Key Problems with Metal Roofs: Issues and Myths Addressed

Key Problems with Metal Roofs: Issues and Myths Addressed

Metal roofs have been used in commercial buildings for many years but recently they are being used in more and more residential homes. Many homeowners are choosing metal roofing due to their durability, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal. However, there are some common problems with metal roofs and concerns that people have when considering a metal roof installation.

In this article we will address these key problems with metal roofs and debunk some of the myths surrounding them in order to help you make an informed decision about this type of roofing system for your home. We’ll cover topics such as cost, maintenance requirements, noise levels, fire safety ratings, environmental considerations and more. By understanding the facts behind these issues, you can better determine if a metal roof is right for your needs. If you’re in a hurry, here is some key takeaways:

Key Take Aways

Poor Installation and human error are the cause of many reported metal roofing problems.
It’s always better to hire a professional metal roofing contractor to install the new metal roofing.
There are many types of metal roofing including variety of metals used and types of metal panels.
There are also many types of paint systems used and the paint warranties that are included.
The benefits of metal roof replacement typically far outweigh the disadvantages although the cost of the roof replacement is usually more.
Proper maintenance and installation can help eliminate most common metal roof problems. 
Key Problems with Metal Roofing

Roof Leaks

Over time as a roof starts to deteriorate and break down a roof leak can occur. Storms and other natural problems can also expedite this process. But a roof leak isn’t just something that happens to metal roofing. Roof leaks can happen on any roof. Choosing a good quality roofing material with a longer warranty can help to prevent these roof leaks.

Dents, Scuffs, and Scratches

Metal roofs are susceptible to dents, scuffs, and scratches. Proper installation will help minimize these issues and using higher quality materials can make this problem even less likely. Lower cost metal roofing is thinner than higher quality materials, so they dent much more easily. When comparing metal roofing panels be sure to choose the thicker metal for better performance. While most metal roofing can withstand impacts from some items such as pinecones or apples falling on them, they may have dents if branches or baseballs impact them.

The paint can also be scuffed and scratched with the roof comes in contact with branches. This is usually caused by wind blowing the branches and it ends up scrubbing against the roof. This can also cause a problem on most roofing materials. To remedy this, it’s important to keep trees and branches trimmed away from the roof and ensure they don’t contact the roof in any way.

Metal Breaking Down and Corrosion

Metal roofs are often thought to be very durable and long-lasting. But, in some cases, metal can break down and corrode over time due to the elements. This is especially true if the roof isn’t properly installed or maintained. Metal roofing should be installed with a good quality underlayment that helps protect it from water, snow, and ice. It should also be inspected regularly for any signs of corrosion or damage. If a metal roof does corrode, it can often be painted over with a high-quality paint to help protect the roof from further damage.

Matching and Repairs Appearance

Another common concern with metal roofing is how it will look after repairs or replacement. Metal roofing often needs to be repaired or replaced due to corrosion, damage, or other issues. When this happens there may be a visible color difference between the existing roof and the new section due to fading over time.

To minimize this issue, it’s important to choose a metal roofing product that is made with high-quality paint which has UV protection included. The paint should also be checked regularly for fading or other deterioration to help keep the color consistent over time.

Paint Fading Over Time and Chalky Color Appearance

No matter what type of material you choose for your roof, paint fading is an issue that will eventually happen over time. The sun’s UV rays can cause the paint to fade and discolor with enough time even if there is UV protection included. Metal roofs are often painted with a high-quality paint which helps reduce this problem but it may still occur after years of being exposed on your roof. To reduce this issue, it’s important to keep the paint clean and inspect it regularly for signs of fading or discoloration.

Environmental Consideration

Metal roofing is considered one of the most environmentally friendly roofing materials available today because its lifespan is often much longer than traditional asphalt shingle roofs, which need to be replaced more frequently. Additionally, metal roofs are made from recycled materials, which is a great way to reduce the environmental impact of roofing materials.

Installation Errors

Metal roofing can be tricky to install and if not done correctly, it can lead to many problems. It’s important to hire a professional roofing contractor who has experience installing metal roofs and understands the nuances of this type of roofing system for your home. A qualified roof contractor should also use high-quality materials and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation.

Most metal roofing systems will have a warranty attached which can last for 20 to over 50 years. However, if the roof was not installed correctly, the manufacturer may void the warranty for your home’s roof.

Oil Canning

The term oil canning is used to describe the wavy appearance of some types of metal roofing after it is installed. It usually occurs when the panels are not installed correctly or when they are unevenly spaced. This issue can be resolved by taking extra care during installation and double-checking that all the panels are properly aligned.

This appearance defect can appear immediately or after months of being installed when the weather changes. This is also why it is so important to have a professionally licensed roof contractor install your metal roof. The thickness of the metal materials will also have an impact on how much canning is on the roof. Lower quality materials are more prone to canning. However, even with thicker materials the installation process should be done to manufacturers specifications.

Metal Roof Problems


Metal roofs are known for their durability, but they can still be susceptible to rust and corrosion if not cared for properly. The best way to protect your metal roof from rust and corrosion is to have it inspected regularly by a qualified professional roofer. Any signs of rust or corrosion should be addressed right away, as this can cause irreparable damage to the roofing system. Sometimes a simple paint pen can remedy are problem area on the roof.

It may not be just rust you have to worry about. Galvanic corrosion and oxidation are also concerns for some roofing materials. Since metal roofing panels can be made of different metal materials such as a steel roof, it may already be impervious to rust but it may still corrode over time.

Large Hail Stones Striking Roof

Although metal roofing is more durable than other types of roofing materials, it can still be damaged by large hail stones impacting the roof. This type of damage is usually caused when the hailstones are larger than two inches in diameter and strike the metal roof with enough force to cause a dent or crack.

While the roof will still protect your home from water from a roof leak even when it is dented, it is usually aesthetic. If a crack develops, then there will likely be a roof leak especially if you have a flat space on the roof after the dent is created.

It’s important to check your metal roof regularly for signs of damage from hail or other impacts. If you notice any dents, cracks, or other signs of damage, contact a qualified roofer for repairs right away.

Roof Penetrations Such as Vents Are More Obvious with Metal Roofing

Metal roofing does have certain advantages such as durability and longevity, but one of the drawbacks is that roof penetrations such as vents, vent pipes, skylights, and chimneys are more noticeable on a metal roof than with other types of roofing materials such as asphalt roofing. Most homes have these penetrations located on the rear of house so they may have less of an impact on your home’s curb appeal, but it does bother some homeowners. Edge guards may also look a bit bulky on smaller homes but again, it is purely aesthetic.

Replacing Shingle Roof with a Metal Roof Problems

If you’re considering replacing your existing asphalt shingle roof with a metal roof, you should know that there are certain issues to be aware of. One major issue is that the weight of the metal roof can be much heavier than the existing shingle roof, so it’s important to check with a qualified metal roofing contractor to make sure your home’s structure is sound enough to support the roofing system.

Determine if Local Building Codes Permit This

Before installing a metal roof over an existing asphalt shingle roof, it is important to check with your local building codes to make sure that this type of roof is allowed and permitted in your area. Depending on the state or county you live in, there may be restrictions on what types of materials can be used for roofing and other construction. Most municipalities limit the number of roof installations on a roof at a maximum of two.

Trapped Water Vapor Could be an Issue

Another potential issue is that the metal roofing could trap water vapor, which can lead to moisture accumulation in the attic which can cause a leaky roof and even mold to grow in your home. Installing a good quality moisture barrier between the metal roof and the existing shingle roof can help reduce this concern.

Manufacturers That Offer Quality Metal Roofing Products

When choosing a metal roof system, it’s important to research the various manufacturers and find one that offers a quality product. Many of the leading metal roofing companies offer warranties on their products and provide installation instructions that can help ensure your metal roof is installed properly and will last for years to come.

Some of these manufacturers are local as well. Contacting a local roofing contractor in your area can help you better understand which is better for your home and climate.

Metal Roof Panels

Types of Metal Roofing

When considering a metal roof, there are different types of metal roofing materials to choose from. The two most popular are screw down metal roofing and standing seam metal roofing. Both have pros and cons but the major difference is how the roof is attached to the home and whether those fasteners are exposed. Here is a bit more detail:

Screw Down Metal Roof

This type of metal roof is attached to the home using screws with washers and neoprene seals. The screw heads are visible and may not be aesthetically pleasing, but they do provide an adequate waterproof seal when properly installed and in most cases are painted the same color as the roofing sheets that are installed.

Standing Seam Metal Roof

This type of metal roof is attached to the home using clips and/or screws with neoprene washers and seals. The fasteners are hidden behind the panels, creating a neat and clean finished look. This type of metal roof offers superior waterproofing and can last up to 30 years or more when properly installed.

Metal Roofing Myths Some Roofing Contractors Would Have You Believe

When you are considering a new metal roof, there are some myths that some contractors would like to have you believe. For instance, some may tell you that metal roofs require more maintenance than other types of roofs. This simply isn’t true. Metal roofs require just as much maintenance as any other type of roofing material and can actually last longer with proper care and maintenance. Here are some myths that you may have heard:

Problems with Wi-Fi and Cell Phone Service

Some contractors may tell you that installing a metal roof can interfere with your home’s Wi-Fi or cell phone signals, but this is simply not true. Modern metal roofs are constructed with materials that do not impede signal strength, making them just as effective at transmitting and receiving signals as traditional asphalt shingle roofs.

Metal Roofing Attracts Lightning

Another myth is that metal roofing attracts lightning, but this is also untrue. Metal roofs are actually no more likely to attract lightning than any other type of roof.

Metal Roofs Are Not Recyclable More Energy-Efficient

This is also false. Metal roofs are made from recycled materials and can be recycled again at the end of their life, making them a very environmentally-friendly choice. They are also more energy-efficient than other types of roofing materials due to their ability to reflect heat away from your home. The energy savings are usually realized for many years as well.

Metal Roofs Produce Lots of Noise During Storms

Some contractors may tell you that metal roofs produce more noise during storms than other types of roofing materials. While it is true that metal does expand and contract with changes in temperature, this expansion and contraction is not significant enough to increase the amount of noise produced during a storm. The sound of rain hitting the metal roof can be noticed but with proper installation and underlayment this is only during very heavy rainfall and extreme weather. And in most cases, simply is easily overlooked as long as protective backside coating is present.


Metal roofing can be a great solution for many homeowners, provided they understand all the facts before making their decision. It is important to research different types of metal roofing and ensure that any contractor you hire has experience installing metal roofs. With proper installation, maintenance, and care, metal roofs can last an incredibly long time while providing superior protection from the elements. Get started today with a free quote from local contractors in your area.

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