Selling the benefit of low weight
We have been looking at various key benefits of residential metal roofing and how to properly promote them to homeowners. This issue, I want to discuss a subject which can have a great deal of emotion tied to it but many people do not give it adequate time during the in-home presentation. That is the Low Weight of metal roofing.
Traditional shingle roofs can be the weight equivalent of parking five or six cars on top of a house. A low weight aluminum roof can reduce that down to the weight of half of a Mini Cooper. Especially in areas where snow loads can add even more weight to the roof of a home, this creates an important picture for homeowners. A foot of snow on a roof by itself will weigh about 20 pounds per square foot.
But, low weight roofing also has significant benefit in other areas of the country. In fire-prone areas, tile roofs are often installed for their fire resistance. The downside is the significant weightload created by those products. If a fire originates inside the home, firefighters know that a heavy roof creates a huge cave-in threat. So, they must stay outside and attempt to contain the fire rather than enter the structure and try to extinguish it.
Another major consideration is the need to care for aging structures. As a home ages, structural members can dry out and lose strength. There are many stories, even of very well built old homes, of structural beams cracking under the weightload of layers of old roofing. A metal roof, by reducing the weight on a home, can preserve the life of that home, and prevent future maintenance costs.
Low weight roofing also means that fewer raw materials are going into producing the roof, and that relates to a smaller carbon footprint. And, of course, heavy weight roofing also usually equates to a lot of eventual landfill when the roof wears out and must be removed. The more weight that is involved, too, the more cost and fuel involved for transportation, and more effort must be put into installing the product.
Lower weight roofs help homes to last longer, reduce their environmental impact, provide fire protection, and can even save money. Average weights of various roofing materials per 100 square feet are below:
- Aluminum Shingles 45 pounds
- Aluminum Standing Seam 70 pounds
- Steel Shingles 80 pounds
- Steel Standing Seam 120 – 150 pounds
- Stone-Coated Steel Shingles 125 – 150 pounds
- Asphalt / Fiberglass Shingles 275 – 325 pounds
- Dimensional Shingles 350 – 425 pounds
- Composite Shingles 350 – 450 pounds
- Wood Shingles 300 – 400 pounds
- Wood Shakes 450 – 600 pounds
- Concrete Tile 450 – 700 pounds
- Slate 900 – 1200 pounds
- Clay Tile 900 – 1500 pounds
In addition to the above weights, keep in mind that many roofing materials such as wood and tile will weigh significantly more when they are wet and waterlogged, putting even greater stress on the home.
At one time, the thought may have been that heavier roofing materials last longer – that they degrade more slowly and stay on the roof better. Metal Roofing turns that thought process upside down. Metal offers the most lasting roofing option and, thanks to interlocking panels, it doesn’t need to be hefty in order to be wind resistant.
The low weight of metal roofing is a major benefit for homeowners. Don’t forget to discuss it in your next presentation!
As always, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can ever be of service to you.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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