Why We Recommend Aluminum Metal Roofing for Most Roofing Projects
March 24, 2014 | By Mike Gonet | Filed under: Metal Roofing
There are a variety of different metals and chemistry’s that many aluminum metal roofing contractors both install and recommend. When the consultants on our team speak with homeowners looking for information on metal roofing systems, one of the most common question they are frequently asked is, “What type of metal is best for my home?” Our top three recommendations are aluminum, zinc, and copper. The most practical metal, which fits well with most homes both in terms of long term investment and affordability, is aluminum.
The application of aluminum metal roofing can be considered the most green roofing option on the planet. Interestingly, approximately 73% of all aluminum ever manufactured is still in use world-wide. What makes this highly malleable metal so efficient and durable? Besides having very high energy efficiency, aluminum alloy has highly advantageous and peculiar characteristics: it is incredibly lightweight and easy to work with, it has immense durability, and it exhibits beneficial thermic and electric conductivity. That said, aluminum is highly superior to other metals, such as steel. Unlike steel, aluminum metal roofing is less susceptible to corrosion. In fact, the term “corrosion” immediately brings steel to mind, doesn’t it? Regardless of where it is located or utilized, steel will tend to rust; aluminum won’t. The application of aluminum has the potential to drastically lower emissions and waste products throughout the life of a given structure, and it is infinitely recyclable. The following corresponding terms “recycled” and “aluminum” may make certain homeowners cringe because of the “already-been-chewed” stereotype of recycled products; but, know that recycled aluminum actually has the exact same chemistry and functional performance as primary aluminum metal.
Though aluminum metal roofing will typically be about 2 ½ to 3 times the cost of conventional asphalt roofing, this type of metal roofing is manufactured to last up to 100 years with many long term investment benefits included. Besides the many benefits for the home and the roof, aluminum scrap metal recovery programs aid many communities and cities. These recovery programs not only help protect the environment, you, and your home – they create a significant amount of jobs, which generate income. This additional income will obviously produce many funds for the greater and valuable economic, political, and social missions of society. It can be said that in a number of ways, aluminum recycling runs through several threads of the cycle of commerce as we know it, not only in New England and the United States, but Worldwide. That said, Aluminum can even be considered one of the most “patriotic” American metals in the industry.
In accordance with the contributing factor that most aluminum products in the United States contain recycled aluminum, a common argument is that the energy source for the production of primary aluminum metal is electricity. To refute this with some factual information: over 70% of the electricity used in this given production process is actually from renewable hydro power sources itself. Also, despite what outdated sources imply, the sum of energy usage associated with both primary and secondary aluminum production processes has actually been drastically reduced over the past couple of decades – also reducing associated greenhouse gas emissions.
Not only is aluminum the go-to metal for metal roofing, it also has many other practical uses. Modern automobiles are now being manufactured with aluminum which reduces weight and saves fuel, while still maintaining safety and performance standards. Aluminum is great for a wide range of architectural flexibility, such as: curtain facades and walls, windows, doors, sun screens, solar energy applications, and, of course, metal roofing. Aluminum has a high strength-to-weight ratio, which is one of the primary reasons it’s so useful in so many fields. Because aluminum can be the jack of all trades, it can reduce the usage of plastic, cement, and steel. In fact, as it has been said: “The modern skyscraper was only made possible by aluminum metal.” Ultimately, aluminum metal has continued to serve its function for decades on end. Usually, the aluminum will last as long as the building it’s applied to, ultimately reducing maintenance costs associated with any refits that were avoided by having it in place.
Now that we have learned about all of the phenomenal characteristics of this super-metal, let’s apply this knowledge to aluminum metal roofing. First, aluminum interfaces very well with the industry’s highest standard of coatings and colors. Even with a wide selection of different gradient colors available for aluminum metal roofing, these colors are typically not susceptible to fading. In addition to the durable properties of aluminum, these recently developed specialized coatings only increase that durability – realistically making it possible for a roof to actually be “maintenance free.” Whether or not a given structure provides a steep or a low pitch, aluminum metal roofing provides radiant heat reflectivity- it reflects the sun’s radiant heat, resulting in lower energy costs over the summer.
Because aluminum is roll formed, it can be crafted into a plethora of creative shapes. In this regard, a humorous question recently directed to us from a homeowner was, “How long are your aluminum metal roofing panels?” Our response? “As long as you want them to be!” That said, call our office with your questions at (866) 660-6668 (and you just might be featured on the Metal Roofing Blog). As discussed earlier, aluminum does not rust, unlike steel, galvanized steel, and galvalume. Like anything however, nothing is perfect; in this case, no metal is absolved from the possibility of potential oil canning – even aluminum. Oil canning is a slight ripple in the metal around certain areas of the roofing that is only apparent after installation. As perfectionists with high standards, we notice the near unapparent imperfections that can result from a near perfect installation. Keep in mind that Classic Metal Roofs, LLC is one of the few contractors in the New England metal roofing industry that has a method to actually *mitigate* oil canning. Finally, do not forget that aluminum is going to be 100% recyclable after the end of its life span and probably long after the end of yours.
We cannot stress this enough at the Metal Roofing Blog – if you are considering a roofing project, contact a metal roofing contractor for a free consultation. What do you have to lose? Your home needs a metal roof, and the question is not if – it is when. Aluminum metal roofing is the future – say goodbye to asphalt!