Debunking 2 Persistent Myths About Metal Roofing

6 October 2016
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Although it has been used successfully for years and years, metal roofing is still a new phenomenon for many people. There is a persistence of certain misinformation regarding metal roofs. If you would like to clarify your understanding of this versatile roofing technique, here are two common myths regarding metal roofing.

Metal roofs produce a lot of noise.

This is perhaps the single most pervasive myth regarding homes equipped with metal roofing--that living beneath such a roof is tantamount to living inside a rickety tin shed. Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, a metal roof is, at most, a barely discernable six decibels louder than an asphalt shingle roof.  

This has to do with the fact that metal roofing is designed to be installed atop a layer of wood sheathing. This sheathing acts to absorb and diffuse a lot of the sound produced by a metal roof. In addition, many metal roofs are installed atop an additional layer of insulation. This measure, which is meant to increase the roof's resistance to unwanted energy loss, also does wonders to reduce any roof-related noise.

The basic layout of a metal roof can thus be summed up as follows. First, a layer of either foam roof coating or rigid insulation is attached to the wood decking of the roof. Then a super-structure of 2x4s is installed over the insulation, so that there is a small gap between the two. This allows increased air flow, while also providing a buffer against sound transfer. Finally, the metal roof is attached to the wooden super-structure.

Metal roofs attract more lightning.

It's easy to imagine that a metal roof is basically a giant magnet when it comes to lightning. From there, it's easy to assume that because a metal roof is more likely to attract lightning, it is also more likely to lead to a house fire. Yet both of these assumptions are fundamentally mistaken.

First of all, should lightning happen to strike your home, a metal roof is the best type of defense to have. That's because the roof acts to dissipate the electrical charge across its surface, thus virtually eliminating the risk of fire. This diffusion can be accomplished much more thoroughly and safely than when carried out by a relatively tiny lightning rod. In addition, most metal roofs possess a Class A fire resistance rating, and it's easy to see that the fire and lightning safety of a metal roof far exceeds that of a traditional asphalt roof.

For more information about roofing options, talk to a professional.