Slash Your Energy Bill With a Metal RoofJohn Ceban
Nowadays, more and more people are trying hard to make ends meet, but with high energy bills, this task is increasingly becoming more difficult. Consuming less energy is not always doable when the indoor temperature is almost as high as outside. A metal roof, however, can be the answer to this issue.
There’s no doubt that both metal and asphalt roofs can get really hot in summer, yet they influence the indoor temperature in a different manner. In fact, many people who chose to install metal roofs noticed their energy bills decrease!
What is a metal roof made of?
There are several types of metals used to make a roof. The most common materials are copper, zinc, and steel alloys. Copper has been used for roofs all over the world since ancient times. The main point is that this type of roof was used for places of worship, like temples and later on churches.
Today’s technology makes it possible for people to create pieces of metal for roofs, to look like other materials commonly used for roofing. By modifying the surface, shape, and color of the metal, any appearance can be obtained, including that of asphalt, cedar shake, or clay tiles, to name a few.
How do metal roofs reduce energy consumption?
There are a few ways in which metal can keep a house cooler in summer.
Those installing the roof would have to make sure to make use of the batten/counter-batten system. This way, a “cushion” of air forms between the roof and the roof deck. This “air cushion” has insulating properties both in winter and in summer. Many people will refer to this trapped air, as dead air, instead. The installation method with a batten/counter-batten system is the main way in which a metal roof will lower the energy bills.
Fast cooling and air circulation
Most metals cool down pretty fast once the heat source is removed. Aluminum cools the fastest from all metals. Using it as a roof means that once the sun sets, the roof will be the first to cool down, hence the air underneath.
Cold air is heavier than warm air, and this means it will travel down to the floor level, allowing the hot air to get in contact with the cool roof. Then the process repeats. If the air conditioning cooled the house throughout the day, in the evening there will be no need for it anymore.
Other types of tiles retain the heat for a longer time, even after the sun has already set. This means that once the heat enters the living space it will be difficult and more energy-consuming to cool the area down.
Colors and Pigments
Most metals are silver in color and have a shiny surface. These metals can easily reflect heat and light away. Metal can have a variety of colors and when light colors are used, the sun’s heat is reflected away from the building, keeping the indoors at a lower temperature. It goes without saying that in such conditions, using a device to cool the air will not be needed as much, or it can be used on a lower setting, and thus consuming less energy.
Some point out that more than color, the pigment used is important. Called cool metal roof, the piece of metal is colored with a special paint that contains a cool pigment. This special pigment has the ability to send back the infrared rays of the sun, which are the main culprits of raising the temperature indoors.
Reflecting the heat is the main way homes can be kept cooler in summer. When the heat is not reflected, it is actually absorbed in the home’s other structures. Metal is the only material that can reflect heat even when not treated.
When it comes to appearance, a metal roof can be coated to improve its properties – reflectiveness or waterproofing. Additionally, a coating can prevent rust from forming, depending on the type of metal used.
Energy Star label
When a metal roof is installed, the insulation properties are enhanced. This is why it’s common to see an Energy Star label next to the metal used for roofs, but not other materials.
Other Benefits to Metal Roofing
Just like with any product out there, there are both pros and cons for installing one type of roof over the other. There are many people coming to the conclusion that when it comes to a metal roof, its pros far outweigh the cons.
The lifespan is probably one of its main advantages. A metal roof can easily last for about 100 years. A slate roof lasts for some 75 years, but maintaining it can be its major disadvantage, as we’ll see later on in this article. An asphalt roof however, is not expected to last for more than 20 years.
The initial cost of the roof and its lifespan indicate that it’s best to install a metal roof when you own the property and don’t plan on moving out too soon.
A roof made of metal requires a minimum of maintenance, but it has to be properly installed. All other types of roofs need to be inspected at least every year. The tiles might crack and this means they have to be replaced, or water might infiltrate. The worst offender, in this case, is the shake roof which can grow moldy, rot, and leak.
Metal is easy to repair if needed, and it’s also easy to find metal in the same or very similar color to the original. All other roof types will change color due to the weather, and any replacement would be obvious.
When it comes to installation, a metal roof can be installed on top of the existing one. This is a great advantage as the work will be completed faster and cheaper. Additionally, installing metal on top of another type of roof can increase the insulating properties of the roof and its overall resistance to the weather. It’s best to check with the local regulations before attempting to install a metal roof on top of an existing one.
A metal roof is more eco-friendly than any other type of roof because it is usually made from recycled metal. Additionally, when it is being removed, the metal can easily be reclaimed and recycled into other metal items. Unless they are still in decent condition, all other roof types end up in landfills.
Perhaps you want to have a hybrid source of energy – solar and traditional. One aspect to keep in mind is that solar panels can be easily installed on top of the metal roof. Photovoltaic panels can’t be installed on a traditional roof with the same ease, as the traditional roof materials can be damaged during the installation process. On top of this, removing the panels is also a relatively easy task.
No lightning strikes
Bolts of lightning strike trees and poles more than buildings. This is because those structures are directly connected to the earth. The roof of an edifice doesn’t come in direct contact with the earth underneath. However, such a situation should ever happen, the roof won’t catch fire since metal doesn’t burn.
Other things to keep in mind:
The initial cost of installing a metal roof seems like a major disadvantage and is the main reason many people decide against installing one. However, it’s important to note that metal roofs are actually cheaper in the long run when compared to asphalt roofs. Asphalt roofs need to be replaced multiple times during your lifetime, but a metal roof lasts a lifetime.
When deciding to have a metal roof installed, one has to pay attention to who performs the installation and how. A metal roof has to be installed in a certain way to see any benefits. When installed incorrectly, it may allow water leaks, it won’t insulate properly, and moisture may form underneath, which will lead to other issues. So make sure you’re choosing a professional roofing company only.
It’s worth noting that metal roofs are increasingly more popular in all corners of the world. Not only do these last longer, but they can also look just like any other type of roof which is an added bonus for those who like a more rustic or vintage appearance. When it comes to saving money, these roofs have no competition. They cost far less in the long run and need fewer inspections and repairs. Additionally, thanks to the insulating properties of this type of roof, individuals will consume less electricity. It’s easy to see how less used energy means having lower bills to pay.
Contact a Top Metal Roofs Contractor
Whether you need a new roof installed or an old one replaced, we top the list of Toronto and GTA roofing companies. We have numerous satisfied clients whose success stories testify to our expertise. Our services are unmatched, and we guarantee a roof that will last you a lifetime. Talk to us at 647-470-7161, and we will professionally handle all your metal roofing matters.