At Vertex, we know when someone decides to start down the path of learning about metal roofing, there are many directions they can go. Obviously, the internet is saturated with information. But, how does one discern what is the accurate and relevant information from an expert versus the vast amounts of incorrect, misleading misinformation that exists? The information below will help move you in the right direction.
For starters, let’s begin with the fact that metal roofing is nothing new. It has been around for a long time, a really long time. The earliest metal roofing was copper. There are records of its use all the way back to the 3rd century B.C. There are countless examples of copper roofs that have stood the test of time and lasted centuries. In fact, the oldest known copper-roofed church in the United States was installed in 1727, and the same roof still sits atop Christ Church in Philadelphia!
TEMPORARY METAL ROOF OPTION
TODAY’S METAL ROOFS
While the earliest metal roofs were copper, many more options have evolved for people today when selecting metal roofs. So, let’s dive in and help you understand a bit more about what is on the market today. Metal roofing, as a whole, can be divided into two main categories: Permanent and Temporary. Temporary metal roofs typically come in two ways:
First, exposed fastener roofs have screws penetrating right through a bare or painted metal panel. Examples would be corrugated roofs, R-panels, or any other bare or painted panels installed with exposed fasteners. Over time, those hundreds or thousands of fasteners WILL start to loosen up, they WILL start to back out, and they WILL leak. It is not a matter of IF, only a matter of WHEN. We have heard of plenty of roofers whose only interest is to sell someone a metal roof claim that these roofs, if done right, don’t leak. If you hear that, turn and run in the opposite direction because it just isn’t true.
The second type of temporary metal roofs consists, unfortunately, of the ones that were supposed to be permanent. Sadly, the people installing them were not metal roofing experts and did not know what they were doing, and the roofs failed due to improper installation. The aftermath of these mistakes often involves years of leaks, frustrations, and sometimes lawsuits. It is always important to remember that while these materials can provide many benefits, it is the proper installation that ensures you will enjoy these benefits for many years to come.
Now that you know a little about temporary metal roofs, let’s look at permanent metal roof options.
PERMANENT METAL ROOF OPTION
We can split this category into three different groups: natural metals, painted metals, and stone coated metals. Each of these categories offers a wide range of styles, including traditional standing seam, metal shingles, or even roofs that look like tile!
NATURAL METAL ROOFS
Natural metal roofs today most commonly include metals such as copper and zinc. These roofs offer a natural beauty that evolves over time as the metals age or patina, which changes their appearance (think of the green Statue of Liberty, which is made of copper). They are much softer metals which makes them quite different to work with. They also must be paired with the correct fasteners to avoid a corrosive, galvanic reaction after installation. Along with their beauty comes a larger price tag as not only is the installation more involved, but the materials themselves cost more than other alternatives.
PAINTED METAL ROOFS
Painted metals are the most commonly used today. They can be steel (more common) or aluminum. They can be formed into standing seam panels, metal shingles, shakes or slate, or even exposed fastener profiles. Then, you also have different gauges (thicknesses) of the metals to choose from, and not all paint finishes in the industry are the same. Two finishes that look identical on day one can look very different in year ten! We use the top finishes in the industry, Kynar 500© or Hylar 5000©, to ensure your roof retains its beauty for many decades to come! And, if you think your finish options are only solid colors, think again! There are many finishes that can replicate the beauty of weathered natural metals and more!
stone coated steel
Lastly, we have stone coated steel. Originating in the United Kingdom during WWII and then making their way to New Zealand in the 1950s, these types of products have a finish consisting of stone granules.
They come in a variety of colors and profiles. This all results in a more traditional roof appearance. Whether you like the look of a shingle, shake, slate, or tile roof, there are stone coated profiles that can provide just that. In fact, chances are that you may have already seen a stone coated roof somewhere and not have even known it!
Always remember that each of the above options comes with a variety of additional trim components and ways to install them, with some being far superior to others. It is always important to know what product you’re getting, who is doing the work, and how it will be installed to avoid the pitfalls of inexperienced metal roofers working on your project.
100% recyclable, earth-friendly, green products
Whatever product you choose, when installed properly, metal roofing will provide you with years of benefits. A beautiful new curb appeal for your home from lightweight, 100% recyclable, earth-friendly, green products is just the start. The best fire rating possible, “Class A,” will give you some extra peace of mind. A level of durability that is the same in year twenty as it is in year one will provide great protection from things like hail and wind. Some insurance companies will even discount your homeowner’s insurance premium due to you having a better-protected home. Energy savings that are unattainable with an asphalt roof are also possible due to the incredible energy efficiency of a metal roof. We have seen metal roof systems reduce our client’s cooling costs by as much as 40% in hot summer months! Perhaps, best of all, is the knowledge that you made a wise investment in a quality product, and 5, 10, or 15 years down the road, you won’t be re-budgeting for a new roof all over again.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and take the next step in designing your forever roof!