If you're like many people on Vancouver Island, you probably hear the words "metal roof" and immediately think of those old, long-form metal roofs that you see on barns and country houses. If so, you're likely missing out on one of the most stylish – and best-suited – roofing materials for Vancouver Island.
Permanent metal roofs, the most popular type of which is known as Ironwood shake , strike a desirable balance between beauty, durability and affordability.
Permanent metal is the least expensive roofing material that can be accurately said to be, well, permanent. (Pricier options include aluminum, rubber shake and slate). In fact, on Vancouver Island, most permanent metal roofs come with an actual lifetime warranty, plus a workmanship warranty that's twice as long as most others on the market.
Unlike many other roofing warranties, these ones are not pro-rated, which means the warranty on your permanent metal roof will cover the full cost of a new roof as long as it's in effect.
Today's permanent metal roofs add curb appeal and lasting value to any home, and most people would be hard-pressed to distinguish them from the concrete tile roofs that commonly top new homes in affluent neighbourhoods.
Finally, and contrary to what many homeowners assume about metal roofs, rain or hail falling on a permanent metal roof is no louder than on any other roofing material.
When considering a roof for your home on Vancouver Island, you have to consider the unique aspects of our climate. In nearly all areas, permanent metal roofs surpass other roofing materials on the market.
Moss – Vancouver Island gets a lot of rain, fog and generally moist weather. These are perfect conditions for moss and lichens, which can flourish on asphalt, cedar and concrete roofs. Permanent metal, however, is resistant to moss, vermin and decay, and its original beauty lasts without any maintenance.
Storm Protection – Vancouver Island gets some wild weather, especially during the winter. Thanks to their four-way locking system, permanent metal roofs have the highest wind rating of any roofing material on the market and can resist sustained winds of more than 175 km/hr! Also, contrary to popular misconceptions, rain or hail falling on a permanent metal roof is no louder than on any other roofing material.
Fire Resistance – While Vancouver Island winters continue to be wet and dreary, its summers are gradually becoming hotter and dryer, making forest fires a real concern. As seen with recent California wildfires, one ember landing on a flammable roof can be enough to ignite an entire neighbourhood. This is not an issue with permanent metal roofs, which have the highest fire resistance rating of any roofing material.
Environmental Concerns – Vancouver Islanders tend to be an eco-savvy lot, which has perhaps fuelled the growing popularity of permanent metal roofs. Their heat-reflecting properties have earned permanent metal roofs an Energy Star rating, and cuttings from installation are recyclable and therefore don't end up in landfills. Rainwater running off a permanent metal roof is free from toxic heavy metals and hydrocarbons, a concern with asphalt or fiberglass shingle roofs. Finally, since the permanent metal roofs available on Vancouver Island are manufactured in nearby Surrey, fewer emissions are expended on transport.
It appears so.
Although a permanent metal roof costs about 10 per cent more than a high quality cedar roof, that difference is quickly recuperated after only a few years because a permanent metal roof requires no maintenance.
Even concrete tile, which is similarly priced and has several comparable benefits, doesn't measure up. Concrete is much heavier, making it dangerous in an earthquake. It also requires routine maintenance to prevent cracking and pitting and doesn't hold its beauty for nearly as long as permanent metal.
When you consider the money you'll save with a permanent roof versus replacing your roof in anywhere from a few years to a couple of decades (or reducing the sale price of your home to accommodate a new roof for the buyers), that 10 per cent premium looks more and more insignificant.
Environmental benefits further secure permanent metal's spot as the best roofing material for Vancouver Island. Your great-grandchildren will thank you for having one installed. Heck, they'll probably still be living under it!