Your Frequently Asked Questions: Answered by our Metal Roofing Experts
Fiddler’s Roofing takes a leadership role in all industry associations. Our team is known for its experience, knowledge, and willingness to help homeowners no matter what type of roofing product they are considering. You’ve got questions, and we’ve got answers!
Some of our most frequently asked questions follow…but there certainly are more to ask. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, contact us anytime for a prompt, courteous, and knowledgeable answer!
Will a metal roof affect cell phone reception inside of my home?
Chances are that you currently use your cell phone in metal roofed buildings on a regular basis. Think of the restaurants where you eat, the stores in which you shop, your bank, your church, etc. Many of those buildings have metal roofs or metal decks beneath flat roofs. Over the years and tens of thousands of roofs, we have had no more than five people tell us that their metal roof did seem to affect their cell phone reception. If you currently have very, very weak or spotty cell phone reception inside of your home, a metal roof may be the “straw that breaks the camel’s back.” Adding a cell phone signal booster in your house would have been helpful before the metal roof and certainly would be helpful after your metal roof is installed. However, if you have fair to excellent cell phone reception now, the metal roof should not have any noticeable effect.
What will happen to a Metal Roof in a lightning storm?
Lightning occurs from the highest object in an area, regardless of the material from which it is made. Metal roofing does not create nor attract lightning and poses no additional lightning risk to the structures it protects. Refer to this document published by the Metal Construction Association for more information on this subject.
How does hail affect the metal roof?
The heavily-textured beauty of the metal roofing systems we install adds strength and prepares them to take whatever Mother Nature dishes out. Unlike most other roofing materials, metal does not lose impact resistance with age – this is a real bonus over other products which become more susceptible to damage with each passing year.
What about fire?
Metal roofs are non-combustible and provide great protection from external fires. Additionally, the extremely low weight of metal products minimizes any cave-in threat which might occur with an interior house fire.
Can you install attic vents on a metal roof?
For most homes, attic ventilation is critical. It helps avoid unhealthy high moisture levels which can result in condensation and even mold. It helps reduce home heat gain and air conditioning costs in warm weather. So, yes, your metal roof can, and usually should be vented. Also, most commercially available roof and ridge vents can be incorporated into most roof systems as well. Please contact us if you have any questions at all about ventilation or how to make your home more efficient and healthy. When a home is re-roofed, we suggest that all vents be replaced rather than reused.
Is underlayment used beneath a metal roofs?
First of all, most residential roofs require solid decking. Whether the job is over old shingles or directly over wood decking, underlayment should be used. Underlayment is required by the International Building Code and it helps protect the backside of the metal from any rough surfaces below the roofing material. Generally, one layer of synthetic underlayment is used or one layer of 30-pound felt. In certain areas, as required by code, ice and water shield products or fire retardant underlayments will be used.
Can gutters be used with a metal roof?
Yes, gutters can be used with metal roofs. In most cases, our advice is to use a heavy-duty gutter such as a 6” K-Style gutter produced from .032” aluminum.
Additionally, we advise hanging the gutters as high as possible, with an appropriate pitch for drainage. In order to avoid interference with the roof system, gutters should be installed using fascia-mounted brackets. If necessary, the roof system drip edge can be notched to allow for the brackets. The drip edge should always direct water into the gutter.
What is the Metal Construction Association Certified Metal Roofing Panel Program and why is it important?
The Metal Construction Association (MCA) is North America’s leading trade association for metal roofing as well as other exterior metal building products. MCA membership consists of the leading metal roofing manufacturers as well as their coating and metal suppliers. MCA developed the industry’s only Metal Roofing Certification program several years ago as a way for property owners as well as designers, builders, and architects to delineate the difference between quality metal roofs and inferior products. The association had, for several years, noted the influx of “secondary” or “rejected” metal and panels into the market. These products typically have inferior coatings and/or base metals which threaten their long term protection. The products that are Premium Certified by MCA undergo close scrutiny and auditing to ensure they are made of only quality materials that meet the established MCA standards. Our company is one of just five manufacturers currently meeting the requirements of this stringent program and able to sell products as MCA Premium Certified. This allows our customers freedom from worries of receiving a substandard product. Additionally, as part of the MCA program, each roof panel we produce is labeled so that it can be traced back to a raw material run and supplier. We strongly encourage consumers to purchase only products that carry the important MCA certification.
How does a metal roof compare in cost with other roofing materials?
A metal roof is an investment in your home which provides an immediate and ongoing increase in home value. While it has a higher upfront cost, homeowners who plan to remain in their home through at least one more re-roofing cycle (usually 12 – 17 years), will see a significant financial benefit from one of metal roofs that will not have to be replaced during that time or even long after. A metal roof will also save you money on ever-increasing home energy bills as well as costly and messy re-roofing with temporary roofing products.
Is a metal roof environmentally-friendly?
Metal roofs and its long life expectancy guarantees sustainability. Add in energy efficiency and the ability to be installed over most existing roofs (avoiding landfill disposal of old materials) and you have what is likely the most environmentally-friendly roof available to homeowners! In comparison, temporary roofing materials use up precious natural resources and pollute the earth by sitting in landfills.
When it rains, will it sound loud on the metal roof?
The deep-textured folds in our metal shingle products avoid the ‘pinging’ sound you might expect from rain hitting a flatter metal roof. As a result, for normal construction methods, metal roofing does not create any objectionable noise during rainstorms. Attic airspace and ventilation play a role in sound absorption as well. For the rare instance where a home’s construction may make noise a potential concern, some products offer optional foam inserts for use behind their metal shingles for additional sound deadening.
Can we walk on it?
These high-strength metals, combined with deep texturing, don’t lose their strength over time, making the roofs just as resistant to foot traffic and even hail when they are many years old as they are when they are new. Your product representative will be able to give you instructions on how to safely walk on your roof. Optional foam inserts are available for use with some of the shingle products in areas where protection against heavy foot traffic is desired. It is also important to note that the random texture of metal shingles will mask any minor indentations which may occur.
What is the minimum roof pitch on which a metal roof may be installed?
No roof should ever be installed at a pitch lower than that recommended by its manufacturer. Standing seam can be used down to 2:12 roof pitches and even as low as 1.5:12 in situations with short rafters and no water runoff from higher roofs. Most metal shingle products require a 3:12 pitch.
Can skylights be installed with my metal roof?
Yes. Normal types of protrusions through the roof do not pose a problem. They need to be flashed and detailed properly and we have instructions to help installers with that. Skylights must be curbed, not flush-mounted. If there are existing skylights that show deterioration or if the existing skylights are 10 or more years old, we suggest new skylights be installed. Even the best skylights have 20-year warranties. It does not make sense to install a long term roof with a skylight that will soon need to be replaced.
Will dirt collect on a metal roof?
The PVDF coatings used on quality metal roofs consist of a very tight molecular bond that encourages dirt to wash off of the roof. In most environmental conditions, these roofs stay very clean over the long term. However, while these coatings will not support the biological growth that leads to dark streaks and stains on granular surface and shingle roofs, there are certain environmental conditions which can cause dirt to collect on the roof. The worst situations are in areas with surrounding trees, and this is made worse by trees that lose sap which can stick to the roof and then hold dirt or even support biological growth overtime. Additionally, heavy pollen or airborne fungus can land on a roof and stick there. Areas prone to heavy and frequent dew (such as waterfront or near waterfront properties) can also exacerbate this issue by creating a sticky or gummy coating on the roof. We always tell folks to imagine letting your car sit out in the area of your roof and not washing it. The results on it, over time, will be similar to what will happen on your roof. In some cases, folks like this because it helps the roof to take on a more “woodsy” or “natural” appearance. The resulting grime on the roof, while it can be cleaned by scrubbing or light power washing, will not normally be something that damages the integrity of the roof system or its finish.
What is the difference between the metal we provide and purchasing sheets of metal roofing through a national home improvement chain?
We are dedicated to providing the highest quality products and service. We distribute our products through a highly qualified network of independent dealers trained in providing customers top quality service, installation, and peace of mind. The home improvement chains carry a narrower array of often lower-quality products. Homeowners who purchase big box products can be severely disappointed by the lower quality metals, coatings, and product designs they purchased. By choosing metal roofing system from Fiddler’s Roofing, you are assured top-quality products, serviced and installed by the best.
How much longer will a metal roof last in comparison to common roofing like asphalt or wood shingles?
With temporary roofing products, your roof starts to deteriorate the moment it is installed. According to the asphalt roofing industry, the average lifespan of traditional shingles is 12-17 years! Heavily pro-rated or limited warranties on these products bring little or no value to property owners. Wood shingles also deteriorate quickly. Classic Metal Roofing Systems and Tilcor Roofing Systems both carry meaningful long-term warranties on both the base metal and their high-quality coatings. Feel free to call us and discuss the details of our warranty – we believe it is solidly the best in the industry!
Metal roofing seems to have a lot of options; how can I sort my way through everything?
At Fiddler’s Roofing, we pride ourselves on working closely with anyone who is interested in metal roofing. One of the great things about metal roofing is the wide variety of products available. Our knowledgeable Customer Support Specialists and other team members will gladly walk with you through all the different metal options.