Metal Re-Roof is Clean and Green
Metal Re-Roof: The cleanest, greenest, and last new roof you’ll ever need
If you’re living in Denver, you’ll be familiar with the frequent hailstorms and resulting roof damage. As homeowners, we often fail to consider metal roofing when our old shingle roof is damaged or approaches its built-in demise. We think, instead, of adding “just one more layer” of asphalt shingles as a matter of expedience. However, with just a bit of enlightenment, we could choose a beautiful steel, aluminum– even cooper roof as the last roof we’ll ever buy for our house. While our neighbors might be a tiny bit green with envy; we’d be green too, with our new metal roof!
If you live in a typical neighborhood, you’ve seen the mess that ensues when an aging shingle roof is removed in preparation for its replacement. The fleet of trucks, the big dumpster in the driveway, the ragged blue tarps surrounding the house, and the gaggle of frantic laborers scrambling around the eaves–this is the rough celebration of the death of a worn-out shingle roof. The rasping of forks and rakes mixes with the drumbeat of hammers and cries of “look out below!” Slabs of shingles and airborne bits of black paper rain to the lawn, along with thousands of rusty old nails.
image credit: JBRoofing
It doesn’t have to be this way. Your new re-roof can be elegant and nearly painless. And you can avoid making a fresh contribution to the landfill, too.
The debris from a torn-off fiberglass or asphalt shingle roof on an average-sized suburban home weighs more than a Cadillac Escalade. The trash would likely fill your kitchen to waist-level. That’s a lot of weight, and quite a mess. But if your underlying roof structure is sound (a basic attic inspection can confirm this), you might well be able to avoid removing your old shingles at all.
A single layer of organic shingles, regardless of how weathered they are, can make an excellent base on which to apply a new metal roof.
Your existing shingles can provide an insulating, cushioned substrate for rigid metal-formed roofing. Typically, it’s not desirable to leave an original roof in place when re-roofing with asphalt shingles. Why? Reasons range from concerns about excessive total roof weight (which may be governed by local building codes), to worries about textures from underneath showing up on your new roof (“telegraphing”). Fortunately, neither of these issues apply to metal re-roofing.
All asphalt-based shingles, no matter how long the “warranty” period, conform to the surface beneath them over time. The mixture of gravity and sunshine (of which we thankfully get plenty) inherently softens organic shingles. Metal roofing, whether shingles or sheet-based, doesn’t suffer this surface-softening because it’s rigid. This means that steel and aluminum roofing can often be applied right over an existing layer of old shingles. In addition, most metal roofing choices are substantially lighter in weight than shingles. A qualified Roofing Contractor can assess your specific conditions to help you decide if a metal roof is right for your house.
So why not “keep it cheap” and simply re-roof using the least expensive materials?
In general, a shingle re-roof is a relatively short-term bandage. It’s not unusual for an asphalt re-roof (over shingles) to need replacement just 15 years later, and many building codes then require that both layers be removed before another layer is installed. Why set yourself up for this nightmare? Even if you’re considering selling, savvy home-buyers have often been warned in advance to avoid this roofing time-bomb.
image credit: Hurricane Metal Roofing
Re-roofing with metal, by contrast, is a long-term solution when properly installed. Your metal re-roof will protect your home through hail and hurricanes, withstand snow and monsoons, and keep looking nearly brand new for decades. Whether you choose an elegant standing-seam steel roof or aluminum profile shingles, you’re creating a fifty-year (or longer) roof with fantastic curb appeal. You’ll also have the deep satisfaction of knowing that your re-roof didn’t dump thousands of pounds of trash into the landfill. That’s what I call a win-win solution.
Have any of your tried solar-panel roofing? It’s not something I know much about, but I’d welcome your input, success stories, or nightmares.