We have two dormers (roughly 12x12 each) with a very low pitch roof (1:12, essentially flat). They've been roofed with rolled rubber for about 20 years but it's getting to be time to replace. This is in southern Michigan so all climate factors apply: heat, snow etc.

I'm considering replacing -- or just covering over -- the rubber with white metal for better heat control. (I assume there are metal roofs spec'd for low pitch.) But I'm concerned that this will make the bedrooms much noisier in the rain. How big an issue is this and would leaving the rubber in place mitigate it?

Aesthetics are not a concern because this roof is only visible from space. (-:

  • 1
    The question isn't 'how noisy' but rather 'will I enjoy the sound of rain?' De gustibus non disputandum Aug 11, 2016 at 12:32
  • @CarlWitthoft Thanks for the comment. I love the 'sound of rain' but it can have totally different qualities when falling on leaves vs sheets of metal. Of course no one can answer the subjective question, but it should be possible to say that, enjoyable or not, the sound is very loud or mostly unnoticeable etc, and whether a layer of rubber would lessen it.
    – Jim Mack
    Aug 11, 2016 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


I live in a log home with metal gable roofs. They're made of metal panels, overlapped and screwed though with gaskets etc., but no insulation beneath them (there's an attic). The metal roof does indeed add noticeable noise in a rainstorm, but we find it actually soothing. It's sort of a soft drumming noise, except in the worst storms. More surprisingly, we hear the panels clank and pop all day long, as the sun heats different sections of them. Again, not a bothersome sound, but even after 6 months in the house, we still remark on it frequently.

  • This echoes my experience with a metal roof. It is the peaceful pitter-patter of rain, just a bit louder.
    – pkaeding
    Feb 11, 2022 at 13:17

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