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Roofing 101: Metal Roofing Pros and Cons

Few homeowners look forward to replacing their roofs, but instead of focusing on the cost, why not consider it an opportunity to invest in the home’s future? The right roof is important in the Sunshine State, which, despite its name, sees 40 to 60 inches of rain per year, some of which are often accompanied by hurricane-force winds.


Residential roofs in Florida need to be more than just beautiful. They must also be durable, wind-resistant, and reflective enough to reduce the effects of direct sun on days that aren’t rainy. Metal roofing has all of those qualities, but it’s not right for everyone. Read on to find out about the pros and cons of this unique roofing material to make an informed decision.

The Benefits of Metal Roofing

Let’s start things off on a positive foot by discussing in greater detail some of the benefits of metal roofing that apply specifically to Florida homes. They include:

Durability and Weather Resistance

Anyone who has lived through a storm on the Florida coast knows that durability and weather resistance are key features in any building material used around here. Metal roofing outperforms asphalt and other alternatives by a long shot. It’s impact-resistant, won’t crack or rot, and can sustain wind gusting up to 140 mph.

Impressive Longevity

Metal roofs don’t just weather storms better than asphalt shingles. They also last longer, in general. Homeowners can reliably expect their roofs to last 40-50 years, usually longer with proper maintenance. Compare that to the 15-20 associated with asphalt and it should be clear that metal roofing is worth the money.

Energy Efficiency

Metal roofs are very energy efficient, especially in Florida where the sun can cause an incredible amount of thermal gain in uninsulated, asphalt-roofed homes. The energy efficiency of the material can be attributed in part to its lighter color but mostly to the reflective nature of metal. Instead of absorbing 100% of the heat from the sun’s rays, it reflects much of it back out, and solid attic insulation and ventilation take care of the rest.

Environmental Friendliness

Improved energy efficiency isn’t the only thing metal roofing brings to the table when it comes to protecting the environment. It’s also 100% recyclable, and some metal roofing materials are made in part with previously recycled materials. Plus, metal roofs form a much better foundation for eco-friendly practices like solar panel installation and rainwater collection.

Aesthetic Beauty

People who think metal roofs are ugly are usually thinking of the old-school corrugated tin roofs one used to see on some of Florida’s commercial buildings. Thankfully, that’s not what residential metal roofing looks like. It comes in ridged panels or tiles available in a wide selection of colors, textures, and finishes. Because metal holds up so well to the test of time, this roofing option also keeps homes looking their best for longer.

The Drawbacks of Metal Roofing

Unfortunately, nothing in this life offers infinite benefits with no drawbacks, and metal roofing is no exception. This material isn’t the right option for every homeowner because of its:

Greater Cost

While metal roofs are relatively easy to install, they still require a good deal of labor and the materials are generally more expensive. Although the long-term benefits described above tend to offset the initial investment cost, some homeowners are unable to secure financing.


Although metal is impressively impact-resistant, it can dent when large, heavy objects fall onto the roof, such as a tree branch or unusually large hail stone during a storm. Choosing steel instead of more malleable aluminum and copper is one good way to minimize this problem. Note, however, that while these dents are unsightly, they don’t affect the roof’s performance and can be repaired after a storm.

Potential for Noise

Metal roofs that have not been properly installed and insulated can be loud, especially during storms. Thankfully, this issue is easy to eliminate. Work with a qualified roofer to complete the installation, and make sure the home is equipped with both sheathing for the roof and noise-reducing insulation in the attic.

How to Make the Right Decision

Homeowners who want to make an informed decision about whether or not metal roofing is the right choice for their houses are already on the right track. The next step for anyone considering a metal roof is to contact a local contractor with any questions or concerns. A good contractor will be happy to answer questions and explain how everything works before asking homeowners to sign on the dotted line, so there’s no risk in reaching out.

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