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Metal Roof Benefits

Metal roofing has truly come full circle during the past century. From being a popular roofing material in the early 20th century to being replaced by cheaper roofing materials such as asphalt shingles during the past several decades to emerging once again as the premier roofing system for commercial buildings and homes. The future looks bright for metal roofing, and there are several metal roofing benefits and trends that are fueling the growth.

The first benefit of Galvalume metal roofing is its enhanced performance caused by recent innovations in metal roofing paint systems and coating technology. The vast majority of today’s metal roofs use a Galvalume coated steel substrate which virtually eliminates worries about rust and corrosion. Union’s Galvalume metal roof carries a limited 30-year warranty against rust and corrosion, the best in the industry. And just as important, metal roofing’s paint systems now have outstanding resistance to fading, chalking, and cracking under the most stringent conditions. Union’s Galvalume metal roofs offer 40-year paint warranties as standard, and lifetime warranties are also available. These metal roofing paint systems use cutting-edge technology and inorganic pigments to provide maximum protection against harmful UV rays.

The second metal roofing benefit is that metal roofing is tough. When it comes to wind and weather resistance, metal roofing stands alone. Union’s Galvalume roofing meets the toughest wind, fire, and impact codes in the country. Your metal roof will probably outlast you. Most Galvalume metal roofs last 3 to 4 times longer than an asphalt shingle roof.

The third benefit of Galvalume metal roofing is that there is a genuine concern in helping to maintain and improve the environment for future generations. In this regard, metal roofing meets the criteria of recycled content, recyclability, and energy efficiency. Metal roofing is one of the most energy-efficient roofing systems available and tests have shown that metal roofs can save you up to 40% on cooling costs.

In addition, another metal roofing benefit is that it’s not asphalt-based like shingles, which means its production doesn’t continue to fuel our country’s biggest addiction… oil. Although these are the major drivers, there are many other reasons why metal roofing is gaining in popularity. Please explore the links below to learn about the many benefits of metal roofing

Resistance to Heat

Placing a lit torch directly on the Metal Shingle to see if it will catch fire. The results are quite impressive. Click here to see more videos like this on our YouTube channel.

Decra Shingles 

Weather Resistance
Energy Efficiency
Curb Appeal
Green Product
Lifecycle Costs

WEATHER RESISTANCE

Weatherproof Roofing

Metal roofs are one of the most durable, and weather resistant roofing materials on the market today and our weatherproof roofing materials have the highest UL ratings for fire, wind, and impact resistant compared to other roofing materials. Homeowners weatherproof their roofs with metal roofing because metal roofs last longer. In most areas, these weatherproof metal roofs can be expected to last three or more times longer than a comparable asphalt shingle roof. In areas with extreme heat, wind, humidity, or temperature extremes, the long lasting advantage of the weatherproof metal roofing can be even greater.

Hurricane Wind Resistant Roofs

Due to the way metal roofing panels are constructed and installed, metal roofs are highly resistant to wind damage, such as hurricanes. Unlike roofing shingles, tile, or shake, vertical seam metal roofs are installed with a continuous piece that extends the entire way from the eave (lowest part of the roof) to the ridge (highest part of the roof). This greatly minimizes the areas where winds and precipitation can penetrate beneath the roof material and cause damage, thus creating wind resistant roofing and hurricane proof roofing. In addition to being hurricane wind resistant, metal roofs have the highest strength to weight ratio of any roofing material and are mechanically attached to the roof deck with screws, creating a roof that can withstand many times the stress loads of most other roofing materials.

The extreme wind resistance of a hurricane proof roof has been vividly demonstrated in the hurricane areas of Florida. Wind resistant roofing in these hurricane areas typically suffered no damage, while asphalt shingle and tile roof damage was extensive from hurricane winds. Because of metal roofing being wind resistant and hurricane proof, metal roofing has become increasing popular as homeowners grow weary of constantly repairing their current roofs from hurricane wind damage. One way Florida has responded to hurricane winds is by enacting stricter building codes. Union has metal roofs which meet the toughest codes, including Miami-Dade County and Florida Building Code approvals.

Hail Proof and Impact Resistant Roofing

Hail can be a big problem in certain areas of the country and the roof damage it causes is one of the top insurance claims for property insurance carriers. Prior to 1996, although it was common knowledge that certain materials made for more hail resistant roofing, providing better protection against hail damage, no defining standard existed. Consequently, in 1996 the insurance industry teamed up with the Institute of Business and Home Safety and Underwriters Laboratory (UL) to develop the UL 2218 classification.

The UL 2218 classification set a standard for impact resistant roofing whereby materials were rated on their resistance to impacts with steel balls simulating 90 mph hailstones of various sizes. The Classifications for impact resistance are expressed as Class 1, 2, 3 or 4, which relate to a roof covering's ability to withstand impacts from 1-1/4, 1-1/2, 1-3/4 and 2 in. diameter steel balls, respectively. Impact resistant roofing materials that are rated Class 4 provide the best resistance to hail damage.

In certain states, insurance carriers offer discounts for homeowners who install impact resistant roofing. These discounts can be as high as 35% of the annual premium. While there is no such thing as a 100% hail proof roof, Union metal roofs meet the highest Class 4 testing requirements and can allow homeowners to achieve significant savings for installing hail resistant roofing. Check with your homeowner insurance provider for discount eligibility if you install hail / impact resistant roofing.

Fire Resistant Roofing

Union Corrugating's fire resistant roofing materials are inherently non-combustible, making metal roofs a great choice for areas where there is a risk for wildfires. Most house fires in these areas are caused when hot embers, or flying brands, fall on the roof and ignite the roofing material. Burning branches, leaves, and other debris are carried by heated air and wind and can threaten houses a considerable distance from the actual fire. Fire resistant roofing materials add an enormous amount of fire protection to your building structure and has been proven to help save homes in areas ravaged by fire.

Union Corrugating's fire resistant roofing materials carry a Class A fire resistant rating which is the highest rating given in accordance to the UL 790 standard test methods for fire resistant tests of roof coverings. The UL 790 test covers the fire resistance performance of roof coverings exposed to simulated fire sources originating from outside a building on which the roof covering is installed. Roof coverings are rated as Class A, B, or C as defined below:

Class A – Roof coverings are effective against severe fire test exposures. Under such fire exposures, roof coverings of this class afford a high degree of fire protection to the roof deck, do not slip from position, and are not expected to produce flying brands.

Class B – Roof coverings are effective against moderate fire test exposures. Under such fire exposures, roof coverings of this class afford a moderate degree of fire protection to the roof deck, do not slip from position, and are not expected to produce flying brands.

Class C – Roof coverings are effective against light fire test exposures. Under such fire exposures, roof coverings of this class afford a light degree of fire protection to the roof deck, do not slip from position, and are not expected to produce flying brands.

Because of the proven benefits of fire resistant roofing materials such as metal, some towns have established building codes restricting the use of combustible roofing materials such as wood shakes and asphalt shingles. Remember to check local building codes prior to commencing your roofing project.

Freeze / Thaw Cycles

Metal roofs do not absorb water or moisture, making them impervious to the damage caused by repeated freeze and thaw cycles. When water freezes, its volume increases. If the water is trapped in a confined space such as a small crack, it exerts tremendous pressure to the surfaces around it once it freezes which can cause the surrounding materials to break under the pressure. Anyone who has ever frozen an unopened aluminum soda can has probably witnessed this phenomenon first-hand as the can will rupture, spilling the contents. Similarly, water that seeps into the cracks of porous roofing materials such as wood shakes or asphalt shingles produces damage when it freezes during periods of cold whether. Repeated cycles of freezing and thawing continue to deteriorate porous roofing materials by producing cracks and ruptures that continue to grow with time. The resistance of metal roofs to this type of damage is the reason they are very popular in severe weather areas that experience heavy snows and ice.

Ultraviolet (UV) Rays

Harmful UV rays from the sun can cause a tremendous amount of damage to roof materials such as asphalt shingles. Asphalt is a complex mixture of hundreds of hydrocarbon molecules. These molecules absorb UV radiation from sunlight and ultimately break down, causing cracking, buckling, and general degradation of the physical properties of the shingle. Shingle manufacturers attempt to protect their products from UV degradation by coating the shingles with granules. These granules block the UV rays from hitting the asphalt, but are easily dislodged from the shingles and continue to fall off over time. Anyone who has handled new or old shingles knows that these granules are constantly being shed.

The structural integrity of metal roofing is virtually unaffected by UV radiation and will not break down chemically like many other roofing materials. However, the paint systems used on metal roofs are an important factor to consider. The paint system is a critical component that takes the full brunt of UV exposure. Unlike the base metal, paints are impacted by UV rays and cheap systems can fade, chalk, and crack over time. Fading is just that, the color will fade into a lighter shade. Chalking occurs when the components of the paint system break down and there is a white “chalky” film on the paint surface. When you touch a paint system that’s chalking, you get the white powdery residue on your hands. In the most severe cases, a paint system can fail completely and crack or peel from the surface of the metal. In any case, the selection of a high quality paint system is critical to maintaining a beautiful aesthetic look to your roof.

Union uses the most advanced paint systems in the industry which utilize a combination of highly UV resistant inorganic pigments and binding systems. These paint systems are warranted for a minimum of 40 years against set standards for fade, chalk, cracking, and peeling. A Union metal roof will not only protect your home, it will continue to look like new for many years to come.

Algae, Mildew, and Mold Stain Resistant Roofing

If you live in a humid climate, you've probably seen the unsightly black staining that often occurs on an asphalt shingle roof after a few years. Unbeknownst to most homeowners, this common staining phenomenon is caused by airborne algae that collect on the roof and then the algae grows in moist areas, producing roofing algae stains that look like black streaks. Since asphalt roofing shingles are not algae resistant and can absorb moisture and stay damp for extended periods of time, asphalt roofing shingles can create a fertile environment for the growth of these algae stains and other microorganisms.

Metal roofs are very mildew resistant, stain resistant and algae resistant for several reasons. First, the smooth, hard surfaces of a metal roof make it difficult for airborne debris, dust, and plant materials to collect. Also, metal stain resistant roofing materials are water resistant, eliminating the damp, fertile, environment that can lead to algae growth. Finally, metal roofing materials can be thoroughly cleaned without risking damage to the roof. So, in addition to better protection against algae staining, a metal roof is also mold and mildew resistant. Eliminating these unsightly, and sometimes unhealthy algae, mold, and mildew stains from your roof will help ensure your home stays beautiful and maintenance-free for many years.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Americans spend about $40 billion annually to air condition buildings – which equates to about one sixth of all electricity generated in this country. Studies conducted by the Cool Metal Roofing Coalition and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have shown that energy efficient metal roofing materials with Energy Star certified high reflectance paint systems can save you up to 40% on energy cooling costs when compared to typical asphalt roofing shingles.

Your typical dark asphalt roofing shingle absorbs most of the sun's energy that hits the roof, consequently making your attic a very hot place during the summer months. On the contrary, energy efficient metal roofs that are Energy Star certified works by reflecting a high percentage of the sun’s energy back into the atmosphere, lowering attic temperatures and subsequent cooling loads making your roof energy efficient.

Union offers several energy efficient metal roof colors that are Energy Star certified. In order to meet Energy Star roofing criteria, the energy efficient metal roof has to have a total solar energy reflectance of at least 25%, which means that the Energy Star energy efficient metal roof reflects 25% of the sun's energy. In general, lighter energy efficient metal roof colors have better reflectivity, with Energy Star roofing colors such as white having a reflectivity that exceeds 60% making your Energy Star roof energy efficient. Furthermore, energy efficient metal roofs that are Energy Star certified have to maintain a reflectance of at least 15% after three years of real-world exposure testing. The higher the reflectance of the Energy Star certified metal roofs, the more energy efficient and more money you can potentially save. You can find out which energy efficient metal roof colors are Energy Star certified by checking out the "Colors & Performance Grades" section on the home page.

CURB APPEAL

Metal roofing is available in a wide array of designs, finishes, and colors, making it ideal for the most discriminating homeowner. Whether you desire a contemporary, traditional, or old-fashioned look, you can find a metal roof that will bring out the best in your home. Check out our photo gallery or virtual roofer sections to take a look at some different styles and colors. The look of just about every house can be enhanced with the selection of the right color and design.

Home Appreciation If you’re like most homeowners, you want to maximize the resale value of your property. Re-roofing with metal has been proven to increase your home’s value. As reported in Remodeling Magazine, re-roofing with a standing seam metal roof provides a better return on investment than simply replacing the asphalt shingles. Depending on your specific area, a metal roof will typically add 1% to 6% to your home’s resale value. The highest home appreciation gains for metal roofing upgrades occur along the east coast states. algae A typical example of algae staining and discoloration on an asphalt shingle roof.Stays Looking New, Longer Sure, metal roofs are durable and last a long time. But how do they actually look after a couple decades of wear? The good news is that this is one of the areas where metal roofs really excel. Union’s 40 Year and Lifetime series paint systems carry warranties on color fade, chalking, and film integrity of at least 25 years. Warranties for appearance on other types of roofing products are virtually unheard of, so you’re usually on your own when the roof’s looks begin to deteriorate.

Another advantage that’s often overlooked is metal’s inherent resistance to staining from mold, mildew, and airborne algae. If you live in a humid climate, you’ve probably seen the unsightly black staining that often occurs on asphalt shingle roofs after a few years. This phenomenon is caused by airborne algae that collect on the roof and then grow in moist areas, producing stains that look like black streaks. Since asphalt shingles can absorb moisture and stay damp for extended periods of time, they can create a fertile environment for the growth of these and other microorganisms. Metal roofs are very resistant to this type of staining for several reasons. First, the smooth, hard surfaces of metal roofs make if difficult for airborne debris, dust, and plant materials to collect. Also, metal roofs don’t absorb water, eliminating the damp, fertile, environment that can lead to growth. Finally, metal roofs can be thoroughly cleaned without risking damage to the roof.

GREEN PRODUCT

Environmentally Friendly Roofing Materials

Metal roofing materials are one of the most environmentally friendly roofing materials and sustainable green roofing materials you can choose for your home's roof. Green environmentally friendly roofing materials offer energy efficiency, recyclability, and extremely low maintenance requirements. Union Corrugating's green roofing materials reduce cost, waste, and inconvenience.

Recycled Roofing Materials

The type of roofing material you choose can have a big impact on the environment. For instance, asphalt roof shingles are not recyclable roofing materials. In fact, non-recyclable roofing generates an astounding amount of landfill waste each year, estimated at 6.8 million tons, or 3% of all municipal solid waste. When a shingle roof wears out and needs to be replaced, the old roof shingles need to be stripped and this roofing material cannot be recycled. There are no uses for these old roofing materials.

Conversely, roofing materials used for metal roofs are 100% recyclable when removed from service. And better yet, recycled roofing meet the definitions for both recycled content and recyclability by industry recognized green building definitions. Union's recycled roofing materials are constructed of a minimum 20% recycled roofing material, and many times the recycled roof approaches to 60% recycled material. In addition, the outstanding durability and life-span of recycled metal roofs minimizes consumption due to metal roof replacement and metal roof repairs. In general, recycled metal roofs last 3 to 4 times longer than asphalt roof shingles, so savings in roofing material consumption are significant.

Metal Roof's Urban Heat Island Effect Reduction Benefits

In many urban areas of North America, the prevalent use of energy-absorbing roofing and building materials such as asphalt shingles, concrete, and pavements can create a microclimate wherein temperatures are higher than in surrounding rural areas. These roofing materials absorb and store large amounts of heat and solar energy during the day, causing ambient temperatures to remain unnaturally high, sometimes by as much as 12 F. This is called the urban heat island effect and the heat island effect roof leads to a host of other problems, including increased energy consumption and a greater incidence of ozone and smog formation. Studies have shown that reducing ambient temperatures caused the heat island effect roof by as little as one half degree can reduce smog by 5%.

Energy Star certified metal roofs help reduce this urban heat island effect by reflecting a high percentage of the sun’s energy back into the atmosphere, reducing heat buildup. So not only can you lower your own utility bills reducing the heat island effect, you can do your part to ensure a healthy environment in your own community.

Benefits of Installing Metal Roofing Over Shingles

Metal roofs have the best strength to weight ratio of any roofing material, allowing metal roofs to be installed over existing asphalt shingle roofs without the need to add structural support to the roof. Union's steel roofing panels weigh 50% to 65% less per square foot than most asphalt roofing shingles. Installing metal roofing over your existing asphalt shingle roof eliminates landfill waste. Metal roofing over shingles also saves labor costs since you do not need to remove the old asphalt roof shingles.

Most roof types simply weigh too much to be installed over top of one another without adding additional structural support to the roof. Roofs are designed to support a predetermined amount of weight and the installation of subsequent layers of heavy roofing materials such as asphalt roofing shingles can cause structural damage. In these cases, removing the old asphalt roofing shingles is usually recommended, but this creates a large amount of landfill waste. In fact, asphalt roofing shingles make up over 3% of all municipal solid waste, or 6.8 million tons annually. Installing metal roofing over shingles can help solve these issues.

Because metal roofs are so light yet so strong, metal roofing panels can typically be easily installed over asphalt roof shingles without the need to add structural reinforcement. The old asphalt roof shingles under the metal roof simply serve as an extra layer of insulation and water protection and pose no problems to the new metal roof. Of course, each metal roofing over shingles installation is different, so consult your licensed metal roofing contractor to confirm if your roof is suitable for a metal roofing over shingles installation.

Low Maintenance / Long Life Roofing

In general, the less materials used in the construction and upkeep of your home, the less negative impact there is on the environment. In this regard, low maintenance metal roofs perform remarkably well. The long lifespan of a typical metal roof is 3 to 4 times as long as that of an asphalt shingle roof. In other words, over the course of your long life roof, you would have to replace a shingle roof 3 to 4 times. This results in a tremendous amount of material consumption, landfill waste, and additional waste in terms of labor, fuel consumption, and productivity.

However, this still doesn’t include the maintenance savings you get with the long life of a low maintenance metal roof. Generally speaking, wind and weather events damage individual shingles once every 2 to 3 years. This recurring problem does not occur with metal roofs due to their inherent wind uplift resistance. Over the life of a typical asphalt roof, you can expect to make minor repairs 5 to 7 times. In addition to the cost, each of these repair events consumes materials and fuel, not including the frustration and inconvenience suffered by the homeowner. By comparison, an average metal, low maintenance roof will require no repairs during the same period.

Taken together, you can expect 15 to 30 more repair and replacement events with an asphalt roof over the average life of a typical metal, low maintenance roof. Over time, these events add up in terms of cost, waste, and inconvenience. This is why metal roofs are the fastest growing segment of the residential roofing market.

LIFECYCLE COSTS

A metal roof can save you a lot of money on upkeep and maintenance over the life of the roof. In fact, metal is the most maintenance-free roofing material on the market today. In most applications, a metal roof will require no ongoing maintenance for the life of the roof. You can forget about additional metal roofing lifecycle costs like shingle blow-offs, cracking, buckling, and unsightly discoloration. If we use an average example of a metal roof with a 50 year life and an asphalt shingle roof with a 16 year life, you can expect to save about 65% in total roofing lifecycle costs over the life of the roof. This roofing cost calculation includes initial roofing installation and re-roof expenditures, but ignores any emergency maintenance roofing costs, so your total metal roofing lifecycle cost savings would likely be even higher, especially in severe weather areas. If you add in the additional potential roofing lifecycle cost savings for energy costs, insurance cost, resale, and taxes, you can be confident that your metal roof will be a sound investment for your home and family.

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