The Pros & Cons of A Metal Roof In Portland

Posted By Gabe Callaway

In the past years, the popularity of metal roofing has been steadily increasing in the country. This roofing material boasts low maintenance and a long lifespan, so it’s no wonder why more homeowners are choosing metal for their home roofing needs.

If you’re one of the homeowners planning to invest in installing metal roofs for your Portland home– it would be best to have a solid grasp of all the advantages and disadvantages this entails.

Why Choose Metal Roofing for Your Portland Home?

So, why are more Portland homeowners considering a metal roofing installation? For starters, the material is lightweight and easy to work with. It is also known to reflect daytime heat very well, keeping your home cool during the summer months. A metal roof also creates a beautiful addition to any building style.

If fire protection is essential for you, metal roofing is a great option. It is made from aluminum and steel, making it a modern, energy-efficient roofing material.

Pros of Metal Roofing in Portland

One of the most considerable advantages of a metal roof is its durability, so you can count on it to hold up well against extreme weather conditions. In fact, metal roofs last longer than their asphalt shingle counterparts.

The material is also virtually maintenance-free. If you consider tending to a roof’s regular upkeep a tiring chore, this roofing option is for you.

Here are other benefits to expect when it comes to metal roofing:


Metal roofs are famous for their longevity, with up to 30 years of good use with only minor maintenance. It doesn’t need much upkeep and repairs if you compare it to asphalt shingles. Homeowners who have their metal roofs inspected at least twice a year and follow proper maintenance help prolong their lifespan more than the average. You can count on your Portland metal roof to thrive in snow, rainwater, and windstorms. Additionally, it is resistant to fire, mildew, and insect infestation. 

Eco-friendly and Recyclable

If you want an excellent roofing material for the environment– steel roofing is a great choice. This material won’t break apart like other options, and it can also be recycled at the end of its lifespan. Not to mention, most metal roofs are already made from recycled, reclaimed metal.

Exceptionally Sturdy

You can expect metal roofs to stand up to extreme winds of 140 miles per hour. Because of their innate strength, the metal roofs won’t break, crack, or corrode even with high-speed winds. Since it is highly durable, there’s no need to spend additional cash on professional maintenance or repair services.

Highly Efficient

Metal roofing will protect your home from foreign elements, but it will also help trim your utility bills. The material is known to reflect the sun’s heat, so it will effectively cool your home during the summer months. You will most likely use the AC unit less, saving more energy. In fact, metal roofs can reduce your energy costs by up to 25%.

Less Build-up

Since metal roofs are highly durable, you can expect less accumulation of rain, snow, and other foreign debris. This will effectively prevent water damage, ice dams, and other roofing issues.


Metal roofs are rated with Class A fire rating, making them the most fire-resistant roofing option to consider. Note that metal roofs installed over wooden shingles are likely to have a lower fire rating.


Warranties vary from one manufacturer to another, but most metal roofs and paint finishes generally have a 30-year limited warranty. Most metal roofing products are expected to last between 20 and 50 years.

Lightweight and Easy to install

Metal roofs are remarkably lightweight, especially if compared to tile roofing and other materials. It weighs from 100 to 150 pounds per square, which is a stark comparison to 750 to 1,000 pounds per square of concrete tile. The material comes in 12 to 13-inch panels in multiple-shingle sections. This makes metal roofing quick and easy to install. Homeowners with an existing roofing material may opt to have their new metal roof installed directly over the existing one without removal or additional structural support. Talk to your roofer if the same can be applied to your home.

Cons of Metal Roofing in Portland

Like other roofing options, installing a metal roof in Portland also has considerable drawbacks. Here are some of them for your reference:

Expensive Purchase and Installation: 

Metal roofing is a considerable investment, with the average cost ranging between $170 and $650 per 100 square feet. While it is more costly than other roofing materials, the durability of this roof will save you on maintenance and additional repair costs in the long run.

It Can Be Quite Loud: 

Considering the Pacific Northwest area gets frequent rainfall, expect the rain to tap on your metal roof quite loudly. This can be a matter of preference, though. Some homeowners may find it calming and soothing. But, others can be somewhat disturbed by the sound. Using structural barriers, you may minimize the noise to reduce the noisy drumming effect. Have your contractor apply them over insulation or solid plywood sheathing.

Accessibility Issues (Sliding Snow and Ice): 

Note that walking on your metal roof is challenging during wet weather. If, after some significant time has passed, organic material (moss or algae) managed to thrive on the metal roof– this makes the surface slipperier to walk on. Cleaning off the debris left by a strong storm or maintaining your metal roof during the winter can be risky. We recommend hiring a roofer to tackle the job for you. Given the slick surface of metal roofs, snow and ice may easily slide down and cause damage to the objects (or even injury to the people below). You may opt to install snow and ice guards to counter this problem.

May Dent Easily (Prone to Visible Surface Dents): 

Metal roofs can be easily dented because of their malleable structure. If something with significant weight and velocity hits your metal roof, it may leave a visible dent on the material. This is common with tree limbs, large pine cones, shrubbery, and hailstones. Unfortunately, the visible damage may become permanent.

The Different Types of Metal Roofing Materials

Now, let’s discuss the different types of metal roofing material you can consider for your Portland home. Each material type we’ll discuss below is a specific type of metal.

This gives you several options to choose from as you proceed with your Portland home metal roof installation. Hopefully, this gives you a better idea of the right metal roofing type for your needs.

Aluminum Roofing

Aluminum roofs are one metal roofing type that is lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and suitable for coastal environments. This means it has some of the best attributes a metal roof is known for!

While it is the most lightweight material on the market today, it doesn’t compromise its durability. In fact, the strength-to-weight ratio of aluminum material is remarkably higher than the other metal types. You can count on the same strength (or even more) even if the material is light and easier to work with.

Copper Roofing

While copper roofing is the most expensive metal roofing material on this list, its aesthetic remains unparalleled. Copper roofs are famous for their durability, natural protective layer (that develops over time), and ability to change color.

So if you’re looking for a unique, striking roof that drastically improves the appearance of your Portland home– copper roofing is the best choice. The copper’s color will change over time, from a shade of copper (like a brand new penny) to a blue-green or brown patina. This patina shade will depend on the climate the roof is exposed to.

Tin Roofing

Tin roofs are no longer used today, but we’ll include them in this article for your reference. Nowadays, “tin roofs” usually pertain to either steel or aluminum roofing in today’s terms. Many years ago, tin became a popular roofing material because it is lightweight and easy to install. Its fame started to decline when aluminum soared in popularity– so aluminum became obsolete. It is pretty rare to find a tin roof nowadays.

Zinc Roofing

Similar to copper roofs, zinc roofs are known to be a long-lasting, premium roofing material choice that will develop a patina and ultimately change its color.

Because of its patina, it is widely regarded to have a stunning appearance. Most zinc roofing panels available today are pre-patinated without developing their protective layer to alter their appearance. Note that zinc roofs aren’t trendy in Portland and the rest of the country as they can be rather expensive to install.

Metal or Steel Roof

When one refers to “metal roofing,” it typically refers to steel roofing. Every material we’ve discussed above are metal types, but the most popular of them all would have to be steel roof. Today, a steel roof is considered the most common metal roofing type in Portland, available in different finishes.

Steel is an alloy that is made from iron and several other elements. Though a steel metal roof has been prevalently used for commercial buildings, it has also been used for residential homes in recent years– thanks to its affordability, durability, and low maintenance requirements.


Frequently Asked Questions

Does a metal roof cost more than a typical roof?

Because metal roofing is a premium home product, your new roof will likely cost double or triple the price of an asphalt shingle roof. On the other hand, a metal roof is equivalent in price to tile or cedar shake roofing. You can expect your metal roof to cost less if you already have an existing slate roof.

You will never need to worry about your roof again, no matter what type of metal roofing you choose. Almost every metal roofing comes with a genuine 30 to 50-year warranty. Additionally, it will increase the resale value of your home, reduce the cost of energy bills, and assures you that you will likely never have to re-roof again.

What material options do I have with a metal roof?

There are many metal roofing options available and among them are the three most popular being copper, aluminum, and galvalume steel. Copper may cost a premium, but it makes for a beautiful and long-lasting material for your roof. The most economical is aluminum, but it is also the least rugged.

If you want a robust and rugged roofing material that is more affordable than copper, you should opt for galvalume steel.

Does a metal roof make your house hotter?

It is the other way around. A high-quality metal roof cools down your house because it consists of a reflective coating that bounces the heat from the sun away from your home. They may save your energy bills by up to 20% a year and lower the temperature in your attic. On the other hand, asphalt shingles make your home hotter, especially during summer.

How long will a metal roof last?

With a sound paint/protection system, a metal substrate should last you an entire lifetime. Over time, some metals may require refinishing. Most metal roof problems are caused by poor artistry rather than the product itself.

Are metal roofs environmentally friendly?

Definitely! Metal reflects solar radiation better than other roofing materials, allowing your property to stay cooler in the summer. If you’re looking for more methods to reduce energy consumption, metal roofs make an excellent foundation for solar panel installation. Additionally, metal roofing uses recycled materials to some extent, and the roof itself is nearly 100 percent recyclable. It is considered one of the “greenest” roofs in the market.

What will happen to a metal roof in a lightning storm?

Despite what you’ve seen in the movies, aluminum roofs do not draw lightning. You never have to worry about your house, even in the presence of the fiercest electrical storm.

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