10 Things to Know About Metal Roofing

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Metal roofing has dominated the industrial sector for more than a century. Barns, factories, mills, warehouses and other industrial buildings benefited from the durability that only metal roofing can provide.

But traditional metal roofing materials like aluminum, standing seam and corrugated roofs lacked the style, beauty and design versatility required for most residential buildings.

This all changed in 1957 when stone-coated metal roofing was introduced to bridge the gap between industrial durability and architectural beauty. Homeowners could now benefit from the durability of metal roofing without sacrificing on style. And today, metal is the second most popular roofing material on the market–and for good reason.

Here’s everything you need to know about metal roofing.

1. Modern Metal Roofing Dates Back to World War II

An emulsion coating derived from road tar and stone chips was first developed by the Decraspray Company in wartime England to camouflage the reflective metal roofs of important buildings and protect them from German air raids. After the war, the stone coating had bonded so well that it was virtually unremovable from the underlying metal roof. These stone-coated metal roofs were so well-preserved that Decraspray saw the incredible potential for creating a new standard of durable roofing products.

Since World War II, the original formula has been improved with an advanced acrylic base to set the gold standard for durability and longevity in roofing.

>>>Related Resource: Read the full history of stone-coated metal roofing here.

2. Stone-Coated Metal Roofing Differs from Traditional Metal Roofing

Prior to learning about stone-coated metal roofing, most homeowners would rule out traditional metal roofs due to their industrial appearance, reduced curb appeal and inability to meet the design requirements of most properties.

DECRA’s stone-coating manufacturing process changed all this. By adding stone granules to traditional metal roofing panels, vivid colors and distinct textures opened a wide range of design options that replicated the look of shingles, tiles, or shakes without sacrificing durability or longevity.

DECRA roofing granules are manufactured from natural stone that is mined at the quarry and crushed into small rocks which are then color coated. We then apply a state-of-the-art acrylic resin coating into the base coat of steel sheets to create the ideal surface for adhering the stone granules.

>>>Related Resource: Learn more about DECRA’s stone-coated granules.

3. Metal Roofing Provides Long-Term Value

Metal roofs have a lifespan that is two to three times longer than traditional roofing materials, like asphalt, tile and wood. This is important to note when considering the long-term value of a new roof.

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Although the initial installation is cheaper, asphalt shingle roofs only have a lifespan of 12 to 20 years before needing to be replaced. With frequent exposure to the elements, the lifespan can be even shorter, making a metal roof much more cost-effective in the long term. Even if a homeowner doesn’t plan to stay in their home for decades, a DECRA metal roof provides benefits in other areas, including:

  • Insurance Discounts: Metal roofs can qualify for insurance discounts in many states. For example, in Texas, a metal roof can lower your homeowner's insurance by up to 35%. (Check with your local insurance carrier for available discounts).
  • ROI: Homeowners are typically able to recoup an extremely high rate of a metal roof’s cost, 85.9% according to national averages, with homes in the Eastern states recouping up to 95.5%.
  • Energy Savings: Metal roofs can reduce cooling costs by up to 25%.
  • Property Value: A new metal roof can increase the average value of a home by up to 6%.

4. Metal is One of the Most Energy-Efficient Roofing Materials

Metal roofs are known as one of the most energy-efficient roofing materials on the market because they reflect heat up away from buildings.

Think about the metal hood of a car, for example. Even with the heat from the sun above and the engine below, the metal hood quickly cools when the car is parked in the shade and the engine is turned off. In just minutes, the metal hood has dissipated the heat so well that the car feels cool to the touch.

Traditional asphalt roofs, on the other hand, absorb heat like a sponge and radiate heat down into the home long after the sun goes down.

In fact, a 2019 study by R&D Engineering compared the energy efficiency of DECRA metal roofs against conventional 3-tab asphalt shingle roofs and found that DECRA metal roofs increased energy efficiency by up to 218%.

And while industrial metal roofing can upgrade a roof’s overall energy performance, a DECRA stone-coated metal roof takes energy efficiency even further. The infrared-blocking color pigments in DECRA’s stone-coated granules effectively block infrared radiation from the sun that is the source of accumulating heat. These infrared-blocking pigments increase the natural solar reflectance of the metal roof substantially more than other metal roofing products.

>>>Related Resource: Learn how to increase your home’s energy efficiency with DECRA Metal Roofing.

5.Metal Roofing Has the Highest Rating for Hail Protection

The UL2218 Class 4 test, conducted by Underwriters Laboratories, is considered the industry standard for measuring the hail impact resistance of a roof. It simulates the damaging impact of a 2-inch hailstone from 20 feet or higher on a roof. Roofing materials are rated Class 1 through Class 4 based on their resistance to the impact of steel balls dropped from varying heights. In order to achieve the highest possible Class 4 rating, the roofing material cannot exhibit any signs of fracture.

All DECRA Metal Roofing products have achieved the highest UL2218 Class 4 Impact rating. We take testing a step further, though, by conducting an NBS Series 23 “Hail Resistance of Roofing Materials” testing with ice ball compressed air guns. The results from this independent lab testing by Terralab Engineers International found that “DECRA products withstood hailstones up to 3 inches in diameter without damage. The products also withstood without damage by impact from 4-inch hailstones. The 4-inch hailstones are not part of the NBS Series 23 and were shot for client information purposes only.”

>>>Related Resource: Read how a DECRA roof can protect your home or building from hail impact.

6. Metal Roofing Can Withstand Hurricane-Force Winds

Roof damage caused by wind occurs when the air pressure below the roofing system is greater than the air pressure above. This results in a push-pull force working together to separate the roofing materials from the roof deck, otherwise known as wind uplift.

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Traditional roofing materials have significant shortcomings when it comes to wind. Wood shakes, for example, tend to split and loosen around the fasteners making them extremely prone to wind uplift. Easily fractured clay tiles are also highly prone to wind uplift, with few backed by any warranty at all.

DECRA products feature a unique interlocking panel system to keep the multi-layered panels firmly in place in hurricane-force winds. And while many roofing manufacturers are satisfied with the minimum performance testing requirements for wind, DECRA takes its testing a step further. We submit our products to TAS 125 testing to ensure they comply with high-velocity hurricane zone requirements, including Miami-Dade, Florida, which is known as the region with the most severe wind market.

DECRA stands behind the strength of our products with a Lifetime Limited Warranty for winds up to 120 mph and lab tests at twice that velocity.

>>>Related Resource: Learn more about wind uplift and how DECRA products are engineered to protect against wind.

7. Metal Roofing has the Highest Rating for Fire Protection

In any fire scenario, the roof plays a vital role in your safety. All DECRA products carry the highest possible Class-A fire rating. This means that the roofing materials have proven themselves effective against the most severe fire testing. They also protect against flame penetration as stand-alone roofing products with excellent resistance to surface flame spread without the need for chemical treatments or extra underlying roofing materials.

>>>Related Resource: Read about ratings, and why metal roofing is one of the best materials for protection from fire.

8. Metal is One of the Lightest Roofing Materials

The average DECRA roof weighs between 3,500 and 4,500 pounds, compared to 45,000 pounds for a similar-sized asphalt shingle roof. At just 1.4 to 1.6 pounds per square foot, DECRA stone-coated steel is one of the lightest roofing materials on the market. The benefits include:

  • Provides an exceptional strength-to-weight ratio that adds reinforcing shear strength to the roof deck, which is especially important in hurricane and earthquake-prone regions.
  • Eliminates the need for tear-offs and costly waste disposal expenses for remodeling or refurbishment of existing roofs while diverting waste from landfills.
  • Requires no additional reinforcement or construction to support the weight of the roof.

Weight is an overlooked component when choosing a roofing material, so most people are often surprised to learn that heavier is not better when it comes to your roof.

>>>Related Resource: Click here to learn other surprising facts about metal roofing.

9. Metal Roofing is Sustainable and Environmentally-Friendly

In addition to lasting two to three times longer than traditional roofing materials, metal roofing doesn’t rely on petroleum-based raw materials as asphalt shingles do. With an average lifespan of only 12 to 20 years, asphalt shingles contribute 11-13 million tons of asphalt shingles to landfills each year (equivalent to 3,068 Olympic-size swimming pools).

DECRA products use 25-30% of recycled material in the manufacturing process, are 100% recyclable, and are so lightweight that they can often be installed directly over the existing roof, diverting waste from landfills.

>>>Related Resource: Read how DECRA products can prevent total replacements.

10. DECRA Metal Roofing Protects Against Nearly Anything Mother Nature Has to Offer

As the originator of stone-coated steel roofing products, DECRA has set the industry's gold standard for durable roofing. Manufactured at our facility in Corona, California, our products have withstood the test of time and protected homes from tropical Hawaii to the harshest winters in Canada and everything in between, including Miami-Dade, Florida which has the toughest requirements for roofs in the nation. In addition to protection from hail, wind and fire, DECRA roofs are engineered to withstand:

  • Salt Air and Humidity: Both sides of the steel sheets in DECRA products are coated to optimize corrosion resistance in moist and humid salt air environments.
  • Rain: DECRA has performed extensive wind-driven rain testing at speeds up to 110 mph to protect its roofing profiles against water penetration under the most extreme wind conditions.
  • Earthquake Resistance: Lightweight DECRA stone-coated steel provides extra shear strength to the roof deck to withstand tremors in seismically active regions like Costa Rica. Conventional materials, such as heavy asphalt shingles and clay tiles only add dead weight, resulting in a top-heavy home with minimal extra roof reinforcement.
  • Snow and Ice: DECRA products are non-porous, making them an ideal roofing solution for winter homes because they resist snow and ice that can freeze and thaw.

Experience the DECRA Difference

If you’re looking for a roof that can withstand nearly anything Mother Nature has to offer without sacrificing on style, then you’re looking for a DECRA metal roof. Ready to see and feel the DECRA difference? Click here to order a free sample.

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