Metal Roofing Catches On in Mainstream Neighborhoods

Metal roofing is for more than just new homes.

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I live in an older neighborhood where many of the homes need new roofs. So I’m not surprised when a dumpster lands in the street and I hear air compressors and nails guns for a week straight. But lately I’ve noticed a change-a few of my neighbors are installing metal roofing. I knew metal roofing was becoming more popular, but I thought it was mostly for new construction. I was wrong.

Metal Roofing Catches On in Mainstream Neighborhoods

New designs blend in with new and old housing stock

The latest residential metal roofing materials are far more attractive than the ordinary flat and corrugated styles you see on commercial and utility buildings. Plus, metal roofing is now available in a wider assortment of profiles and popular colors to fit any home style. Take a look at these homes roofed with materials from American Building Components (, one of the largest, well-respected manufacturers of residential and commercial metal roofing products.

Metal roofing works better in all climates

In warmer climates, metal roofing is an economical alternative to tile roofing materials. It provides comparable energy savings along with long life and no maintenance. In cold climates, metal roofing materials shed snow and ice to lighten the load on your roof deck and reduce the likelihood of water infiltration, while eliminating the problem of frozen/cracked shingles.

Metal roofing saves money over its long life

A high-quality metal roof lasts far longer than even the thickest architectural asphalt shingles. In fact, the premium metal roofing materials made by American Building Components carry a 40-year film integrity warranty. That’s 10 years longer than the longest asphalt shingle warranty. Metal roofing materials also absorb less heat than asphalt shingles (up to 34 percent less heat absorption, according to That saves homeowners up to 25 percent in summer cooling costs. Plus, many insurance companies offer discounts on metal roofing because of their ability to withstand storm damage.

Getting past the myths

You’ve probably heard that metal roofs are louder than asphalt roofs. That’s certainly true if you’re standing in a barn during a hailstorm and there’s nothing between you and a metal roof. But when metal roofing is properly installed over a waterproof membrane and on a solid roof deck and a properly insulated attic, storm noise isn’t a problem. As long as we’re talking about storms, let’s deal head-on with the hail damage issue. Obviously, heavier-gauge (thicker) metal roofing panels are more resistant to denting than lighter-gauge materials when struck by large, wind-driven hailstones. However, those same hailstones and wind velocities can easily destroy an asphalt roof. Overall, metal roofing is far more resistant to hail and wind than asphalt shingles. That’s precisely why some insurance companies offer discounts for metal roofing.

Easier and faster installation

Once you lay down the waterproof underlayment, you’ll find that metal roofing panels install faster and easier than asphalt shingles. Exposed fastener panels cost less than standing seam panels and are quick and easy to install. The key to obtaining a long-lasting, professional installation is to avoid overdriving the fasteners. That can cause dimpling or ‘oil canning’ on the panels, so use a torque-limiting drill/driver set to the proper torque.

Standing seam panels cost more than exposed fastener panels and take a bit longer to install. But they provide a much cleaner look and require less maintenance. Standing seam panels are retained on one side with clips screwed directly to the roof deck (above the waterproof membrane). The adjoining panels snap onto the preceding panel with a self-locking lip. The LOKSEAM? roofing panels made by American Building Components come with a factory-applied mastic sealer along the locking lip seam, eliminating the tedious task of running a bead of sealer along the entire panel. Once the panel is in place, simply apply a dab of urethane sealer at the seam ends. Then install the flashing.

The retaining clips and screws are all covered by the standing seam panels, so they don’t degrade from UV exposure, and that dramatically reduces maintenance costs as the roof ages. Overall, standing seam metal roofing provides the cleanest and most professional look of all metal roofing products, while providing the lowest maintenance.

No wonder it’s going mainstream

Whether you’re an extreme DIYer or a contractor, metal roofing materials are a great choice for both tear-off and retrofit installations. Check out different panel styles, fastening, flashing, warranty and color options at

— Rick Muscoplat, Contributing Editor

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