Roofing is one of the key components in the architectural design of buildings. The look is always important and it affects not only a single house, but may also the siluette of an entire neighbourhood. Today, many different roofing types are available besides most known conventional red/orange tiles, and steel roofing is one of the strongest competitor in the market. Painted steels are gaining popularity as an exterior decorative component due to their advantages, which will be discussed later. While durability is the most prominent among these advantages, there is much more than that. Five advantages of steel roofing, types of steels used in roofing, types of metal roofing and finally false facts and myths about metal roofing will be explained in this blog post.
Advantages of Steel Roofing
First and biggest advantage is durability. Steel is one of the strongest materials against all kinds of physical and chemical attacks. It can withstand harsh conditions such as snow, rain, extreme temperatures and even fire. After corrosion protection is ensured, steel roofing offers 50+ years of service while non-metal roofing must be replaced within approximately 10 years.
Aesthetic appearance is one of the main reasons to choose steel roofing. It used to be known as barn, ranch, factory roofing. However, painted steel progressively increases its popularity in residential and business buildings. It offers a vibrant look on the overall appeal of structure. Furthermore, steel roofing can be modified to look like asphalt, clay, granite etc. Versatile nature of steel enables designers and customers to prefer steel roofing on the top of their buildings more often.
One other important aspect regarding the issue is cost. The initial price of steel roofing might be higher than asphalt or clay tiles but make no mistake, lifespan of steel is approximately five times longer than other roofing materials when minor maintenance is done periodically. Therefore, it costs you way much less in the long run. Also, there is no doubt that roof replacing is a process which can be gruelling and troublesome. Steel roofing saves you time and money.
Maybe the most crucial benefit of steel roofing is its incomparable predominance in energy saving. Unpainted steel roof will reflect sunlight while asphalt absorbs it. This helps to keep inside of the building cool. In this way, air conditioning expenses can be minimized for houses in warmer climates. It also provides excellent insulation in winter, by reflecting the heat back into building.
There is one more important thing to add in benefits of metal roofing. All the metals including steel are 100% recyclable. It means that when the roofing completes its working life, nothing goes to waste. This makes them the eco-friendliest option among the other roof tiling materials.
Types of Steel Used in Roofing
There are several options in steel roofing. Main focus is steel and there exists different types of steel which can be used in roofing, all differ from each other in some aspects.
Stainless Steel: It is the most widely used type of steel when corrosion protection is needed. Stainless steels do not require additional coating or painting. 316 2B and 304 2B types provide excellent corrosion resistance and have good mechanical properties.
Weathering Steel: A606 steel as known as weathering steel is a type of material which forms a passive rust-like layer when exposed to air, thus protects the steel itself. A606 Steel is classified as High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) Steel. This type of steel can be machined, formed and welded.
Cold Rolled Steel: Cold rolled carbon steel is easier to shape than A606 weathering steel and offers similar rusty look. It is usually preferred as a less expensive option when compared to A606.
Galvanized Steel: This kind of steel is produced by coating the carbon steel in a zinc bath. It is readily paintable, corrosion resistant and can be adapted to all kinds of fabrication processes. Therefore, it is a very ideal material for roofing. Galvanized steel usually recognized by its smooth, spangled surface texture.,
Galvalume®: This name refers to coating composed of aluminium, zinc and silicon that is used to protect the base metal. Base metals are iron-based alloys which have tendency to rust (mostly carbon steels). Low alloy steels, martensitic steels, ferritic stainless steels and cast iron can be given as examples to base metals. The main difference between galvanized and Galvalume® steel is that in galvanized steel, coating is completely zinc while Galvalume® coating is composed of half aluminium, half zinc with trace amounts of silicon. This technology provides superior corrosion protection capabilities over regular hot dipped galvanized steels.
Aluminium alloys can be also used as roofing material when suitable protective coating is applied, though it is not a popular choice. Kynar500® (resin-based coating), for example, is used on aluminium and coated steels.
False Facts and Myths About Metal Roofing
In most of the cases, disinformation can affect the decision making process of customers improperly. Several false facts and myths should be found and hunted down for the sake of right choice.
Metal roofing is bad because it can rust. Of course metals can be oxidized due to their affinity to oxygen. However, producers design the material in the most suitable way to operate in harsh conditions. Protection of metals used in roofing are ensured by non-corrosive polymer coatings or sacrificial anode metals such as zinc, so there is nothing to worry about in this sense.
In windy weathers, metal roofing can make huge noise. This false fact can be realistic, yet not true. Assembly of modern metal roofing is done professionally. By their design, parts of metal roof lock each other firmly in a way that they do not let the external noise inside and does not rattle. Some types may even be quieter than asphalt roofing.
Metal roofing attracts lightning. Attraction of the lightning for a static structure can be the same, regardless of material. Consider telephone poles and trees. They are composed of entirely different materials, yet they both attract lightning the most. One benefit of metal roofing in this case is that sparkling caused by lightning cannot set the metal roof on fire. This event may lead to catastrophic consequences on asphalt roofing.
To sum up, steel roofing increases its popularity all around the world because of its superiorities over conventional roofing materials. It brings both aesthetical and practical use for different kinds of buildings. There is no doubt that steel as a roofing material will be even easier to come by in the future.