Metal roofing is a popular option for the modern homeowner. Metal roofs offer superior energy savings and longevity compared to traditional asphalt roofs. They are also sleek, stylish, and versatile. When most people hear metal roofs, they picture shiny silver planes – perhaps like the roof of a shed or barn. This is far from the fashions and functionality actually available, however. Thanks to modern technology, your metal roofing system can be a complex and aesthetically pleasing addition to your Grand Rapids home.
Three Main Types of Metal Roofing Systems
If you think all metal roofs are the same, think again. There are three main types of metal roofing systems, and most consumers don’t know the difference. The three primary categories are sheet metal panels, sheet metal tiles, and standing-seam systems. The three types vary in terms of attachment method and panel size, as well as the overall end look of the roofing system. Here’s a general breakdown of each metal roofing system type:
1. Sheet metal panels. Sheet metal panels are the most common residential application. Sheet metal panels can go directly on top of existing roofing materials for fast installation. Metal panels are fire and water-resistant. They are highly durable and come in a range of colors. Homeowners can match the colors of their metal sheet panel roofs to the designs and styles of their homes. Sheet roofing panels come in square or rectangular shapes, and are available in corrugated metal or standing seam metal.
2. Sheet metal tiles. Sheet metal tiles (or shingles) are long strips of metal, rather than whole panels. Construction companies can connect sheet metal tiles in different ways according to the needs of the homeowner. Sheet metal tiles use stamped sheet metal that can have a variety of textures, finishes, and looks. Decorative shapes are available, such as metal tiles that look like clay or cedar. Homeowners can design almost any look using sheet metal tiles, from Spanish to Victorian.
3. Standing-seam systems. A standing-seam roofing system connects metal roofing panels vertically, in a hidden interlocking technique that fastens each panel side by side. Standing seam systems give a clean, vertical look in the finished product. The other option is a corrugated metal roof, in which the panels have a wavy pattern. Standing-seam systems are lighter and more common in residential construction, while corrugated metal is more common in commercial builds.
Each metal roofing system has unique advantages and disadvantages. A professional roofing company can walk you through the features of each type. These are just the three main types of metal roofing systems. Buying a metal roof comes with many other decisions, from the type of roofing material to the style you desire. Working with a trusted roofing company can make your choice much easier.
Which Type of Metal Roof Is Right for Your Home?
Selecting the right type of metal roofing system requires a deep understanding of the architecture and unique needs of your home. Standing-seam systems are the best choice if you have a low-slope roof, since they are watertight. Choosing another style on a low-slope roof could put you at risk of standing water and leaks. A standing-seam metal roofing system uses sealants or double-lock seams for waterproofing. Standing-seam systems may also be right if you have a steeply sloped roof. They require less maintenance than other types, since they do not have exposed fasteners.
If you prefer a certain look or style and your roof type is appropriate, sheet metal tiles might be a better option. Sheet metal tile manufacturers can layer the finish, texturize the metal, and add topcoats to mimic the look of other materials. Its versatility is one of the main pros of sheet metal tiles. A con, however, is that metal tiles are lightweight and may blow off in bad weather – especially at ridges. Metal tiles can also crush easily, so homeowners should be extra careful if walking on the roof.
Sheet metal panels are heavier and more suitable for warehouses and commercial applications. However, they are available in a variety thicknesses and weights. Sheet metal panels come with an economic advantage in that the direct-attachment system provides waterproofing and roof sheathing. A potential con is that the exposed fasteners can require maintenance and replacing due to a shorter shelf life than the rest of the metal roof.
Price is also a factor when choosing your metal roofing system type. Metal shingles can run between $700 and $1,000 per square. Compare this to an average cost of $475 per square for an asphalt tile roof. A standing-seam roofing system can cost $750 to $1,400 per square, with an average price around $900. If you are not sure which type of metal roofing system is right for your home, speak to an experienced roofer for advice.
Dive Further: Metal Roofing Materials
Your type of metal roofing system is just one factor to consider in designing your ideal metal roof. You and your roofer will also need to look through the wide variety of metal roofing materials available. Different substances will be ideal for different environments, settings, roof slopes, and needs. The available metal roofing materials include:
• Corrugated metal
• Galvalume steel
• Galvanized steel
• Powder-coated metal
• Stainless steel
• Stamped metal
• Stone-coated steel
• Weathering steel
In addition to choosing your metal roofing material, your roofer will also select different accessories. Metal roofing accessories include sealant, rivets, clips, fasteners, tapes, clamps, and pipe boots. The accessories your roof needs will depend on the system you choose. Your roofer will know which accessories are necessary to ensure the strength and durability of your metal roofing system.
Designing Your Ideal Metal Roof
Finally, you will need to design the look and finish of your metal roof. Modern metal roofing materials can come in every color of the rainbow, with special finishes that reduce fading and chipping. You should have the freedom to choose the style and color for your unique tastes. Your metal roof can have a matte or glossy finish, earth tones, jewel tones, etc. Work with an experienced, top-rated roofing provider to select and design your dream roof. The right construction company can walk you through the design and installation processes for the best end result for you.