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Uncovering the Truth - Are Metal Roofs Noisy?

Are you considering a metal roof for your home but concerned about the noise during rainstorms? You're not alone. Many people believe that metal roofs are noisy, but is this really true? In this blog post, we will explore the common misconception, "are metal roofs noisy?", compare metal roofs to other roofing materials, and discuss factors affecting noise levels. By the end, you'll have a better understanding of whether a metal roof is the right choice for your home.


Short Summary

  • Modern metal roofing systems are designed to reduce noise levels, debunking the myth that they are noisier than other materials.

  • Factors affecting metal roof noise include material and coating, installation techniques, pitch and design.

  • Regular maintenance is necessary for a quiet metal roof with proper cleaning & debris removal as well as addressing damage & repairs in a timely manner.


Metal roof on a house

Debunking the Myth of Noisy Metal Roofs


Let's begin by addressing the elephant in the room. Are metal roofs really louder during rain than other roofing materials? The short answer is no. In fact, when properly installed, metal roofs can be as quiet as, if not quieter than, other roofing types like asphalt shingle roofs.


So, where did this myth originate, and how have modern metal roofing systems evolved to reduce noise levels? Let's dive deeper.


Origins of the Myth


The misconception of noisy metal roofs likely comes from the image of rain pelting down on tin awnings or aluminum barn roofs with open framing, which indeed can be quite loud.


However, comparing these structures to a modern metal roof installed on a residential home is like comparing apples to oranges.


Research has shown that the difference in noise levels between a metal roof and an asphalt roof is negligible, as most humans cannot discern sounds that are less than 8 decibels apart.


Modern Metal Roofing Systems


Today's metal roofing systems have come a long way in terms of noise reduction. Modern metal roofs are available in a variety of materials and styles, such as standing seam, shake-inspired, tile-inspired, and slate-inspired, and are often installed over some form of insulating underlayment.


This underlayment not only offers an extra layer of insulation, but also helps to absorb sound, making the metal roof as quiet as other roofing materials during rainstorms.


wood fiber insulation boards

Comparing Noise Levels to Other Roofing Materials


When comparing noise levels, a properly installed metal roof registers at approximately 52 dBA during rain, while an asphalt shingle roof measures slightly lower at 46 dBA. However, this difference is barely noticeable to most people.


Furthermore, some metal roofs, such as stone-coated metal roofing, feature layers of natural stone granules that serve as an additional noise barrier. In essence, a well-installed metal roof can be just as quiet as any other roofing material, debunking the myth of noisy metal roofs.


Metal roof with insulation boards

Factors Affecting Metal Roof Noise


Now that we've established that metal roofs can be quiet, it's important to understand the factors that can influence their noise levels. These factors include the type of metal and coating used, the installation techniques employed, and the roof pitch and design.


By considering these aspects, you can ensure that your metal roof remains as quiet and efficient as possible.


Material and Coating


The choice of metal and coating for your roof can play a significant role in sound absorption and noise reduction. Metal roofing materials such as steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc each have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the selection of material depends on your specific requirements.


Additionally, various coatings like paint, elastomeric coatings, or ceramic coatings can be applied to metal roofing, offering different levels of noise reduction depending on the coating's ability to absorb or reflect sound waves.


loud metal roofs

Installation Techniques


Proper installation techniques are crucial for reducing noise levels in metal roofs. This includes the use of edging, metal panels, flashing, and the completion of the roof, as well as the application of waterproof roof caulk and foam closure strips at various metal roofing flashing details.


Ensuring that your metal roof is installed correctly, with the appropriate underlayment and decking, will help minimize noise levels during rainstorms.


Roof Pitch and Design


The slope and design of your roof can also impact the noise created by rain on a metal roof. A steeper pitch allows rain to run off more efficiently, reducing noise levels. Additionally, a curved roof surface can generate less noise compared to a flat surface, as the curved design helps disperse the sound waves created by the rain.


By taking these factors into account during the design and installation process, you can ensure a quieter metal roof.


Standing seam metal roof on a house

Choosing the Right Metal Roof for Your Home


With the myth of noisy metal roofs debunked, it's time to consider which type of metal roof is best suited for your home. There are several options available, each with its own benefits and drawbacks in terms of noise levels, aesthetics, and longevity.


Let's explore some popular metal roofing choices and their impact on noise levels.


Standing Seam vs. Exposed Fastener


There are two primary types of metal roof panels: standing seam and exposed fastener. Standing seam roofs have hidden fasteners, while exposed fastener roofs have visible screws or nails. Exposed fastener roofs are more cost-effective and simpler to install, but standing seam roofs are more durable and visually appealing over time.


When it comes to noise levels, both types can be quiet when properly installed, but standing seam roofs are generally preferred for heated, inhabited spaces due to their durability and appearance.


Stone-Coated Metal Roofing


Another option to consider is stone-coated metal roofing. This type of roofing material consists of steel sheets coated with stone granules, combining the strength of metal with the aesthetic appeal of traditional roofing materials like asphalt shingles, clay tiles, and wood shake.


Stone-coated metal roofing is known for its durability, with a lifespan of 40-70 years, and offers an additional noise barrier due to the stone granules applied to the surface. This option is ideal for those seeking a quieter, more visually pleasing metal roof.


Cost and Longevity Considerations


When choosing a metal roof, it's important to weigh the costs and lifespan of different options against their noise levels and other benefits. Metal roofing can range in price from $1.24 per square foot for basic aluminum to $25 per square foot for higher-end metals, with an average national cost of $14,871 for installation.


While the initial cost may be higher compared to other roofing materials, a metal roof's durability and energy efficiency can make it a cost-effective option in the long run. By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision on the best metal roof for your home.


Metal roof with debris on it

Maintenance and Care for a Quiet Metal Roof


Once you've chosen and installed your metal roof, regular maintenance and care are essential to ensure it remains quiet and efficient. Although metal roofs are known for their durability and long lifespan, they still require some attention to maintain their performance and appearance.


Let's explore some tips on maintaining your metal roof.


Regular Inspections


Routine inspections are crucial for catching potential issues early and preventing costly repairs. It's recommended to inspect your metal roof at least annually or more frequently if exposed to extreme weather conditions.


During an inspection, check for stains, scratches, abrasions, grease, dirt, debris, gaps between roof panels, fasteners not seated, penetrations, flashings, leaks, tears, gouges, punctures, rust, discoloration, loose nails, lifted fasteners, signs of corrosion, finish coming off panels, and improper flashing.


If any issues are identified, take prompt action to address them and avoid further complications.


Cleaning and Debris Removal


Regular cleaning and debris removal are essential for maintaining a quiet and efficient metal roof. Clean your roof annually or when visible buildups of debris, stains, mildew, moss, or mold are present. To clean your metal roof, mix 14 cup of a gentle detergent, such as dish soap or laundry detergent, with a gallon of water and gently scrub the surface. This will help prevent the accumulation of dirt, stains, mildew, moss, and mold that can lead to damage and reduce the lifespan of your metal roof.


Regular cleaning and debris removal are essential for keeping your metal roof in good condition. Taking the time to clean your roof annually or when visible buildups of debris, stains, or debris.


A metal roof with insulation installed to reduce noise, addressing the question 'Are metal roofs noisy?'

Addressing Damage and Repairs


In the event of damage or necessary repairs, it's important to handle them promptly and correctly to keep your metal roof functioning optimally. Repairing a metal roof may involve patching holes or cracks, replacing damaged or missing shingles, and resealing roofing screws.


Use appropriate materials and techniques for a successful repair, and if you're unsure about the process, it's best to consult with a professional rather than attempting a DIY repair.


Summary


In summary, the myth of noisy metal roofs has been debunked. When properly installed, a metal roof can be as quiet as any other roofing material, and advancements in technology and installation methods have greatly improved noise levels. By considering factors such as material, coating, installation techniques, and roof design, you can choose a metal roof that minimizes noise while maximizing benefits. Regular maintenance and care will ensure your metal roof remains quiet and efficient for years to come. So, why not consider a metal roof for your home and enjoy its durability, energy efficiency, and peace of mind during those rainy days?


Frequently Asked Questions


Do metal roofs make a lot of noise when it rains?


Metal roofs can be a great choice for homeowners because they don't typically make much noise when it rains. This is due to the nature of metal roofing materials and the way they are installed, which work together to reduce any loud noises.


Are metal roofs noisy in wind?


In general, metal roofs are no more or less noisy than any other roof type. Heavy winds may cause metal roofs to create more noise due to their lightweight and thin construction. However, the right underlayment can help reduce this noise.


insulated attic airspace

Are metal roofs loud?


Research indicates that metal roofs can be slightly louder than other roof types, but in most cases the difference is barely detectable. The sound of rain on a metal roof installed over open framing, such as on a barn or shed, is around 61 decibels (dBA) compared to 53 dBA for an asphalt shingle roof.


In general, metal roofs are not loud enough to be considered a disturbance.


Metal roof noise when it rains?


Metal roofs can be noisy when it rains, depending on the type of metal. Flat and uncoated sheet metal such as that found on barns and sheds can cause rain to echo and bounce, leading to a louder noise.


However, if a coated and textured metal roof such as stone-coated metal roofing is used, the noise will be absorbed and muffled, providing a more pleasant experience.


Do metal roofs make noise?


Metal roofs generally don't make noise, making them a great option if you're looking for a roofing material that won't be disruptive. In addition to providing protection against noise pollution, metal roofs are also extremely durable and energy efficient.


All in all, metal roofs are an excellent choice for keeping your home quiet.

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