Save Money and Cut Maintenance with Steel Roofing
Steel roofing is used for more than just warehouses these days. Attractive and extremely low in maintenance requirements, steel products are now frequently incorporated into residential roofing projects ranging from homes that are subject to harsh climatic conditions and disasters like fire to those on main street that simply want to eliminate the cost and hassle of maintenance and replacement.
In fact, according to recent estimates resulting from a survey conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction, metal roofing's market share for re-roofing projects has risen from 4% to 12% in the last 15 years. And the reason is simple: the latest manufacturing technology has given steel several advantages over other forms of roofing.
Here are a few of the biggest.
- Durability. Steel roofs last for a long time, backed by warranties that start between 40 to 50 years and extend all the way out to the lifetime of the roof. If the roof is installed correctly, you will never need to re-shingle or replace parts. Steel is not easily damaged by rain or storms and does not wear out when faced with harsh conditions. It is also fire resistant and an excellent deterrent against pests, moss, and dry rot, which can save on expensive repairs and pest control in future years.
- Heat shielding. While metal does conduct heat easily, steel is reflective. Around 75% to 80% of solar energy is reflected from metal rooftops, dropping roof temperatures and making buildings far easier to cool. This is a major boon in arid climates where heating bills climb to high levels in the summertime. Some newer buildings even use internal metal framing to help transfer heat out of the interior of the home.
- Cost-effective. By most estimates, the cost of steel roofing is about par and in some cases slightly more expensive than cheaper forms of roofing, such as shingles, wood shakes, or clay tiles. Some estimates place the cost of a metal roof around $4 to $15 per square foot (including installation) and $500 per square, with steel specifically falling on the higher end of the spectrum. This is in contrast to materials like slate ($130 per square), wood shingles ($180 per square), tiles ($200 per square), and copper ($1,100 per square). The cost savings comes in the longevity of the roof itself, resisting most forms of corruption indefinitely. Plus, some insurance companies provide discounts of up to 30% for a metal roof, depending on your geographic location.
Questions to ask your contractor
If you're thinking about reroofing your house with steel, ask your contract these questions to decide whether or not it's the best option for your particular project:
- Will my building support the weight of a steel roof? Steel roofing is known for being lightweight compared to the strength it lends, but it may still be heavier than your building can stand. A good contractor will know if extra support will be necessary.
- What kind of insulation should I use? Proper insulation is key when it comes to installing steel construction materials and should always be included in an installation project.
- Are there tax benefits? Both federal and state governments offer various tax credits and advantages for installing metal roofs. Ask your contractor if any of these advantages apply to any type of steel roofing you are considering.
- How much will this cost? A steel roof can cost as much as $22,000, but prices can vary considerably. Be sure to get a detailed estimate from your contractor, breaking down the cost of the removal of the old roof, price per square of the materials, any additional building materials required, and labor.