Metal Roofing: Principal Considerations

The most commonly used materials for roofs are asphalt shingles and wood shake. Today, homeowners are considering more and more metal as a suitable roof solution. The main reasons for that is the durability and energy-efficiency. There are also a lot of different options regarding the appearance of metal roofs, and they can be made to look like wood, slate, clay tile and asphalt shingles. The prices are somewhat higher than of traditional asphalt shingles, but many people claim they offer a greater return on investment. If you’ve weighed your options and decided for metal roofing, we’ll tell you what else you should consider.

Is Metal Appropriate for Your Roof?

There are different materials being used in metal roofing, such as aluminum, steel, copper and zinc. Some of them have limitations that can prevent you from using them. One of those limitations is minimum pitch. Check with the manufacturer before you decide on some of the materials. If needed, even send photographs and dimensions of your roof. If you order the wrong product, you may lose your warrant.


How Will the Penetrations on the Roof be Flashed?

Water intrusion is what concerns homeowners the most when it comes to roofing, and you should do what’s in your power to avoid it. Many materials used for roofing are dependent on sealants that are used to seal areas around skylights, vents, chimneys and pipes. Sealants will definitely be installed with your metal roof, but you should be aware that they will not last as long as the very roof material. Check with your installer if there is some other line of defense to ensure long term performance.

Does Your Roof Have Debris Issue?

In a recent chat with the people behind Drainr Plumbing & Excavation, I learned that if you have problems with debris (snow, ice, tree leaves, pine needles, etc.) there are special ways of installing the roof to clear paths for debris to exit without damaging the surface. There are also options that will enable periodical cleaning of the debris.

Do You Have Ventilation Needs?

Sometimes it’s easier to do all things at once. So if you have any attic ventilation that needs to be done, you should probably discuss it with your installer. Proper roof ventilation is crucial if you want to avoid damaging and unhealthy moisture and mold collection in your attic and inside your home. It will also significantly save your summer energy expenses.

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Old ventilation window at tile roof


What Sort of Coating Should You Use?

Coating is necessary, not only because of the roof appearance, but also because of its protection. When choosing coating, the first thing you should look for is long-term performance. The next thing you have to keep in mind is the endurance. It should be resistant to staining, streaking and elements in general. As for the beauty side, choosing a color shouldn’t be so difficult. You should also consider the aesthetic and practical sides of the color. Quality of paint, style of your home, trends in the neighborhood and energy-efficiency (lighter colors reflect sun’s heat better and can lower your electrical bills up to 30 percent).

Standing Seam Metal Roof Galvalume Color

Does Your Roof Have Flared Gables?

If you have this kind of roof design, when the ridge of the roof is wider than its bottom edge, you’ll have to consult the installers or manufacturers about materials that suits you the best. Some metal roofing gables and treatments don’t work well with such roofs. If your house has flared gables, you should make sure that the gable edge treatment used during the roof installation will not tap water, snow, ice or other debris.

In the end, if you are installing metal roof over your existing shingle roof, you should inspect the condition of your current roof, so there wouldn’t be any unpleasant surprises. A properly installed metal roof, can last up to 50 years without any additional works, so you should make sure you do everything by the book.

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