What Are the Disadvantages of a Metal Roof?

What Are the Disadvantages of a Metal Roof?

6 min read

Metal roofs are the second most popular option for new constructions and structural replacements. Many American homeowners are upgrading to metal roofs for several reasons.

Metal roofing products come as aluminum, tin, copper, galvanized steel, and more. These roofing materials are suitable for different installation systems.

Metal roofs have many advantages when compared to disadvantages. But many people usually fear metal roofs without considering their benefits.

Below are some of the disadvantages of metal roofs:

  1. Corrosion
  2. Prone to dents
  3. Expensive
  4. Can be noisy
  5. Can get stained
  6. Possible fire hazard
  7. Lightning fears
  8. Difficult to modify and repair
  9. Improper installation can result in leaking
  10. Susceptible to expansion and contraction
  11. Prone to scratches and punctures
  12. Requires specialized installation
  13. Maintenance can be a hassle

This article provides further explanation on the drawbacks associated with metal roofs. Take the time to read through, so that you may make an informed decision if you’re looking to invest in one.

Disadvantages of Metal Roofs You Should Know

1. Corrosion

Metal roofs are durable and worth the value of your money. But the issue of corrosion could be the reason why many people are hesitant to invest in it.

There is no sense in buying expensive roofing materials that are prone to rust. Research shows that all metals are susceptible to corrosion when exposed to weather conditions for long period.

Metal roofs are not exempted regardless of the coating material. Aged metal roofs are known for experiencing corrosion and this might damage your roofing style.

Homeowners need to take time and inspect the quality of coating material before buying metal roofs for their houses. Rusty roofs usually lower the resale value of the property.

2. Prone to dents

Most metal roof materials are built to withstand heavy rain and hailstorm. But massive hailstorm strikes and failing tree branches might cause dents.

Besides that, some metal roofing materials can experience dents while walking on it to clean the chimney or gutters. These dents usually ruin your roofing style and shape.

The roof dents can also lower the property appeal and resale value. You will incur extra costs to fix the blemishes before selling your home.

But some metal roofing materials are anti-denting. It would be best to investigate the material before making the final decision.

We recommend going for steel roofing material over copper and aluminum. Steel roofs are durable and can tolerate hailstorm strikes to avoid denting.

3. Expensive

Metal roof materials require a big initial investment. But the durability will save you from the cost of constant repairs and maintenance.

Statistics show that metal roofs are two or three times more expensive than other roofing options. The high initial cost usually inhibits homeowners with a limited budget to consider it.

Besides that, investing in metal roofs is only suitable for those individuals planning to stay in the house for many years and enjoy the cost benefits.

Another drawback is the high installation cost. These roofing materials require a professional with the ultimate experience to install. The labor and installation services are super expensive.

4. Can be noisy

Metal roofs are quite noisy during hailstorms. The noise can be irritating when trying to sleep at night. It is another possible reason why many homeowners in America hate metal roofing materials.

Homeowners with trees in their backyard usually get scared when rotten branches fall on the roof at night. You might think it could be an intruder breaking into your house and this might raise a false alarm.

But technology advancement has resulted in the development of installation materials that help to insulate against noise. The cost of buying these materials usually results in high costs when installing metal roofs for your house.

5. Can get stained

Most metal roof products have a coating layer that helps to prevent rusting or corrosion and spearhead its lifespan. But this coating layer usually peels off and fades over time.

The chemicals in the metal roofing materials are highly affected by direct sunlight exposure. The ultraviolet rays make the pigments in the paint start breaking down.

Other environmental and weather conditions that also contribute to fading are moisture, salty air, and pollution. These factors are inevitable and can reduce the lifespan of your metal roofs.

Color fading issue should be a crucial factor to consider when shopping for metal roofing material to avoid uneven color distribution after some time.

6. Possible fire hazard

Fire risks are common in the United States of America during drought conditions. It could be due to accidental or natural occurrences.

Metal roofs are excellent options for guarding the house against flying sparks and embers. The house will not get damaged from the fire coming from outside.

But the roofing material is not ideal for the fire that starts from inside a house. The metal roof paint is flammable and this will spread the fire faster.

Firefighters will find it more difficult to put off the fire and the task might take longer. Maneuvering around the hot metal can result in serious fire injuries. Learn to keep the roof clean from leaves.

7. Lightning fears

Lightning strikes are unexpected and rare. But metals are good conductors of electricity and lightning is not an exemption.

If you live in an area where lightning and storms are the order of the day, you need to be cautious with your metal roofing materials.

The chances of lightning striking your house are quite high. Keep in mind that metal roofs cannot attract lightning strikes.

The best option is installing lightning arrestors around your properties to avoid the risks of strikes since metal roofs can be grounded easily.

8. Difficult to modify and repair

Metal roofing materials come with different quality and color schemes. Besides that, these two factors are highly susceptible to change over time.

Repairing or modifying metal roofing materials installed in large panels can be tricky. The job might take long hours and this could be expensive in the long run.

Most companies offering modification and repair services usually charge per hour. Replacing large panels of metal roofs is a tedious task and this might take a longer period.

It can also be challenging to match the roofing materials in case you are remodeling the house after 10 to 20 years. The dynamics in color scheme and quality could ruin your roofing style.

9. Improper installation can result in leaking

Metal roofs should be installed by a professional contractor. Exposed fasteners on the roofs are susceptible to improper installation.

The issue might make the screws get attached to flat surfaces creating a channel for rainwater to the rundown. The water seepage into the screw holes will cause further damages.

Improper flashing and missing secured panels could also cause rainwater leakages. The leaks will ruin your ceiling and walls of your house.

10. Susceptible to expansion and contraction

All metals expand and contract when the weather is warm and cool. Most buildings with metal products have fastening systems to accommodate the expansion and contraction movement.

But regular movement makes the fasteners in the metal roofs experience wear and tear after a couple of years. The expansion and contraction end up making your roof loose.

Replacing the metal roof will be the only option. Otherwise, windy weather might carry the roof away and cause more problems in the house.

11. Prone to scratches and punctures

Metal roofs are highly affected by snow and debris from trees. These substances usually scuff the seams of the metal roofs. Thus, affecting the longevity of your house roof.

Falling tree branches can scratch away the protective coating on the metal roof. The surface gets exposed to adverse weather and starts to rust.

The rust later causes punctures that result in leaks and tearing of the roofing material. The best option is to investigate the metal roof more frequently and replace it in case of such damages.

12. Requires specialized installation

Metal roof installation tasks are quite challenging when compared to other roofing options. There are few contractors and companies that are specialized in metal roofing.

Besides that, metal roofs are not ideal for DIY installation. The job requires specialized tools which are expensive to buy and repair.

The cost of hiring a knowledgeable and experienced metal roof installer is super high. The limited number of contractors could be the reason behind the high installation costs.

13. Maintenance can be a hassle

Metal roofs have a robust construction design. The strength enables the roof to withstand the weight of someone while walking on it. Always put safety measures in place before trying to walk on the metal roof.

But it can be challenging to access the metal roof in wet weather. The metal roof materials are quite slippery and traversing to remove tree debris can be a daunting and risky task. Maintaining metal roofs in winter is crucial to prevent the growth of vegetation.

The best option is to hire a cleaning service company for assistance. Keep in mind that the cost of cleaning the roof will dig down your wallet or bank account.

Victoria Miller

I'm the founder of NTT. I live in Miami, Florida, and enjoy learning everything there is to know about tiny spaces.