Installing a Metal Roof Over Shingles

If you currently have shingles on the roof of your home but are interested in the durability and longevity offered by metal roofing materials, you're in luck. You may not need to remove your current roof to install a metal roof over your shingles. Learn about the advantages and installation requirements for metal roofs as well as ways to ensure that your new roof is properly installed. Regular maintenance can keep your roof in good condition for decades to come.  As always, our professional roofing contractors are available to provide you with a free quote.

Advantages of Metal Roofing

There are many types of metal roofing materials, ranging from aluminum and copper to corrugated, steel and tin. These metals vary in appearance and strength. You may also be able to find affordable options such as steel and aluminum shingle roofing or stone-coated tiles or shingles. A copper zinc alloy can be more durable than a plain copper roof. In addition to choosing the type of metal for a roofing application, you should also consider the style of roofing materials. Metal roofing is available as panels or shingles.

Beyond the qualities of these different metal roofing materials, all metal roofs have several advantages over other materials, such as asphalt shingles. This type of roofing has several properties that are worth considering:

  • Superior durability and longevity
  • Faster installation
  • Resistance to insects
  • Less flammability
  • No rotting

Proper installation and regular maintenance can all but eliminate the threat of leaks during storms. These roofs are still less common than conventional roofing materials. About 15% of new roofs are made of metal. As a result, a few common misconceptions persist with regard to the risk of lightning strikes and noise caused by rain.

Having a roof made of metal does not increase the risk that lightning will strike your home. This independent structural component does not provide a convenient path toward the ground such as that which may be found in electrical wiring or plumbing systems. If a direct strike does occur, metal roofing is much less combustible than conventional shingles or other roofing materials.

Metal roofing is also not louder than other roof types during storms. When metal roofs have been properly installed on top of a solid substrate, this material is as quiet as other leading roofing materials. Taken together, metal roofing materials are longer lasting and easier to install, with proper training, than shingles.

Metal roofing relies on different materials and tools than conventional roofing jobs, particularly when installing sheet metal. It is important to have qualified roofing professionals do the installation for you. Some residential roofing contractors may hold certifications from metal roofing material manufacturers or distributors. In addition to trained roofers, you may also want to seek out contractors and installers with a track record of satisfied customers.

Metal Roofing Over Shingles

It is possible to install metal roofing over shingles. Although removing existing shingles allows for a more complete roofing installation, you may be able to save money and time by leaving your existing roof on. Building codes are the major obstacles to installing metal roofs over shingles. In some regions, these codes require that old roofing materials be completely removed prior to the installation of a new roof.

Preventative measures may be necessary to keep water vapor from becoming trapped between an old shingle roof and a new roof made of metal. Ask contractors or roofing installers during the quote process about whether installing over shingles should have built-in air pockets or other ventilation features to prevent excessive moisture from causing structural issues.

Maintaining Metal Roofing

Metal roofs may last longer than 30 years, which is the longest warranty available for asphalt shingles. The average duration of this roofing material is 40 to 70 years. When you are calculating your roof cost, be sure to factor in the fact that the cost of installing one roof made of metal may offset two to four re-roofing jobs with asphalt shingles or conventional roofing materials.

The cost of installing metal roofs varies depending on the size and design of your home, whether the existing roof must be torn out and replaced or the new roof can be installed over existing shingles, and the type of metal you choose. As a general rule, pricing ranges between about $5.50 and $12 per square foot, with metal shingles being at the lower end and standing seam metal at the upper end of this price range.

Depending on the metal and material you choose, the initial cost of the roof installation may be higher than other types of roofing. Regardless of whether you select an affordable option such as aluminum or corrugated steel or more expensive options such as metal shingles or alloys, the durability and longevity of metal roofing make any of these materials preferable to most other roofing options.

Depending on the type of metal and the quality of the installation, occasional repairs may be necessary to maintain the appearance and watertight seal of your roof. This is particularly the case if you select a material such as steel that may corrode as the finish wears down. You should also consider the frequency with which large hail falls in your region when considering whether to get a roof made of metal.

Hail is one of the few weather conditions that can actually dent and damage metal roofs, particularly if hailstones are the size of a golf ball or larger. A different type of metal, such as steel, may withstand this impact better than an aluminum or copper roof. Shingle roofs can also be damaged by hail and may suffer more damage from other conditions, such as high winds.

Get the Job Done Right

If you think that metal roofing might be the right choice for your home, you should look for a roofing contractor and installers that specialize in working with these materials. You may want to ask professionals whether they hold any certifications from leading metal roofing manufacturers or distributors. It is also a good idea to check out portfolios of similar roofing jobs and ask whether you can contact any previous customers to see whether they are satisfied with the quality of the roof.

When checking references or testimonials from roofing contractors, it is a good idea to contact a range of customers. You may get insights on the installation process from customers who have recently had their homes re-roofed and a more general overview of the quality of roofing work from homeowners who have had theirs for years. This step can help you learn what to expect in terms of material selection, installation, maintenance and overall longevity of this type of roofing material in your region. can help you find skilled and qualified contractors to install your roof. We make it easy to find the highest-rated roofing contractors in your local area and determine their availability and level of experience. A roof made of metal is an investment in the future of your home and should be installed properly. Skilled professionals can help you avoid moisture issues that may occur when a new roof is installed over shingles. These experts can also help you determine whether building codes in your region require that existing roofing materials be removed prior to the installation of a new metal roof.

Many people will make additional updates to their home at the same time as a roofing material change.  The most popular update is to hire a painting professional to paint the exterior of their home.  Many customers will also seek out a free estimate from a landscaper since your home will be getting noticed more.

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