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Posted by McElroy Metal ● Jul 17, 2023 9:51 AM

Are Metal Roofs Noisy When it Rains or Hails?

One of the most frequent questions homeowners ask about metal roofs is will it be noisy when it rains and hails. And indeed, given the long life span of metal roofing (50+ years), it's a valid concern.

According to the Acoustic Group at the University of Lulea, Sweden, rain on asphalt shingles is about 46 dBA compared to rain on a metal roof at 52 dBA. So, what does that mean? Since most humans can’t distinguish between sounds less than eight decibels apart, the noise difference between metal and shingle roofs is undetectable.

So, the short answer is, no, they aren't any noisier than other types of roofing.

Rain on metal roofSurprised? You aren't alone. The confusion stems from the construction of the roof. When the roof assembly (decking/insulation/underlayment) matches that of a shingle roof, the noise level is no different. But it's no wonder folks miss this small differentiator.

If you’ve ever been in a pole building or garage with a metal roof that didn’t have a plywood deck and insulation under it, you likely noticed the loud noise caused by rain and hail. Rain can sound like a downpour inside the building when it’s only a light shower. Without the roof deck, insulation, and underlayment, the metal panels can intensify the sound. But as soon as those building components are added, noise levels return to what could be generally expected with any other roofing material.


Some metal manufacturers have created systems allowing metal panels to be installed over the top of existing shingles. For more on our system, please check this out. In these applications, the existing shingles also serve as an additional insulator and even further reduce the noise many homeowners falsely associate with "all" metal roofing

And, of course, increasing insulation in the attic airspace provides a double benefit for shingle and metal roofing. Adding more insulation typically saves energy and keeps the home’s interior quieter.

Read a case study where one homeowner shares how metal roofing impacted his  energy bills. 

But on the other hand, if memories of waiting out a good storm to pass in Grandpa’s shed are something you want to relive, install metal panels directly over open framing without decking, insulation, and underlayment. You’ll be able to relive those fond memories every time it rains!

To debunk other myths about metal roofing, check out our article Residential Metal Roofing Myths.


Contact a McElroy Metal distributor or contractor in your area today. Click here. 

Learn everything you need to know about Residential Metal Roofing. Check out our metal roofing resources for inspiration and answers to your questions.

About McElroy Metal

Since 1963, McElroy Metal has served the construction industry with quality products and excellent customer service. The employee-owned components manufacturer is headquartered in Bossier City, La., and has 14 manufacturing facilities across the United States. Quality, service and performance have been the cornerstone of McElroy Metal’s business philosophy and have contributed to the success of the company through the years. As a preferred service provider, these values will continue to be at the forefront of McElroy Metal’s model along with a strong focus on the customer.

Topics: Education, Metal Roofing, Recover and Retrofit, FAQ, Residential, 138T and 238T, Wind/Hail

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