Are steel roofs evironmentally friendly? Since it is 100% recyclable, steel is an inherently environmentally friendly material. Recycled steel is used extensively in the production of new steel. Therefore, not only does each steel roof contain a portion of recycled material, but it can also be completely recycled at the end of its useful life. Steel roofs help keep hundreds of tons of used roofing material out of our landfills each year.
Are steel roofs heavier than other roofs? Do they require additional structural support? Contrary to popular belief, steel roofing is very lightweight compared to other roofing materials. Depending on the system, it can be up to 50% lighter than some asphalt roofs. No additional support is needed. In fact, steel roofs can be light enough to be installed directly over existing roofs without stripping off the old material at a significant cost savings.
Do installers have to remove the exsiting roof? In some cases, strapping can be installed directly over top of the existing roof. Not only does this save the time and labour involved in stripping the old roof, but it also eliminates disposal costs and keeps hundred of pounds of roofing materials out of landfills. Your individual contractor will have to evaluate whether this is a suitable option for your house.
How long will it last? While the life span of any building product will depend on the aggressiveness of the local environment, studies show that you can expect a steel roof to last at least 2 to 3 times longer than a regular asphalt shingle roof. In general terms, count on a metal roof lasting 40 to 60 years and beyond, where the average life span of an asphalt roof would be 12 to 20 years. Made of oil impregnated paper or fiberglass, asphalt begins to deteriorate as soon as you expose it to normal weather. Asphalt shingles are also subject to biological attack from mold and other destructive organisms. A metal roof, on the other hand, is inorganic and will never decompose. A steel roof will last even longer with minimal maintenance (e.g. periodic washing and inspection of screws and sealants.)
Is it necessary to strap the roof first before installing the steel roofing? Not always. In a re-roofing application strapping can be useful to provide better anchorage to the roof trusses and to level out the roof surface. There is also some advantage to having an air space behind the roofing. Strapping will affect the design of new flashings or the ability to re-use existing flashing. Consult your contractor or manufacturer for more information.
How well do steel roofs stand up to severe weather? Steel roofs are designed to meet or exceed the strict wind and water penetration standards set out by the local building codes. Extensive testing is done to ensure they comply with these requirements. In addition, steel roofs have some special characteristics that make them exceptionally resistant to severe weather, including:
- Hail: Steel is very resistant to structural impact damage from hail, and will not chip or crack like tile and slate roofs.
- Heavy ice & snow: Steel roofs shed snow and ice better than typical roofing materials, preventing excessive snow build-up and ice dams.
- Wildfires: Steel is a non-combustible material and will not spread fire. Consequently, it will resist the heat from windblown sparks that are commonly associated with wildfires, keeping your home safer.
Why Steel? Steel has been successfully used for roofing on commercial and institutional buildings for over 50 years. This long track record has shown steel roofing to be an attractive, versatile, and durable product, with a lifespan 2 to 3 times longer than conventional roofing products. In addition, over the product life cycle, steel roofing is extremely cost effective. Residential construction is just beginning to realize the numerous benefits of steel roofing. A steel roof will add a distinctive elegance to your home while providing this host of additional benefits.
Will a steel roof affect reception inside my house? No. Steel roofs have no notable effect on reception.
Will a steel roof heat up the attic? The characteristics of metal are such that it absorbs and dissipates heat quickly. As with any material, colour is one of the governing factors related to reflectivity and absorption. Experience shows that installing a metal roof on your home should not affect your energy requirements, and could in fact reduce it.
Will I have problems installing accessories like satellite dishes? Methods of installing accessories like satellite dishes on steel roofs have been developed, and are easily followed. Your contractor or local building supply store should be able to give you specific instructions.
***Information used in this FAQ was provided by the Canadian Steel Sheel Building Institute. For more information please visit www.steelroofsource.com***