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What Are The Pros and Cons of Steel Roofs?
A steel roof can be made up of a number of different metals that feature different levels of structural durability, rust and corrosion resistance and finishes. What all of these steel roofs have in common is their overall cost effectiveness. As many people are well aware of however, when it comes to any type of building materials, you get the level of quality that you are willing to pay for. This is why it is important to know what to look for in a quality steel roof, and what features and materials are worth the expense.
Compared to softer metal roofs such as copper and aluminium, a steel roof can end up saving you a great deal of money when you compare the initial expense of each material. A properly coated and installed steel roof can easily outlast the lifespan of any traditional shingle roof, while providing durable protection that is comparable to that of an aluminium and/or copper roof. The average alloy roof made of galvanized steel will often be covered under a warranty that exceeds 30 years, and will typically last about 50 years. With this type of longevity combined with an initial cost that is far less than that of a copper or aluminium roof, a steel roof can be a great alternative for someone looking for a metal roof on a budget.
Easy to Protect
Many people who have considered a steel roof in the past have been talked out of it by people who warn them about a steel roof’s susceptibility to rust and corrosion. While it is true that a steel roof alone without any sort of coating will rust, especially on seams or where rivets have penetrated the steel during installation, it is simple to ensure that your steel roof will avoid any rust or corrosion for many years. Many roofers use rust resistant coatings such as zinc or a substance called Kynar* to provide long lasting protection for a steel roof. Coatings such as this are easy to install and are relatively inexpensive when you consider how much more a copper or aluminium roof can cost up front.
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Declining Weather Resistance
While a steel roof can initially be just as durable as copper or aluminium, after time it can lose its ability to completely resist everything mother nature has to throw at it. Steel roofs are more susceptible to expanding and contracting in hot and cold weather, and as a result can become structurally compromised*. In addition to the possible warping, a steel roof can end up costing a homeowner money on their energy bill, as it is less able to reflect the heat from the sun or resist the cold in the winter as other metal roofing materials.
Most roofers will agree that installing a steel roof can often take more time due to the weight and awkwardness of the panels. The weight of these panels also means that many homeowners will have to supplement their roof with an additional layer of supports. In addition to the weight of a steel roof, it can also be very noisy in a rain or hail storm, which some people find annoying. To avoid this, you can have additional noise reducing layers installed under the steel roof, but these can end up costing you extra money.
Brad Gordon and his team of professionals have been installing roofing, waterproofing and architectural sheet metal systems in the Greater Vancouver area for over 20 years.