Metal roofs, despite their many advantages, have earned a reputation for being excessively noisy when it rains.
This perception may have developed because barns, storage sheds and patio awnings with corrugated metal roofs do tend to be loud during rainstorms. But the type of metal roofing used for homes is a bit different than the kind used on secondary structures.
If fact, when properly installed, rain on a residential steel roof makes about the same amount of noise as it does on any other roofing material.
Decibel Levels Tell the Story of Metal Roof Noise
Sound levels are measured in decibels (dB). Whispering comes in at 30 dB, for example, and normal conversation ranges from 50 to 65 dB. At the higher end of the scale, lawn mowers, blenders and TVs rate between 85 and 90 dB, and high-powered stereo systems can reach 125 dB when you crank them to “11.”
So, how noisy are metal roofs when it rains?
According to a Swedish university study, the sound level of rainfall on metal roofing is actually only 52 dB – no louder than a regular conversation. Asphalt shingles rank only slightly lower, at 46 dB.
Factors Affecting the Sound of Metal Roofing
Why are today’s steel roofs so quiet when it rains, as compared to that barn or patio cover?
Metal roofing on most secondary structures is installed directly over an open frame, with nothing to serve as a noise dampener. That’s why normal rainfall sounds as loud as hail.
A residential steel roof, on the other hand, is installed over solid wood decking with a protective underlayment. In addition, the attic space below is insulated.
The roof deck, underlayment and attic insulation absorb and muffle sounds. And, although the additional layers used in the construction of metal roofing are primarily there for structural and insulation purposes, they also ensure that the sound of the rain is not an issue.
Utah Homeowners Love Metal Roofs
Metal roofing is growing in popularity across the state of Utah, as it offers a host of benefits to homeowners.
With proper professional installation, residential steel roofs can easily last for several decades – up to 50 years or beyond. Other roofing materials, like asphalt shingles or wood shakes, don’t have as long of a lifespan.
Metal roofing is highly durable, as it is resistant to fire, mildew, rotting and insects. The material can survive high winds and is nearly impervious to rain and snow melt. Plus, since it is much lighter than other roofing materials, less structural support is needed.
Homeowners also appreciate the energy savings that metal roofs provide. This roofing material reflects the sun’s heat during the day, which reduces the need for air conditioning.
Today’s metal roofing can mimic the design and style of other types of roofs, including asphalt shingles, wood shakes and clay or cement tiles. The wide range of colors and patterns allows homeowners to achieve whatever look they want, while enjoying the benefits of metal.
The professional roofers at Knockout Roofing offer free consultations and cost estimates. To learn more about the many options for metal roofs, contact our Salt Lake City office today.