Steel is the fastest growing material in the roofing industry. Originally, metal roofs were manufactured using galvanized steel. A sheet of steel was coated with zinc and then rolled into corrugated sheets. Sometimes aluminum, zinc and silicon-coated steel were blended together to form a metal roofing product. Rolls of various widths called standing seam metal roofing are also available. The material is seamed together through a specialized roof seaming machine to seal the joints and protect the metal from water. Steel shingles are often made from zinc or aluminum-coated steel that has an acrylic gel coating. These are available in rolls and individual shingles.
Galvanization of sheet metals was a process used in the 1830s that revolutionized the way metal was being used. Galvanization included coating metals like steel or iron with a protective layer of zinc. This process protected metals from rusting. The first galvanized steel roof was used in North America in 1857. It soon became popular due to its low weight, low cost as well as durability. Many Victorian sheet metal roof shingles and tiles can still be found in good condition today.
Built Up Roofs:
Also known as BUR, built-up roofs have been around much longer than metal roofs. The roof is made of alternating layers. One of the layers is mainly tar. On top, gravel is usually laid in the tar making the roof aesthetically pleasing and providing an extra layer of insulation as well as added durability.
Asphalt Composition Shingles:
Asphalt shingles are generally made of fiberglass or organic felt and are widely used for roofs in North America. These shingles work well for waterproofing and re-roofing applications. Asphalt shingles popular are due to their affordability. They are also available in different colors and are a good investment for curb appeal.
Single Ply Roofs:
Single-ply roofs are a reliable and cost-friendly option for commercial roofs. They can be easily installed without the need for specialized equipment. There are different types of single-ply roofs, the most common ones include PVC, TPO, EPDM and modified bitumen. These materials also offer good solar reflectance and keep energy bills low.
The International Building Code recognizes steel construction as non-combustible, therefore, provided the roof has been installed properly, there is no worry of a steel roof catching on fire. Steel roofs are effective at sealing out moisture that can be caused by rain, thereby preventing mold and mildew problems. A steel roof can also withstand winds gusts up to 120 mph. Steel roofs are very durable and offer high resistant to hail. Hail cannot penetrate a metal roof.
Metals reflect solar heat and therefore a steel shingle roofs prove to be an energy-efficient investment. It works effectively in protecting the roof from harmful UV rays. Since the air conditioner does not need to work hard, metal roofs can reduce the cooling costs by 10-25% in the summer. It is important to note that lighter colored steel roofs will offer better solar reflectance than a darker colored steel roof.
Installation of a metal shingle roof will cost between $8 to $10 per square foot on average for a new residential home. For one square foot installation, steel shingles even have prices starting as low as $6.