With over 70 years of experience and thousands of roofs installed. We’ve encountered numerous inquiries about metal roofing. A common concern among homeowners is the potential noise level during rainstorms. Many wonder, “Will a metal roof be excessively loud when it rains?” It’s a valid question, especially for those who have never experienced the acoustic properties of a metal roof firsthand. Rest assured, we’re here to address all your questions and help you understand what to expect with a metal roof during diverse weather conditions.

image depicting two types of roofing materials—metal and asphalt—in different weather conditions

Is a Metal Roof Noisier Than an Asphalt Roof?

The quick response to whether metal roofs are noisier than asphalt shingles is that it vary significantly. In simple structures like barns or warehouses, which feature metal roofs on just an open frame without additional layers, rain can produce considerably higher noise levels compared to traditional asphalt shingle systems. However, modern metal roofs, when expertly installed with proper insulation and support, produce minimal noise during rainfall, making them comparable to the familiar sound levels of asphalt shingles. This demonstrates that with the right installation, metal roofs can effectively match the acoustic performance of their asphalt counterparts.

the image depicts the concept of a noisy metal roof during a heavy rainstorm.

Where Does The Idea of a Noisy Metal Roof Originated?

The common misconception that metal roofs are inherently noisy often stems from their traditional use in agricultural structures like barns. Historically, metal was the preferred material for such buildings due to its durability and cost-effectiveness. In these rural settings, where barns and similar structures were not occupied on a daily basis, the minor issue of noise during rain or hail was considered an acceptable trade-off. However, the noise associated with metal roofs is significantly less in modern residential and commercial buildings, thanks to advances in installation techniques and insulation technology. This makes metal roofs a practical and durable option beyond just agricultural use.

Unfortunately, despite significant advancements in the industry, that cacophony echoed throughout the nation and contributed to the unfavorable reputation of metal roofs that persists today.

Why are they better now?

They are no longer only a metal sheet fastened to a frame or stud. Modern metal roofing systems don’t have an exposed structure.

The majority of homes have a plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) roof deck to which metal and shingle roofing materials are fastened. When it comes to metal, the decking would reduce rain noise. Most metal roofing systems are installed over an underlayment, which could either be the original shingles or an additional layer of insulation placed between the panels and the decking.

Together, these more recent inventions and techniques lessen the sound that rain makes on a metal roof. Although it won’t be totally silent, it will sound a lot more like an asphalt shingle roof.

What are the main kinds of metal roofs?

When it comes to metal roofing, standing seam, and exposed fastener roofs are often the two main alternatives available to buyers. Of them, the standing seam version works especially well in warm and occupied areas. Because it is less exposed to the weather and has a longer lifespan, this type of roofing is chosen because it requires less maintenance. Standing seam metal roofs are a great option for both residential and commercial structures because they provide a smooth finish that not only improves visual appeal but also drastically lowers the chance of leaks. Let’s examine this roofing option’s unique selling points in more detail.

What is a standing seam metal roof?

Multiple vertical metal panels are joined at the seams, and concealed fasteners beneath the metal make up a standing seam metal roof. High-quality steel substrate, which is a raw steel panel coated with another metal—typically zinc—or, in the case of Galvalume®, an alloy of zinc and aluminum, is frequently used for these roofs.

Standing seam metal roofs are typically employed in both residential and commercial contexts and are regarded as the more upscale option.

Standing seam metal roofs are becoming more and more popular for homes in rural and coastal locations due to their exceptional weather resistance. Their sleek, contemporary appearance also helps them gain traction in suburban areas, particularly when used as accent pieces.

What is a metal roof with exposed fasteners?

A screw-down panel roof, sometimes referred to as an exposed fastener roof, is a little easier. This roofing technology installs metal panels on a roof by screwing them down in an overlapping pattern, much like asphalt shingles. Screw-down panels use many of the same materials; however, they are more readily available than those for standing seam roofs. In fact, you can find the panels at places like Home Depot or Lowe’s if you want to buy the metal yourself.

People more commonly use this type of metal roof over unheated, uninhabitable places, such as carports, sheds, and barns. Why not in warm homes or places? The metal expands and contracts in response to temperature changes, which can lead to some challenging conditions on an exposed fastener roof—discussed in the next section.

the image depicting a comparison between metal roofing and asphalt shingles

Metal Roofing Vs. Asphalt?


Asphalt shingles will be less expensive when comparing the expenses of roofing your house with these two types of roofing materials. Screw-down panels cost less than asphalt shingles, but you shouldn’t install them over warm areas like your home because they can allow major leaks.

Three-tab asphalt shingles range in price from $8–10k, architectural shingles from $9–14k, and luxury shingles from $15–20k. Standing seam metal roofs typically cost between $25k and $40k, so that’s a significant price increase.


Just as the pricing section is unquestionably in favor of asphalt shingles, standing seam metal roofs—even those with the priciest shingles available—should always outlast asphalt roofs.

When properly erected, most standing seam roofs have a 50-year lifespan, which is much longer than even the best asphalt shingle roofs. This is because the system conceals all fasteners beneath the metal panels and coats the metal to prevent rust.

Once more, asphalt shingles have three distinct lifespans: 15 years for three-tab shingles, 25–30 years for architectural shingles, and 30 years for luxury shingles.


The competition in the roof maintenance category is much closer than in the other two. No matter what kind of roof you have, you must regularly clean your gutters and remove debris from them.

As an asphalt shingle roof ages, it may become necessary to replace a small portion of the shingles, particularly on three-tab roofs, since the sealant may deteriorate and the shingles may be more susceptible to wind damage.

Over the course of their useful lives, metal roofs will probably still need some maintenance and repairs, but not as much as asphalt shingles.


Metal roofs, while once notorious for their noise during rain, have evolved significantly due to modern installation practices and advanced materials. Layers of insulation and decking construct today’s metal roofs, effectively mitigating sound and making their noise levels comparable to traditional asphalt shingle roofs. Whether it’s a residential or commercial setting, metal roofs offer a sleek, durable, and virtually leak-proof option. With options like the aesthetically pleasing standing seam or the more utilitarian exposed fastener roofs, metal roofing provides a long-lasting solution that combines both functionality and style for any building.

FAQs: Metal Roofs and Rain Noise

1. How do metal roofs compare to asphalt shingles in terms of noise during rainstorms?

  • Many wonder if a metal roof will be noisier than traditional asphalt shingles during rain. Generally, with proper installation and insulation, the noise level of metal roofs can be very similar to that of asphalt shingles.

2. What factors influence the noise level of metal roofs?

  • Several factors influence the noise a metal roof makes during rain, including the type of metal, the thickness of the panels, the installation techniques, and the adequacy of insulation and underlayment.

3. Can you reduce the noise on an existing metal roof?

  • If you’re experiencing excessive noise from your metal roof during rain, there are ways to reduce it. Adding insulation, installing sound-deadening materials, or adjusting the fastening system can help lower noise levels.

4. Do all metal roofs produce the same amount of noise?

  • Not all metal roofs are the same in terms of noise production. The design of the roof, such as standing seam versus exposed fastener systems, and the quality of the installation play significant roles in determining the sound level.

5. Do specific metal roofing materials offer quieter performance?

  • Certain metal roofing materials are quieter than others. Thicker materials and those with structural barriers designed to dampen sound can significantly reduce noise compared to thinner, more basic metal panels.