While many homeowners recognize metal roofing (particularly standing seam metal roofing) for its elegance and beauty, there’s more to it than that, particularly for those of us in Lancaster, PA.
Metal roofing is a great choice for Lancaster County homeowners and businesses not just for its looks, but also thanks to it:
- Resilience in high wind, rain, and thunderstorms common during Lancaster springs and summers
- Energy efficiency and cost-savings from its its ability to reflect heat and intense sun during the summer months
- Remarkable durability and ability to withstand our dramatic regional swings in temperature from season to season
Let’s explore each of these characteristics in a little more depth.
How Does Metal Roofing Perform With Wind and Storms?
Lancaster County is known for some pretty gnarly spring and summer storms that land without a moment’s notice. From wind and hail to thunderstorms and torrential downpours, we get some of the worst, rapid summer weather events of the eastern seaboard.
As a professional roofing company, we recognize that metal roofing is an amazingly durable roofing solution for Lancaster’s climate, including resistance to hail, wind, and other severe weather events.
Because of its few seams and fasteners, it may even be the best roofing material for extreme weather events.
Metal roofing is rated for 100-174 mph wind (!), which we rarely see in this area but speaks to the incredible strength associated with this building material and installation technique. Made of a series of metal strips that generally run the height of the roof, metal roofing’s wind advantages begin with its simplicity: unlike shingles, which are made up of hundreds of smaller overlapping lengths, metal roofing just doesn’t have a lot of “seams” for wind to catch.
And because metal roofing is made of 24 or 26-gauge metal, it’s heavy enough to resist wind “catching” at the edges.
If you’ve found asphalt shingles in your yard after a windstorm, you know exactly what we’re talking about.
Traditional asphalt shingles, while still a great roofing material, can let loose during high winds, requiring repairs and patching to return to their watertight state.
Wind damage is extremely rare for metal roofing in Lancaster. And, while large hail might occasionally dent or dimple a metal roof, it won’t rip off segments (like shingles) as it passes.
In fact, many metal roofs have a Class 4 Impact Rating, the highest available for a metal roofing panel. This rating is achieved by testing the panel’s performance when a 1.25 – 2 inch steel ball is dropped from a height of 12 feet above the panel. A Class 4 rating means the panel did not crack when struck twice in the same location by the steel ball.
This kind of wind-busting and hail-busting strength means less expense on repair and replacement over the lifetime of the roof.
Metal Roofing Can Lower Summer Utility Bills In Lancaster County’s Climate
Did you know that most of the heat exchange in your home happens in the attic and at the roof? As much as 60% of your home’s energy exchange happens “out the top!” Can metal roofing help reduce utility costs?
Metal roofing has the unique characteristic of being able to reflect much of the heat and baking sunlight that bears down on your home through the summer months. Unlike a black asphalt roof, which absorbs heat and contributes to a hotter attic space, a light-colored metal roof will reflect heat away, particularly in Lancaster’s hot summers.
That can reduce cooling costs in the summer months when you’re running your air conditioner or fans, cutting down on how much energy you need to cool your home, and ultimately reducing your utility bills.
But what about frigid winter months? Is there anything to know about metal roofing in the cold?
Standing Seam Metal Roofing Wins Out In Durability and Structural Resilience
Metal roofing also performs well in cold, ice and snow thanks to a reduced likelihood of “ice creep” as well as the ability to quickly whisk ice and snow off of the roof.
To understand this, it can be helpful to picture a traditional asphalt roof: slightly rough, with overlapping lengths every 12-24 inches. At low angles, ice and snow that “sit” on the roof after a big storm can actually seep up and under the asphalt shingle edge. During the warm daylight hours, the bottommost layer of snow melts, and when night and darkness descend, it refreezes. This leads to a cycle of freezing, expanding, melting, then freezing and expanding once again.
This repeat process over many years can contribute to roof leaks, holes, and blemishes forming in the soft asphalt material. Water can find nail holes (of which there are many in asphalt roofs) and ultimately creep into the home, where it can cause greater damage.
Metal roofing simply doesn’t have this problem. That’s partly thanks to fewer seams in the construction, but it’s also because bulk snow and ice tend to slide right off of the roof during the daylight hours!
On top of that, metal roofing is just plain durable. Metal roofs by Mountaintop Construction carry a 30-40 year paint warranty (that’s just on the paint!), and metal roofing is known to last for 40 to 60 years, and longer, thanks to its very makeup: it is heavy duty steel after all.
Finally, it’s worth noting that standing seam metal roofs have even greater longevity than alternatives thanks to hidden fasteners that attach beneath the metal roof, allowing for much greater “flex” in the roofing material overhead. As hot and cold weather causes the metal to expand and contract ever so slightly, these clips act as a buffer between the metal and the roof’s substructure, reducing the risk of screws slowly wiggling or creating tiny breaks in the waterproof barrier.
Metal roofing will ultimately require fewer repairs and last far longer than asphalt, meaning the higher upfront cost can pay for itself if you’re in your home long enough.
So, Why is Metal Roofing a Good Choice for Lancaster’s Climate?
Metal roofing is truly perfect for Central Pennsylvania, which is exposed to both hot summers and cold, bitter winters.
- It holds up well over decades of wear-and-tear (for as long as you’ll own the home!)
- Can reflect heat during hot summer months to reduce utility bills
- Is incredibly durable, standing up to weather events that might affect less sturdy materials
- Has unique fasteners in the case of standing seam metal roofs that further improve upon its longevity and resiliency
While we love the simplicity and affordability of asphalt shingles, and our team believes strongly in the power of a well-installed shingle roof, metal roofing truly shines for discerning homeowners looking for a generational solution.