Q: My roof needs to be replaced,
but Iím looking for a roofing product that will look nicer and last longer. Is
there a better answer?
A: Yes. Metal roofing is quickly becoming the
answer to this problem, especially with homeowners who are fed up with the short
life of traditional roofing materials. Metal roofing costs more up front than
composition shingles Ė itís generally in the same price range as wood shingles.
However, metal roofing is one of the most economical roofing choices, because it
lasts much longer, requires no maintenance, and provides a better appearance
(and greater value) for your home. Metal roofing has advantages in every
climate, especially in areas with threats of fires or airborne sparks, severe
storms, or extreme heat or cold. Another advantage is that some metal roofs can
be installed directly over your existing roof, without the cost and mess of a
"In addition to no maintenance costs, a metal roof,
especially aluminum, can lower your utility bills. According to the Florida
Solar Energy Center, installing a simulated cedar-shake aluminum roof can reduce
heat gain from the roof down through the ceilings by as much as 34 percent.
Steel roofs, although not as efficient as aluminum, are also better that asphalt
shingles." Kentucky Living
Q: Wonít a metal roof make my
house hotter in the summer?
A: It depends on the metal. Steel will absorb and
transfer the heat of the sun, but not all metals do. Aluminum, for example,
reflects radiant heat; thatís why NASA uses aluminum to shield satellites in
space, where thereís no atmosphere to scatter the heat of the sun. One metal
roofing manufacturer had its aluminum roofing product, called Rustic Shingle,
tested by the Florida Solar Energy Center. The center found it to reduce attic
heat gain by up to 34 percent more than traditional roofing materials. This can
add up to big savings on your utility bills. If you decide to use a metal roof
that is not aluminum, you will need to install a radiant-heat barrier in your
attic to get any energy savings.