Once homeowners notice the deterioration of their current roof, they are faced with the ultimate question of which roofing material is best – steel roof panels, asphalt shingles or something else? An important factor to consider is how long you plan to remain at the property in question. Metal roofing systems are growing in popularity all across Ontario. In present day, metal roofs can be seen on a variety of structures including agricultural farms, commercial units, restaurants and residential properties.
Our company, Camero Corporation, supply and install steel roof panels available in many profiles. The Classic Monterey and Grand Terra profile have an appearance similar to clay tile, but are made out of 26ga galvanized, zinc-coated steel. We use 7 layers of pre-treatment, primer, and special paint to coat all of our metal roofing products. It is important to note that unlike other roofing materials, steel roof panels are non-combustible and will not transfer burning embers in the event of a nearby fire.
It is no secret that clay and concrete tiles are extremely aesthetically pleasing, however, they are more suitable for dry climates like Arizona and California. The very porous material breaks down as water passes and degrades overtime. It also cracks and stains easily, and has an extremely high maintenance cost. In proper climate, the clay tiles only last about 10 years before needing to be replaced. It is important to note that when replacing, there is a huge additional cost to properly dispose of the clay shingles.
In general, you can expect a metal roof to last at least 2 to 3 times longer than an asphalt shingle roof. In fact, the Camero steel roof panels do not fade or chip for 50 years and beyond. The average life span of a asphalt shingle roof is 8-10 years and that lifespan can be shorter depending on the pitch of your roof, the climate in your area, and the quality of the shingles. Since shingles are made of oil immersed paper or fiberglass, they begin to deteriorate once they are exposed to normal weather. On the other hand, steel roof panels will never decompose and will retain their attractive appearance and durability for decades.
Why did shingles produced 30 years ago last almost the life advertised and today, they can fail in a few short years after installation? The first factors is the filler that is used in present day, compared to several decades ago. Since asbestos is harmful and prohibited from modern building projects, shingle companies now use limestone as filler. The second factor is the decrease of oil content in the production of modern asphalt shingles. In the 1980’s, the oil content was nearly 70% and is now 25% in present day. It is important to consider that harmful bacteria called Geoclapsa Magma is mold that can grow on asphalt shingles and feeds of the limestone filling. This type of mold is extremely harmful to the home and people who live there and should be removed immediately. It is also interesting to note that while the oil content of shingles has been decreasing (resulting in shorter life spans), the guaranteed warranty times have been increasing. How is that possible? It seems that competition amongst roofing manufacturers works against homeowners. In order to make their product less expensive, the companies are always trying to find ways to cheapen their products, often at the expense of the homeowner.
Wood and cedar shake roofs are also popular, however they have several drawbacks. First, wood and cedar shake roofs only maintain their pristine appearance for the first year after installation. The colour fades quickly as wood is not the most durable and sustainable material. Moreover, second growth lumber has not proven to last as long as virgin timber did several decades ago. The new wood and cedar shake shingles are subject to mold, rot, warp and split. Not to mention, wood and cedar shake roofs are an extreme fire hazard and can help spread a fire, even if it starts nearby. In fact, some municipalities have outlawed wooden roofs.