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Why Metal is the Best Roofing Material - Sophisticated Strength

Metal roofing is emerging as the superior choice for strength, durability, aesthetic appeal, and reduced

environmental impact. Modern metal roofing systems can handle anything Mother Nature dishes out, providing superior protection against wind, hail, snow, extreme temperatures, and salty coastal air, as well as fire resistance.

Metal roofs provide these advantages without requiring the intensive maintenance or unsustainable "rip and replace" roof overhauls so common with other roofing options. For elegant homes and owners who demand strength and style, metal roofs are one of the best investments a homeowner can make to boost and maintain value. In every region of the country metal roofs are providing:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Durability and longevity
  • Beauty
  • Strength
  • Value

And "traditional" roofing materials?

At best, asphalt shingles, wood shakes, clay tile, and slate may provide options for budget or value-priced roofing projects. But these "legacy materials" from centuries past are wholly inadequate for homes where nothing less than the best is the first line of defense. In this article, we’ll take on those conventional roofing materials in a head-to-head comparison to demonstrate why DECRA's stone-coated metal roofing is the uncontested best choice for high-end homeowners seeking an innovative roofing option which combines strength, durability, and elegance.

Introduction to Conventional Roofing Materials

Asphalt Shingles- More than 70% of single-family homes are covered with asphalt shingles because they are still commonly perceived as the most affordable roofing option if the cost of the initial installation is the only factor considered. When the lifetime cost of asphalt shingles is calculated, the need to replace them every 10-12 years in sunny climates makes them a more expensive choice than metal, slate, or tile. Rapid temperature changes can cause cracking and splitting, and even a poorly vented attic can cause cupping and a need to continuously replace shingles in the damaged areas. In shady areas, mold and algae problems may need to be addressed with special anti-fungal chemical stain treatments.

As this article at Inspectapedia points out, impressive shingle manufacturer warranties are frequently more of a marketing strategy as opposed to an accurate estimate of shingle life. Even 20-50 year warranties can be voided if the manufacturer determines that installation instructions haven't been followed to the letter. Fire ratings can also be reduced by faulty installation. Along with the excessive weight and comparatively short life cycle, poor energy efficiency is steadily reducing the number of asphalt shingle roofs as modern homeowners move toward more efficient roofing systems. The excessive weight of shingles means that they must be stripped completely, not exceeding 2 layers, producing significant waste material when they wear out and the roof needs to be refurbished. When they aren't recycled asphalt shingles contribute to 11 million tons of waste generated annually in the US.

While asphalt shingles may be a cost-effective option for short-term, budget-constrained projects such as flipping an older, lower market house for profit, they are rarely an option for the elegant home which is intended to be the sustainable, low-maintenance, centerpiece of the estate for decades. For roof designs relying on a traditional classic shingle theme, DECRA Shingle XD provides the appearance of a heavyweight architectural shingle at just 1/2 the weight with strength and durability that is beyond comparison to asphalt shingles.

Wood (Cedar) Shakes- Pre-dating asphalt shingles, wood shakes and shingles were once the most commonly available roofing material. Today, the only viable reason for using this antiquated roofing method is aesthetics, perhaps to enhance a rustic or historically themed design. Wood naturally attracts moisture, which promotes swelling and shrinkage, as well as mold problems. Weathering quickly grays the original wood color and cracking occurs due to variations in wet-dry conditions. Wood destroying organisms contribute to rot, and care must be taken to remove leaves and debris several times per year in regions such as the Gulf Coast and Pacific Northwest, or any other where wood-destroying fungi can flourish. Wood roofs require constant maintenance and a variety of chemical or oil treatments to extend the life cycle.

DECRA's stone-coated metal shakes can provide the desired aesthetic textures for architects and builders with superior strength and durability without the need for the ongoing intense roof maintenance that comes with conventional cedar shakes and shingles.

Tile and Slate- Slate roofs were once considered the top of the line roofing material, lasting up to 200 years. The price paid for that durability is the extreme weight of the slate, and the roof deck needs to be heavily reinforced to support it. Existing homes would have to be evaluated before a slate replacement roof could be considered to ensure that the deck could support the extreme weight. Clay tiles also share the heavyweight characteristic but they crack easily in heavy hail conditions. Builders and designers are attracted to tile roofs because of the variety of shapes and colors available, and for those considerations DECRA Tile offers a variety of aesthetic choices which provide the stronger, lightweight alternative to clay and slate, adding elegance without sacrificing durability.

Conventional Metal Roofing- Durability and eco-friendliness have driven the trend to more metal roofing. Metal roofing can last up to 3 times longer than asphalt shingles. Aluminum, zinc, and steel are the most common metal roofing materials. Conventional (uncoated) metal roofs are durable and have exceptional snow slide properties for extreme winters, but they can also be quite noisy in a rainstorm, especially if they're used directly over the living space. They are also prone to denting from hail and storm debris and replacing large panels can be labor-intensive and time-consuming. Care must be taken with metal roofing fasteners on large panel systems, to allow the panels "to breathe" due to expansion and contraction. Galvanic corrosion and leaking are common problems with metal roofs over time. Matching colors after a repair years later can be difficult according to an informative article at State Farm Insurance.

DECRA stone-coated metal Roofing

Many homeowners think of large panel, industrial or commercial roofs when the term "metal roofing" is brought up, and in many cases that's the correct impression. Until now, metal roofing design options have been rather limited. At DECRA, our stone-coated metal roofing products have taken metal roofing to its highest level yet, combining the unsurpassed lightweight strength of steel with our proprietary stone-coating for color, texture, and durability.

Check out our Roofing Products Benefits Comparison to review the numbers for yourself and see just how DECRA stone-coated metal roofing products walk away with the top numbers in every category including:

  • Weight- Lightest of all materials at 1.4-1.6 pounds/square foot
  • Fire Resistance- Class A (rated material)
  • Wind Warranty- Up to 120 mph, as compared to 60-110 for architectural shingles and 75mph for fiber cement materials.
  • Class 4 Impact Resistance- Warrantied against hail penetration, UL2218 certified DECRA products qualify for insurance discounts in many states.
  • Freeze-Thaw Resistant- Immune from tension and compression problems caused by seasonal temperature changes.
  • Earthquake- Lightweight with exceptional added shear strength not available with any other roofing material
  • Lifespan- 2-3 times longer than any other roofing product
  • Warranty- Limited lifetime warranty far beyond the 25-50 year warranties for other products

DECRA: The One and Done Roofing Solution For High-Value Homes

Discerning homeowners know that nothing less than the best roofing material is imperative for protecting their top-of-the-market assets. As the original inventor of stone-coated metal roofing material, DECRA has literally written the books on superior roofing techniques for 2019 and beyond. While many metal roofing imitators race to catch up to DECRA's unsurpassed strength in the roofing materials industry, they simply can't match our commitment to quality, durability, aesthetics, and innovation.

DECRA stone-coated metal roofing panels are the "one and done" low-maintenance solution for homes. The strength of steel and the durability of stone-coating combined with a unique interlocking design guaranteed to withstand high winds while adding shear strength. When you're ready to protect your home for decades to come you're ready for DECRA, so don't hesitate to contact us.