The Roofing Resource Blog

Indiana Metal Roofing Myths!

Thu, Mar 6, 2014 @ 05:19 PM | Exterior Pro Roofing

Metal roofing has grown in popularity in Indiana over the last several years and for good reason, metal roofs look great, and can last a very long time when the right type of metal is installed correctly. But there are many misconceptions in the hoosier state regarding metal roofs, here are the top 4 we see.  

 Myth1:  Metal roofs cost less than shingle roofs

metal roof

This is simply not the case when you do as we like to say in Indiana an “ apples to apples” cost comparison. Even the least expensive metal roofing material on the Indiana market, which is a 29 gauge, exposed fastener, agricultural panel, is as expensive as the material that goes into an asphalt shingle roof. And a standing seam metal roof averages 2 1/2 - 3 times more than what a shingle roof cost to install. 

Why all the confusion regarding price? 

Because metal roofing material and asphalt shingle roofing materials are sold in different ways. In order to correctly compare material cost you have to either know how to do the appropriate math equations or figure the entire job both ways and not leave out any necessary components or accessories that accompany the metal or shingle roof. 

Where most people go wrong is that they look at the basic metal roofing panel price and compare it with the basic asphalt shingle price, however they don’t consider the cost of the accessories involved. Often times the metal panel is used as a lose leader or a product that the vender knows is easy to compare so they mark it down to make it look more attractive compared to shingles. Then they make up for the low price on the accessories like screws, clips, valley trim, rake trim, ridge cap, and butyl tape  needed to install the metal roof.


Myth 2: Metal roofs last forever

It’s true a properly installed standing seam metal roof can last for a very long and provide a home or building with a water tight roofing for 35- 50 years but nothing last forever. Agricultural metal or pole barn metal as it’s called in Indiana, will only last as long as the rubber washer on the screw that holds it down will last. The intense weather and large temperature swings between winter and summer in Indiana usually cause these rubber washers to begin to split, crack, and degrade somewhere between year 8 and 15. At which point the building owner has to decide whether to replace all the screws in the roof with longer and thicker screw or apply caulking to every screw head to seal them up. 

Myth 3: Pole barnmetal or agricultural metal works just as good on a home 

There are many reason why this is not the case. There are an average of 70 exposed screws per each square of pole barn metal roofing. On a average sized single story ranch home in indiana of lets say 30 sq. that’s 2,100 potential leaks.

When agricultural metal is installed on a pole barn the screws are installed into 2 x 4 perlings or runners. On a home the screws are only going into plywood or OSB board of 7/16 or 1/2 at best.  The screw doesn’t have the same pull out strength in plywood or OSB as it does in an 1 1/2 thick 2 x 4  and as a result the metal will loosen over time. 

Pole barn metal does not have to same ability to hem or interlock to other components like standing seam metal roofs do in order to create a water tight seal. Pole barn metal roofs are very weak around chimneys, skylights, pitch changes, and on top of dormers and rely on caulking to stay dry in these transition areas rather than a sound roofing detail.  

metal roof screw pic

Myth 4: People in Indiana love the sound of rain on a tin roof 

I hate to rain on your parade but you most likely won’t be able to hear the rain on your metal roof. Between you and the roof is a layer of drywall, ceiling joist, insulation, plywood or OSB board, and underlayment. The sound of falling rain rarely makes it through to the conditioned side of a home. 

Avoid misconceptions about metal roofing and have a metal roof installed on you home or building for the right reasons. Understanding the level of craftsmanship and skill that goes into a metal roof installation will help you value the purchase even if it’s not the cheapest option on the indiana roofing market. 


Topics: Roof Repairs, Commercial Roof