Metal roofing has become so popular in recent years that some home contractors believe it could threaten asphalt’s position as America’s favorite roofing material. Although metal roofing comes with a higher price tag than its asphalt counterpart, its durability means that it may provide a better return on investment in many cases.
How long does a metal roof last, and what factors can influence its longevity? Here is a look at the most important considerations.
Average Lifespan of a Metal Roof
The typical lifespan of the average metal roof is around 30 years, but there are several factors to consider when determining how long a specific metal roof will last. The main distinguishing characteristic is the type of metal roof that is being installed, specifically whether it is screw-down panel metal roofing or standard seam metal roofing.
Screw-Down Panel Metal Roofing
This type of metal roofing is composed of metal panels that are screwed down in a way that leaves their fasteners exposed. This is why it is sometimes referred to as an exposed fastener metal roof. Screws and washers are drilled through the face of the metal to keep the panels in place.
With proper roofing installation, this type of roof can last for 20 years with no maintenance on the part of the homeowner. However, homeowners who are willing to carry out periodic maintenance can extend this type of roof’s lifespan up to 30 years.
Because this type of roof is screwed down, it is not capable of expanding and contracting in response to changing temperatures. Therefore, it is not a good choice for roofing that will be placed over heated spaces. However, it may be suitable for detached garages and other outbuildings.
Standing Seam Metal Roofing
Standing seam metal roofs are made up of a series of metal panels that are locked together at their seams or seamed together using a mechanical process. This means that the roof has the ability to expand and contract as the metal gets hotter and colder with the weather.
When a standing seam metal roof is properly installed, it can last for a minimum of 30 years. However, to get the most out of this type of roof, the attic must be ventilated sufficiently. Under ideal conditions, roofing contractors report that this type of roof can last for 50 years or even longer.
Factors Affecting the Longevity of a Metal Roof
No matter which type of roof you choose, there are a few major factors that can impact its actual lifespan.
Climate and Weather
Roofs are exposed to significant wear and tear throughout the year, which means the climate and weather in your area have a significant impact on how long the roof will last. In particular, locations that are subject to heavy rain storms and considerable amounts of hail or snow may find their roof panels weakening. Similarly, screw-down metal roofs may not last as long in locations where the temperatures are very high in summer given the inability of the roof to expand and contract. The best course of action is to ask your roofer how long you can expect the metal roof you have chosen to last in your area.
One of the reasons behind the popularity of metal roofs is the fact that they generally require very little maintenance. However, carrying out various maintenance tasks can extend their lifespan. For a standing seam metal roof, minor maintenance may be needed around penetrations such as gas pipes and vent pipes. With screw-down metal roofs, the screws may need to be replaced after several years with a bigger size as they may wallow out due to the pressure created by their inability to expand and contract. Skipping this important step could lead to major roof problems.
No matter which type of roofing you choose, regular inspections should be carried out by experienced roofing contractors to identify potential issues before they become major problems. All metal roofs should have sitting debris cleared regularly.
Proper installation is required for a roof to reach its expected lifespan. In addition, when a metal roof is being installed, its painted finish must be protected carefully as any scratches or other types of damage in the finish can expose the metal to moisture in the air that can lead to rusting. Therefore, it is essential to work with roofing contractors who are experienced in installing this sensitive material.
Learn More About Metal Roofs From Experienced Northern Virginia Roofing Contractors
To find out more about the best type of metal roofing to stand up to the Northern Virginia weather, reach out to the experienced roofing contractors at Adelphia Exteriors. Call us at (571) 322-8316 or fill out our online contact form to learn out more about our professional roofing installation and replacement services.