Choosing a Metal Roof
Choosing a metal roof ensures a long-lasting, durable roof for your home or business. Metal roofs have been around for more than a century and a half and have withstood the test of time to become a modern type of building material. Metal roofs can last three to four decades or longer with proper maintenance, which is almost twice as long as other standard asphalt shingle roofing. Pair that with the ability to withstand strong gusts of wind, and it is easy to see why metal roofs are a premium option for homeowners in Maryland. While they are initially more expensive than other roofing system, metal roofs are worth the extra cost when it comes to their longevity and durability. Metal roofs are environmentally friendly, as they don’t require petroleum products like asphalt roofs. Since asphalt roofs also require more frequent replacement, the waste from replacing asphalt roofs, roughly every decade or two, results in 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles being sent to United States landfills every year. Metal roofs are also energy-efficient, reducing cooling costs by as much as 25 percent. In a hot and humid state such as Maryland, that type of energy efficiency is priceless. A con of having a metal roof is that it can be noisy. This may not be a con for everyone (some people love the sound of rain on a metal roof) but it can be distracting for some. Last but not least, metal roofs are stylish and come with a variety of color options to match your home’s exterior.
There are two types of fastening systems that are available when you purchase a metal roof, concealed fastener or exposed fastener. Standing seam panels are considered a concealed fastener metal roofing panel. This is the most weather-tight roofing system. Understanding the differences between these two systems is the first step in deciding which type of metal panel is best for your residential roof. The main benefit of a standing seam roofing panel is the fastening system. Standing seam is a concealed fastener metal roofing panel. This means that the panels are attached to the substrate using concealed clips and fasteners. The screws do not penetrate the metal roofing panel.
This is important because unlike an exposed fastener metal roof panel you will not have thousands of screw holes in the panel. A standing seam roof eliminates all of the potential leak points that screws cause.
The seams are the weakest point on the metal roof and the most likely place where water can penetrate the metal roofing. Most standing seam panels have a panel seam that is 1.75” to 2” in height. Having the seam located 2” above the height of the panels significantly lessens the likelihood of roof leaks.
In addition, you can use longer sheets and avoid panel overlaps. Standing seam roofs are designed to allow for expansion and contraction. As the temperature changes from hot to cold the panels are designed to allow for thermal movement. This gives you the opportunity to have sheet lengths in excess of forty feet.
Standing seam metal roofing is often referred to as a “Lifetime Roof”, meaning you should only need to purchase one roof in your life for your house. It’s a long-term investment. Standing seam metal roofing can last 40-70 years.
Metal is able to withstand harsh climates and even winds up to 140 mph. It will not collapse under its own weight during a snowstorm or torrential rain.
Metal roofing isn’t combustible and when installed correctly, standing seam will have a Class A fire rating. Class “A”: The highest fire-resistance rating for roofing as per ASTM E-108. This indicates roofing is able to withstand severe exposure to fire originating from sources outside the building.
You cannot create a fireproof house. However, fire rating systems allow builders and architects to choose materials that reduce the spread of fire. This allows more time for firefighters to arrive and put out the fire before it does significant damage.
The standing seam metal roofing panels will have a Class A fire rating. However, the roofing structure as a whole may receive a different fire rating. For example, if you installed a standing seam roof over the top of existing wood shingles then it would not be a Class A fire rated roofing system. You want to use a roofing underlayment that’s Class A fire rated so that your entire roofing assembly is built to Class A fire rating specifications.
In addition, roofs that have a Class A fire rating often cost less to insure. The same way that a brick or stone home cost less to insure than a wood home, a metal roof is less expensive when compared to shingles. Having a metal roof reduces the risk to insure the property, and those savings are passed back to the customer.
Because the fasteners are concealed, they aren’t exposed to the weather. This means that there aren’t any washers on the screws that will break down and need to be replaced. Concealed fasteners are the main reason that standing seam requires less maintenance than other types of metal roofing panels.
Expansion and contraction is not an issue with a standing seam roof. Therefore, you won’t have the headache of climbing on your roof periodically, checking to make sure the fasteners have not backed out, and then re-tightening them.
All roofs require regular maintenance. It’s recommended to do maintenance at least once a year. This can either be performed by the property owner, contractor, or a roof maintenance service. The goal of the maintenance is to find potential problem spots early so that they don’t become a much bigger problem.