4 min read

Are Metal Roofs Noisy When it Rains?

Featured Image

Having put thousands of roofs over thousands of Triangle homes in our over 30 years of existence, we’ve heard all kinds of questions about metal roofing.

One of the first questions we get about metal roofs is: “But doesn’t it get so loud when it rains?”

People are always worried about what a metal roof might sound like when it gets hit by heavy rain and hail, even if they’ve never been under one themselves.

In this blog, we’re going to be answering:

Alright, let’s get started!


The short answer is: It depends. Metal roofs without much else, such as an open frame roof on a barn or warehouse, would be WAY louder than an asphalt shingle system. But, with a modern metal roofing system, properly installed, rain noise would be much more comparable to what we see in an asphalt shingle roof.


old metal roof_WebP


The idea that metal roofs are noisy comes from those open frame barn roofs. For a long time, metal was primarily used for roofs in rural, agricultural settings. Metal roofs are quite durable, so for these buildings that were not inhabited daily, like barns, the noise trade-off was totally worth it.

Unfortunately, that noise reverberated across the country, creating a negative perception of metal roofs that lasts to this day, despite major leaps that have been made within the industry.

WHY ARE THEY BETTER NOW?another metal roof_WebP

No longer are they a sheet of metal nailed to a stud or frame. Today’s metal roofing systems are not open frame.

Most houses have a plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) roof deck that roofing materials are attached to, including shingles and metal. In the case of metal, the decking would help deaden the noise of rain. Most metal roofing systems are also installed over some kind of underlayment, whether it be an extra layer of insulation between the panels and decking, or the pre-existing shingles that the metal was installed over.

All of these newer innovations and methods work in tandem to reduce the noise created by rain on a metal roof. It won’t be completely silent, but it will be much closer to the noise experienced by an asphalt shingle roof.

What are the main kinds of metal roofs?

There are two main kinds of metal roof panels on the market today, a standing seam roof, and an exposed fastener roof. However, only one of these is truly suited for use on a heated, inhabited space, we’ll talk about it first.


standing seam metal section_WebPA standing seam metal roof is composed of multiple, vertical metal panels that are locked at the seams, with the fasteners hidden underneath the metal. These roofs typically use a high-quality steel substrate, which is a raw steel panel coated with another metal, usually zinc, or in the case of Galvalume®, a zinc and aluminum alloy.

Generally, standing seams are considered the higher end metal roof, and are used in both residential and commercial settings.

Standing seam metal roofs are highly weather resistant, making them an especially popular option for homes in coastal and rural markets, while their clean, modern look is increasing its foothold in suburban areas, especially as an accent piece.


exposed fastener metal section_WebPAn exposed-fastener roof, also known as a screw-down panel roof, is a little simpler. For this roofing system, metal panels are screwed down on a roof in an overlapping fashion, similar to the way asphalt shingles are installed. For screw-down panels, many of the same materials are used, except these panels are more widely available than those used for standing seam roofs. In fact, if you wanted to purchase the metal yourself, you can find the panels at stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s.

This style of metal roof is more frequently used over uninhabited, unheated spaces, like barns, sheds, or carports. Why not on heated spaces or homes? Well, as metal heats up and cools, it expands and contracts accordingly, which, on an exposed fastener roof, can create some tricky situations that we’ll talk about in the next section.

How does Metal roofing compare to asphalt?


Three-Tab Shingles_WebP-2When you’re comparing the costs of roofing your home with these two roofing materials, asphalt shingles are going to be the cheaper option. While screw-down panels may be competitively priced against asphalt shingles, they shouldn’t be used over heated spaces like your house, as they’ll open you up to some serious leaks.

Asphalt shingles come in at three different price points: $8k-$10k for three-tabs, $9k-$14k for architectural shingles, and $15k-$20k for luxury shingles. Standing seam metal roofs can get a good bit more expensive than that, usually around $25k-$40k.



Similarly to how the price section is absolutely in favor of asphalt shingles, standing seam metal roofs should always last longer than an asphalt roof, even if you have the most expensive shingles out there.

lots of metal_WebP

Most standing seam roofs, when installed correctly, can survive around 50 years, which is significantly longer than even the best asphalt shingle roofs. This is because the metal has a coating that protects it from rust, and the system is designed so that all of the fasteners are hidden underneath the metal panels.

Asphalt shingles, again, have three different lifespans, with three-tabs lasting around 15 years, architectural shingles around 25-30 years, and luxury shingles surviving around 30 years.


The roof maintenance category is a much closer competition than the other two. Regardless of what kind of roof you have, you will need to routinely clean off debris, and clean out your gutters.

On asphalt shingle roofs, especially three-tabs, you may need to have a small section of shingles replaced towards the end of the roof’s life, as the sealant may wear down, and wind may more easily blow up under the shingles.

Metal roofs will likely still require some repairs, and maintenance, but they won’t require attention as much as asphalt shingles will during their functional lifetime.

Want to learn more about metal roofing?

Hopefully now you’re leaving this blog feeling good about what material you’ve chosen for your own roofing project! If you’re interested in learning more about metal roofing, check out some more of our content on it, like: Do Metal Roofs Attract Lightning? or The Steps of a Standing Seam Metal Roof Installation!

On Tops Roofing has been installing metal and asphalt roofs in and around the Raleigh, NC area since 1991! Whatever your roofing project requires, we’ve got the experience you need!

Steps of a Shingle Roof Installation

Starting any roofing project, especially any roof replacement, is daunting for those going through it the first time. It’s a major construction...

Read More

Why is there Snow in my Attic?

When winter comes, it often brings with it some beautiful scenes. Trees become bare, creeks freeze over, and snow blankets the neighborhood.

Read More

Best Benson, NC Roofing Companies (2023)

If you’re starting a roofing project in Benson, you’re gonna be looking for a company who is reputable, experienced, and trustworthy. Roofing...

Read More