Metal roofing is known as the most permanent, longest-lasting roofing material available today. Metal roofs are available in a surprising number of forms, and metal is known for a lower to non-existent maintenance cycle (depending on product). Metal is also typically fire-resistant or fireproof, and some home insurance companies reduce their rates due to this benefit. Metal can be a permanent, extreme long-life solution, stretching past 70 years of service or more. Some clients love the environmentally friendly aspect of metal roofing, since the metal can be recycled if it is ever removed. Also, some clients use metal roofing to serve as a water catchment system for rainwater, as asphalt oils are a concern for some gardeners.
Architectural Standing Seam Metal
Architectural standing seam metal roofs are known for a clean appearance and the fact that they require almost zero maintenance. The two chief characteristics of an architectural standing seam roof are a panel that runs from the bottom of the roof to the top, and fasteners that are concealed underneath the panel—not exposed to sunlight. This design minimizes any chance for water to enter the roof.
Not all standing seam roofs are created equal, however. Panels are made from different thicknesses of metal, which reflect different expansion and contraction rates. They have different types of details and flashings, also. Some details are very simple and save money on installation, but can lead to long term maintenance problems and even leakage, since roofs in our climate face a number of severe factors.
Standing seam metal roof panels have different paint finishes, also. Some paint finishes are technologically advanced, and may last a lifetime or longer. Some paint finishes are simple, older styles that fade and peel over time. It is critical to understand the differences among these products, as they will impact longevity and your bottom-line cost.
Smooth Metal Shingles
Smooth metal shingles have become more popular in recent years. In most cases, they are a pressed aluminum panel with a paint finish. They come in patterns that resemble slate roofs, shake roofs, or even asphalt roofs. We will install some types of smooth metal shingles, but we caution our clients about these products in our environment. The cracks and crevices of some of these products form nooks and crannies that foster moss growth. Also, most companies will not service these roofs, because the metal is thin and can dent if we walk on them. Finally, the way the panels lock together can have some weaknesses in our environment.
Through-fastened Metal Roofing
Through-fastened metal roofing, or agricultural panels (“ag panels” for short), are ribbed metal panels that typically come in 3-foot wide sections that overlap in large panels. They are characterized by the gasketed screws that hold the panel to the substrate. These fasteners fasten right through the face of the roof. This is not a recommended roof on a residence, since over time, these fasteners leak. The gaskets break down due to sun and heat. Although we will service and repair these roofs, we will not install them on buildings with any occupancy. These products are only acceptable for out buildings.
Granulated Metal Roofing Panels
Granulated metal panels consist of a pressed galvanized steel panel that resembles asphalt composition, shake, slate or tile roofing. They combine beautiful appearance and a wide array of styles with the durability and solidity of steel. They offer excellent fire resistance. There are several manufacturers of these products, and not all panels utilize the same technology. The best manufacturers use a thicker gauge of galvanized steel, a high-end baked-on acrylic resin, and ceramic granules that are embedded in the surface. Granulated metal panels often cost more than standing seam metal, and a downside over standing seam is that these products, due to the texture of the panels and the roughness of the granules, can create a moss-nurturing environment. We have seen situations where the acrylic and the granules were removed by pressure washing, in an attempt to get aggressive moss off of the roof.
Copper roofing is among the most beautiful and premium of all roofs. A copper roof will last forever, if installed properly. Copper is naturally moss-proof. The panels kill moss and microbial growth, as copper powders were extremely effective moss treatments in days past. Copper is among the most expensive roofing. It can come in shingle form, but is most commonly seen in standing seam architectural metal roofs. We often see these panels on churches or civic buildings, but some clients simply want copper accents on their premium or premium designer asphalt roofs. Occasionally, a homeowner may want the most premium of roofs, and copper metal roofing is a great choice if budget allows.
Copper is known for its patina. Over time, copper changes from a shiny metal to a dark bronze color, and eventually changing to a green patina that has been noted on some of the most prominent buildings in the world. Customers who seek premium products often ask us about this desired architectural feature. We can help you accomplish this type of finished look.