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What are the Different Types of Roof Panel?

By Mary Lougee
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are several types of roof panels that not only might enhance the style and beauty of a home, but also have several benefits. Adding a new roof panel could help with insulation of a home and thereby allow cost effective heating and cooling. A new roof usually can increase the value of any home, as well.

Metal roofing panels usually are available in several styles and colors. They may be purchased in a variety of metals, each with their own associated color. The most commonly used metal roof panel might be constructed of copper, tin, or aluminum in their traditional shiny, bare-metal color. Pre-painted roofing panels in several colors also are available in the metal style, such as green, red, and black.

Thermal panels also are constructed of metal, and a heating system is incorporated within them. They may be heated by hydronics with the same principle of radiant floor heating or by an electric thermal heater. This type of roof can be very useful in regions that receive a large amount of snow in the winter where each roof panel may be warmed to shed ice and snow. Usually, this system will prevent excessive weight on the roof, which eventually could lead to a compromised roofing system and cause bending or separation of the panels.

Insulated panels also are constructed of metal and have insulation in them for increased energy efficiency. They are available in most regions in the shape of flat panels or standing seams, which can provide a unique appearance. This type also may be pre-painted or shiny aluminum.

All of the above metal roofing materials have the same benefits in the nature of their construction. A metal roof may be placed over an existing shingled roof without removal of the original materials to save time and money in installation. Metal is a long-lasting durable material and it does not burn when sparks from the chimney or a nearby fire land on it. There also usually is very little upkeep associated with a metal roof.

Solar roof panels convert the rays of the sun into useable energy as a truly green product that uses the most renewable form of energy. This type of roof panel may be purchased singly so that it can generate enough energy to power a portion of a home, or enough for total dependency from the electric companies. Some power companies will purchase excess power generated from homeowners. A solar roof typically is the most expensive type of roof, but there are rebates and tax incentives offered in many areas to help offset the costs.

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