Home Improvement: Metal Roofing Systems

Metal roofing is a protective roof covering usually made from aluminum, steel, or zinc-based alloys. It’s part of the building envelope typically made of plywood shingles. It consists of metal strips fused together with fibers filled with resin. This roofing is said to be one of the most durable roofing materials. It’s often painted with an ultraviolet (UV) protective coating to prevent corrosion. It’s also possible to have metal roofing that’s insulated, as well.

Types

A metal roofing can be any of a number of different types. It’s widely available – from pre-fabricated panels to modular modules that can be assembled on-site or shipped to the job site. It’s commonly made out of recyclable materials like scrap metal, aluminum, steel, copper, zinc-based alloys, and recycled material from landfills. Recycled material can range from chips to cans to bottles, depending on the kind of recycling process used for manufacturing.

Uses

It can be installed over just about any type of existing roof, including tile, slate, and asphalt. It can also be installed to cover spaces that would be otherwise unavailable, such as a manhole cover. Because metal roofing provides strength, it’s often installed in high-traffic areas where it’s likely to be used repeatedly. This is especially true for roof repairs and installations.

Metal Roofing provides the same durability that asphalt shingles do, but it’s less susceptible to hail damage and other kinds of wind damage. Metal roofs can also be installed on sloping sites where gravel or a dirt foundation would be inappropriate. Metal is sometimes used to reinforce existing homes, so it’s available on many homes built in the 1970s and ’80s.

Cost considerations may seem obvious, but the cost is actually one of the primary reasons people install metal roofing material on their homes. Metal roofing materials are much less expensive than asphalt shingles, even when you factor in the installation and maintenance fees. And they’re available at a variety of prices, from low to mid-priced to more expensive. It’s also relatively easy to find products that are both recyclable and low-priced, since some manufacturers choose to only use recyclable materials in their products.

Benefits

There are many pros to choosing the metal roofing material. The most apparent benefit is its durability, which is important in an environment where many materials are subject to wear and tear, especially those that are exposed to strong sunlight and moisture. Additionally, zinc is a very durable metal and has the added benefit of providing additional insulation.

The cons to weigh in on the side of aluminum and copper roofing, which are slightly more expensive than their metal roofing alternatives. Despite their increased pricing, however, they are long-lasting, have few negative effects to the environment, and are considered to be one of the most practical choices. They can be installed on any grade of roof, although they tend to look best on homes with mild to medium elevations. Moreover, they offer additional benefits like being able to withstand extreme temperatures.

As with many other roofing systems, a standing-seam roof requires stacking two metal sheets together at the edge. This is done by cutting a thin piece of metal called a spade butt joint, then welding together the two pieces using galvanized steel as brazing joint. Copper roofing is another option and a popular choice among those who prefer a more rustic look in their home. For a more economical option, a zinc roof can be installed as well. Zinc has been proven to be a more durable metal, and its application ranges from being used in roofing to decorative or hardware applications.