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Differences Between Exposed and Concealed Fasteners on Metal Roofs

Jul 04, 2021

When you are choosing to install a metal roof in Flint Michigan, you will have to choose between the two main panel styles—corrugated and standing seam panel roofing. The primary difference between these two metal roofing styles are the exposed fasteners of the corrugated roofing and concealed fasteners of the seam panel roofing. Exposed fastener metal roofs have screws that are visibly lining the panel, while the concealed panel style hides these screws beneath the surface of the panel, resulting in a smooth finish. While you might not think there is much of a difference between these two types of roofing styles, they actually vary drastically from one another and both have their own strengths and weaknesses outside of their appearance.

Corrugated Metal Roofing

Corrugated Metal Roofing’s most obvious difference is the appearance of the fasteners of screws which hold the panel on, but there are many more differences than you would expect at first glance when comparing the two.

To start, the panels that they can use in the construction of corrugated metal roofs are substantially larger than standing seam, while still being of thinner gauge. This means that fewer individual panels need to be purchased and installed to finish the installation of the roof. Furthermore, the cost of labor will be less than a standing seam roof, as they need to do less work to fully install the roofing material, and it requires less handy work overall.

There are also fewer necessary accessories needed to make a corrugated roof function than a standing seam roof. During the installation process, a standing seam roof requires the use of foam and clips that a corrugated roof doesn’t. Once again, this reduces the overall cost of the roof while further increasing the speed in which it is installed. There are also no requirements for seaming or difficult to use hand tools that require more labor-intensive installations over the simple screws used by a corrugated roof.

When you are choosing a contractor in Flint to install your roof, you will find that most of them who are offering metal roof installations will have the required experience to install a corrugated metal roof. A standing seam roof requires specialty equipment, tools, and knowledge far more advanced and intricate than a corrugated roof does. This also makes DIY roofing projects more feasible on corrugated metal roofing systems as you won’t have to worry so much about intricacy of the roofing system.

Disadvantages of Corrugated Roofing Designs

Unfortunately, while the corrugated roofing design holds up well in most weather-related incidents—and the overall cost of the roof is lower—it is more susceptible to damage than standing seam roofs. The exposed fasteners are susceptible to erosion, debris, UV light, and the constant heat from the sun. This makes maintenance often more common, as fasteners can become loose, allowing leaves to get stuck, or they can be and require replacing over time. Also, because the implementation of fasteners requires holes drilled into your roof, they are more likely to leak over a long period of time. And, while more contractors will offer to put a corrugated metal roof on a home, many of them offer less than reliable warranties for their work. If you are looking for a metal roof for a reasonable price that will function, corrugated might work, but make sure you are getting it installed by a reputable contractor.

Standing Seam Metal Roofing

Standing seam metal roofing design is certainly attractive, and it provides a more modern look than the corrugated roof. It also comes with its fair share of advantages.

One of its biggest advantages is the lack of exposed fasteners. This not only means a sleeker and more modern look, but it also means that the fasteners aren’t exposed to UV light or constant debris, making for less maintenance needed in the long run. It also means more thermal movement across panels, increasing the overall efficiency of the roof and ability for the house to easily cool or heat as a result.

You are also given more freedom and architectural design options going with a standing seam roof. Corrugated roofs often have limited paint or metal options, making the overall look less customizable, but standing seam roofs don’t have such limitations. You can choose pretty much any metal of the commonly available copper, zinc, and aluminum, along with whatever kind of paint you wish to have it in.

There are more accessories available to standing seam roofs too. The lack of fasteners lets solar panels, snow retention systems, swamp coolers, and more roof top additions that don’t penetrate the roof readily available for installation over corrugated roofing.

Disadvantages to Standing Seam Roofs

While there are considerably fewer disadvantages over corrugated metal roofing, standing seam roofs still come with their own difficulties. The first difficultly you will face, when it comes to standing seam roofs, is finding a Michigan contractor that is qualified to install one. While they have the advantage—in that most warranties involving a standing seam roof are air-tight—there are substantially fewer contractors who are qualified to install them. On top of the difficulty of finding a contractor, the labor required is much more extensive than a corrugated roof. You’ll likely be required to wait and pay for the much longer installation process over a corrugate roof. You will also run into issues repairing or replacing a standing seam roof as it is made with longevity in mind.

Which Roofing Style is Right for You?

Your budget, contractor, slope, and patience for maintenance will all play a big part in what type of roof is right for you. If you have a high budget, are willing to wait a bit longer in the event of repairs, and are working with a reputable contractor, going with a standing seam roof is likely the more suitable choice. However, if you don’t want to spend so much on your roof and want it done relatively quickly in comparison, a corrugate roof might be for you. Both roofing options are more energy efficient and will inherently last much longer than a shingle or other common roofing material. A metal roof is still one of the best roofs you can invest into for your house.

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