It’s natural for a homeowner to ask if a metal roof would be noisy when it rains or hails. Given the long life-span of metal roofing, any material providing that kind of protection will be strong. Our answer is that they really aren’t any noisier than asphalt shingle roofing.
It may seem surprising. But the confusion lies within the construction of the roof. When the roof assembly, which consists of everything above and below the trusses, like decking (sheets of plywood or OSB), insulation, and underlayment match that of a shingle roof, the noise level is no different. But it’s no wonder folks miss this small differentiator.
Noise Levels without Underlayment
If you’ve ever been in a metal pole building or garage with a metal roof that didn’t have a plywood deck and insulation under it, it’s pretty easy to listen to the loud noise caused by rain and hail. In fact, rain can sound like a downpour inside the building when in actuality it’s only a light shower. Without the roof deck, insulation, and underlayment, the metal panels can actually intensify the sound, and even echo throughout the building, if it is large. Noise levels are the same regardless of exterior surface when the interior components are properly installed.
Some installers place steel roofing directly over asphalt shingle roofing. If installed correctly, this indeed will provide an additional barrier for noise levels. Of course, the steel roofing system is also able to be installed in replacement of shingles, or as with new construction, designed to have a maximum sound proof barrier.
Regardless of whether you have shingle or metal roofing, adding insulation to the attic space will certainly benefit you in energy savings, keeping your climate more comfortable and quieter.
So… getting back to the original question, a metal roof is loud under certain conditions, but on a typical home, if installed with all of the correct components, you won’t notice a difference.