Metal roof installation, materials, prices and manufacturers

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Metal Roofing – Vs. Shingles

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One of the biggest appeals that metal roofing has to offer to the homeowners today, is that more often than not, it can be a very long lasting roof that requires virtually no maintenance or repairs, and can last three times longer than a regular roof. Being made out of metal makes this roof is extremely lightweight, durable and sturdy, flexible, energy efficient, and good for the environment.

Metal roofs perform extremely well in all types of climates. In the hotter climates, metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which helps keeping the interior of the building cool, and saves money on air conditioning costs. Energy star rated metal roofs can save as much as 40 percent on cooling costs.

In northern climates, metal roofs coated with a special coating help shed snow and ice away from the roof, which prevents the accumulation of snow and eliminates the possibility of ice dam formation on your roof.

Many metal roofing systems available on the market today contain a minimum of 30% of post consumer metal content, which qualifies them for LEED certification by the U.S. green building council. Asphalt shingle roofs, on the other hand, contain petroleum that goes into the production of asphalt shingles, and end up in our landfills after their relatively short and energy inefficient service.

Standing Seam Metal Roof

Standing Seam Metal Roof

Metal roofs are available in many styles, the most popular being a standing-seam metal roof, which provides modern architectural and aesthetically pleasing look. Metal shingles roof offers a more traditional look of asphalt shingle, which is a good alternative for somebody who wants a reliable and energy efficient roof that resembles the looks of conventional roofs. Metal shingles can also work well for historic buildings, but so does standing-seam, which was installed on Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. This roof was installed over a century ago, and has recently been renovated with a new standing-seam metal roof.

Homeowners who consider installing a metal roof for their home need to be aware of metal roofing costs, which are usually three times higher than the cost of an asphalt shingle roof. The reason for the price difference is that metal roofing requires special skills in order for it to be installed correctly. The installation of standing-seam metal roof is quite an involved process, and takes a long time to develop necessary skills to install it correctly. Asphalt shingle roofing, on the other hand, can be installed by regular laborers in a fraction of a time that it takes to install a standing-seam roof, or a metal shingle roof.

Thus, in spite of relatively high prices, residential metal roofing can still be a great exterior remodeling decision for somebody who does not want to re-roof their house again. Another advantage of installing a metal roof is that it provides a beautiful curb appeal to your home, and energy savings that add up over the years.

Written by Roofing Wiz

November 1st, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Posted in metal roofing

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Roofing Materials – How to Choose the Best System for Your Home

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Asphalt shingle roofing continues to be the most widely used residential roofing material, but it does have many disadvantages and drawbacks. To name a few, asphalt shingle roofs average less than 20 years of service life. When the asphalt shingle roof ages, the shingles begin to chip and crack, which causes the roof to lose its water resistant properties, and this ultimately causes roof leaks.

When it comes to replacing the asphalt shingle roof, the old roof has to be stripped and disposed off. Although asphalt shingles roofing is relatively cheap, it is not the most environmentally friendly type of roofing material. Unfortunately, the asphalt shingles are not recyclable. The end result of disposing of the old composition roof is that this petroleum based product ends up in our landfills to decompose. Clearly, this is detrimental to our environment. With its short lifespan, asphalt shingles are becoming obsolete, and it is highly likely that asphalt shingles will be phased out from production in just a few decades.

Cedar shakes are made of cedar wood, a natural building material. Cedar shakes can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years on the roof. The cost of installing cedar shakes is roughly double of what you would normally pay for asphalt shingles. The disadvantage of cedar shakes is that their lifespan is rather short for the price.

Metal roofing is available in metal shingles and standing-seam profiles. Both of these systems are highly energy efficient and long lasting. Metal roofs are considered green because they reduce the temperature of the building by reflecting solar radiant heat away from the roof, which helps keep interior spaces cool, as well as lessens the urban heat island affect.

Metal is a fully recyclable material, which makes it a green alternative to asphalt composition shingle roofs. Another advantage of standing-seam metal roof is that they can be easily integrated with solar roofing panels. From the financial stand point, roofs made with metal cost roughly double the cost of an asphalt roof, but their higher initial cost is well justified considering that metal-built roofs can last three times longer than asphalt. Factor in the energy savings, and appraised building value, and it becomes clear that it is a superior choice for sloped roofs.

Thus, asphalt shingle roofing is not the most lucrative option in terms of its poor performance, environmental unfriendliness, and being susceptible to thermal shocks, which is especially relevant in hotter climates.  On the flip side, relatively low asphalt shingle prices make it a viable alternative for somebody who needs a quick fix for a leaky roof, and couldn’t care less about the long-term consequences, or any environmental considerations.

Materials covered above pertain to sloped roofs. There are many houses and buildings that have flat roofs. The most widely used flat roofing membrane is EPDM rubber. EPDM roof replacement cost is moderate ranging anywhere from $300 to $500 per square installed. The biggest problem associated with EPDM roofing, is that EPDM roofs are prone to fail at their seams. This happens when the glue dries up, and the water gets in between the seams. Refreezing of the water further expands the gaps between the seams. Although, EPDM roofs are fairly easy to repairs, the repairs may be costly and are usually impermanent.

PVC cool flat roof membrane is a good alternative to EPDM roofs. PVC membranes are hot air welded to connect the seams. The advantage of using hot air welding process over glue is that the roof seams formed by hot air welding, create a permanent bond between the roof seams. Such seams, when properly welded together, will not come apart due to the water freezing and refreezing cycles.

Written by Roofing Wiz

November 1st, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Posted in roofing materials

Metal Roofing Installation DIY

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Note: We recently posted a complete standing seam metal roof installation guide that covers preparing a roof deck and installing roofing underlayment, installing starter strip, first metal roof panel, field panels, doing sidewall flashing, valley flashing and installing hip / ridge cap.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, metal roofing is far more difficult to install than most people think. Installing metal roofing is not the same as shingling an asphalt shingle roof. Metal roofing panels have to be measured, and cut with great precision to ensure water tightness and integrity of the metal roofing system. The installation of the roof chimney, skylights, valley and wall flashing requires special knowledge, tools, experience and training.

Some of the tools required for a simple metal roofing job include; tool belt, metal shears, metal crimps, chalk line, hammer, tape measure, carpenter’s pencil. As with any roofing installation, you will need to be knowledgeable in the safe operation of the ladder, and roof safety equipment.

In a typical metal roofing system, panels interlock together side by side, and sometimes metal roofing panels interlock on all four sides, as is the case with the metal shingles roof.

Although there are many different types of metal roofing systems, most metal roofs can be divided into two categories: standing-seam metal roof -a modern styled sheet metal roofing panels connected at the sides through a mechanism called a standing seam. Another kind of a metal roof resembles a conventional asphalt shingle roof and is comprised of metal shingles featuring a 4-way interlocking design.

Metal shingles panels are all the same size, which makes it easier to install them. They come prepackaged in a box, and you can easily handle them during the installation. Standing-seam metal roofing panels, on the other hand, vary in size, and are more difficult to install.

Regardless of which metal roofing system you choose to install, one thing is a given: it will be more difficult to install metal roofing than it would be to install an asphalt shingle roof, which generally can be installed by unskilled laborers. The reason for that is that many metal roofing systems feature intricate design that requires all the panels to be installed in a strict geometric relation to each other, in order for the system to work correctly.

Thus, installing metal roofing takes longer, and is quite a bit costlier than installing an asphalt shingle roof.

The first step in installing metal roofing is to prepare the surface. The roofing service has to be free of debris, and the roof deck needs to be inspected for damage, with any rotten boards being replaced.

After that, a breathable roofing underlayment needs to be installed. It’s important to take care and create sufficient tension when installing roofing underlayment. The reason is that we do not want to have a loosely installed roofing underlayment, which will make it more difficult to work on.

Once the roofing underlayment is in place, we can start installing metal trim, which will interlock with the metal roofing panels.

It’s a good idea to practice installing metal roofing on a small shed or garage before taking on the installation of a metal roof for your home. Remember that one of the keys to successful metal roofing installation is making sure that you have attained correct angles and straight lines for the interlocking shingles or vertical panels. Use a color string / snap line to lay out the guide-lines for the installation of metal roofing panels.

Another important point to keep in mind is that you need to know how to use the safety equipment including roof anchors, and safety harness. Finally, never work alone, it would be just plain dangerous, and we do not want that.

Written by Roofing Wiz

November 1st, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Corrugated Metal Roofing – Corrugated Steel Roofs

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Modern advances of coating steel sheets with a layer of zinc and aluminum, make corrugated metal roofs a viable economical alternative to conventional roofs, and premium metal roofs. Corrugated metal roofing systems available today offer high degree of corrosion resistance, energy efficiency, and economical sustainability.  Many corrugated steel roofing sheets contain over 30% of recycled steel post consumer content, which qualifies it for LEED credit awarded by green building council.

There are also high quality paint finishes available for corrugated metal roofs.  High quality Kynar 500 paint finishes applied over corrugated metal roofs will make this type of system cooler temperature-vise, more energy efficient, and long lasting.  Energy savings of over 30% can be attained with the use of ultra cool metal roofing systems.

Corrugated metal roofs are usually made out of  G-24, or G-26, galvanized steel sheet roofing panels with exposed fasteners.  Corrugated steel roofs are energy efficient, environmentally friendly, green and most importantly affordable.  Made out of a relatively thin sheet metal, corrugated metal roofs costs less than metal shingles, and standing-seam metal roofs.  They can be a practical alternative solution for commercial, agricultural, industrial, and sometimes residential buildings.

Corrugated metal roofs are comprised out of corrugated sheet roofing panels that are 32 to 36 inches wide.  The panels are connected in a side by side overlapping fashion.  To attain water-tightness, the caulk has to be used at the points of overlap in between the metal panels.  Corrugated steel panels are secured in place by exposed fasteners.  The disadvantage of using exposed fasteners is that the water may leak through if the fasteners become loose.  To keep corrugated metal roofing watertight, the exposed fasteners have to be re-tightened every 10 years.  Therefore, this is not a maintenance free roof.

The main advantage of a corrugated metal roofing system is that it is relatively cheap compared to the price of metal shingles and standing-seam roofs.  You can cover a large roof area with corrugated metal roofing.

As with most metal roofs, there are premium material choices available for corrugated roofs.  For instance, you can get aluminum corrugated sheet roofing panels, which will last longer than steel. There are also stainless steel corrugated panels available to you. Of course, this will cost slightly more, but the higher price may be justified by the fact that you will have a longer lasting roof.

corrugated steel metal roofing

Although, corrugated sheet roofing systems are primarily used for agricultural, industrial, and commercial uses, they can also be used for some residential homes.  If you are planning to save money on the installation of a new metal roof, then consider installing a corrugated metal roofing system made out of galvalume steel, or aluminum.  Be sure to select a system coated with a premium cool roof rated color finishto ensure a long lasting and reliable service of your new roof.

As a last word of advice, I would like to remind you that corrugated metal roofing systems are very competitively priced, and the cost of labor to install it will be your biggest expense.  Therefore, it makes a lot of financial sense for you to pick a longer lasting corrugated metal roofing system for your home, garage, or shed. Be sure to choose galvalume steel or aluminum in favor of a less expensive galvanized steel.  Also, be sure to select a system that has a premium paint finish.

Written by Roofing Wiz

November 1st, 2012 at 11:06 am