Metal roofing is known and loved for its permanence: aluminium and steel roofs can last up to 60 years, while zinc and copper roofs can go well over 100 years with nothing more than a painting facelift. What that means is that investing in metal roofing will probably be a once-in-a-lifetime thing for you, which makes the upfront cost worth it. Did you know, however, that there are tons of benefits to having metal roofs, some of which you've probably never heard of? This article highlights just a few of them.
1. Complete weather protection
So sturdy are metal roofs that they are recommended for people living in hurricane-prone areas – they can withstand wind speeds as high as 140 mph (224 kmh-1). They offer the best protection from ice, ice dams and snow because they easily shed ice and snow. This means that leakages from ice dams (common with asphalt shingles) will be a thing of the past for you. In addition, snow guards can be easily placed on metal roofs to prevent snow from falling onto door entrances, windows and other parts of the house where snow coverage isn't desirable.
2. Lightning protection
You've probably never given it a second thought, but a lightning arrester isn't actually very beneficial for protecting your home from lightning strikes. Far from popular opinion, metal roofs don't increase the chances of getting hit by lightning; au contraire, metal roofs help to safely dissipate electric charge from lightning, even when they haven't been grounded.
So, how does this actually work?
Think of your metal roof like a kind of Faraday cage, which works better at dispersing large amounts of electric charge than a single rod and wire leading to the ground. Because it covers a large surface area, it intercepts 100 percent of lightning hitting your house (it's unlikely lightning will manoeuvre past your roof, which is most accessible, to hit a window or door), unlike the arrester, which only protects from lightning that hits it directly. Grounding the roof can make better protection, especially if you live in lightning-prone regions, but even without it, a metal roof offers excellent protection.
3. Solar panel compatibility
The problem with using solar panels on asphalt shingles is that the former will definitely outlast the latter, which only serves about 20 years. Having spent a large sum buying and installing the solar panels, you'll have the added cost of pulling them down and reinstalling them every time your roof needs repair or replacement.
Also, reroofing must be done with the solar integration, so you can't split the projects (old model panels required roof penetration for anchoring). This prevents the likelihood of your solar equipment getting damaged by the roofer during his work, since the panel isn't within the scope of his duties.
Because metal roofs last so long, a single installation will suffice for the life of the panels. Also, there are new technologies such as thin-film photovoltaic solar laminates which don't need roof penetration; they can be attached to metal roof panels by peeling and sticking. You can get more details on this here.