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Metal roofs can last a lifetime 

Metal roofs can keep your house cooler during summer, improving your comfort and reducing your electric bills for air conditioning. During the winter, they have a negligible impact on the energy efficiency of the house. 

Most metal roofs reflect more of the sun’s heat than asphalt shingle roofs do, particularly darker shingles. This keeps the roofing materials cooler so less heat is radiated into the home. The underside of the metal surface has lower emissivity than shingles, so even less heat radiates down to the ceiling below. 

Metal also has a contour stamped into it to simulate other styles of shingles, which creates a gap between the metal roof and sheath below that circulates air under a sloped roof. 

Types of metal roofs 

Aluminum is the most lightweight metal for roofing and much of it is made from recycled beverage cans. This, along with the energy savings and reduced landfill waste from replacing shingles, makes it Earth-friendly for decades. 

Simulated cedar shake and barrel tile aluminum roofing styles are attractive and efficient. Delivered and installed as large panels, they make installation faster and eliminate the possibility of single shakes or tiles being blown off during storms. Copper and stainless steel also look good, but are an expensive option. 

Painted standing seam or tile steel roofing is durable, using bright colors instead of trying to simulate some type of standard roofing material. 

Finally, no matter what type of new roof you select, make sure roofers install an attic ridge vent and ensure there is adequate soffit vent inlet area.

JAMES DULLEY is a nationally syndicated columnist who writes on energy efficiency and do-it-yourself energy topics.

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