Metal roofing grabs 10% market share — and climbing

Recent surveys show metal roofing continues to gain market share in residential remodeling. The metal roofing market is strongest in the Southeast, accounting for some 14 percent of re-roofing jobs. Recently released results from McGraw-Hill Construction and Analytics as well as figures from the Metal Roof Alliance (MRA) show metal roofs accounted for nearly 10 percent of the replacement roof m...

July 31, 2009
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Skylights and metal roofs

Recent surveys show metal roofing continues to gain market share in residential remodeling. The metal roofing market is strongest in the Southeast, accounting for some 14 percent of re-roofing jobs.

 

 Although paint or coating can wear out over time, the MRA notes a properly installed metal roof can long outlast the paint applied to it.

Recently released results from McGraw-Hill Construction and Analytics as well as figures from the Metal Roof Alliance (MRA) show metal roofs accounted for nearly 10 percent of the replacement roof market in 2008. The McGraw-Hill survey predicts demand for metal roofing will increase to 1.4 million squares (a square is counted as 100 square feet of roofing area) for new construction by the end of 2009 and 13.4 million squares for repair and remodeling.

Todd Miller, board member and co-founder of the MRA, says 7 million homeowners will look to replace their roof each year, and many need energy-saving options. “Five years ago, you’d speak to your customers, and 70 percent of the homeowners out there thought they’d be moving within five years. People are less transient now. That, of course, will herald a huge boom for us,” says Miller.

The Trend Watch

Miller says his clients see the roof as an extension of the home’s design. But according to the MRA, design isn’t the only concern; 61 percent of homeowners reported choosing metal roofing for its longevity, while 16 percent cited strength and protection. Style popularity is regional. The Southeast, with its high winds, and the West, with its more rustic home designs, are highest in market penetration. The Southeast uses the most metal roofing, with about 14 percent of the market; the Northeast about 8 percent; and the Midwest lags behind.

Metal Misconceptions

The biggest problem with metal roofing’s slow growth in the market, according to the MRA, is that people are unaware of its durability and forget they can be recycled. Metal roofs once had a bad reputation for unattractive colors and a metallic look, but today’s offerings include colors, finishes and profiles to match contemporary homes.

The best way to persuade people to think about metal roofing, says Bill Kirn, RRC, technical director and key accounts manager for the National Coatings Corporation (NCC), is to run the numbers. The NCC, Kirn says, began a “Cool Block Study” pilot program in 2000 to investigate metal roofs and roof coatings as a means of reducing energy costs and providing passive cooling to row homes. Results of energy monitoring as well as roof and interior temperatures proved that cool-roof technology significantly reduced roof and attic temperatures and could reduce overall energy costs to residents.

 

Skylights and metal roofs

Skylights are a potential weak spot for energy efficiency in a metal or cool roof system. That’s why each roofing application should weigh the benefits of daylighting via skylights versus the negative impact on a cool roof’s performance. If the skylights are a go, it’s important to choose the right type.

“If skylights will be part of a metal cool-roof system, choosing the right heat-reflective glass is vital as well as is choosing skylight framing material. For daylighting to be effective, you need to maximize visible light transmission while maximizing solar heat reflection,” says John Miller of Heat Mirror. Equally important, says Miller, typical Low-E glass skylights can lose up to 30 percent of their ability to insulate against heat transfer. At night and in the winter, this means heat in a home is going out the skylight much more than through the same glass in a vertical window. From a cool-roof perspective, in the daytime, because a skylight acts as a solar collector, heat is moving through that glass in the skylight more quickly than in a vertical window.

When it comes to a cool roof, you need to worry not only about directly reflecting solar radiation, but you must reduce heat transfer via convection and conduction as well.

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