Does a Metal Roof Make Your House Hotter?

Published July 20th, 2022 in Blog
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Common questions around metal roofs and heat.

  • Do metal roofs keep the house cooler?
  • Do metal roofs attract more heat?
  • Does a metal roof keep the house warmer in winter?
  • Do black metal roofs make houses hotter?

black metal roof | Cenvar Roofing

Get to the answer: Do metal roofs make houses hotter?

Research shows that metal does not make your house hotter.

A quick google query will show the top results, all agreeing with each other that metal roofs do not make your home hotter.

Metal is better, however, at reflecting heat than shingle roofs.

In another Cenvar Roofing blog post about metal roofing colors, we shared that “metal roofs have highly reflective properties in the materials which reflect the sun’s rays.”

So metal roofs overall don’t’ make your home hotter.

Roofing ventilation helps cool the home down.

There are two main types of metal roofing ventilation: Ridge vents and gable vents.

metal roof with gable vents | Cenvar Roofing

Adequate roof ventilation places a large part in how your roof and your home retain and get rid of heat.

If the roof is poorly constructed, any roofing material will cause your home to be hotter.

Check out this blog on the same topic of metal roofing and heat and how material and construction play into the heat factor.

Don’t metal roofs absorb heat?

Metal roofs in direct sunlight will absorb heat, but the same is true of asphalt shingles.

It comes down to the weight of the roofing material and how fast the roofing material will cool off.

Heavier roofing materials like slate or asphalt shingles will retain heat longer, making the cool-down process longer.

So, are dark metal roofs hotter?

It’s’ commonly known that darker metal absorbs heat faster, and lighter/pale colors help reflect heat better.

While metal is better at reflecting the sun’s heat than asphalt shingles are, black metal will absorb more heat than white metal would.

We offer at least sixteen primary metal roofing colors. The light colors would reflect the sun’s rays better than the darker ones.

Check out this new construction light-colored metal roof in Charlottesville, VA.

light colored metal roof | Cenvar Roofing

Lighter colored metal from Cenvar Roofing

  • Polar White
  • Light Stone
  • Old Town Gray
  • Ash Gray
  • Saddle Tan
  • Hawaiian Blue

Darker-colored metal

  • Rustic Red
  • Crimson Red
  • Charcoal
  • Cocoa Brown
  • Gallery Blue
  • Evergreen
  • Black
  • Burnished Slate
  • Berry
  • Ivy Green

screenshot of Cenvar Roofing's Metal Colors

Metal roofing myths

A common myth about metal roofing is that metal is hotter in the winter. You can find other myths about metal roofing in this blog post.

What about in the winter?

It stands to reason that if a metal roof can keep your home cooler in the summer, it would also keep it cooler in the winter.

This gets into the thermal mass of metal.

What is thermal mass?

According to Wikipedia,

Thermal Mass: “thermal mass is a property of the mass of a building which enables it to store heat, providing “inertia” against temperature fluctuations.”

Metal materials have a low thermal mass, meaning that metal roofing materials do not hold heat or cold very well.

If you’re’ worried about retaining heat or cold, the better topic would be insulation.

Another reason could be that holes or gaps in the windows allow air to sneak into the home. Weatherstripping the home can help in this area.

Do metal roofs keep your home cooler?

They can. But, generally, no.

Roofs are not made for keeping your home warm or cold. They’re’ made to keep the weather out of your home. The first line of defense against the weather!

Air leaks and poor insulation could be why your home is hot during the summer, even when the AC is running.

Having a home with mature trees to provide shade will significantly help prevent the house from becoming so hot. This could provide issues with branches and debris falling on the roof, but that could have a simple remedy: cutting off branches that overhang the roof.

Generally, the roof itself isn’t’ a significant factor in why your home becomes hot. Insulation and ventilation can become significant factors if you want to cool the house down when your air conditioning is running correctly.

A simple attic inspection from a professional HVAC company or roofing company should be able to tell you if your attic is adequately vented.

If your attic doesn’t have proper ventilation, then heat could be trapped in your home, causing the heat to rise, leaving you to think that the roof is absorbing and retaining heat when it’s’ not.

Now, there are specific types of metal roofs that are specifically made to keep your home cool.

Screen shot of Cool Roof benefits from epa.gov

Cool roofs. Learn more about cool roofs from Energy.gov.

But the general metal roof would not produce a significant result in keeping your home cooler.

Conclusion

If you want to focus on getting the most energy-efficient roof for your home, you’ll want to keep these four items in mind.

  1. Roofing materials used
  2. Roofing technology used
  3. The color of the roof
  4. Roof construction and ventilation

Asphalt shingles do reflect heat, but metal is better at it.

A cool roof is an aspect of roofing technology that you’ll’ pay more upfront for but could return the investment.

The lighter the color, the better off you’ll’ be at absorbing less heat. If you want more heat in colder climates, go for a darker-colored roof.

If your roof is poorly built and vented, you’ll’ experience more issues than your home becoming hot in the summer. Get a roof inspection and see what condition your roof is in.