MRA Update: Metal gains in popularity

Driven to reduce their energy costs and make long-term improvements to their homes, more and more homeowners are installing durable and environmentally friendly metal roofing systems. Contractor members of the Metal Roofing Alliance are seeing the evidence in markets across the country. The demand for metal roofing has never been greater and contractors are adding crews to keep up with the increased interest in metal.

A recent study conducted by the Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm, reported that renovation activity in the residential market would provide growth opportunities for roofing. Metal was sighted as being one of the products that will see the fastest growth in the U.S. through 2010. Tiles, metal panels and shingles will be used as alternatives to roofing tile and asphalt shingles.

There are a number of reasons the metal roofing industry continues to flourish. The trend toward cool roofing and environmentally conscious energy codes has had a huge impact on our industry. Metal roofing is recognized as a sustainable building material as many metal roofs typically have a minimum of 25 percent recycled content. This level of recycled content allows metal roofing to be routinely included on listings for “green” and recycled content products. Metal roofing is 100 percent recyclable where other roofing materials are routinely removed and disposed of by the tons in landfills.

A study conducted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory found the installation of reflective metal roofing can save homeowners up to 40 percent in summer cooling costs while highly emissive metal roofs can reduce urban air temperatures by as much as 12 degrees. A basic unpainted metal roof will reflect much of the solar radiation usually absorbed in the attic and home with an asphalt roof. However, for homes in warmer climates, pre-painted or granular coated metal roofing systems not only reflect solar energy but they also cool the home by re-emitting most of the solar radiation that is absorbed.

Metal roofing is a great investment for contractors looking for high margin, high quality products to add to their product offerings. In addition to educating consumers, the MRA continues to focus on educating contractors on the many benefits of metal roofing for residential application. “From the very beginning, one of our key objectives has been to increase the number of metal roofing installers in the United States and Canada,” says Tom Black, executive director of the MRA. “Many roofers and contractors don’t realize that the metal roofing industry has changed dramatically over the last several years. There are a number of products on the market that are easier to install and the margins on metal roofing are very attractive. Homeowners tell us there are many reasons they’re choosing metal roofs. The two most compelling reasons to get a metal roof are the environmental benefits coupled with energy costs savings.”

The metal roofing industry is poised to grow substantially in the coming energy-efficient, ecologically friendly marketplace. For more information on the many environmental benefits of residential metal roofing, or to join the MRA, please visit

Bill Hippard is the president of the Metal Roofing Alliance and vice president for sales at Precoat Metals.

To learn more about the Metal Roofing Alliance visit

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