A noisy roof can be a real annoyance; however, it can also mean roofing concerns. Finding the source of roof noise and determining the best way to fix it can sometimes be a real challenge. When noisy roofs become a problem, the best recommendation is to call an experienced roofing contractor. The issue may be related to roof maintenance, or some other problem that should be corrected to reduce noise and keep roofs in their best condition.

Why Roofs Make Noise

When roofing is properly installed with the right underlayment and correctly affixed to roof decking, even metal roofs normally produce relatively little noise. Noise from the roof is usually caused by either inefficient roof installation that does not consider the possibility of noise, or errors in the roofing installation. Building architecture and the type of roofing material used can also contribute to roof noise. Insulated attic space, for example, acts as a sound barrier between the roof and the rest of the building. Metal and asphalt roofs alike can seem noisy, transmitting airborne sounds as well as sounds caused by rain or expansion and contraction if there is no insulated attic space.

Sound Transmission and Roofing Materials

Companies who provide roofing services assert that roofing materials, and how they are installed, can affect roof noise and the passage of sound through a roof and into the structure below it, as follows:

  • Asphalt and Membrane Roofs - Even though these types of roofs do not usually generate a lot of noise, building acoustics can increase even a little roof noise, making it sound much noisier.
  • Metal Roofs - Metal roofs are most notably the noisiest, as they can generate noise in multiple ways. Rain hitting the roof, snow sliding down the roof, or the expansion and contraction of metal roof panels can all create noise on metal roofs.
  • Green or Cool Roofs - Cool roofs are those made of concrete or natural tile like ceramic, clay, or terra cotta. Not only do these roofs help reduce cooling costs in hot climates, they are also very soundproof.  Sound is absorbed by these materials and not passed through into the structure.

Remedying A Noisy Roof

Based on the type of roofing material used and the structure the roof sits over, roof repair experts can diagnose the cause of roofing noise and try to remedy it. One main issue with many roofs is lack of sufficient underlayment and sound-deadening attic insulation. Adding one or both of these can usually help reduce noise and the transmission of sound in most circumstances. These roofing fixes can greatly help noisy asphalt or membrane roofs; however, where metal roofs are concerned, it may require additional effort to remedy the noisy roof problem.

The main issues that affect metal roofs include not enough sound-deadening underlayment or insulation or a roof installation that is not properly fastened, permitting panel shifting due to expansion and contraction. The wrong type of fasteners, or fasteners not applied in the right places, allows metal roof panels to shift, frequently producing noise due to the movement. It is important to determine how the roof is attached, whether there are enough of the right type of fasteners, and that they are positioned properly to prevent panel movement. Installing insulating foam under a metal roof can also help reduce roof noise.

Excessive roof noise is not normal and should be addressed, as it can be an indicator of roof maintenance problems or other roofing concerns. By determining the cause of roof noise, then using the right corrections to prevent roof noise generation or block sound from transmitting through the roof, these noisy roof issues can be remedied. Homeowners dealing with a noisy roof should discuss the problem with an experienced roofer today!

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