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Disproving Metal Roofing Myths

Jerry Iselin August influencer
August 12, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.

MCS Influencer Jerry Iselin breaks down the different metal roofing myths customers have, like whether metal roofs are noisy or not.  

Editor’s note: The following consists of a conversation between MCS’ Gina Cali and Metal Roof Specialties Owner Jerry Iselin

Gina Cali: The question for the month of August for the MetalCoffeeShop influencers is how to communicate with consumers about metal myths, like noise and rust, et cetera. 

Jerry Iselin: Okay. So I think there are an awful lot of myths out there about metal roofing. Like you mentioned, noise and rust and heat and weight. There are a bunch, and I think there's perceptions. We all have perceptions about certain things. So I think the easiest thing to do in helping people overcome those is just talk to them about practical situations.  

For instance, metal roofs are not noisy and they're not noisy because they are generally mounted over something solid. But the perception of noise comes from being maybe in an old metal barn or under a carport or under something that the metal is unsupported. So when rain will hit a carport, let's say, or an old barn, it's thundering. It gets very loud. And on the outside, it's very loud as well. 

But in the condition where a metal roof's installed in a home or a building, a typical building, it's installed over something solid. There's generally insulation. The noise is actually pretty insignificant. The noise that hits your skylights or your windows from rain will be much louder. And we've even had conditions that here in the Pacific Northwest, people love having metal roofs up in their mountain cabin. And there are those comments that have come in that were actually disappointed that it's not as noisy as they would've preferred. Because some people find that as such a soothing sound. 

So I think that one's pretty easy to overcome if you just talk to people about the practicality and why they have that perception of the noise. And it does come from usually being in those conditions where they've heard it before, but they've not noticed it when they've been in a building with a metal roof because it's really nonexistent. So it is really no more noisy than others. So that one, I think, is pretty easy to overcome with some common sense, talking about what they've experienced in the past. 

The rust issue is usually one that's brought up by people that don't sell metal roofs or people that may sell aluminum type metal roofs. It's just one of those arguments they use to put doubt in the mind of the consumer. But metal products, metal roofs, let's say, in this case, are not unlike the metal in your car. Do your cars rust? No. They experience more rust in the Midwest in areas where they use salt on the roads in the winter. They experience rust near the wheels, around the wheel wells or the bottom of the car. But the reality is the top of the car, the top of things that are painted metal, tractors, trucks, cars, there's so many metal items that are out in the market and are out in the environment all the time that really don't experience rust. 

This is, again, one of those perceptions and oftentimes comes from that old barn that you may have seen, like a metal barn that has old rusty panels on it. Sure, generally those are very, very old. They are oftentimes rusty because of what's going on inside. An animal confinement building like a barn has a lot of chemical reactions to metal products that actually can make them rust faster. But in reality, a typical galvanized or zinc aluminum type covered metal panel is very, very rust resistant for a very, very long time.  

So that one is also one that you just have to put into common sense practicality of other things that are metal that aren't rusting. And really, if you look around, you're not going to see rusty metal roofs on homes or commercial buildings as a general rule unless they're super, super old, and in many cases, because of the environment inside that building that's probably accentuating that situation. Yeah. 

Gina Cali: Those are super interesting and easy to digest and understand references. I think any consumer could understand that. And I've not heard it explained that way, and I think you're right. If you're competing against a different type of system, they're going to throw anything out there that they can and see if it sticks. 

Jerry Iselin: Yes, absolutely. People that are selling metal roofs sell aluminum metalware systems, and those are pretty popular, too, in some areas more so than others. 

Gina Cali: Yeah. 

Jerry Iselin: Of course, aluminum doesn't rust. That's okay. Aluminum's got its drawbacks, too. We won't get into that. But overcoming the rust issue is really, I think, a pretty easy discussion to diffuse if you, again, put it into practical terms of other things people are seeing. Because the metal product that are on these metal roof and siding products, they're every bit as good or better than what's on your car. 

Gina Cali: Wow. That's important to know. Thank you. Yeah, that's a great reference. 

Jerry Iselin: Absolutely. 

Gina Cali: Thank you so much for your time. And we look forward to talking with you again next month on the next question, Jerry. 

Jerry Iselin: Will do.  

Jerry Iselin is the President of Metal Roof Specialties. See his full bio here. 

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