Finishing Your Basement

Metal Roofing Materials: 2 Common Myths Debunked

If you are considering upgrading your roof, then it may be wise to think about materials outside of the common asphalt. An asphalt roof will last for about 20 years, but other materials can last for 50 years or longer. These include slate, wood, copper, and other types of metals. Metal roofs are becoming just as popular as asphalt in some areas, but you may shy away from this idea based on certain myths or misinformation you have heard. Keep reading to learn the truth behind some of these myths so you can make a much more informed decision.

Myth: Metal Roofs Increase the Chance of Lightning Strikes

If you live in an area that receives a great deal of rain during the spring, summer, and fall months, then you may experience thunderstorms. Thunderstorms form when the right mixture of moisture, air lift, and different air temperatures are present in the atmosphere. The clouds and precipitation build with electrical energy and lightning is produced. This lightning naturally moves from the clouds to a grounded area, and this ground is typically the earth. To get there, the lightning will strike the tallest object in the region. Generally, this object consists of trees, towers, and buildings. If your home is the tallest object on your property, then it may be struck by lightning, if a lightning strike happens to be produced above your house.

Metal and Electrical Conductivity

The truth is that your house is just as likely to be hit by lightning if it is covered by an asphalt roof as it is if your house is covered by a metal roof. Metal does conduct electricity, and this is one reason why people believe that lightning will strike the roof. However, metal may conduct it, but it does not attract it. This means that electrical currents will not seek out metal merely because they are able to conduct electricity.

If you are still concerned about lightning strikes and metal roofing, then you can install a lightning rod on your home. A lightning rod is a one-inch thick piece of metal that sticks up from your roof. This rod is then connected to a copper or aluminum wire that runs to the ground. When lightning strikes the metal pole, the electricity safely moves through the wire and into the earth without harming your home.

Myth: Metal Roofs Rust

Many people become concerned about the installation of metal roofs because they believe the metal materials will rust over time and deteriorate significantly. This is not the case, though. Metal roofs are usually made out of copper, steel, or aluminum. Fortunately, copper does not rust or corrode and neither does aluminum. However, steel does rust, and this metal is used to create the vast majority of metal roofs.

Although this is true, these steel roofs will not rust or corrode either due to the protective coatings placed on both the top and bottom of the metal. A galvanized coating is placed directly over the steel and then a zinc coating is applied. A primer and paint are then added on top of the zinc. Different paint thickness are utilized depending on whether the roof is placed on a home or a commercial property.

Roof Inspections

Very sophisticated coverings and coatings are used to ensure the longevity of your roof. However, some damage can occur over time and leave the steel exposed. This often occurs when large pieces of hail or big accumulations of debris hit the roof with some force. To make sure this does not lead to small areas of rust, contact a roofing specialist to inspect the roof on a yearly basis. You can complete a basic examination on your own too, just be careful. Metal roofs tend to be much more slippery than asphalt materials, and you may lose your footing when walking across the roof. For more information, see