It’s important to choose your roofing contractor carefully since a new roof is a major investment that you’re likely to live with for a long time. Continue reading
There are many categories of metal panels. The term standing seam often is used as a generic description for a class of metal roof seams. The name standing seam is derived from the fact that the seams are joined together above the panel flats. Continue reading
When considering whether to use asphalt shingles or a metal roof, here are some of the important facts you should know: Continue reading
People are concerned with using metal roofs because they are worried that it will rust or corrode. This may be a valid concern because corrosion can shorten the expected life of metal building system in particular climates. However, metal can resist corrosion, with the right type of coating. There are various types of coatings that make metal roofs nearly rust proof. Alternatively, the roofer can completely insulate the metal with paint or plastic coating at the joints.
Another way to reduce the risk of corrosion to your metal roof is to use the rubber insulators between the dissimilar metals to prevent electrical current flow. Corrosion does not take place in dry conditions, therefore, the roofer should assemble the roof, in a way, that it sheds rainwater, and there should be no accumulation of water in any part of the roof.
Being aware of the installation issues can help roofers prevent corrosion. For example, failing to consider precision clips and or fasteners can lead to corrosion. Any fasteners or precision clips used in the metal roof needs to work with the material the roofer is using to assemble the metal roof. If a roof consists of steel roof panels, the fasteners and or precision clips should be manufactured from carbon or stainless steel. If using aluminum roofing, the fasteners should be made of stainless steel. In addition, when the roofer drills holes to install the fasteners or precision clips, he must sweep it away those little chips of steel or they can rust or stain the metal roof.
When steps are made to avoid corrosion, metal roofing is extremely durable and holds up very well, even against the elements that can corrupt any roof, like heat, moisture and UV-radiation. Most metallic-coated steels are guaranteed for 35 years, it is not unusual to come across metal roofs that have lasted a century. After all, some of the most important parts of the roof can be subject to this type of corrosion. Applying the proper precautions when building a roof can help maintain the performance and the appearance of the metal roof for years to come.
Metal roofing provides an alternative to traditional asphalt shingle roofs, that are both beautiful and durable. Metal roofing often lasts for decades with very little maintenance or repair.
Over many years, these roofs normally require repainting to restore their appearance and protect the roof from corrosion. With the typical home, one can easily repaint the entire roof in one weekend. When done correctly, the metal roof will look like new.
Follow these steps in order;
1. Scrape away all loose paint using your putty knife. A wire brush or sandpaper may also help loosen areas that are hard to reach.
2. Remove all rust using your wire brush or sandpaper.
3. Sand the entire metal roof surface very lightly with your wire brush or sandpaper. Try to achieve a slightly abraded, textured finish, as this helps your new paint bond with the roof finish.
4. Add 1 cup of any mild dish or laundry detergent to 5 gallons of warm water. Use the water and some rags or towels to clean your roof and remove any dust, debris or grease.
5. Rinse the roof with a hose to remove all soap and debris. Wait for the surface to dry completely before proceeding.
6. Coat the entire metal roof surface with a rust-inhibiting primer. Choose a product designed for use on outdoor metal applications. Apply the primer with a roller, using a paint brush to access small areas or tight corners.
7. Allow the primer to dry completely before painting. Follow instructions on the primer can to calculate drying time.
8. Paint over the primed roof surface using an acrylic latex paint designed for outdoor metal applications. Apply the paint using a roller or brush as desired.
9. Wait for the paint to dry completely, then apply a second coat using a roller or brush.
Some people may balk at using metal because they are concerned it will rust or corrode. This is a valid concern, because in certain climates corrosion can shorten the expected life of a metal building system. However, according to the experts, when the proper product with the right type of coating is installed correctly, metal is able to resist corrosion.
The key to metal’s durability is the type of substrate chosen and the type of coating that can be applied. Three types of paint systems are commonly used on exterior metal building systems. These are polyesters, silicone or modified polyester, and fluoropolymers — often considered the highest quality premium paint. While the most expensive, fluoropolymers generally resist color fading and chalking, and maintain gloss and solar reflective properties longer than other options.
Because of their color stability, fluoropolymers often are used on wall systems. On the other hand, if a low slope roof won’t be seen from the ground, one of the other less expensive paint systems may do the job.To achieve maximum corrosion resistance, facility executives should specify a quality metal coating from a reputable manufacturer.
Being aware of installation issues can help facility executives prevent corrosion as well. For example, failing to consider fasteners and attachments can lead to corrosion. Any fasteners and attachments used within a roofing system need to work with the substrate material. If a roofing system consists of steel roof panels, for example, the fasteners can be manufactured from carbon or stainless steel. If aluminum roofing is used, the fasteners should be made of stainless steel. You don’t want the possibility of corrosion caused by dissimilar materials.
Properly installing fasteners and flashings is important not just to avoiding corrosion, but also to limiting the chance for roof leaks. A recent study found that while all roofs, including metal, experience leaks, none of the leaks in the metal roofs was a result of a failure in the material. Instead, they developed because of improper installation, deteriorating grommets and other issues.
After the roof is drilled to install the fasteners, it should be swept clean. This is more than just a housekeeping detail. Those little pieces of steel can rust and stain the roof surface.
Additionally, the flashings used along the perimeter of a roof need to comply with the manufacturer’s recommendations. If they don’t, they may compromise the integrity of the metal roofing system.
Also, the choice of substrate and coating should take into account the use of the building and its environment. For example, a building that’s used for chemical processing may require a different type of metal than a facility used for light manufacturing.
When these steps are taken, metal is extremely durable, and holds up very well even against heat, moisture and UV-radiation. Most metallic-coated steel is warranted for 35 years. It’s not unusual to come across metal roofs that have lasted a century. In contrast, most built-up or single-ply roofs tend to need either significant repairs or total replacement well before the building has reached the end of its useful life.
What’s more, maintaining a metal roof or wall that’s been properly installed is relatively simple. Most metal roofs are dirt-shedding, rather than dirt- retaining. Usually, a power-washing will remove dirt and debris.
Because the maintenance work required is nominal, the cost of keeping up a metal roofing or wall system is typically a very small percentage of the initial installed cost — 3.5 percent for metal compared with 19 percent for single-ply systems, according to industry studies. Even though the initial cost of metal is more, this still means maintenance over the life of the roof is less than for most other types of roofing.
Metal is experiencing a renaissance of sorts. As knowledge of metal’s suitability for walls and roofs grows, it increasingly is being used on a variety of building projects, including schools, warehouses, health care facilities and office buildings, among others. Facilities executives are recognizing benefits such as durability and longevity, and this has led to wider use, say industry sources.
According to Toy Henson, director of education and market development with The Metal Initiative (TMI), metal’s share of the commercial building market has about doubled over the last 20 years. While no firm statistics exist, Henson estimates that metal currently accounts for 20 to 30 percent of the market. What’s more, about 70 percent of specifications for building materials issued by the federal government include metal, says Henson.
A life-cycle cost analysis conducted by Ducker Research Company in 2004 helps explain the growing popularity for metal as a building material. When analyzing roofing systems, researchers found that the expected life of a metal roof is 40 years. By comparison, the average built-up roof lasts 10 to 15 years and single-ply roofs last about 20, according to the study.
Because metal roofs need to be replaced less frequently than most other roofing systems, the total cost of the roof, when measured over its expected life, becomes much lower. The Ducker study estimated that the expected life-cycle cost per square foot for a metal roof is 30 cents. In contrast, the life-cycle cost per square foot was 57 cents for single-ply roofs.
Metal does have a higher first cost than other building materials, says Scott Kriner, technical director with the Metal Construction Association (MCA). However, Kriner cautions that it’s difficult to make broad generalizations given the wide range of metal substrates and finishes on the market.
Even so, the initial price disparity for metal roofing and wall systems can often be made up in savings in the costs of other construction materials, say industry insiders. That’s because metal is significantly lighter than other roofing materials.
According to Green Seal, a nonprofit organization that promotes the manufacture of environmentally responsible products, metal weighs between 50 and 270 pounds per 100 square feet. That compares with 250 to 400 pounds per 100 square feet for built-up roofs. Because of metal’s lighter weight, support columns and footers needed within the frame of a building can be spaced farther apart. This can reduce the cost of construction materials.
It’s important to note that metal’s lighter weight doesn’t compromise its strength, says Dick Bus, president of ATAS International and president of the Metal Construction Association. “Pound for pound, metal is stronger than other materials.”
In addition, a metal roof can be part of the building’s structure, rather than an addition to it, says Joel Voelkert, vice president of Rigid Building Systems and chair of TMI’s market development committee. Commercial metal roofs may not require a separate deck, although an architect may request one as part of the roof design. In contrast, a built-up roof system is placed atop a deck.
Another benefit of metal building systems: The installation work often can proceed more quickly than with other materials, such as brick, says Jeff Irwin, chief executive officer with MeTecno/Benchmark and incoming president of MCA. That’s because it is installed in sheets that can measure 36 inches wide.
Finally, metal building systems can be installed in most types of weather. This reduces the risk of a delay in construction due to snow, rain or other weather extremes.
Here are some important facts about metal roofing to consider:
- Noise. A metal roof installed over solid sheeting (wood planks, boards or plywood) will be as quiet as an asphalt shingles roof.
- Lightning. A metal roof does not increase the odds of your home being struck by a lightning. If a lightning does strike your home, a metal roof will safely dissipate the electric charge, even if it is not grounded. Metal Roofs act as a Faraday Cage (electrical shield) for your house. They disperse the charge over a larger area as compared to a little wire coming down your chimney or wall.
- Fireproof. Modern metal roofs such as aluminum standing seam have a class “A” or UL Class 4 fire retardant rating. If you live in a fire-prone area, a metal roof can help protect your home from a forest fire, as well as help you save money on your home insurance premiums.
- Insurance. Many insurance companies offer a significant discount (about 30%) on your homeowners insurance if your home is protected by a qualified metal roof. Ask your insurance agent about this.
- Snow. If you live in an area that sees a heavy snow fall, with freezing temperatures, a metal roof will shed off the snow, thus helping prevent a heavy snow accumulation and ice dams on your roof. A metal roof can easily be outfitted with snow-guards to prevent the sliding of snow over door entrances and other areas where heavy snow is undesirable.
- Solar. A standing seam metal roof can easily be integrated with PV solar panels should you decide to take your home’s energy-efficiency to the next level. A standing seam metal roof can be easily combined with either “Peel and Stick” thin-film photovoltaic solar laminates, or with traditional and somewhat more powerful crystalline PV solar panels. If your roof has a large area and faces south, or you are especially ambitious, then you can try to go off the grid completely!
Although metal roofs are usually called “tin roofs”, they are actually made of several other types of metal. Some of the more common are steel, aluminum, copper, and tin-coated soft metals.
Here are the main type of metal used for roofing:
Tin. More accurately called terne, or terneplate. Any one of several soft metals treated with a coating of lead and tin. A tin roof that’s properly installed can last a good 40 to 50 years.
Galvanized Steel. This is a very inexpensive roofing material that will last 60 years or more if properly cared for. Galvanized steel is also highly rust-resistant. It’s made of alloyed steel, with a protective coating of zinc.
Aluminum. Has become increasingly popular, since it resists corrosion and requires little maintenance. Aluminum also reflects heat better than steel, thus keeping a house cooler during the summer. Aluminum roofs last about 35 years.
Copper. You won’t see copper being used for roofing much these days, even though it’s by far the longest-lasting of all roofing materials (many copper roofs have lasted hundreds of years and appear to have hundreds more left in them). Unfortunately, this material has become quite expensive and very difficult to find at all. This is mainly due to its value in electronics.
All metal roofs are incredibly durable. Most roofing metals resist damage from hail and falling tree limbs. And, since metal doesn’t burn, it’s also the best choice of roof for houses with stovepipes and chimneys. Metal is rated the very safest of all roofing materials. Some insurance companies offer significant discounts for homes with metal roofs.
With the evolution of better materials used in metal roofing, it’s no wonder that it is becoming far more common in construction. Various coatings and color options, a longer lifespan, and lower maintenance costs have made metal roofs hugely popular in recent years. No longer are metal roofs used mainly in commercial buildings. Now, they are becoming a popular choice in homes as well.
If you are installing metal roofing yourself, here are some simple steps to doing it right.
Step 1; All roofing screws are self-tapping. Just below the colored head, which should match the metal roof, is a large metal washer. Below that is a thick rubber grommet or rubber seal. If the screws do not have a metal washer or rubber seal, do not install these screws. Without the metal and rubber sealant system, the screw will cause the roof to leak.
Step 2; Using a socket driver put your socket into the chuck of the electric drive fastener or drill. These sockets are usually magnetized to hold the head of the metal screw in place while driving it through the metal roof and into the wooden framing member below.
Step 3; Install the roofing screws though the high ridges or on top of the corrugations only. This allows the water to run off and down the lower portions of the roof system. Installing a roofing screw in a lower portion of the metal roof may cause a leak in heavy rains, even with the rubber seal.
Step 4; Start the screw by pressing the drill bit firmly against the metal roof, above the wooden roof framing. Press the drill button and slowly begin the rotation of the roof screw. As the metal begins to “drill” out the roof material, speed the drill up until the screw penetrates the metal. Keep advancing the screw until the metal washer seats firmly against the metal roof and the rubber seal squeezes slightly from under all sides of the metal washer.
For more information on metal roof supplies contact Precision Fasteners – 800-985-2880