If it’s time to replace your roof because your current one is old or damaged beyond repair, you are probably considering your options. You may just want to lift your home’s curb appeal. Whatever your situation, a black metal roof is one option to think about.
Replacing a roof is not cheap, and there are a lot of aspects at play; aesthetics, cost, energy efficiency, to name just a few. A black metal roof has both pros and cons. You would also be right to doubt whether it’ll absorb or reflect heat from the sun.
In this article, we answer these doubts, giving you the low down on the key considerations and information for installing a black metal roof, as well as the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.
What Is a Black Metal Roof?
When referring to a black metal roof, we are usually talking about black steel. While other types of metal roofs can be black, they are usually manufactured and later painted and coated. While both are technically black metal roofs, it’s wise to be aware of their different properties. Weather elements may affect some black-painted metal roofs differently than black steel.
Pros of a Black Metal Roof
If you are looking for a sharp, striking look for your home's roof, then black metal is the perfect choice. A black metal roof can boost your home’s curb appeal if it ties in well with the overall look of the home. Its sleek style can add a modern touch to your property.
In summer, a black metal roof can help reflect the sun's heat away from your home. Despite darker colors generally absorbing heat, the metal material will help to keep your home cool. Black may absorb a little more heat than lighter-colored metal, but good roof ventilation should help with this.
Metal roofs are one of the most durable roofing materials available for homes. Metal can withstand harsh weather conditions. They are also resistant to rot and mildew, which helps increase their lifespan.
Metal roofs do not need much maintenance compared to other roofing materials. While metal will withstand harsh weather, asphalt shingles may crack or fall and need fixing or replacing.
Due to the material's durability, a metal roof can last longer without needing to be replaced like other materials. Most metal roofs last an average of anywhere between 40 and 100 years.
In winter, a metal roof can help with passive solar heating. The material can absorb and retain heat from the sun, transferring it inside the home. In summer, it can help reflect the sun’s heat.
Cons of a Black Metal Roof
Cost is one of the major factors homeowners consider when installing a new roof. A black metal roof is not the most affordable roofing material. The average cost to install a metal roof can be anywhere between $6,000 and $76,000, depending on the size of your roof and the type of metal you choose.
Can be noisy in bad weather
Several factors will determine how much noise is made by rain on a metal roof, such as the pitch, design, and interior factors. However, rain is generally noisier on metal than other types of materials.
The color fades
With black being exposed to so much sun, the color will tend to fade over time. A painted black metal roof will fade faster as the pigments in the paint break down. However, UV rays will affect all types of black metal roofs over time. Moisture and temperature will also contribute to the color fading.
Dangerous to maintain
Not as much maintenance is needed for metal roofing. However, when it is time to get up on the roof, metal material can be dangerous. It can be slippery when wet, and walking on the metal could damage it and potentially loosen fastenings.
Energy Efficiency and Thermal Absorption
As mentioned in the pros and cons, black metal roofs both absorb and reflect heat from the sun. So how does this work exactly regarding energy efficiency and thermal absorption? It largely depends on the time of year. Below we explain the difference between the efficiency performance of a black metal roof in winter and summer.
Winter: In winter, a black metal roof absorbs the sun’s rays, heats it, and transfers it inside the home. The warmed air then circulates around the home, helping warm the house during the colder months. The sun's angle is lower at this time of the year, so the roof is more exposed to direct sunlight.
Summer: In contrast to winter, the sun is higher in the sky. Metal roofing helps to reflect a large amount of the sun’s rays meaning the home stays cooler. Lighter-colored metal will work better here, as black and darker colors absorb some heat. Yet a metal roof is usually installed with this in mind and therefore requires a good ventilation system to combat any unwanted heat absorption by allowing it to escape.
So seasonal changes have an effect, but that’s only part of the picture. The position of your home, insulation, windows, shading, and ventilation all play a part in your home's energy efficiency.
How Long Does a Black Metal Roof Last?
Black metal roofs are made usually made of steel and have an average lifespan of around 50 years. As mentioned above in the pros, other metal materials can last between 40 and 100 years. This makes it a great option for homeowners as it means if they need to install a new roof, it’ll probably only be a one-time occurrence in their lifetime. There are ways to ensure your metal roof lasts as long as possible. For example, using sealants to help prevent corrosion, keeping it well-ventilated, and using a high-performance coating to protect it from the elements.
Is a Black Metal Roof Right for You?
If you want to improve the overall look of your home, making it modern, sleek, and stylish, a black metal roof is one of the best roofing options available. It might not work with every home style, but if it does, there are the added benefits of energy efficiency, low maintenance, and durability. These are key aspects to consider when choosing a new roofing material. While metal roofing may not be the most affordable, it is worth weighing up the pros and cons to decide whether it is the right choice.
Written byAdam Graham Construction Industry Analyst
Adam Graham is a construction industry analyst at Fixr.com. He has experience writing about home construction, interior design, and real estate. He communicates with experts and journalists to make sure we provide the most up-to-date and fact-checked information. He has been featured in publications such as Better Homes and Gardens, and written for various outlets including the National Association of Realtors, and Insurance News Net Magazine.