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Is a Metal Roof Loud When It Rains?

May 15, 2020
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When approached by potential clients in the Brooklyn area over roofing options there is one commonality that always comes up when the option of metal roofing comes up. That is “aren’t metal roofs loud?” This question is based on a few misconceptions and misunderstandings.  The reality is that in most situations metal roofs are not loud, at least not any louder than any other roofing material. There are certain practical measures that an experienced roofing company will always take to ensure roofs, especially metal roofs, are properly insulated, therefore minimizing any concern for unpleasant noise levels.

“Traditional” metal roofing

 Metal roofing has been traditionally used for many years in the construction of barns and warehouses. This is done for some of the same reasons which metal roofing is now used in housing, It doesn't rot or have termites, and will last a long time, 20 years or more than other roofing types. The issue is that people generally don't live in garages or warehouses, so there was no concern for insulation, reinforcement. It was simply a roofing solution to protect the interior from the outside elements. In these cases, yes, metal roofing is loud,  Studies were performed in Sweden on the matter and they found in a significant storm with high winds and heavy rain the noise levels are comparable to running a blender. This happens because the thin level sheets being used have no way to absorb the sound vibrations hitting against the outside. So the reverberations pass right through the metal, intensifying and have an echoing effect within the facility.

A second equally important misconception is that when it rains, that metal roofs leak more. The same logic is applied in this scenario, that the standards for an outdoor barn or garage and home are very different. If you currently have any leaks from a  metal roof it is far more likely to be caused by a roofing contractor's workmanship and not the material itself. In fact, they should be less likely to leak because the metal sheets are large with fewer seams in comparison to other roofing styles like shingles.

Metal roofing for homes

For metal roofing on homes, the reality and standards are much different. Similar to other roofing techniques with metal roofs there is still a decking, insulation  and underlayment. There are plenty of options for what these layers will be made from but plywood can be used for the deck, and there are foam insulators or mats which can be used between layers. Actually what many families choose to do if they have a pitched roof is to lay the metal down over the existing roof, which would actually reduce noise even more. The same study done in Sweden found that metal roofs on homes are equal to other roofing materials in rain and wind storms.

Quick tips for a metal roof installation:

When a metal roof is being installed there are certain variables that can increase or decrease the noise levels and quality of the roof:

  1. Using an experienced roofing company
  2. High-quality underlayments ( for examples waterproof mats)
  3. Proper insulation (from the start in order to save time and money)



If you are interested in learning more about metal roofs contact NY Roofing: (646)-838-0441  or visit our office: 553 Prospect Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11215

Royal Renovators Inc is Fully Licensed and Insured, with Offices Throughout the NYC Area.
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553 Prospect Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11215

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