What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Metal Roofing?

Selecting roofing, whether for a brand-new building or to replace an old roof, is a big decision, but one you shouldn’t have to make very often. A good, well-maintained roof can easily last decades, paying for itself over the years. More and more people are gravitating towards metal roofing these days, and in this article we’ll explore why that is. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of metal roofing, to help you understand whether it might be the right fit for your building needs.

Types of metal roofing

Metal roofing can be constructed from a wide range of different materials, including aluminium, steel, copper and lead. Of these, steel is perhaps the most popular type of metal roofing, as it is economical, resistant to scratches, dents and dings, and light and easy to install. It is also environmentally friendly, since it can be recycled. Aluminium is also popular, but a limited resource, while lead can be toxic. And copper is expensive and prone to theft – making steel the logical choice for most building owners. To keep things simple, here, we’ll focus on steel.

Advantages of metal roofs

Steel roofing, like other metal roofs, is resistant to fire (it’s non-combustible), as well as moulds and mildews. Steel is also lightweight, making handling and installation a breeze. It reflects solar heat, minimising midday heat gain and keeping the building below nice and cool – something that often surprises first-time steel roofing buyers. This neat feature translates into cost savings when it comes to running cooling tech like air-conditioners. Steel roofs also stand up well in snow, making shedding easy – not that this is a huge concern for most South Africans!

Disadvantages of metal roofs – and some counter-points

Like any type of building material, metal roofs do carry a few disadvantages. For example, steel can be a little noisy in rain or hail storms – and while some people find the sound soothing, others aren’t huge fans. However, this is easy to get around by putting in a bit of insulation as a sound barrier. Steel roofs can also benefit from the addition of insulation layers to boost their energy efficiency; some people leverage the dead air-space between the roof deck and material to do this.

Some customers are concerned that steel roofing is not as aesthetically pleasing as wood or other materials, but this reflects an outdated myth. Today, steel is available in a variety of styles and colours that make it a good-looking addition to your building. Other customers are worried about the price of steel roofing – and indeed, it can be more expensive, initially, than certain other types of materials. However, the low maintenance costs and durability of steel mean that it works out substantially cheaper in the long run.

JCP Roofing offer a range of steel roofing materials and can provide advice on which types would work best for you. To find out more about our products, contact one of our consultants today.

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