Metal roofs have become popular for residential and commercial buildings. They are slowly replacing the traditional asphalt shingles and taking the industry by storm. As customers continue to want metal roofs, you must understand the ins and outs of the installation process. From material quality to potential installation mistakes, there are many things that you must know before your first metal roof installation.
Material Quality That Will Last
Depending on the quality, roofing materials can last decades or quickly deteriorate after a few years. When you do not prioritize high-quality materials, a roof can experience preventable damage and leaks. Finding a trusted supplier that only offers the highest quality materials is one of the most important parts of your business. Working with high-quality materials can set you apart from other contractors and help you build a credible reputation. Do not risk future damage for cheaper materials. Instead, give your clients peace of mind for years to come.
Installment Process Needs
Most roofing problems directly result from improper installation but may only be discovered once a leak occurs. To ensure that your roofing projects remain durable for decades, you must complete the installation process with the highest level of excellence.
Since the installation process is a crucial part of any metal roof project, ensuring you understand every step is crucial. Measurements, underlayments, panels, and closure strips are some of the most important parts of the installation process.
We have said it before and will repeat it; taking correct measurements will set the tone for the rest of the installment process. If they are inaccurate, it can be a costly mistake and significantly delay the installation process. Measuring more than once will ensure you start on the right foot and keep you from wasting precious time and supplies. Once you have the correct measurements, you can order the panels based on the square footage of the roof. Ordering a little extra material is always a good idea.
Adding an underlayment material plays a significant role in the overall performance and longevity of the metal roof system. A self-adhering membrane is popular for underlayment in metal roof installation because it creates a tight seal and prevents moisture infiltration. It adheres directly to the roof decking, providing superior protection against water damage, and is resistant to high temperatures. Choosing a suitable underlayment material is critical for a successful metal roof installation, and a self-adhering membrane is an excellent option for many roofing applications.
Aluminum, copper, tin, zinc, and steel are all used to create metal panels. However, the most common is steel. There are two types of metal panels you can choose from in a metal roof installation. Standing seam and exposed fastener systems are both reliable and durable options. However, the type of panel you choose can greatly impact the installation process. Standing seam systems cover the hardware keeping it invisible from the outside and sheltered from weather elements. With exposed fastener systems, the screws are visible, resulting in an easier installation process.
4. Closure Strips
Closure strips are moisture-resistant, making them a valuable addition to any metal roof installation. These strips are placed on the sides of the panels to reduce gaps and help keep unwanted pests out of the structure. If you want the metal roof to be sealed tightly, add closure strips to the project.
Improper Installation Issues
Every homeowner dreads a roof leak. Improper installation of a metal roof cause can cause it to leak due to mistakes in the installation process. Ensuring your roofing project is secure and leak-proof is one of the most important aspects of the installation process. This keeps metal roofs leak-free and customers happy for years to come. Here are some of the most common installation issues that affect a roof’s long-term durability.
Gaps in Roofing
Gaps and holes create the perfect storm for leaks. When an opening occurs, water quickly travels into the hole and the roofing structure. This can create mold and rot, greatly affecting the roof's reliability. Fasteners are integral for ensuring your metal roofs do not leak. When the fasteners are placed strategically, and the screws are tightened properly, the metal roofing system will be secure and leak-proof.
Incorrect Screw Placement
You must ensure the panels are properly secured with any metal roof installation. Using the correct type of screws in the correct place is one of the best ways to ensure the roof will withstand any weather condition. Metal screws can resist bending, unlike their alternative. While metal nails may seem easy, they are significantly thinner than metal screws and do not have the same durability level. Where you place your screw is also extremely important. We recommend placing the screws inside the top panel, in between the ribs, to keep them secure. When your screws are placed and installed correctly, it will prevent leaks and keep your screws in place during strong storms.
Metal roofing systems have become a favored option among homeowners for their ability to resist corrosion for decades. This ability comes from the special coating applied to the exterior roofing panels. This extra layer protects against weather elements and other factors that result in corrosion. However, some metal roofs still experience corrosion. When the inside of the panels is neglected or improperly coated, the underside can experience damage. If a metal roof is installed over pre-existing asphalt shingles, the old material can scratch the inside of the metal panels, producing significant damage. Additionally, coastal communities can be at high risk for corrosion due to the salt water’s negative effects on metal. Choosing a material better suited for coastal environments, like aluminum or zinc, can give the same benefits and style as steel panels while protecting the structure from corrosion.
A Material Checklist Made for Contractors
No matter what metal panels you choose, there is one way you can ensure a proper installation — have the right materials from the start. When you begin the installation prepared, you are setting your team up for success. Missing materials can cause setbacks and may take a chunk of your budget. Prepare for your next roofing project in advance by downloading our free Builder Materials Checklist for Contractors.