When I was asked recently whether metal roofs are good in the winter, it turned out that the question arose because of some pre-conception that steel is cold. It made me smile, because every year in the summer I get comments that are nearly opposite and usually take some form of steel is so hot! Without spending too much time on the physics, it’s not untrue to say that both statements are true - given appropriate circumstances.
Hot & Cold
While it’s true that steel can be hot in the summer and cold in the winter, both of these extremes are about exposure and exterior temperature at any given time. An exposed metal roof (steel, aluminum, copper, zinc) that is not absorbing radiation from the sun will be almost exactly the same temperature as the air to which it’s exposed. So if it’s a cold winter day, then the metal roof will be cold too. If it’s a hot summer day, the opposite is true. So, cold or hot are about the conditions and not the roof. If not exposed to another source of heat, then a metal roof will the the same temperature on most roofs as every other roof material. There's nothing particularly cold about them!
Metal Roofing in the Winter
More importantly when it comes to winter performance, metal roofs have the distinct advantage of being waterproof (keep in mind that ocean ships are also built of steel!) and will not absorb moisture than can freeze in cold environments. Metal roofs will also shed snow and “unload” given some sun and the right conditions.
These photos are of our metal shake pattern that is one of the best roofs you can use in the winter. It will never absorb moisture, will shed snow, and the airspace beneath will reduce transfer of heat and cold through the roof assembly. It’s beautiful and permanent, and comes in copper, steel, and aluminum and a rainbow of colors.
If you have a new roof project coming up, it's wort your time to consider metal. And that's especially true if you live in any of the cooler parts of the country. Contact us today.