Does a Metal Roof Make Noise When it Rains?

Does a Metal Roof Make Noise When it Rains?

When deciding whether a metal roofing system is for you, there are many factors to take into consideration. The sound of the rain hitting the metal roof, unfortunately, is often not considered.

It might not seem a big deal but many homeowners experience buyer’s regret for something so simple. When considering a metal roofing system, homeowners should consider how noise will affect them.

After investing tens of thousands of dollars, the last thing you need is to hear a noise that makes you mad.

You’ll know the answers to these questions by the end of the article:

  • When it rains, do metal roofs make a noise?
  • What can be done about a roof that makes noises when it rains if you have a metal one?
  • How much louder does a metal roof sound than other roofing materials
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Do metal roofs make noise when it rains?

Metal roofs do make noise during rain. Some homeowners find it soothing to listen to a light rain that sounds like leaves rustling or soft tapping/popping.

It will sound like small beads hitting a surface when it’s a more normal rain. You’ll hear a constant echo in your home if it’s heavy rainfall. It sounds like a muffled, continuous drum roll. Of course we rarely get rain here in New Orleans (I’ll give you a second to stop laughing). The point is, your location will help determine how big of a deal some rain noise will be.

Your home’s design can also influence how loud your noises are. The noise is dampened by an insulated space in the attic above the ceiling.

The bottom floor of a two-story house will be less noisy than the upper floors.

A metal roof will make noise no matter what. You need to decide for yourself whether it is a deal-breaker or not.

What can be done about a metal roof making noise when it rains?

You now know that there is no way to stop the rain from making noise on your roof. There are some things you can add and do to dampen the sound.

We’ll look at some ways to reduce the noise that a metal roofing system makes when it rains.

Different types of metals absorb sound differently

Each metal type (aluminum, steel, copper, etc.) Each metal type has its own properties that influence how loud the rain sounds. Aluminum is the loudest metal because it’s lighter, thinner and more susceptible to vibrations than other metals.

Steel is a good choice for dampening sound because it’s denser and thicker than most other metal roofing. Copper and zinc metals are heavier, denser and less resonant than the other two, so they absorb sound more effectively.

Metal type and thickness are equally important. The sound is better absorbed by thicker panels.

Add a sound-reducing layer to metal panels

The metal sheets are painted to protect them from the weather and keep the color vibrant. But there are other coatings that can be added to reduce the noise of rain.

These coatings are usually filled with rubberized compounds and other properties that absorb sound. These coatings, unlike the painted finish that is applied during manufacture, are applied post-installation.

Although they are specifically designed to reduce sound, I do not recommend them. Although I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with sound-reducing coatings, I would prefer to find other solutions.

roof deck

Make sure the roof decking is solid

To reduce noise, you should ensure that your roof decking has been maintained properly. When your metal roof is over solid decking it will be more quiet when it rains.

The solid wood decking placed between your metal panels and ceiling will reduce the noise but not entirely. Your ceiling insulation will be the only thing that can absorb sound without a solid foundation.

Before installing your metal roof, you will need to install underlayment over the roof decking. This additional layer protects from leaks and also absorbs some sound.

Insulate the decking with insulation boards

You can upgrade the solid decking to absorb even more sound. If the homeowner is concerned about noise, I recommend that they install wood fiber insulation between the metal panels and the roof decking.

These boards add another layer through which sound must travel. Insulation boards, when combined with solid roof decking as well as your ceiling insulation will help reduce rain noise.

The boards will not completely stop the sound of a heavy rain. This upgrade will also increase the cost of your metal roof.

Insulation boards are great for sound absorption, but they also help with energy efficiency and condensation.

new metal roof

How much louder is a metal roof than other roofs

It’s possible that you think rain will be heard in your home regardless of the type of roof material you select. Compared to other roof types, metal roofing is louder.

Metal is not as effective at absorbing sound as other roofing materials such asphalt shingles, synthetic and cedar.

Metal roofs are at least 50 decibels noisier than asphalt roofs (the most popular roofing material). Insulation boards can reduce the noise by half but not as much as asphalt tiles.

A metal roof is always louder than other types of roofs. If the sound of rain bothers you, then a metal roofing system may not be for you.

Should you invest in a metal roof?

You now know that metal roofs will produce noise when it rains. You can’t stop the sound completely, but you can reduce it.

Take my advice to reduce the noise of a metal roof when it rains. If the noise is a deal-breaker for you, then it’s not the best residential roofing material.

Metal roofing has continued to grow in popularity despite the noise factor. It is because the benefits of metal roofing outweigh any noise from rain.

You must decide whether the benefits of a metal roofing system make it a worthwhile investment.