Hidden Fire Dangers of Metal Roofing

What’s the better material to use when installing roof shingles: metal or asphalt? When it comes to safety, you might automatically think the metal object is superior, right? The truth might surprise you.

In comparing the advantages and disadvantages of a metal roof vs asphalt, it quickly becomes apparent that metal is actually the WRONG answer. Here’s why…

Reasons to Choose Asphalt Shingles Over Metal Ones 

Age & Reliability

Believe it or not, asphalt shingles have been around since the dawn of the 20th century. Because of that, just about every firefighter in the country has experience fighting fires in homes with asphalt shingle roofing.

When it comes to relatively newer metal shingle roofs, meanwhile, a shockingly large number of fire departments have little to no experience counteracting first major blazes in homes with metal roofs. For example, the fire department in Logansport, Indiana, only experienced its first encounter with a major fire on a metal roof in 2017! 

Slope & Material

Asphalt shingles have built-in traction, even when wet; there is a natural grip to the material, making it safer to navigate atop them. With metal roofing, on the other hand, when the surface gets wet, it becomes extremely dangerous and slippery. Even when wearing rubber-soled shoes, it’s very treacherous. 

Additionally, metal roofs are often constructed with higher slopes than standard asphalt shingle roofs. Combining the steep slope along with the slippery metal makes it tricky for fire departments; in the event of an emergency, they have to rely on ladder trucks and aerial apparatuses in order to safely access your roof.

Ventilation & Accessibility

Simply put, metal roofs impede firefighters’ ability to ventilate the fire. While standard asphalt shingle roofs can be vented of smoke, heat, and flame with an ax or powered saw blade, with metal roofing, the ax does nothing to create ventilation. Likewise, the saw blades that most fire departments use aren’t designed to cut through metal, resulting in the loss of precious time in which a fire can quickly get out of control.

When it comes to smaller or volunteer fire departments, they may not even carry a saw blade with them. In some cases, volunteer fire departments simply do not own this equipment, and instead have to radio for help from larger departments in neighboring cities, literally burning up even more valuable time.  

Construction & Stability

In the case of new construction metal roofs, since metal roofing is often lighter than asphalt, subsequently their supporting materials may also be lighter. This might seem beneficial, but it actually puts the metal roof at greater risk of collapse – further preventing firefighters from being on the roof to save the structure.

Alternatively, in the case of a metal roof replacement, those are often placed over top of an existing asphalt shingle roof. The problem this creates is additional layers – more layers means it takes the firefighters that much longer to break through and ventilate your home; without a way to escape, the smoke, and heat remain trapped in the residence, creating an unsafe environment for the firefighters, and leading to more needless destruction of property. 

Call Homeowner Funding Today

At Homeowner Funding we believe in our roofing. More importantly, we believe in YOUR SAFETY!

So many of the homeowners in our markets are supported by volunteer fire departments – ourselves included. We want to ensure safety for you, your loved ones, and the brave men and women who put their lives on the line for our benefit.

Call us today to schedule a consultation to learn more about our asphalt shingle roofing replacements

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Joe D.

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