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Residential Case Study A Metal Roof Outperforms Shingles in Hail

In the spring of 2017, as is common in the Midwest, a hail storm hit the Central Illinois town of Roanoke.  As the storm passed and residents gathered outside to assess the damage, the biggest area of concern for most was their asphalt shingle roofs.  And Gene & Jerry Zoss were no different. Gene recalls, “We had 16-year-old asphalt shingles on the roof at the time. So I had the insurance man come out and walk the roof.  

He said he would put a new roof on or help pay for it if we went with metal. He even told me that we would get a discount on our homeowners' insurance if we went with metal because it holds up so much better."

The Beginning

As retired farmers, Gene & Jerry had been around metal roofs on their farms forever and were very familiar with the low maintenance and long life expectancy that metal roofing offered. He shares, “We put a metal roof on one of the farm buildings 30 years ago and have been really pleased with it. It still looks good and it’s performing well.”

The Opportunity

While Gene is still thrilled with the performance of metal on his farm buildings, he readily admits that like all things, the metal roofing industry has improved over time. He recalls, “I hear they keep improving the metal and paint. I just heard about the new kind of paint they have out now that makes a big difference in how much it fades.

My son and I have painted the machine shed roof at the farm once but I think the next time it needs painting, we will just replace it to get the better quality paint that’s available now.” And Gene is right. The quality of the paint systems on metal roofing has evolved greatly over the years. The Kynar 500 (PVDF) paints used in the metal roofing industry do an excellent job of maintaining their original color and resisting fade and chalk.

With his decades' long positive experience with metal roofing, the decision to move to metal roofing on their residence was an easy one for Gene. He shares, “I knew the metal roofing we had at the farm stood up better than the shingles were on our house. That’s when we went metal. I wasn’t going to put another asphalt roof on.  The wind was constantly blowing them off or the hail was beating them up. I was just tired of it.”

While Gene was tired of shingles constantly blowing off and requiring repair, the thought of removing those shingles during the roof replacement also weighed heavily on his mind and ultimate decision to go with metal roofing.  He explains, “To go back in with shingles would have been really expensive. We would have had to tear off all the remaining shingles since the damage was so bad. By going with a metal roof, we were able to put it right over the shingles and save quite a bit of money.”

The Result

With the decision made to go with metal roofing, Gene & Jerry were ready to move forward.  Selecting the color and contractor to install the roof are normally big topics of discussion for homeowners.  But Gene struggled with neither. He recalls, “I always knew I wanted a brown roof and I only talked to one contractor.  We had worked with Todd Meinhold, owner of Cool Roofs, on some other projects at the farm. I trust him. I’ve known one of his foreman, Matt, since he was a little bitty guy.” 

Once they talked with Todd Meinhold, they also discussed the different panel styles they could choose from.  Ultimately, they ended up going with an exposed fastened panel. Gene explains, “I checked out the other options like panels with no exposed screws.  And we have some friends that like the shingle style too. We didn’t go for either of those since they are more expensive but there are lots of choices for sure!”

Like any project, there are a lot of decisions to make when switching to a metal roof.  Gene feels great about all of their decisions except one. He shares, “We sure love our metal roof.  In fact, I still have a farm north of town and every time I come home I circle the block so I can see this side and that side.  It’s made the house look entirely different. I don’t plan on having to touch this roof again in my lifetime. That’s worth a lot.  My only regret is that we put a new asphalt shingle roof on the house at the farm 10 years ago. We fight shingles blowing up there all the time.  When it’s time to replace that, it will go with metal roofing too.”

The Zoss’s aren’t the only people who love their new metal roof. Gene explains, “Several of the neighbors have commented how much they like it too.  But they were concerned that it would be noisy when it rained. I tell them it’s not like one of my uninsulated sheds at the farm.  Once you have the plywood deck and insulation, there’s no more noise than a traditional asphalt shingle roof.” His wife Jerry adds, “I thought it might be noisy too but when it rains, you just can’t hear anything. If it thunders and lightening’s, I can hear that but never just rain.”


When asked if they would choose metal again, the decision is loud and clear.  Gene shares, “I wouldn’t put another asphalt roof on for anything. If I even built a dog house, I’d put a metal roof on it. We’re giving this house to our daughter when we pass away and I just told her the other day that she’s all set.” Jerry adds: “We love that it’s just worry free for her!”