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Steel Roofing – Pros and Cons

Steel Roofing – Pros and Cons

As standing seam metal roofs grow in popularity, different options become available for the material the roof is made from. One of the options frequently asked for by homeowners and roofers alike is steel. Steel is well known as one of the more durable metals on the market today, but is it right for your roof?

Advantages to a Steel Roof

The type of steel typically used on roofs is galvanized steel. This means that the steel has been coated in a protective layer of zinc. The zinc helps ensure that the steel doesn’t corrode or rust, and that it remains fairly maintenance free. In fact, a roof made of galvanized steel will last roughly 60 years with very little care. In the South, stone-coated steel tiles are also popular. This uses a steel core with a crushed stone coating. The stone also protects the steel from corrosion or rust, while offering a more conventional appearance to the roof. This gives homeowners choosing steel the option to have either a very modern or traditional roof, with the rest of the benefits steel brings.

Like all metal roofs, steel works well in areas with a lot of snow, because it simply slides right off the roof, rather than sitting and adding weight to the home. Metal like steel also resists the growth of algae and mildew, so no need to pressure wash the roof or do a lot of yearly maintenance on it.

Another advantage to using steel over aluminum or another standing seam roofing material is the fact that the steel can dipped in a phosphate bath, and then painted. This gives you the advantage of having a roof in a wide variety of colors and not subject to the kind of oxidation that tin, aluminum, or copper will undergo. By using a light colored steel roof, you also get the advantage of the roof reflecting heat and light from the sun in hot areas, which helps to prevent the roof and attic from becoming super heated, and in turn lowers your energy bills.

Disadvantages of a Steel Roof

The biggest disadvantage to a steel roof is its price. The average cost of a steel roof is between $9 and $13 a square foot. The large difference in price is due in part to the many ways that steel roofs can come – standing seam, tile, and stone-coated tile being the various ways it can be offered.

The other biggest disadvantage to a steel roof is the noise factor. Steel roofs can be very noisy, particularly if you live in an area where you will be subject to acorns or hailstones dropping on the roof. Even a heavy rainstorm can be extremely loud, and those that are sensitive to noises may not want to invest in this roof type.

The final disadvantage to a steel roof is the expansion and contraction of the panels. Steel will move over time, and if the wrong type of fasteners are used in a standing seam roof, the panels may become loose, which can lead to leaks. Getting a roofer that can accommodate this problem may add to the final cost of the roof.

A Viable Roofing Option

Many of the cons that come with steel roofing are similar to the cons found in other metal roofs. Steel is a durable, attractive option for many homeowners to consider who want a low-maintenance long last roof that can help lower energy bills.


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