.

Read the full post here:  Staying Cool with a Metal Roof | GreenBuildingAdvisor.com

Outside of the importance of color,  the pros of metal roofing far override the cons. Consulting with a Denver commercial roofer that has experience with a multitude of different roofing materials will give you more insight on what is best for your situation.

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