Do Metal Roofs Make Noise During the Rain?

Noise control should be a major concern in the design of any building. Because a building’s acoustical design directly affects the occupants’ overall comfort.

The roof is a critical component of a building’s acoustical design. When designing any type of roofing structure, the noise control plan should be a top priority.

Also, noise pollution is not always the result of cars on the road or construction activities in the surrounding area. Rain can be as disruptive as any other type of noise if the roof is not properly designed for it.

Most roofs are typically made of asphalt shingles and they don’t create much noise when it rains. But metal roofs can be a different story depending on how it’s designed.

So the answer to the question: Do metal roofs make noise during the rain?

Yes, metals roofs do make noise during the rain. This can be an even bigger concern if the space underneath is used as a living area and there is no measure of noise control in the design.

How much noise do metal roofs make?

The Acoustic Group at the University of Lule in Sweden determined that rain on a metal roof produces only 52 decibels of sound.

A quiet home conversation has an average sound intensity of 50 decibels. Most people don’t find sound annoying until it exceeds 70 decibels, which is four times louder than rain on a metal roof.

However, noise levels can quickly add up with the other noises in the area like traffic and construction.

Therefore, it’s important to take all aspects of a building into account when designing an acoustical plan. Ignoring the potential for noise pollution can lead to a very uncomfortable environment for the occupants.

Furthermore, not all noise that bothers us is loud. Because the decibel level of the sound does not indicate how annoying it can be. Some noise is not particularly loud, but it can be perceived as more obnoxious due to frequency or exposure time.

The bottom line is that rain noise on a metal roof is a concern that should be taken into account when designing the roof and the building as a whole.

How to soundproof a metal roof against the rain?

There are a few ways to soundproof a metal roof against the rain. Here are the most important ones projects can use:

Add insulation between the roof and ceiling

Adding insulation between the roof and ceiling will dampen the sound. Although this is a low-cost measure to take, it should ideally be done during the construction of the building.

Because once the roof is installed, it may be difficult to remove and install a layer of insulation.

Add an additional layer of drywall

You can add an additional layer of drywall to the ceiling. This is also a low-cost measure that can be done during construction. Adding an additional drywall layer provides another barrier between the metal roof and ceiling.

To reduce noise, choose drywall with a high Sound Transmission Class (STC). It is also important to note that noise-canceling drywall should be water-resistant to avoid water damage.

Use acoustic panels

Acoustic panels are the specific type of panels engineered to absorb sound. They can be installed on the ceiling under the metal roof to dampen noise created by rain falling on it.

Acoustic panels are made of different materials including mineral wool, fiberglass or polyester batting, and open-cell foam among others.

The best acoustic panels are those with the highest STC because they will be better at absorbing the sound of rain on a metal roof.

When choosing acoustic panels, it is important to consider the water resistance of the material. Some materials may be good noise absorbers but will not be able to withstand water exposure.

Install a sound-dampening membrane

A sound-dampening membrane is a layer of material that is placed between the metal roof and insulation. This is usually a rubber-like material that acts as a barrier between the roof and insulation.

This is an effective way of reducing noise because it will absorb the noise and reduce it passing through to the space below.

Install a rain screen

A rain screen is an airtight membrane that helps to keep out the elements and reduces noise infiltration.

It is installed over the top of the roofing material and creates a barrier that can prevent the sound generated by raindrops on the metal roofing from entering the building.

Install a layer of shingles on top of the metal roof

Another option to improve noise control is adding a layer of asphalt shingles over on top of the metal roofing.

The asphalt shingles will help to absorb the sound of the rain and muffle it. I know this is not the best idea, and it kills the idea of a metal roof, but it does reduce noise.

Use vibration-dampening materials

If you can’t add insulation or install a rain screen, use vibration-dampening materials instead.

Vibration-dampening materials will reduce the impact of sound and vibration, which can drastically improve noise control in a metal roof structure.

For example, use an underlayment that is made of rubber. Rubber has great sound-dampening properties and will help reduce the impact noise generated by raindrops on metal roofs can have on building occupants.

Install rain diverters

Rain diverters deflect the rain away from the roof and building. They are typically made of stainless steel or aluminum, which is tightly coiled to divert water into a drain system that leads it away from the structure.

Although rain diverters will not directly reduce noise, they can help keep the rain off the roof deck and minimize noise from dripping.

Use a metal roof with corrugated panels

Not all metal roofs are created equal. If you haven’t yet made a decision on your metal roof, consider corrugated panels. This is because are built from a series of corrugated metal sheets.

These sheets are interlocked to form a single, solid sheet and installed on the roof with either screws or nails.

Corrugated panels have higher sound absorption than smooth metal roofs because they trap air between creating an acoustic barrier that will absorb noise from raindrops.

Therefore, a corrugated metal roof is a better option than a smooth metal roof when it comes to noise control.

Choose Stone-Coated Metal Roofing

Stone-Coated Metal Roofing is a hybrid roofing system that combines the durability of metal with the beauty of the natural stone.

The roofing tiles are made from lightweight steel that has been coated with a layer of ceramic-like enamel. This gives the tiles a hard finish that is resistant to fading, cracking, and chipping.

Stone-coated metal roofs not only give the roof a rugged, textured appearance but also helps to break up sound waves and reduce noise infiltration.

Install a green roof

A green roof is a roof that is partially or completely covered in vegetation.

Green roofs not only help to control noise levels but also offer other environmental benefits such as reducing the amount of heat absorbed by the building and slowing down the rate at which rainwater runoff occurs.

If your roof has enough structural support, adding a green roof to your building can also reduce noise levels.

Before adding a green roof, check with your local building department to see if they would allow it on metal roofs.

Do Metal Roofs Make Noise During the Hail?

Yes, metal roofs can make noise during hail events. However, most hail events don’t last long enough to be a noise concern for building occupants.

If you are concerned about the noise that a metal roof can make during a hail event, you can use the strategies we have covered in this post.

Conclusion

There are many ways to design a metal roof so it doesn’t generate much noise when it rains.

The important thing is not to forget the importance of sound control when designing a metal roof for a building.

By using some of the techniques mentioned in this article, you can help create a more peaceful environment for people inside without the potential disturbing noise that metal roofs can create during the rain.