Call 503-393-3185

Are Metal Roofs An Environmentally Friendly Option?

Installing metal roofing on a brand new house

Metal roofs have more than tripled in popularity in recent years because of their durability, energy efficiency, and environmental performance. A properly installed metal roof can last 40 years or more, with minimal maintenance. Compared to asphalt shingles, the following features make them a more environmentally friendly choice.

Cooling and Heating Costs are Reduced

Even though a metal roof is more expensive to install, these costs can be offset by the savings in monthly heating and cooling bills.

Though the roofing material itself is low in insulation R-value, metal roofing can be applied over rigid-foam insulation to increase the R-values. Also, many roofing systems utilize a dead-air space between the metal and the roof deck for greater energy efficiency. Having an air gap helps prevent heat transfer out of the home in the winter. In the summer, an air gap helps prevent the sun’s heat from warming the rest of the house.

Cool Metal Roofing is Energy Efficient

Metal roofing is available in many finishes including a surface called Cool Metal Roofing which enhances the energy efficiency. Cool Metal Roofing can be engineered to meet the specific climate requirements of your home or commercial building.

In climates where the biggest expenditure of energy is for heating, Cool Metal Roofing can provide a highly reflective surface and low radiation of heat. In climates where air conditioning costs are the biggest energy expenditure, Cool Metal Roofing can provide the desired high reflectance and high heat radiation.

Metal Roofs Contain Recycled Metal
Depending on which roof product you choose, metal roofing may have a recycled content from 25% to 95%. And at the end of the roof’s useful life, a metal roof is 100% recyclable. Compare this to roofing shingles which end up being dumped in the landfill.

Metal Roofs are Ideal for Solar Installation

While metal roofs help save energy, they can also provide an excellent canvas for producing energy through solar panels.

Solar panels can easily be installed on metal roofs. If you have a metal roof, mounting the solar panels will probably not require drilling holes in your roof. If the metal roof has standing seams, the solar panel installer can attach panels using a mounting system that clamps onto the seams of the roof without drilling any holes.

For metal tile roofs, tile replacement mounts can be used that do not require drilling into the roof. With other types of metal roofs, if holes are drilled into the roof, there are fastening brackets that are designed to be water tight.

Solar panels can last 25 to 30 years. The roof you install them on should last at least that long. Metal roofs fit the bill because they can last 40 years or more. Additionally, Cool Metal Roofs can help to increase the efficiency of the solar panels. Finally, using a metal roof to save energy while producing solar energy at the same time is a great combination.

Excellent Surface for Catching Rainwater

Gathering rainwater from the rooftop is becoming a popular choice for those who desire a sustainable, eco-friendly water harvesting solution. Rainwater is collected in the gutters, moved into the downspouts and finally collected in a storage container.

The rainwater harvesting system can be a simple rain barrel at the bottom of a downspout to water a garden or be an intricate system of cisterns that supplies water for the entire household. Metal roofing contains cleaner materials than other types of roofs and provides an excellent catchment surface for harvesting rain.


Metal roofs beat asphalt shingles hands down for environmental friendliness. With a metal roof, you will see a significant drop in your heating and cooling expenses, especially when using Cool Metal Roofing and insulation. Metal roofs are made from recycled metal and when they are no longer needed on the roof, can be recycled. Sometimes metal roofs can be installed over an existing roof, keeping the shingles out of the landfill. And if you truly want to have an eco-friendly home or business, metal roofing provides the ideal surface for producing solar power and rainwater harvesting.

Pfeifer Roofing installs both residential and commercial metal roofs. We can recommend different metal roof solutions depending on your unique needs.

Ready to consult with an expert? We offer a free consultation!

Scroll to Top