Stone Coated Steel Roofing: Suprisingly Quiet, Satisfyingly Safe

traditional barn shed with tin metal roof


When you think of a metal roof, what comes to mind? It’s likely you think about a warehouse or some kind of shed with a corrugated metal roof. Both of these images probably also conjure up thoughts of deafening rain or pinging hail—definitely not the kind of noise you want in your family home, especially if you live in an area where thunderstorms and hail storms are frequent.


It may surprise you to learn that today’s modern stone coated steel roofing is often quieter than a traditional asphalt shingle roof! In fact, when installed properly, a metal roof on your home can actually silence noise from rain, hail, and other inclement weather better than many other roofing materials!


How Can a Metal Roof Be as Quiet as a Traditional Asphalt Roof?

The biggest difference between the metal roofing on sheds or warehouses and the modern steel roofing products used in residential applications is the installation. If you look up in a barn, shed, or warehouse, you can see straight through to the exterior roof. This lack of insulation or underlayment allows the sound to resonate and travel through the interior space of the building.

Installing metal over a solid sheathed roof deck has a damping effect on the sound. When something contacts the roof, the sound vibrations are absorbed into the under layers. In residential applications, metal roofing is installed on a solid plywood deck, just like shingles. All of the additional layers between the metal roof and your living space, including decking underlayment, moisture barriers, attic insulation, and a sheetrock ceiling, also help keep noise to a minimum.

Modern metal roofs are installed in large panels, which overlap each other. Between the panels, a pocket of air is created, which provides an extra layer of insulation that further helps deaden any sound from the elements. Plus, today's steel roofing products are usually enrobed in a thin layer of stone, giving them a beautiful, stylish look and helping to keep them even quieter.


Peace & Quiet + Safe & Secure

While keeping out the noise of Iowa’s impressive storms is a significant benefit, metal roofs are also better at keeping your home safe and secure. In most cases, a metal roof can withstand decades of abuse from extreme weather, including hail, high winds, and heavy snow, with minimal damage. Steel roofing systems can have up to a 150-mph wind rating, meaning they won’t be damaged by sustained high winds or wind gusts equal to an F2 tornado!


Hail Damage

It’s a common belief that hail will damage metal roofs, but this is a misconception. Metal roofs withstand hail better than asphalt shingle or other types of roofs, which are highly susceptible to hail damage. Although extremely large hail has the potential to dent metal roofs during the heaviest storms (and would also significantly damage other types or roofs), even severe hailstorms won’t typically cause damage. Modern metal roof systems typically pass what’s known as “UL 2218 Impact Resistance testing” at the highest, most severe level (Class IV). Metal roofing that is certified in this way is classified as the most impact resistant on the market and may make homeowners eligible for discounts on their insurance premiums. Also, unlike asphalt shingles or other coverings, metal roofing doesn’t lose its impact resistance as it ages. Many steel roof systems also have warranties with hail protection, including coverage for damage to coatings on the surface of the metal.


Lightning Strikes

You may worry that having a metal roof will increase the risk of your house being struck by lightning during a storm, but this is not the case. Lightning strikes the highest point it can reach, which may be your roof if there aren’t trees or power lines near your house. If your metal roof does get struck by lightning, the lightning will disperse through the home’s structure and into the ground, just like it would with any other type of roof. In fact, your metal roof may actually be safer, since metal is non-flammable material! Asphalt shingle roofs are susceptible to harm from lightning and fire because they are made of combustible materials. Because of this, many roofing experts will tell you that metal is actually a preferable roofing material in areas with a lot of lightning and thunderstorm activity. You should also take precautions by installing a lightning rod; this can help avoid damage to your home and electronics in any case. Read our blog post, “What to Do If Your House Gets Struck by Lightning,” to learn more.


Today’s steel roofs, when properly installed, will stay beautiful, quiet, and secure through decades of harsh Iowa weather. Call Hedrick Construction to schedule an inspection and get a free estimate to replace your Ames area roof with stone-coated steel roofing or other quality roofing products. Our roofing professionals can help you decide on the best roofing materials so your home looks (and sounds) great and protects your family for years to come.


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