It can be difficult to find building products that are of superior quality and good for the environment. In fact, it often seems these two qualities cancel each other out. Not so with reflective metal roofing. As a roofing material it is tough, long lasting, fire proof, and thanks to its ability to reflect sunlight and re-emit absorbed solar heat, it's also reported to reduce home summer cooling costs by up to 40% in some areas. Those numbers alone qualify it as a green roofing product, though there are even more reasons to purchase this product if you're leaning green when it comes to choosing roofing material.
How Reflective Metal Roofing Works
Reflective metal roofs work two ways when it comes to reducing energy costs. First of all, they reflect sunlight. Just about every other roofing product absorbs light from the sun, heating up the home and degrading the product in the process. Reflective metal panels, on the other hand, send that sunlight right back where it came from before it has a chance to raise the indoor temperature. The second way reflective metal roofing works has to do with heat emitting paints and granular coatings. These are applied to the metal at the factory and are manufactured to re-emit absorbed solar heat back into the air. Again, that means less heat is absorbed by your roof and transmitted down into your home, which leads to lower energy bills since your A/C won't have to run as much to keep things cool.
Reflective Metal Roofing is Landfill Friendly
In addition to drastically lowering your home energy consumption, reflective metal roofs also reduce the amount of waste that ends up in your local landfill. The vast majority of these roofs are made from recycled metal, and they can be recycled again when they wear out. That's a far cry from the millions of dumpsters of old asphalt shingles that make their way to the nations landfills every year. Believe it or not, reflective metal roofing can help in that regard, as well. In most cases you can install your new metal roof directly over old asphalt shingle roofing, making one less load of old shingles that gets shipped out to the dump!
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Reflective Metal Roofing Lasts
Besides being environmentally friendly, reflective metal roofing is also a long lasting roofing choice. Most are guaranteed for 20 to 50 years, but unlike other roofing materials, most metal roofs will last far longer than the guarantee. About the only thing you need to worry about with your reflective metal roof is whether the paint is holding up or not. As the infrared emitting coating weathers over the years, it can lose some of its effectiveness and expose the metal beneath to the elements. Fortunately there's an easy solution to this problem: re-paint it. If you re-paint your metal roof every 20 to 50 years, it should last you another 20 to 50 more.
Talk to a Roofing Contractor and Your Insurance Company
Before purchasing and installing a metal roof on your home, there's two people you should talk to first. The first call you should make is to a roofing contractor to get an estimate, talk about your options, and have your roof inspected to make sure it won't need to be reinforced to accommodate a metal roof. After that (and before you sign any contracts) you should call your insurance agent. Most insurance companies will give you a discount on your insurance premiums if you have a metal roof installed, though there may be restrictions you need to know about when it comes to choosing the right material. Checking in with them before you make your purchase is the only way to ensure you'll get all the benefits coming to you by choosing reflective metal roofing for your roofing needs.