Archive for the ‘Green News’ Category

Metal Roofing Leads to LEED Rating Energy Savings: Why Choose Aluminum

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Summary: Aluminum metal roofing can boost a building’s LEED® rating significantly, raising the energy efficiency of a home and passing significant savings on to the client.

A recent study conducted by the U.S. Green Building Council suggested that Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certified buildings averaged an ENERGY STAR® score of 89 out of a possible 100. In addition to being more environmentally friendly, LEED® for Homes™ certified buildings save clients money in the long run by boosting the energy efficiency of a home. One such element of a high-scoring building is metal roofing, a durable, customizable building material which has a huge impact on LEED energy savings.

The Benefits of Metal Roofing

It is no secret that architects love metal roofing. Striking to look at, easy to work with, and resistant to harsh weather conditions, roofs constructed from aluminum, zinc, and copper (or a combination thereof) are a popular choice. Resistant to fire and wind damage and practically maintenance-free, homeowners love them too. Recently, metal roofing has gained further praise for its sustainability; the materials are easily recyclable and can be built over the top of existing roofing to reduce waste and disposal costs. Best of all, these building materials are incredibly energy efficient, keeping homes cooler in summer and warmer in winter without excessive gas, oil, or electricity usage.

LEED Platinum rated house

LEED Platinum Award Winning House features a Classic Metal Roofs installation

LEED Energy Savings

The LEED program ranks a building’s sustainability using a point system. A building may be awarded a certified silver, gold, or platinum LEED rating, with corresponding social and economic incentives. By reducing heat transfer and lowering energy expenditures, metal roofing can have an enormous impact on a building’s LEED rating. It has been proven that these types of materials save homeowners up to 70 percent in air conditioning and cooling use, which in turn may make a building eligible for LEED credits and even tax incentives.

LEED Platinum rated house

Award-winning net-zero energy home: Note the nice complementary use of standing seam over the porch with the Oxford slate main roof – energy savings and great looks!

Aluminum vs. Steel: Why Choose Aluminum?

There is a reason airplanes are made with aluminum and not steel. Aluminum skin over aluminum frames is how most aircraft are built. Its light weight and superior strength make it an ideal choice for both airplanes and roofs.

Cheaper than copper and zinc, and incredibly malleable, aluminum roofing is often preferred to steel on account of its superior resistance to corrosion. However, aluminum is also the smart choice for contractors concerned with sustainability and LEED rating. Thin and light, with an impressive strength-to-weight ratio, aluminum roofing stores the least amount of heat of any metal building material. This means that the roof cools quickly once the sunlight fades, leaving the attic space temperate and filtering far less heat to the rest of the home.

With all of this in mind, it is clear that aluminum should be the metal of choice for homeowners and architects looking to maximize energy savings and for a roof that will look great for years.

Painting and Protecting Metal Roofing: Anodized vs. Paint vs. Powder Coating

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Any roof, no matter the product type or color, is only a good one if it is durable and does not leak. Versatile and malleable, aluminum roofing is a wise, cost-effective option for your home. There are three good options for protecting metal roofing. Paint protects surfaces and adds color, but metal roofing is different from other materials. To protect the material from the elements and to visually enhance the result, metal roofing can be anodized, painted with liquid, or powder-coated.


Anodized aluminum roofing has a protective surface coating of aluminum oxide that is applied via an electrochemical process. Because it is durable and weather-resistant, anodizing is a common, effective, and long-lasting protection for applications like standing seam metal roofing. The thicker the anodic coating, the longer it lasts.

Anodized coatings may be dyed almost any color. They will also take on bronze overtones naturally due to a diffraction phenomenon the coating itself produces over time. Anodized metal does not lose its coating, which grows integrally from the base aluminum and thus neither peels nor flakes, permanently sealing the aluminum roofing underneath against the elements.


Painting or powder coating also protects and colors metal roofing. However, these paints and powders should be factory-applied rather than completed DIY. Of the many resin options, PVDF performs exceptionally well on metal roofing in harsh weather environments. PVDF-coated aluminum roofing generally outperforms anodized metal. It is not only resistant to extreme weather, but also to chemicals, UV light, flaking, and chalking. Also contributing to PVDF’s popularity is the nearly limitless range of color possibilities.


Kynar500® and Hylar5000® are the two leading products, virtually identical in all but name. Both yield the same superior-quality finishes; what is more, these products are usually warrantied for 30 years up to five Delta E units, which is the measure of the smallest perceptible color shift.

Powder Coating

Powder coating, on the other hand, is essentially “paint without the solvent.” Powder paints encapsulate pigment inside powdered resins. When composed of the same resins, the powder and liquid versions perform similarly by comparison. Because they are applied electrostatically after the product has been made, these “post-forming” double coatings not only beautify, but they also help correct any potential flaws or fissures in the base protective coating applied by the manufacturer.

A significant environmental benefit accrues due to less air pollution from the oven-curing manufacture process for powder coatings as compared to liquids. Kynar powder coatings are leaders in this innovative product category. When reflective metallic pigments are integrated into Kynar powder coatings, the stunning results are also money-saving. Reflective powder coatings deflect significant UV radiation away from the attic, keeping the house cooler and in turn reducing energy costs. When combined, Kynar paints and powder finishes provide superior color quality and long-lasting protection.

Aluminum Metal Roofs vs. Asphalt Shingles

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

There are many pages and blog posts on this Classic Metal Roofs website which contrast the merits of aluminum metal roofs versus asphalt shingle roofs – to the advantage of the former, of course. We do not claim to be unbiased on this matter! Below we lay out the pros and cons of each in succinct table display form, for those who just like to cut to the bottom line, or for those of you who are just starting to educate themselves on the subject.

aluminum metal roof aluminum metal roof
recyclable aluminumAluminum metal roofs are manufactured with up to 95% recycled post-consumer metals.

landfillThe National Association of Homebuilders Research Center has estimated that somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 BILLION pounds of asphalt shingles are thrown into American landfills every year.

Aluminum roofs when properly installed need no maintenance service. It is a good idea to inspect the roof to make sure that no damage has occurred from falling or blown debris after a significant storm. This is common sense and should be done regardless of your roofing material. Asphalt shingle roofs need to be inspected on a regular basis. Damage can occur on several fronts. It is best to stay ahead of problems in order to minimize the cost of repairs.
reflective metal roof surfaceThere is a reason that aluminum metal roofs are Energy-Star rated: They can keep a house significantly cooler in the summer. Tests have shown 25% savings in cooling costs when a house has an aluminum roof. In the winter, an aluminum roof will keep a house marginally warmer due to the reflectivity back into the house of heat that would otherwise escape.

energy absorbing dark asphalt roofStandard asphalt shingles have no cooling- or heating-related advantages. The opposite is true. One can expect a large heat gain in the summer and no retention of heat in the winter.
Aluminum roofs are made to last. Hurricane-rated wind, ice, snow, hail, and sunshine will not affect a properly installed aluminum metal roof.

Asphalt shingle roofs are effectively manufactured to fail. “Planned obsolescence” is the key concept here. Usually failures are in high wind, and when ice dams form and water infiltrates the home due to the inherently flawed design. Sun causes asphalt shingles to break down and cup. Hail is the number one destroyer of asphalt shingles in the United States.
low stress aluminumDepending on the profile of the roof and the thickness of the aluminum, these roofs typically weigh between 50 and 75 pounds per 100 square feet of coverage. high stress asphaltDepending on the style and manufacturer of the shingles, asphalt roofs weigh between 240 and 400 pounds per 100 square feet of coverage.
Aluminum metal roofs are available in multiple shingle styles including a traditional shingle, a slate, a shake, and a Mediterranean barrel tile design. Standing seam in several widths are also a very popular choice among architects, homeowners, and builders. All are available in many colors.

The product is available in a wide variety of colors and several styles.
long lived aluminumAn aluminum roof can last over 100 years when properly installed. There are aluminum roofs still in service in the U.S. that are well over 100 years old. short lived asphaltAsphalt shingle roofs here in New England last an average of 15-20 years, based in location conditions.
Black streaks are a type of algae that live off the minerals in some types of asphalt shingles. Algae thrives in moist conditions, so it is most commonly found on shaded or noth-facing roof slopes that do not get a lot of direct sun. There is no place for the algae to get a foothold on the aluminum to cause black streaks. Bug infestation is also a non-issue, as there is no place for the bugs to go because the roofs are interlocked together. And, it is impossible for squirrels to chew through a metal roof to gain access. Black streaks are everywhere on asphalt shingles. It is true that algae do not damage roofing, but it certainly looks bad. It attaches to the granules and indentation of the shingle roof. Asphalt shingles overlap each other on the roof, which holds moisture and attracts bugs. Squirrels love asphalt roofs; they can chew right through them and gain access to the house interior.

high ROA aluminumWith all the advantages of aluminum as a roofing material you would expect to pay more. They do have a substantially higher up-front price but the cost of ownership and return on investment over the roof’s lifetime cannot be beat. The long-term cost is very low.

high maintenance cost asphaltIf you want a roof where the up-front price is cheap, then this is the way to go. But high long-term costs are what you get with asphalt, in the form of repair, maintenance, and – ultimately – replacement costs.

Aluminum metal roofing is one of the best home improvement investments you can make to enhance the value of your home. Recent statistics here in New England assert that you can expect to recover 85% or more of your investment when the house is sold. Of course, then there are all the other benefits you reap every year that your house has an aluminum metal roof.

No return on investment, just depreciation of investment. This type of roof is considered a liability and is often a point of negotiation for lowering the offering price at the time the house is resold.
© Classic Metal Roofs, LLC

6 Reasons a Metal Roof Can Increase the Value of Your Home in 2016

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

When considering new roof options for your home, it is easy to disregard metal as a potential material. For many of us, the words “metal roof” prompt mental images of sheds and barns or agricultural storage buildings. However, the metal roofing industry has come a long way in recent years – and the national demand for metal roofs has risen accordingly. Metal roofing options offer numerous benefits that boost the value of your home, making metal roofs worth a second look.

1. Strength

Among roofing material options, metal is an unequaled way to protect your home from severe elements like rain, wind, and hail. Metal roofs are strong enough to walk on without worry – distinct from most asphalt shingle roofs, which would require extra care to keep from damaging the shingles. Home buyers seeking a sturdy source of protection for their home, especially in climates which see severe storms from time to time, will willingly pay extra for the added durability and protection offered by a metal roof. Installation costs may be higher but a metal roof will need fewer repairs and incur lower maintenance expenses over time than a shingle roof. Those lower expected maintenance expenses add to the home’s value.

2. Lifetime Roof

On account of their inherent strength and durability, and thus longevity, metal roofs can significantly raise the value of your home. If properly maintained, a new metal roof can last the lifetime of your home, which means that you – or a prospective buyer – will not have concerns investing in or dealing with the disruption of installing a new roofing system down the line. Many manufacturers offer warranties from 30 to 50 years, in contrast with the average warranties for asphalt shingle roofs, which typically range between 10 and 20 years depending on the climate in your area. (And collecting on such a warranty requires that the installer still be in business and in good financial shape.)

3. Energy Efficient

Metal roofs are very energy efficient, which is one of the driving factors behind the increasing demand for metal roofs. Many people have the preconception that metal soaks up the sun’s rays, potentially overheating the home. In fact, metal roofs reflect light, and thus heat, in the summer and help to insulate a property during the winter, allowing homeowners with metal roofs to save up to 25 percent on heating and cooling costs. Such savings are attractive to environmentally conscious shoppers in the real estate market, and could increase a home’s resale value.

4. Reduced Homeowners Insurance

Thanks to the superior durability and resistance to damage of metal roofs, many homeowners insurance carriers are willing to reduce the premiums they charge for homes with these types of roofs – some by as much as 35 percent. The savings vary depending on the climate. Areas, for example, that experience frequent severe weather tend to offer better savings than is the case for homes situated in milder climates. Check with your insurance agent to obtain details.

5. Curb Appeal

Generally speaking, the metal roofing industry has moved far beyond using simple sheet metal. With a wide range of finishes, colors, and styles, metal roofs can be crafted to match the existing aesthetic of your home or to mimic the classic look of a shingle or shake roof. While you may not initially think of a metal roof as the most attractive option to increase the value of your home, with the wealth of available options you can design a roof that adds distinction to the exterior of your property.

6. Increased Market Demand

The aforementioned benefits and a range of additional advantages have led to the increased demand for metal roofing. Home buyers have shown that they are willing to pay more for homes with this durable and aesthetic option installed. Adding a metal roof to your home can increase your property’s value by one to six percent overall.

With its superior durability, classic appearance, energy efficiency, and more, metal roofing is certainly worth consideration by anyone roofing their home. Knowing that your investment in a metal roof will be reflected in an increase the value of your home when it comes time to sell reflects and enhances those benefits.

Residential Solar Power Economics Are Compelling – With or Without Subsidies

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Almost as inexorable as death and taxes has been a rising secular trend in the demand for electricity in the United States – at the utility companies/wholesale level, that is. Or so we have always thought. Yet, since the summer of 2008 electricity demand as seen by the utilities has marginally declined. That has not happened so consistently for so long since the 1930s Great Depression. What is going on?

The stagnant economy, an aging population, conservation measures, and the initial steps towards rationalizing the nationwide grid into a “Smart Grid” have played roles. The latter initiative will play an important role for years. Contemplate the U.S. grid as a giant electricity generation and distribution plant, and then think of the possible efficiencies enabled by bringing manufacturing standards from the 1960s into the 21st century and you will get some idea of the potential. However, another even more exciting trend driving the decline of electricity demand at the grid level is the plummeting cost of solar power generation.

Those of us who have kept an eye on solar power for decades do a mental double take when informed that at long last solar power is economic versus the cost of buying electricity from your local utility. But it is. It is no longer a niche option suitable for remote locations far from the grid or for early adopters who feel they have the luxury of making an ecological statement independent of of the pecuniary cost/benefit calculus. A recent Deutsche Bank report (link here) surveyed a wide spectrum of developed and developing countries around the world and concluded that in many of them, including in the United States, the cost of solar power is already below the cost of retail electricity and will soon approach wholesale averages for fossil fuels. Solar power’s day in the sun (please forgive the bad pun) is at hand. From the Deutsche Bank report:

“The economics of solar have improved significantly due to the reduction in solar panel costs, financing costs and balance of system costs. Overall solar system costs have declined at ~15% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) over the past 8 years and we expect another 40% cost reduction over the next 4-5 years.”

Note that this conclusion holds for unsubsidized solar power residential, commercial or industrial installations. The various tax credits and other subsidies available to user-level installations in Massachusetts and other states nudge the economics for the homeowner further in the positive direction.

Why are we highlighting this exciting (to us, anyway) news in this blog? We are glad you asked. As has been featured previously on this blog, here, metal roofing plus solar is a “dream team,” for a variety of reasons. Here are the major ones:

(1) Unless you want to have to de- and then reconstruct your solar panel installation before its time, solar-on-asphalt is a manifestly poor idea. Most solar manufacturers have a warranty of 25 years. Asphalt roofs last an average of 16-years, contractor’s claims or nominal promises notwithstanding. Need we say more?

Well … yes, actually. Aluminum roofing outlasts the solar panel system’s expected 25-30 year lifetime. Solar panels can be installed on standing seam metal roofing with attachments that do not penetrate the roof or add ballast.

(2) Asphalt roofs are inherently prone to failure, large and small. (Two words for those who just came through this past coastal New England winter: “ice” and “dam.”) Integrating solar with asphalt will exacerbate that tendency due to the increased load and roofing penetrations. The roofing perforations required for the installation of a solar panel mounting system increase the likelihood of leaks later, ultimately shortening the already short lifespan of the asphalt roof.

(3) As discussed on our “Why use Aluminum in Construction?” web page, here, aluminum roofing has environmentally compelling points in and of itself. Why combine an environmentally friendly power generation source with an environmentally destructive roofing material such as asphalt?

Classic Metal Roofs, LLC has years of experience in the field. Many homeowners disclose in conversation that they are planning on having a metal roof installed and then intend to have solar panels mounted on the roof later. If you do plan to mount solar panels on your metal roof then the metal roofing contractor absolutely must be informed about this. This cannot be overstressed. Metal roofing requires substantially reinforced fastening when solar is in its future. In most, if not all, cases if you already have a metal roof and did not have solar taken into account during installation, your roof may be unable to successfully withstand a subsequently attached set of solar panels.