Metal Roofing Myths and Installation

Silver metal roof with silver vent

Choosing a metal roof

For all the years they have been around in rural areas, covering barns and stables, there are still mysteries, myths, and questions about metal roofing. Questions like “Is a metal roof loud when it rains?”, which the answer to that question that squashes any myth, is, no, not if it is installed correctly.

This myth came to be because of the noise in a barn, shed, or stable the metal roofing is noisy. Why is metal roofing noisy in those instances, but not on housing? Because on a barn, shed, or stable, the frame is open and, on a house, the frame has wood decking in place that they attach the metal to. The wood decking helps absorb the noise from rain, and when the attic is insulated in a house, that absorbs more noise.  Wood decking, metal roofing, and installation make for a roof that is probably quieter than more traditional roofing.

Can you walk on a metal roof?

This is another common question, and the answer is yes, but as a homeowner, if you aren’t experienced with walking on roofs, metal roofing may not be one to try your first time.  However, as a responsible homeowner, you may need to learn for those times when you’re doing a roof inspection, roof cleaning, or hanging holiday decorations. 

With that said, if you need things done and can’t wait for an experienced professional, follow these three basic rules for walking on metal roofing: 

Wear clean, soft-soled shoes – Soft-soled shoes are the best for walking on any slippery surface, like metal roofing. A rubber sole will grip on the roof with great traction that won’t let you slip. 

Be careful not to drop anything heavy while on the roof – Dropping anything heavy, like equipment or tools, will damage metal roofing. While these sound obvious, it’s easy to forget when you start the trek up the ladder.  Wear a tool belt and use lightweight hand tools.

Find the right spots to walk on – there are different techniques when it comes to walking on metal roofing and the type of metal can make a difference too. The different types of metal roofing and how they should be walked on are: 

  • Metal Tile: You should only walk metal roofing panels formed like shakes or tiles on the low spots close to the roof deck. 
  • Standing Seam Metal Roofs: Standing seam metal roofing is safe to walk and can’t be damaged. The main factor to remember is height and slippery. Be sure to wear safety equipment while on the roof.   
  • Corrugated Steel Roofs: You have little risk walking on a Corrugated Steel Roof when installing correctly onto the decking but walking on the low valleys is recommended. 
  • Metal Shingle & Metal Shake Roofs: Metal shingle or a shake roofing has an air gap between the metal and the decking, making it easy to bend when walked on.  Inserting a foam backer between the metal and the decking gives it rigidity and safe for walking on.

Do metal roofs keep house cooler?

A popular misconception and myth are that metal roofing is going to be hot, because, as we all know, leave a piece of metal in the hot sun, it heats up. Surprisingly, this doesn’t apply to metal roofing on a house, again, when it has been installed properly. Other factors that determine if metal roofing will be cool is the color, light color is better in areas where the summers are hotter. While a lighter color does absorb less heat, it isn’t as big of a contributing factor as proper insulation and correctly installed metal roofing.

Another contributing factor to metal roofing being cooler than you may expect is the reflecting coating that is applied at the manufacturer. With all the aforementioned factors that go into metal roofing, it is understandable how a house stays cool during the hot summer.

Do you need to vent a metal roof?

Yes, metal roofing is like any roofing material and needs to be ventilated. In many areas, building codes require ventilation. Ventilation helps an attic breath, which keeps a house cool in the summer and warm in the winter, as well as keeps the structure free of mildew and mold.

maroon brown metal roof installed on home

Will a metal roof affect cell service?

Yes, but no. Metal roofing doesn’t truly interrupt cell phone reception. What you may think of as interrupted cell phone service in a house with metal roofing is due to the roof, it is because metal roofing is amplifying other disruptions. Those other disruptions are utility towers that nearby interact with metal roofing, and the roofing is shielding what is inside the house and blocks the cell phone’s radio frequency signal.

If you’re considering metal roofing for your home, interview several metal roofing contractors for quotes. Talk to them about their guarantee, insurance, license, and references. Choose metal roofing with gutters and that they are covered under the same guarantee. Ask about the manufacturer’s metal roofing warranty as well and ask to see the certificate. 

Want to learn more about metal roofing in richardson, TX? Reach out to the experts at JPAUL ROOFING AND CONSTRUCTION when you call 469-562-1990!