Ask Danny | Ep. 2: Insider Answers on Metal Roofing

Ask Danny | Ep. 2: Insider Answers on Metal Roofing

In Episode 2 of “Ask Danny,” metal roofing expert Todd Miller gives us some insider tips and information about installation, energy efficiency and style options.

Todd Miller, president of Isaiah Industries, has more than 40 years of experience in the metal roofing industry. (Photo courtesy Todd Miller)

About Todd Miller

Todd Miller is president of Isaiah Industries, a manufacturer of residential metal roofing.

With 40 years of industry experience, Todd has worked with property owners and contractors on projects worldwide.

In addition to roofing, he is often sought after for his expertise with condensation and ventilation.

Todd also has an educational website at Ask Todd Miller as well as a podcast, “Construction Disruption.”

Todd Miller poses for a picture with Chelsea Lipford Wolf and Danny Lipford in Cut Off, La.(3 Echoes Content Studio)

Working with Todd in Louisiana

I met Todd while shooting a Today’s Homeowner TV episode in Cut Off, La., in 2020. Hurricane Zeta had majorly damaged David and Ruby LeBlanc’s roof, so we installed a new metal roof for them. 

For David and Ruby’s metal roof, we used an aluminum product called rustic shingle.

They live on the Gulf Coast, so aluminum is ideal for their environment because it resists corrosion. Plus, the shingles interlock on all sides, giving it strong wind resistance with an added old-world shake look.

Workers install a new aluminum roof on David and Ruby LeBlanc’s home. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Less than a year later, their metal roof was put to the test during Hurricane Ida

“As I watched that storm track, I was sweating bullets,” Todd says. “You always believe in your product, you know it can do well, but on the other hand, storms like that can be unpredictable. You can end up with a lot of wind-blown debris that oftentimes can cause damage.”

Ida brought on wind speeds of up to 200 miles per hour and also destroyed the neighbor’s garage. 

David and Ruby’s metal roof came through in shining colors. The only damage was one detached hip cap on the side closest to their neighbor’s garage. 

“Their fairly old home has endured damage and hardships from storms in the past, but you would never know it,” Todd says. “They’re delightful people and determined to protect this home for the next generation.”

Metal roofing can be installed over an existing shingle roof. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Do you have to remove all the existing shingles from the roof before you install a metal roof?

Todd: While every house is different, the short answer is no. If you only have a single layer of shingles, most building codes allow for a second layer of roofing.

It’s pretty common for metal roofs, especially shingled and corrugated metal, to be installed over an existing layer of shingles. However, if you want a standing seam metal roof, you’ll need to have a smooth surface for installation. If you don’t, you’ll end up with oil canning, or ripples in the panels.

No matter what type of metal roof you want, always have an attic inspection before installation. Look closely at the underside of the roof deck for signs of rot, water infiltration and high moisture levels that need to be addressed.

Construction of a metal roof
Strapping can be put down to install a metal roof, but it’s not always necessary. (Getty Images)

Do you recommend a roofer put down strapping before the roof goes on?

Todd: Usually I don’t. For most products, it’s not required. 

If you have proper attic ventilation, there aren’t any concerns from a condensation standpoint.

Strapping or batten can be used, but ultimately it will make the roof harder to walk on, more prone to wind uplift, and you may find yourself having to raise your gutters. This is why we generally promote direct-to-deck installation.

Even with direct-to-deck installation, if it’s over the old singles, we will put a layer of underlayment over the existing shingles.

Most times, the building code requires it, but it also makes good sense. You don’t want the old shingles’ abrasive top surface rubbing against the back of the metal panels.

How long does it take to install a metal roof?

Todd: Of course, every house is different, but one- to three-day installations are not uncommon.

This is another great benefit of metal roofing — minimal disruption to your routine during installation. 

Modular metal products, or metal shingles, are becoming more popular. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Style Options

What types of metal roofing are becoming more popular?

Traditionally, corrugated and shiplap metal roofs are the most popular, but that’s starting to change.

Many homeowners associations and architectural review boards won’t allow metal roofing. Plus, it can be hard for some homeowners to imagine a roof that’s not asphalt shingles. 

But now, there are metal roofing options that look like a traditional roof. They’re called modular metal products, which are basically metal shingles. 

They’re produced from steel, aluminum and even copper. These panels are formed in a variety of ways, and can look like existing asphalt shingles, wood shake, high-end slate or barrel tile. 

With this type of metal roofing, you can get the look of more traditional high-end roofing with the durability, energy efficiency and sustainability of metal roofing.

MRA Metal roof on a home
Metal roofs with a cool coating deflect the sun’s infrared energy to keep your home cooler. (Metal Roofing Alliance)

Energy Efficiency

Are darker metal roofs less energy-efficient than lighter ones?

Todd: Generally, when we talk about metal roofing’s energy efficiency, it’s in terms of solar reflection. 

The more solar energy your roof absorbs, the hotter your home will be. This results in your air conditioner working harder to keep your home cool.

Typically, lighter metal roofs reflect more sunlight than darker ones. 

White naturally has a high solar reflection of about 65 percent, but you don’t necessarily have to get a white roof to have an energy-efficient roof. 

There are now cool roof coatings with pigments that reflect infrared energy from the sun and keep the roof cool.

Without this cool roof coating, a darker roof only reflects about 3-4 percent of the sun’s infrared energy. With these new pigments, the roof reflects up to 25-30 percent.

Stunning Portland, Oregon home with metal roof, seen from the backyard, with red lounging chairs on the grass.
Find a metal roof product that complements your home’s architecture. (Metal Roofing Alliance)

Todd’s Tips

  • Choose the product first. Ultimately, you’re going to live with the looks of that product for a long time. If you don’t love the look and it doesn’t fit your home, you won’t be happy with it. The Metal Roofing Alliance has a visualizer to help you see how a metal roof will look on your home.
  • When you choose your product, find an installer through the manufacturer. They’ll know the product through and through.
  • Think long-term. The upfront cost of installing metal roofing is more expensive than a traditional roof, but you’ll save over time. Look at it on a cost-by-year basis.   If you intend to stay in your home for a number of years, you can see good payback over time with lower utility bills and fewer repairs.  

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, forget about it — you haven’t seen anything yet.

Years ago, a woman in upstate New York wanted a metal roof installed on a small bungalow. She owned a fairly high-end magazine and website and wanted to work out a deal where Todd would help her get a roof and, in turn, she would promote Todd’s business.

It seemed like a win-win for Todd. As part of the deal, he sent a crew from Ohio to install the roof — free of charge.

Four years later, an upset woman called Todd. She said “You put a roof on my house and I don’t know why!”

Turns out, the woman who contacted Todd was not the owner. She was the renter.

“We put a roof on someone’s house who didn’t know it and didn’t even want it!”

All’s well that ends well, she turned out to be delightful, and she and Todd became great friends. 

“We still laugh about it,” Todd says. 

Further Reading

Metal Roof Coatings: Different Finishes Offer Exceptional Performance

Metal Roof Coatings: Different Finishes Offer Exceptional Performance

Stone-coated and paint are options for metal roof coatings
Stone-coated metal roofing, left, offers the look of traditional shingles with the durability of metal. A painted metal roof provides a pop of color with long-lasting protection.

Interested in replacing your roof or looking to choose a roof for a new home? Stone-coated metal roofing offers the look of shingles with the benefit of metal’s superior protection.

Or do you want to add a pop of color with a durable finish? High-performance metal roofing paint systems add character and boost any home’s curb appeal.

Read on to learn more about these two coating options and decide which is best for your home.

A red painted metal roof
Painted metal roofs come in a wider variety of colors than any other type of material. (Photo by Aleksandr_Kendenkov/Getty Images)

To step up your home’s style and make a statement, high-performance metal roofing paint systems can provide a durable coating with improved gloss retention, superior weather resistance, and reduced color fading. In addition, they can substantially increase the roof’s energy efficiency and longevity.

Quality metal roofs come with a factory-applied, low-maintenance finish. Most manufacturers recommend just rinsing them with a hose and mixing gentle soap and water to clean them.

A quality, long-lasting painted finish should be applied to a metal substrate at 0.2 to 0.3 millimeters thick for the prime coat, and 0.7-1.2 millimeters thick for the topcoat. Style options also include sophisticated paint finishes that closely mimic the multi-toned appearance of natural stone, such as slate.

Whichever option you choose, a painted metal roof offers beautiful style matched with steel’s strength and lightweight benefits.

A metal roof with a stone finish
A stone-coated metal roof looks just like a shingle roof. (Photo courtesy Metal Roofing Alliance)

Stone-Coated Panels: The Traditional Look

If you love the look of a traditional shingled roof, yet want the longevity and performance benefits of metal, consider a stone-coated metal roof.

Stone-coated metal roofing can look like asphalt shingles, tiles or cedar shake and can be a great solution for homeowners who live in areas with certain design standards or face regional threats such as high winds and wildfire.

(Always check with your homeowners association before installing any roof).

These specially primed roofing panels — made of metal; often steel — are coated with an acrylic polymer adhesive before a granular stone coating is applied, bonding the two. Finally, a clear-coat sealer is applied over the top for extra protection.

This type of finish offers homeowners all the benefits of metal roofing, in addition to a unique curb appeal option.

No matter what your style preference, all quality metal roofs offer longer-lasting and increased protection and performance, especially when compared to asphalt. 

A stone-coated metal roof on the Audubon Sanctuary in Trabuco Canyon.
Modern stone-coated metal roofing can seamlessly match an older home’s architectural style. (Photo courtesy Metal Roofing Alliance member Unified Steel™, Westlake Royal Roofing)

Retrofitting Older Homes

Metal roofing is an ideal option, regardless of a home’s age, due to its long lifespan and low maintenance.

Style and performance benefits are key reasons why more homeowners and property owners are choosing metal roofing.

For example, at theAudubon Sanctuary in Trabuco Canyon, Calif., the organization chose to re-roof using a high-quality stone-coated metal roof to replace the 90-year-old building’s asphalt roof, which had suffered decades of wear and tear. Much of the damage came from woodpeckers that stored pounds of acorns in the deteriorating roof, compromising the building’s structure and making it vulnerable to seasonal wildfires.

The new metal roof met two key priorities by offering long-lasting, low maintenance performance and strong protection against wind and fire. Protection from the elements is particularly important in Trabuco Canyon, where dry Santa Ana winds create dangerous wildfire conditions. 

Unified Steel™, Westlake Royal Roofing andMcCormack Roofing installed a stone-coated metal roof that checked off all the boxes. The replacement matched the historical building’s style and offered all the long-lasting, strong performance capabilities of quality metal roofing. Its Class A, fire-resistant rating — the highest possible — was especially important.

This new roof is lightweight, strong and impervious, installed tightly with few penetrations to prevent woodpeckers from using it for storage.

Plus, the stone-coating provides a beautiful complement to the structure’s historic, rustic feel, lending a natural charm.

A shingle metal roof on a home.
Quality metal roofing can last 50-plus years. (Photo courtesy Metal Roofing Alliance)

Benefits of Metal Roofing

If you’re looking to stretch your dollar and boost your home’s value, choosing a quality metal roof is a worthwhile investment as it can last 50+ years (up to three times longer than most asphalt roofs), offer strong performance and can help with energy efficiency. A properly installed quality metal roof can withstand severe weather such as wind, hail, and snow, providing you peace of mind.

Plus, having a metal roof can even lower your homeowner’s insurance premiums in some states.

(Check with your homeowners’ insurance company for specific policy information.)

To learn more about the benefits of metal roofing, visit the Metal Roofing Alliancewebsite.

Further Reading

Metal Roof Protects Louisiana Couple’s Home During Hurricane Ida

Metal Roof Protects Louisiana Couple’s Home During Hurricane Ida

When David and Ruby LeBlanc starred on a Today’s Homeowner television episode that featured an exterior renovation and metal re-roofing on their Cut Off, Louisiana home, they had no idea it would become the best insurance for Hurricane Ida, which would arrive shortly later.

The re-roofing project — and episode — was completed just weeks before Ida hit. The Category 4 storm lashed David and Ruby’s neighborhood for seven long hours, with torrential rain and wind gusts exceeding 180 miles per hour. Country-wide, Ida lasted from Aug. 26–Sept. 4, 2021.

David and Ruby evacuated before Ida hit, but they were on pins and needles waiting to find out how their home had fared. They soon learned that the destruction to the area was devastating. But their new metal roof remained virtually unscathed from Ida’s tremendous force. It saved their home.

“Our neighbor’s garage had exploded. Boats were flung up on the road. It took two hours to clear our driveway alone. All over our neighborhood, homes with tarpaper roofs suffered complete losses,” said David. “But our new metal roof performed wonderfully. There was no structural or wind damage and not a drop of water inside from the roof.

“If we hadn’t replaced our roof when we did, we probably would still be gutting the house all the way down to the framing.”

David and Ruby's asphalt shingle roof
David and Ruby’s old asphalt shingle roof had mismatched shingles from quick repairs over the years.

The Challenge

David and Ruby’s 70-year-old home, located on the Bayou, had been hit by hurricanes before. As a result, the old roof was a hodgepodge of repairs and tarpaper (asphalt) material that suffered leaks and damage.

So, when it was time to re-roof, the owners wanted a change. Metal was the ultimate choice, and as highlighted on the Today’s Homeowner episode, special attention was paid to quality installation for maximum wind-resistance performance and longevity.

“Going with a quality metal roof was more expensive initially, but when you look at how well it performed, the damage it saved our home from and the long-lasting reliability, it was absolutely worth it,” said David.

Workers stand on metal roof
Workers from Middle South Systems install a metal roof.

The Solution

David and Ruby selected Classic Metal Roofing’s Rustic Shingle steel in Shake Gray for their re-roofing project. Installers placed the new roof right over the old roof, using a quality underlayment and foam under each shingle, which lock into place to give the roof superior performance and hurricane resistance.

Installer Middle South Systems reinforced the new roof’s strength by securing each 2-foot shingle with three hurricane clips.

The homeowners were delighted to learn that the beautiful style of their new roof is matched only by its long-lasting reliability, as proven by standing up to Hurricane Ida.

For more information:

Representing the residential metal roofing industry in the United States and Canada, the Metal Roofing Alliance was formed to help educate consumers about the many benefits of metal roofing.

MRA’s main objective is to increase awareness of the beauty, durability and money-saving advantages of quality metal roofing among homeowners, as well as to provide support to the residential metal roofing industry.

For more information, visit MRA at

How to Spring Clean a Metal Roof

How to Spring Clean a Metal Roof

Keep your metal roof in prime condition with a good spring cleaning.

A good spring cleaning can up your home’s curb appeal and prepare it for the coming summer season.

Many projects that make the biggest impact are easy enough for homeowners to tackle themselves. That’s especially true for homes with metal roofs.

Asphalt roofs can be prone to moss, mildew and fungus and require harsh chemicals to treat and clean. Cleaning a quality metal roof is often as simple and inexpensive as using plain water.

A simple rinse with plain water oftentimes is enough to clean a metal roof. If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned your metal roof, try this non-toxic solution.

How to Spring Clean a Metal Roof

Clean your metal roof yourself in five simple steps with this non-toxic recipe.

Clear Gutters

Clean out all gutters and downspouts and remove any large rooftop debris, like branches.

Rinse Away Debris

Before you mix up a cleaning solution, try a garden hose attachment to spray away dirt and debris.

Never use a power washer to clean a metal roof, because the pressure could damage the metal roof’s protective coating.

Mix Cleaning Solution

If water alone isn’t enough to remove dirt and debris, mix a quarter cup of detergent per gallon of water. You can use a mild laundry detergent, car washing soap or mild dish soap.

Don’t add too much detergent to the mix, or it could damage your metal roof.

As always, follow your metal roof manufacturer’s specific instructions to help protect and maintain roof warranties.

Clean Your Metal Roof

Apply the solution to the roof using a washcloth, sponge, soft bristle brush and/or non-abrasive pad. The goal is to use the lightest touch that will effectively do the job.

Never use steel wool, wire brushes, scouring powders, paint removers or thinners on a metal roof.

Rinse Cleaning Solution

Let the solution stand for five to 10 minutes, before thoroughly rinsing the surface with plain water.

Remember, safety is always the most important step for any type of roof maintenance, no matter what the material. Don’t get on ladders or rooftops if you are not comfortable, equipped or well-prepared to take the proper precautions.

The Metal Roofing Alliance is a nonprofit trade association that helps homeowners make educated roofing decisions and connects them with expert metal roofing professionals.

If you’re ready to upgrade to a metal roof, or just want more questions answered when it comes to a metal roof, check out

Further Reading

Metal Roofing: Protection in All Climates

Metal Roofing: Protection in All Climates

No matter what mood Mother Nature is in, metal roofing offers your home protection.

Crazy snow and ice storms, monster hurricanes, golf ball-sized hail, extreme heat and torrential downpours. Homeowners everywhere face unique climate challenges. 

In this special Today’s Homeowner podcast, I’m talking with Renee Ramey, Executive Director of the Metal Roofing Alliance. We’re setting the record straight on how metal roofs hold up in extreme weather.

Metal roofing can withstand winds up to 140 mph — that’s the windspeed of a low category 4 hurricane! (Pgiam/Getty Images Signature)

‘Will a Metal Roof Easily Blow Away in High Winds?’

Extreme winds during hurricanes and tornados can literally tear off weaker, sub-quality roofs. Choosing stronger materials like metal roofs can improve the chances of riding out storms unscathed. 

Metal roofing can better withstand driving rain and extreme winds including F-2 tornado force winds of up to 140 mph. Since roofs take the brunt of monster storms, an investment in a higher quality roof can help save homes from sustaining major damage and will hold up better over time. 

Some metal roofing manufacturers and installers place foam under each shingle, which can help further guard against water seepage.

Metal roofs often earn a Class 4 impact-resistance rating, which is the highest possible level of protection against hail damage. (soupstock)

‘Won’t Hail Damage Metal Roofs More Easily Than Shingle Roofs?’

Quality metal roofs often earn a Class 4 impact-resistance rating — the highest level of protection against hail damage available. That means, installing a metal roof can help reduce hailstorm damage, thus preventing costly repairs and replacement. 

All roof types can sustain some cosmetic damage during a hailstorm, but studies show metal roofing performs best and is much less likely to puncture as compared to asphalt.

Some finishes of metal roofing offer a rougher texture to keep snow from sliding off. (Garrett Aitken/Getty Images)

‘Does Snow Easily Slide Off a Metal Roof?’

Finishes such as stone-coated metal roofs have a rougher surface texture. This works to reduce the danger of rooftop “avalanching” by preventing snow from releasing in large, heavy and damaging sheets.

Smooth metal roofing panels, whether painted or left unfinished, have much slicker surfaces and may require quality snow guards. Snow guards are designed to hold back rooftop snow and allow it to melt more gradually. 

Some metal roofs have a cool coating that actually helps emit heat gain. (sarajlic/Getty Images)

Basic, unpainted metal roofs will reflect more solar radiation than asphalt roofs. By choosing the proper colors and coatings, low-glare metal roofs reflect mostly non-visible, infrared and UV rays.

Modern high-performance metal roofing paints and stone-coated materials increase energy efficiency. Plus, darker colors reduce heat gain.

Cool metal roofs offer high solar reflectance and help emit heat gain. This reduces the amount of air conditioning needed by as much as 10-15 percent.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that an ENERGY STAR-qualified roof can lower roof temperatures by as much as 50 degrees.

The Metal Roofing Alliance is a nonprofit trade association that helps homeowners make educated roofing decisions and connects them with expert metal roofing professionals.

If you’re ready to upgrade to a metal roof, or just want more questions answered when it comes to a metal roof, check out

Further Reading