Let’s talk about metal roof thermal expansion noise, shall we? But before we do, let’s get something out of the way first: All roofs — even traditional, nonmetal roofs — expand and contract due to atmospheric and/or climatic pressures. This is a simple and unavoidable fact of nature and physics.
But many folks considering a metal roofing system worry that there will be an unusually high number of pings and dings and clicks and pops emanating from their roofing system as the weather changes outside.
Don’t worry. A metal roofing system is a mighty workhorse, engineered, designed, and professionally installed in such a way as to all but eliminate the noisiest and most bothersome thermal expansion noises. (And thermal contraction noises, for that matter.)
Thermal Expansion/Contraction: The Basics
As we all learned in high school science class — although we may not remember it all! — the atoms that make up the material world are constantly in motion. Heat excites the atoms, and they begin to move faster and across wider spaces.
When they run out of room, they force the material of which they are a part to expand in order to accommodate their excited state and wider range of motion.
Thus, the material expands when temperatures rise. This happens to everything, whether solid, liquid, or gaseous, including your aluminum roof.
Conversely, cold temperatures cause the atoms to enter a less excited state. They need less room to maneuver and bounce off each other. So the material shrinks.
When you have a metal roof expanding and contracting, there are bound to be a few of those pings and dings and clicks and pops that we mentioned above.
Metal Roof Thermal Expansion: Noise and Metal Roofs
When the sun heats your roof, segments will expand and move against other segments that aren’t expanding at the same rate. The friction and release of tension and energy along those segments cause the noises you hear.
In the evening, when the sun sets and the roof cools, the opposite happens, and you may hear those same noises.
When your metal roof is properly designed and installed — as it will be by the metal roofing experts at Mountaintop Metal Roofing — it will accommodate expansion and contraction. And while you may hear the occasional pops, they won’t be too loud and they won’t last for very long.
Plus, there are ways to buffer those sounds, including the addition of rigid foam insulation, which has advantages of its own that have nothing to do with noise cancellation.
Keep in mind that every part of your house that is exposed to high thermal variations — your windows, door frames, plumbing, etc. — goes through this natural process of expansion and contraction.
The materials are designed and engineered to accommodate them, and they are installed with this phenomenon in mind so as to mitigate whatever popping noises and other effects they may engender.
So don’t let unfounded worries about noisy metal roofs prevent you from learning about the tremendous upsides of an aluminum roofing system.
Ask someone whose roof was installed using metal roofing materials. They’ll likely tell you all about how they’re virtually maintenance-free, how they look great, and how they last much longer than traditional roofing systems.
They probably won’t talk all that much about noise levels.
Questions? Get in touch with Mountaintop Metal Roofing today.