What are the pros and cons of a metal roof?

metal roofing system

Choosing a metal roof

Metal roofing for a commercial building may not seem like a big deal for the everyday person. For the building owner though, there are concerns and questions, like should they have a metal roof with insulation or a metal roof and gutters? We have answers to some commonly asked questions from commercial building owners that are considering metal roofing …. 

A big question that is asked more frequently than the others: Does a metal roof lower your insurance? The answer is yes!  Insurance companies’ factor into policy costs  the type of existing roof material. Any roofing immaterial that performs better in protecting a structure and doesn’t damage easily means less claims. Less claims means less risk and lower premiums.  Those materials include: 

  • Concrete shingles
  • Slate roofing
  • Tile
  • Metal roofing 

Does a metal roof affect WIFI?

Metal roofing has minimal affects or influence on Wi-Fi network. A poor connection speed or dropped signals typically stem from poor coverage in certain areas of the building or the geographical layout of the structure. 

For instance, if your building is far from any cell tower, the cell phone reception will be poor. The only help for this is a new cell tower closer to your building. Ultimately, metal roofing will have barely any effect on your company’s Wi-Fi network with today’ Wi-Fi systems. Update your modem and router, and you should have a steady connection for all the wireless devices within your building, even with metal roofing. If there are concerns about metal roofing and your Wi-Fi connection, discuss them with your roofing contractor.

Do metal roofs attract lightning?

Even with all the research and studies on lightning, there is still a lot we don’t know, such as how it forms. We still can’t determine where it will strike either, so the behavior of lighting remains unpredictable.

The perception or suspicion, that metal roofing increases the likelihood of a lightning strikes are unfounded. Yes,  metal is a highly conductive material, which means the lightning rods used for centuries should attract lightning, right? There are two issues when a breakdown of lighting was created by the Metal Construction Association:

  • The probability of a lightning strike at any precise location.
  • The consequences of that lighting strike.

Lightning is a swift discharge of atmospheric static electricity from three types of  lighting strikes: 

  • IC: Intra Cloud where lighting is discharged from a highly charges area of a single cloud to a less charged area.
  • CC:  Cloud-to-Cloud discharge from a highly-charged cloud to another cloud that is less-charged. 
  • CG: Cloud to ground  discharge, the most noticed and best understood type of lightening, cause of concern about metal roofing and lighting. 

It is the geography and topography that determine lighting’s exact location to discharge, not the material it is striking. Lightning discharges when it is ready to discharge no matter what is under it when it does discharge. It seeks a path with less resistance, like any other type of electrical discharge.  Because buildings and trees are tall, they are in that path of least resistance, so they are what gets struck when lighting discharges. 

Okay, so should I ground a metal roof?

In short, no, metal roofing does not need grounding. Yes, metal does conduct electricity, but the chances that your metal roofing create an additional risk is unlikely. Just like metal lighting rods, any lighting that discharges on your metal roofing will ground out through your building and not cause any more harm than any other type of roofing material. Metal roofing as an electrical conductor that is noncombustible, actually has a lower risk of damage by lighting. 

metal shingle roof

Does a metal roof need gutters?

Metal roofing is water resistance, so gutters aren’t as purposeful as they are on asphalt roofing. So, your metal roofing will survive without a gutter system. However, if there is landscaping around your building, gutters on your metal roofing will redirect rain away from the landscaping, and this will also protect the foundation of your metal building. Yes, your metal roofing will be fine with out gutters, but the rest of your building and the landscaping may not. 

As you consider metal roofing, you do not want a metal roof without plywood. It is the plywood sheathing that minimizes the sounds of rain when inside the building, just like an asphalt roofing. 

Another benefit to metal roof is when a metal roof is leaking, the fix is much easier and faster than with other types of roofing. You can mend your own leaking metal roofing by simply placing another sheet of metal over the leaking area and fasten it down with metal screws and roofing adhesives. 

Metal roofing will be one of the more expensive choices you can make in roofing materials. The longevity, minimal maintenance, and the outward appearance it provides your building will be well worth that extra expense, providing a high ROI should you decide to sell later. Call (931) 220-1728 today for your metal roof installation in Nashville, TN.