Top 10 Things to Consider Before Upgrading to Metal Roofing

(Last Updated On: December 23, 2016)

Homeowners are increasingly considering upgrading to a permanent metal roofing system for the added style and benefits that it offers. Permanent metal roofing is an investment in your home and to help you get the best return on your investment, we have created this “Top 10” list of things to consider before buying.

Questions to Consider:

1. What kind of warranty should I be looking for?

“You should be looking for a warranty that covers the roofing material as well as the installation workmanship. Reading every word on a warranty can seem daunting, but is well worth the effort. You can then see which warranties have loopholes, and limitations such as pro-ration (value decreases over time), transferability (and fees associated with the transfer), and coverage for the longevity of surface treatment (fade and chalk). Not all “Lifetime” warranties are created equal so you need to make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

2. Is the product I am considering appropriate for my roof?”

Some metal roofing materials have limitations such as minimum pitch (angle). Make sure you have a professional roofing technician come to your home to assess any possible limitations. Warranty coverage depends on using the appropriate material for your particular roof.

3. What should I be looking for in an installer?”

Metal roofing installation requires an installer that has been specifically trained for metal roofing. As the process of permanent metal roofing installation greatly differs from common asphalt installation, you want to make sure that your installer has a lot of experience with metal roofing.

4. Do I have lower pitched roofs connecting to my metal roof?

In this case you may need a different roofing material for the lower pitched roofs. These will need to be replaced sooner than your metal roof. The junctions between the different roofing materials need to be designed to allow for easier replacement of the lower pitched roofing. This is another case where you will need an experienced roofing technician to access your requirements.

5. How will penetrations on my roof be flashed?”

Many roofing materials depend a lot on sealants to be used around skylights, vents, pipes and chimneys. Sealants should not be the only defence against water penetration on your new roof. In most cases the sealants will not last as long as the metal roof itself so be sure to ask your roofing technician or installer on how your roof will be flashed for maximum performance without totally relying on sealants.

6. What about areas on my roof where debris collects?

Types of debris include leaves, pine needles, ice and snow. If you know you have a problem with falling debris, inquire about ways to install your roof which would allow for collection without causing damage to your roof. The goal is to provide clear paths for debris to naturally exit, or for periodic cleaning.

Metal Roof Valley Close Up

Close up of a metal roof valley.

7. Do I need special consideration for ventilation?

This should be addressed before your new metal roofing is installed. Proper ventilation will maximize energy savings in summer months and also prevent damaging moisture build up in your attic space. Proper ventilation requires intake and exhaust vents.

8. What kind of coating do I need?”

The best surface coating treatments will be resistant to fading, and chalking (look for these in the warranty). As your metal roof should come with a lifetime warranty, you will want to make sure that the colour and surface also withstand the test of time. Another consideration would be the surface texture. Metal roofing has come a long way over the past decade in terms of design and style. A good metal roofing product should have many options in terms of colour and contemporary matte finishes that suit both rural and urban homes.

Metal Roof Paints Compared

Metal roofing paints compared after 14 years.

9. How does the condition of my current roof affect my roofing options?”

Often metal roofing can be installed over asphalt roofing shingles. In order to do this, a layer of underlayment needs to be installed over the old shingles. Leaking or damaged areas must also be addressed before the new metal roofing is installed. A good metal roofing company should offer a temporary repair service while you wait for your metal roof to be installed.

10. Does my roof have flared gables?

If the ridge (or peak) of your roof is wider the bottom edge (eave) then you have what is called “flared gables”. Verify this with your metal roofing technician so that they can make certain that the gable edge treatment being used will not trap snow, ice, water, and other debris.

Still Have Questions?

Submit a question on the right or leave a comment below and our certified roofing technicians would be glad to help!

2 replies
  1. Ria Van says:

    We have to change our house roof and am talking into consideration a metal roof. But first of all, we are in a tree and ravine like area of Toronto, so we have our friendly racoons wandering now and then on the roof.
    Question: how much racoons resistant a mental roof is? Can they do damages to a metal roof? I am asking about damage to the shingles​ mostly.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • C.King says:

      Hi Ria, thank you for your question. Raccoons in the Attic and on the Roof have become a big problem in Toronto. In early spring, they are looking for a suitable shelter to have their babies and an attic is one of their favourite places. We have had many calls from homeowners that say the raccoon pulled off the asphalt and chewed through the plywood to get into the house. I am working on an article about the effectiveness of a metal roof as a raccoon deterrent because the problem has become so prevalent. One of our technicians, who has been in metal roofing for 35 years now, told me that metal has been an effective deterrent in every case that he has seen. Our Toronto Beaches technician said he always had raccoons on his roof (defecating) before he put on Oxford Metal Shingle and has never seen one up there since. We cannot guarantee that a metal roof will solve your raccoon problems, but raccoons are smart and metal is much harder to penetrate than soft shingles and plywood. Also, raccoons have extremely sensitive hands for an animal, they will be able to perceive the textural difference in the roof and know that it is more slippery than the roof next door with asphalt. A metal roof with hidden fasteners and locking shingles is very difficult to disengage by human hands and raccoons have no opposable thumb, so this could also be a reason why we have seen such success in the past. Hope this helps!

      Reply

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