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Why Metal? Why Metro? Part 1

This article has been modified from the video dialogue for written clarity only.


Opening Dialogue:
Pete Croft, Metro Roof Products

metro title screenAsk a child to draw a house and she’ll first draw a roof.  The roof is a symbol for home, shelter and safety but of course it is more than just a symbol of that. In a very real way, our day to day well being depends on that big thing over our heads that we call a roof. How many of us know how a roof really works or how to think about replacing one when the time comes?

Pete Croft Image
I’m Pete Croft with Metro Roof Products. At Metro, we’ve been making stone coated steel roof’s since the late 1980’s and we got into this business because we know how to make the world’s best roofing material for a wide range of metal roofing needs.

wildfire imageIf your idea of roofing is an old barn with a rusty top then follow me and I’ll show you how stone coated steel roofing has evolved into the modern, smart roofing material, roofs that save both energy and the environment and roofs that look great while their doing it.

If you live in an area where wild fire, earthquakes, high winds or hail are ever a concern then you’ll also want to know that stone coated steel roofs offer good protection from damage from these threats.

roofing material imageOnce we’ve covered metal, I’ll take a few minutes to explain why Metro is your best choice in a stone coated roof. Our panels look great, they’re super light weight and they’ll give you a life time of service. Because they last so long their also one of the most economical roofs you can buy to protect your home and we back that up with our 50 year warranty and that’s transferrable to anyone you sell your house to over the next 50 years. As we say at Metro, smart roofs for smart people. We’ll hear from some of these people who’ve roofed with Metro to tell you why they're glad they did.

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rain on roof imageYou know sometimes, when I’m with a few mates one of them will ask “Hey Pete, How’s business?” and I’ll reply “ Not bad but our contractors will often tell me they never have any repeat customers.”  (Mates say) “Geez, that’s terrible. What are you doing wrong? (Pete Croft) “No, it’s what we’re doing right. We’re building roofs that last a lifetime.” Follow me and I’ll show you what I’m talking about.

Most people think that a roof only has one job to do; keeping the weather out. That’s a biggy of course and most roofs do a pretty good job of this – for as long as they last. A roof has another big job to do. One that is becoming more important as energy costs rise and that’s to conserve energy in a home.

heat radiating into roof imageIn warm weather, roofs intercept energy from the sun and then depending on the roof’s materials and construction, either re-radiate that energy down into your house or back out into the environment.

Inexpensive asphalt roofs lay flat on the roof's sheathing and when the asphalt heats up under the summer sun, the heat is conducted directly into the sheathing and then it radiates into the attic space.

removable panel imageThe energy in the super hot air, with temperatures as high as 130 F, then continues down into the living space of the home and you either suffer or you pay to cool your home to a livable temperature. Now that’s one of the hidden costs of an inexpensive roof.

Most metal shingles have a panel that lifts the roof off the sheathing , creating an insulating air space. How much difference does that make?

John Adams ImageDialogue: John Adams, Clearwater, Florida, Fire Captain and Metro Roof Owner

The sun hits the shingle and the heat radiates out rather than being absorbed into the attic area. Now I didn’t really think too much about it until the first month after I had the roof installed. I got my electric bill and realized that I’ve got a 26% savings on my electricity; the first month after I installed it.

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Scott Kriner ImageDialogue: Scott Kriner, Technical Director, Metal Construction Association

What we’ve found, in terms of how much heat is blocked by that air gap or that air space, is that there is about a 30% reduction in the heat gain by having the air space so 30% less heat is getting through that roof assembly into the attic or into the home below. That translates into lower energy costs for the electricity to run that air conditioner.

insulating air space
Dialogue: Pete Croft

In winter, your roof is your home’s overcoat. Now you’re trying to keep the heat inside but warm air always rises and the heat in that air tries to escape into the cold outside environment. Asphalt and other roof coverings that don’t have an insulating airspace do very little to stop this transfer of heat.

Bernie Zylstra image Dialogue: Bernie Zylstra, Chippewa Falls, WI, Pastor and Metro Roof Owner

Now we have a thaw and so all of the snow is gone but the snow stays on. You know, in the winter, it just stays on and so that indicates that there’s not much loss of heat.

Dialogue: Pete Croft

Energy savings is one aspect of the home economics of a roof . Another is environmental savings….

Mike Boyd imageDialogue: Mike Boyd, Irvine, California, Architect and Metro Roof Owner

This green movement, I don’t think is a fad and most of my colleagues believe it’s here to stay. I think that we have to do something about the environment and we have to do it now and a lot of the municipalities and people we have to get approvals from are mandating that we achieve certain standards of green and sustainability.

Dialogue: Pete Croft

asphalt shingleThe most common roofing material in North America is asphalt shingles . It’s relatively cheap but it has a short life. It’s made from petroleum and fiberglass and about 10 million tons of it, every year, end up in landfills across the country.

Asphalt roofs come with a wide range of warranty’s but many last only 17 years on average and often shorter than that in areas with very hot or very cold seasons. Some years ago when we weren’t so hip about the environment or so concerned about our dependence of foreign oil, asphalt seemed like an okay choice.

Merideth OsterfeldDialogue: Merideth Osterfeld, Mission Viefo, CA, Metro Roof Owner

I’m not in favor of cluttering the landfill with anymore wood… I don’t care if its wood or whether it’s asphalt or whatever. We don’t need that and you know, in a sense some of this might be a more renewable source when you’re looking at energy savings . Granted it certainly takes energy to make metal  and to make metal roofs but  I’m not using, hopefully not using, as much petroleum.

Red Roofing ImageDialogue: Pete Croft

Now we know that an asphalt roof is not what we’d call environmentally friendly. Stone coated steel roofing on the other hand is very friendly to the environment. It’s made from up to 50% recycled steel. It’s going to stay up on your roof for 50 plus years and when in the far future, it does have to be replaced, it’s 100% recyclable. Environmentally friendly stone coated steel roofing, whatever color you choose, will always be green.

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Ancient Roof ImageAt Metro, when we say our roofs are going to be around for a long time, we mean it and can prove it because metal roofing has been around for a long time from the ancient temples in Jerusalem, to the commercial buildings of old Europe and even Thomas Jefferson’s own home, Monticello, in Virginia. Metal roof’s have always been the choice of people who are after beauty, performance, low maintenance and long term economy

Red Roofing imageLong term economy is another way of saying that a metal roof is the last roof your house will ever need. In our time, metal roofing has evolved to the stone coated roof. The most modern expression of those metal roofs of old. These days, steel is abundant and recyclable. The coatings we use to protect the steel provide long life and excellent corrosion resistance. They also reflect solar energy and offer an unlimited number of colors and shapes. And of course,Wildfire near home image metro panels are shaped in a way that provides an all important energy saving layer of air under the panels. We call that above sheathing ventilation and stone coated steel has other strengths as well.

Here in our part of Southern California, wildfires are a seasonal event. Sometimes they’re  mild and sometimes they’re fierce but as our communities reach further into grasslands and forests that are susceptible to natural wildfires, more and more homes become vulnerable to this kind of destruction.

Mike Hanson imageDialogue: Mike Hanson, Lake Forest, California, Fire Captain and Metro Roof Owner

With brush fires, the roof is very important here in Southern California. It’s probably the main reason they’ve outlawed shake shingles in Southern California. The fire brands that are blowing from the wind will land on your roof, with the shake, they’re going to start that roof up right away. Even with some of the composition roof’s, you can start to melt through the tar paper and get fires there. With the metal, youthe fires not going to get through stuff underneath.

Dialogue: Gene Rosner and Judy Rochelle, Rancho Bernando, California
Metal Roof Owners

(Gene) I actually looked around for two years trying to decide what kind of roof, tile or …. We didn’t know about steel or Gene and Judy Rosner imagemetals when we first started looking for roofs. We decided, what one roofer gave to us, he gave us a little bit off if we wouldn’t be tied down to a date and so we said that’d be fine and so …. It just so happened that he called us and wanted to do it immediately. Luckily, it was a week before the fire and he finished it on Saturday before the fire otherwise we wouldn’t have had our house. But every home that had a shake roof in this complex burned.

(Judy) The firemen won’t even attempt to save it if it has a shake and there is so many  other things burning, they won’t even try.

(Gene) There’s no doubt in my mind and our neighbors, there’s no doubt in their minds that our house was saved and their houses were saved because we changed the roof.

Dialogue: Pete Croft

A metal roof provides enough margin of safety to meet the most stringent building codes in fire-prone areas. Its true, of course, that there are other non flammable roofing materials.

Jeff Foresta imageDialogue: Jeff Foresta, Mission Visio, CA, Technical Writer and Metro Roof Owner

I had leaks in the roof that had to be fixed so the tile had to come off anyway. Living in Southern California, which is very seismically active, probably the most seismically active area in the entire United States, I wanted to think ahead and plan. If I’m going to put a new roof on I want something that would decrease the weight. That was one of my criteria. I calculated that a concrete tile roof was 18,000 pounds. That’s like having 3 Ford Explorers sitting on top of my roof. Now, as a gravity loaded structure that’s fine but I’m thinking earthquake time and I know a lot of damage can occur from having this type of tile roof. So this was one answer right there, about a metal roof that was perfect for me.hurricane

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Dialogue: Pete Croft

High winds can damage roofs in two ways: Parts of roof and sometimes the whole roof will blow off due to poor fastening or the roof will be damaged when it’s struck by flying debris.

Vicki Minnaugh imageDialogue: Vicki Minnaugh, Wellington, Florida, Metro Roof Owner

We were originally told by the authority’s it was going to be a category 1 or less. It was going to lose speed and strength as it came across the Everglades and it got just the opposite. We lost our entire screen enclosure. It just blew to the North . It just fell down.  Most of the roofs , a lot of them, the tiles blew off because back in the 90’s the code didn’t require back nailing and a lot of the cement and the mortar gets loose, turns to sand so once you get wind underneath the tiles, they just peel off just like that.

Dialogue: Pete CroftDouble fasteners image

Why then does a Metro Stone Coated Roof perform well in high winds? Because 2 fasteners are better than one. At each point of fastening along the line where panels overlap, we use two fasteners that form a strong “X” pattern that practically doubles the pull out resistance of systems that are conventionally fastened using battens.

Dialogue: Vicki Minnaugh

It’s screwed in. It’s locked in and they have estimates that say they can withstand winds of up to 150 miles per hour. We did a lot more research about the steel product and decided that that was what we were going to put on our roof.

Dialogue: Pete Croft

There are parts of our country where hail means something very different than pea sized bits of ice bouncing harmlessly off of things.

Dan Henkel imageDialogue: Dan Henkel, New Prague, Minnesota, Metro Roof Owner

I live in a neighborhood of about 500 homes, brand new homes within about 5 years old, of course. Most of them have asphalt shingles on them. What’s funny about asphalt shingles is that when hail hits them, it crushes the matting and shoves the rock into the matting and it actually deteriorates later when the sun hits it. No, you really can’t see it from the ground but when the adjusters get up there on the roof , what they actually do is they take out chalk and mark off a 10x10 section and if it is hit more than 12 times with hail, they’ll actually replace the roof. So they’ve replaced the roofs a couple of times in the last two years on all these houses.

hail stones imageAt my house, I’ve got a Metro Steel Roof and it’s come through really good. In fact, I’ve got some hail stones still in the fridge. Do you want to see them? These hail stones are about ping pong ball size. The other ones were about the size of golf balls. I don’t have them but these are big enough and they can cause a lot of damage. These can actually knock the hide off a cow here in Minnesota. I've seen that happen. Not all the time but it can if there is enough of them. The car got dinged up all the way. We had to turn to the insurance company and my truck got hit too so.

End of Part 1 video. Click here for part 2.

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