Key Problems with Metal Roofs: Issues and Myths Addressed

Key Takeaways

Metal roofing can be a great solution for many homeowners, provided they understand all the facts before making their decision. It is important to research different types of metal roofing and ensure that any contractor you hire has experience installing metal roofs. With proper installation, maintenance, and care, metal roofs can last an incredibly long time while providing superior protection from the elements. Get started today with a free quote from local contractors in your area.

Poor Installation and human error are the cause of many reported metal roofing problems. It’s always better to hire a professional metal roofing contractor to install the new metal roofing.

The benefits of metal roof replacement typically far outweigh the disadvantages although the cost of the roof replacement is usually more.

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Metal roofs have been used in commercial buildings for many years but recently they are being used in more and more residential homes. Many homeowners are choosing metal roofing due to their durability, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal. However, there are some common problems with metal roofs and concerns that people have when considering a metal roof installation.

In this article we will address these key problems with metal roofs and debunk some of the myths surrounding them in order to help you make an informed decision about this type of roofing system for your home. We’ll cover topics such as cost, maintenance requirements, noise levels, fire safety ratings, environmental considerations and more. By understanding the facts behind these issues, you can better determine if a metal roof is right for your needs.

Infographic showing the key problems that a homeowner may experience with metal roofing.

Roof Leaks

Let’s get real for a sec. Roofs, no matter their material, aren’t invincible. They age, they wear down, and then, bam, you’ve got yourself a leak. It’s like watching your favorite sneakers fall apart; one day they’re solid, the next, you’re stepping in puddles. Storms and Mother Nature’s mood swings don’t help either. They’re like that one guest who speeds up the party’s end by spilling drinks everywhere.

Now, don’t think metal roofs are the only ones singing the blues here. All roofs, whether they’re shingled, tiled, or made of space-age materials, can spring a leak. It’s an equal-opportunity headache.

Here’s a nugget of wisdom: picking a top-notch roofing material with a warranty that doesn’t quit is like choosing a sturdy umbrella over a flimsy one. Sure, it might cost more upfront, but when the sky opens up, you’ll be thanking your lucky stars you went for quality. It’s all about playing the long game to dodge those drips.

Dents, Scuffs, and Scratches

Metal roofs, while pretty tough, aren’t immune to the occasional beauty mark. Think of them like a shiny new car; they look fantastic until you get that first dent or scratch. Proper installation is key here—it’s like having a good driver behind the wheel, minimizing the bumps and scrapes.

Now, not all metal roofs are created equal. Go for the cheap, thin stuff, and you’re asking for dents every time hail decides to visit. It’s like choosing paper plates over ceramic—sure, they do the job, but don’t expect them to hold up under pressure. Opting for thicker metal is like picking the heavy-duty tools; they just work better.

Sure, your metal roof can handle the small stuff like pinecones or acorns dropping by unannounced. But throw a branch or a fastball at it, and you might just get a souvenir dent. And scratches? Branches love to leave their autographs, especially when the wind gets them grooving against your roof.

The fix? Keep those trees trimmed like you would a wild beard. No contact, no problem. It’s a simple step, but it keeps your metal roof looking sharp and performing like a champ.

Metal Breaking Down and Corrosion

Metal roofs have a rep for being the tough guys on the block, and it’s well-earned. They can outlast a lot of other roofing materials, standing up to whatever the sky throws their way. However, they’re not invincible. Over time, even metal can wave the white flag, especially if it’s not given the TLC it deserves.

Think of a metal roof like a classic car. Without the right care—like a cozy garage and regular check-ups—it’s going to show its age. Proper installation is key. It needs a solid underlayment, kind of like a trusty sidekick, to guard against water, snow, and ice. This duo can take on the elements much better than a lone ranger metal roof.

But don’t just set it and forget it. Regular inspections are like taking your roof for a health check. Catching signs of corrosion or damage early can save you a lot of headaches down the road. It’s all about prevention.

And if rust decides to crash the party? A good quality paint can be like a magic eraser, not only giving your roof a facelift but also adding an extra layer of armor against future foes. With the right care, a metal roof can be more than just durable; it can be a long-lasting shelter that keeps you safe and dry for years to come.

Matching and Repairs Appearance

When it comes to metal roofing, let’s face it, appearance is a big deal. You want your roof to look like a seamless sea of shiny armor, not a patchwork quilt. But life happens. Corrosion sets in, storms leave their mark, and suddenly you’re looking at repairs or even replacing sections. That’s when things can get visually tricky. The new kid on the block might not exactly match the older, sun-kissed panels, leaving you with a bit of a mismatched look.

The secret to keeping your metal roof looking sharp, even after repairs? It’s all in the paint. Choosing metal roofing that’s coated with high-quality, UV-protected paint is like sunscreen for your home. It helps keep the color from fading into that washed-out look nobody’s aiming for.

But don’t just slap it on and forget about it. Your roof’s paint job needs a little love and attention, too. Regular check-ups for fading or wear can help catch any trouble spots early, keeping your roof’s color more consistent over time. It’s a bit like touching up your roots; a little effort goes a long way in maintaining that just-like-new appearance.

Paint Fading Over Time and Chalky Color Appearance

Just like your favorite pair of jeans, any roof, regardless of its material, is going to show some wear over time. The sun has this knack for leaving its mark, turning vibrant colors into faded memories, even on the toughest of surfaces. It’s a universal truth: UV rays don’t play favorites, and paint fading is just part of the deal.

Metal roofs, though, they’ve got a bit of a shield. They’re often dressed in high-quality paint, a sort of armor against the relentless sun. This paint, especially when it’s packed with UV protection, does a stellar job at slowing down the fade. But let’s be real, Father Time is undefeated. Given enough sunny days, even these metal warriors will start to show their age.

The good news? You’re not totally at the mercy of the elements. Keeping your roof’s paint job clean is like giving it a fighting chance against the sun’s rays. Dirt and debris can amplify the effects of UV light, speeding up the fading process. Regular inspections are also key. Think of them as check-ups for your roof’s complexion, helping you spot any signs of fading or discoloration early on.

It’s a bit like skincare for your house. A little preventative maintenance can go a long way in keeping your roof looking youthful and vibrant, even as it racks up years under the sun.

Environmental Consideration

Metal roofing takes the cake when it comes to being a friend to our planet. It’s like the superhero of roofing materials, boasting powers that traditional asphalt shingles can only dream of. First off, its lifespan is impressively long. While asphalt roofs are playing the short game, needing replacements every few decades, metal roofs are in it for the marathon, sticking around for the long haul. This means less waste clogging up our landfills, which is a win for Mother Nature.

But wait, there’s more. Metal roofs aren’t just durable; they’re also made from recycled content. It’s like giving old materials a second chance at life, covering our homes while cutting down on the need for new resources. This recycling superpower significantly slashes the environmental footprint of roofing materials, making metal roofs a top choice for those looking to green their homes.

In a world where we’re all trying to do better by our planet, choosing a metal roof is a small but mighty way to make a difference. It’s not just about keeping water out of our attics; it’s about preserving our environment for generations to come.

Installation Errors

Installing a metal roof is not a project for the faint of heart or the inexperienced DIY enthusiast. It’s an intricate dance that requires precision, knowledge, and a deep understanding of the material. Metal roofing, with its unique characteristics and installation requirements, presents challenges that differ significantly from those associated with traditional roofing materials like asphalt shingles.

Oil Canning

Oil canning in metal roofing is essentially the equivalent of getting a wrinkled shirt out of the dryer — it’s not what you expected, and it detracts from the sleek look you were going for. This wavy, unintended texture that sometimes appears on metal roofs is not a sign of structural failure, but it can be an aesthetic concern for homeowners and building owners alike.

The root causes of oil canning are varied. Incorrect installation plays a significant role; if panels are not aligned with precision during the install, it sets the stage for oil canning to make an appearance. Uneven spacing between panels can also contribute to this issue, as can improper handling or storage of the materials before they even make it onto the roof. The phenomenon might show up immediately following installation or could reveal itself down the line as the seasons change and the materials expand and contract.

This is where the expertise of a professionally licensed roofing contractor becomes invaluable. A contractor with experience in metal roofing will understand the nuances of handling and installing these materials to minimize the risk of oil canning. They’ll ensure that everything from the initial storage of the materials to the final installation is carried out correctly, reducing the likelihood of those wavy lines appearing.

Roof Penetrations Such as Vents Are More Obvious with Metal Roofing

Metal roofing, celebrated for its durability, longevity, and environmental sustainability, indeed brings a host of benefits to the table. However, it’s not without its aesthetic challenges, particularly when it comes to integrating roof penetrations and additional features like edge guards.

Roof penetrations — which include elements such as vents, vent pipes, skylights, and chimneys — are essential for the functionality of any home, ensuring proper ventilation, natural light, and the safe exit of combustion gases. Yet, on a metal roof, these necessary components can become more pronounced. Unlike asphalt shingles or other materials that might blend more seamlessly with these penetrations, metal roofing’s sleek and uniform appearance can make these elements stand out, potentially disrupting the visual flow of the roof.

Replacing Shingle Roof with a Metal Roof Problems

Thinking about swapping your shingle roof for a metal one? Well, buckle up, because there’s a bit you’ve got to chew on first. I’ve been down this road, and let me tell you, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

First off, metal roofs can be heavy hitters compared to their shingle counterparts. It’s like comparing a feather to a bowling ball. So, before you dive headfirst into this pool, you’ll want to have a chat with a pro who knows their stuff about metal roofs. They’ll give your home the once-over to make sure it can take the weight without buckling at the knees. Trust me, it’s a step you don’t want to skip.

Determine if Local Building Codes Permit This

First things first, you gotta play by the rules. Yep, I’m talking about those pesky local building codes that seem to bring down every DIYer. It’s like every town has its own rulebook, and trust me, you don’t wanna end up on the wrong side of it especially if you want to sell your home in the future.

Some places are as picky as my Aunt Marge at a buffet, especially when it comes to what you can throw on your roof. And get this – a lot of spots have a two-roof max. That’s right, stack more than that, and you might as well be wearing a “Fine Me” sign. So, do yourself a favor and check in with the powers that be before you start dreaming of rain tapping on metal overhead.

Trapped Water Vapor Could be an Issue

Another potential issue is that the metal roofing could trap water vapor, which can lead to moisture accumulation in the attic which can cause a leaky roof and even mold to grow in your home. Installing a good quality moisture barrier between the metal roof and the existing shingle roof can help reduce this concern.

Manufacturers That Offer Quality Metal Roofing Products

When choosing a metal roof system, it’s important to research the various manufacturers and find one that offers a quality product. Many of the leading metal roofing companies offer warranties on their products and provide installation instructions that can help ensure your metal roof is installed properly and will last for years to come.

Some of these manufacturers are local as well. Contacting a local roofing contractor in your area can help you better understand which is better for your home and climate.

Types of Metal Roofing

When considering a metal roof, there are different types of metal roofing materials to choose from. The two most popular are screw down metal roofing and standing seam metal roofing. Both have pros and cons but the major difference is how the roof is attached to the home and whether those fasteners are exposed. Here is a bit more detail:

Screw Down Metal Roof

This type of metal roof is attached to the home using screws with washers and neoprene seals. The screw heads are visible and may not be aesthetically pleasing, but they do provide an adequate waterproof seal when properly installed and in most cases are painted the same color as the roofing sheets that are installed.

Standing Seam Metal Roof

This type of metal roof is attached to the home using clips and/or screws with neoprene washers and seals. The fasteners are hidden behind the panels, creating a neat and clean finished look. This type of metal roof offers superior waterproofing and can last up to 30 years or more when properly installed.

Metal Roofing Myths Some Roofing Contractors Would Have You Believe

When you are considering a new metal roof, there are some myths that some contractors would like to have you believe. For instance, some may tell you that metal roofs require more maintenance than other types of roofs. This simply isn’t true. Metal roofs require just as much maintenance as any other type of roofing material and can actually last longer with proper care and maintenance. Here are some myths that you may have heard:

Problems with Wi-Fi and Cell Phone Service

Some contractors may tell you that installing a metal roof can interfere with your home’s Wi-Fi or cell phone signals, but this is simply not true. Modern metal roofs are constructed with materials that do not impede signal strength, making them just as effective at transmitting and receiving signals as traditional asphalt shingle roofs.

Metal Roofing Attracts Lightning

Another myth is that metal roofing attracts lightning, but this is also untrue. Metal roofs are actually no more likely to attract lightning than any other type of roof.

Metal Roofs Are Not Recyclable More Energy-Efficient

This is also false. Metal roofs are made from recycled materials and can be recycled again at the end of their life, making them a very environmentally-friendly choice. They are also more energy-efficient than other types of roofing materials due to their ability to reflect heat away from your home. The energy savings are usually realized for many years as well.

Metal Roofs Produce Lots of Noise During Storms

Some contractors may tell you that metal roofs produce more noise during storms than other types of roofing materials. While it is true that metal does expand and contract with changes in temperature, this expansion and contraction is not significant enough to increase the amount of noise produced during a storm. The sound of rain hitting the metal roof can be noticed but with proper installation and underlayment this is only during very heavy rainfall and extreme weather. And in most cases, simply is easily overlooked as long as protective backside coating is present.


Metal roofing can be a great solution for many homeowners, provided they understand all the facts before making their decision. It is important to research different types of metal roofing and ensure that any contractor you hire has experience installing metal roofs. With proper installation, maintenance, and care, metal roofs can last an incredibly long time while providing superior protection from the elements. Get started today with a free quote from local contractors in your area.

Rick Anderson

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