Sound Transmission


When a metal roof is installed on a building, it seems to heighten concerns over noise transfer from rain. Many people, when they think of rain hitting metal, have images of water dripping into a flat-bottom metal bucket. Also, in some cases, they remember being in an older house or barn with a metal roof.


Metal roofing manufacturers and dealers will attest to having very few, if any, customer complaints about noise transmission through metal roofs. One of the primary reasons for this is that most buildings now have insulated attic spaces which serve to stop noise transmission. This situation is very different than in barns or older, un-insulated homes. Additionally, most of today’s metal roof systems are heavily formed and/or textured. This formation of the metal blocks the “sound-board effect” that occurs when water “pings” into a flat-bottom metal bucket, eliminating any possibility of a “metallic” sound from rain hitting the metal roof. It is interesting to note that property owners report a great deal of noise transmission through skylights but virtually none from metal roofs.


Metal roofs are actually very quiet and are not cause for objections or concerns. In re-roofing situations, metal’s low weight allows installation over existing shingles and that can further enhance the quietness of a metal roof. For buildings with “California-construction” where there is no attic space and no insulation, property owners might consider choosing a metal roof which can be installed with foam backers to help absorb sound, making metal at that point probably the quietest option for those buildings.