Q & A - Using Recycled Metal Roof Tiles...The Pro’s and Con’s

metal panels
April 8, 2015 at 12:00 a.m.

Pro's and con's of using recycled roofing materials.

Lynn asked, "Would it be a bad idea to try to re-roof my 1500 square foot house (hip and approx. slope 3 and 12) with recycled metal Mexican barrel-style tiles removed from an old Sacramento building?"

The pro’s and con’s...Recycling roofing materials can be rewarding if you have enough materials, if they are in good condition, palletized and able to load them on your new roof. Getting a permit can be difficult using old products since the Building Department wants approved roofing systems to be used. I am assuming this is a metal panel that you are thinking about using.  That has a look like a mission, but is actually a steel coated panel similar to the photo.

Proper underlayment on a 3/12 pitch is most important since it is a low slope. In Sacramento, the building department may require double underlayment. In this case, having a flow-through elevated batten system to hang the panels from is a nice roofing system and….. you will have a pretty good roof and save the cost of buying new material. Getting a contractor to do the work can be a challenge since no one wants to put their name on recycled roofing. It is strongly advised you use a licensed roofing contractor since this is a complicated project. The waste on a hip roof is more than normal and the last thing you want is to run short of used materials. Trying to match old roofing is nearly impossible. This photo is a red colored roofing system over elevated battens with a mission tile profile. I am not sure what you have available but I am guessing this is what you have since I cannot think of any metal barrel tiles available.

My advice is NOT to use recycled roofing. I have found it is more trouble than it is worth. With nearly forty years in this business, I can count on one hand the jobs I have done using old roofing material. It rarely works out well. You would be surprised how little the costs are for materials and the warranty that comes with them. Reusing old roofing simply has too many complications. The added cost to remove, stack, and reload on the roof, typically costs more than using brand new products. thank you for the question I hope this answer helps.

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