The awareness of metal roofing has grown tenfold over the last 5 years. The biggest reason is that homeowners are fed up with replacing their roof every 10 – 15 years and are searching for a better alternative. Another reason surrounds the abundance of cheap metal roofing that’s being applied to homes. While it’s wonderful that substandard metal roofing is raising awareness, it’s also going to have a boomerang effect in 10 – 15 years when the product fails.
Asphalt roofers are notorious for badmouthing metal roofing. There are three key reasons. One is that they don’t know how to install metal roofing. Two is that they don’t get repeat business in 10 – 15 years when the asphalt roof they installed fails prematurely. Three, and most relevant to this blog, is that they only talk about “exposed fastener” metal roofing. Unfortunately, the average homeowner doesn’t know the difference between low quality and quality metal roofing until they do a little research on their own or talk with us.
We are dead set against the use of exposed metal roofing for any structure other than freestanding garages, barns, or sheds. Also known as R-panels, agricultural panels, 36″ rib panels, all are mounted using washer screws that pierce the metal surface in order to install the material to the roof deck. Washer screws, as you’d guess, have a washer! The washer is neoprene/rubber and over a 10 – 15 years span (just like asphalt), fails. The rubber dries, shrinks, cracks, hardens and suddenly, there are 100’s, if not 1000’s of potential leak points on your roof. Coupled with thermal expansion and contraction, the screw hole elongates leaving a wider hole to cover even if the screws were to be replaced. Keep in mind, this material started as pole barn siding meaning it was mounted on a vertical surface that’s much less likely have snow/ice and the elements attacking it as much as a roof does.
Our belief is that homeowners purchase metal roofing as much for durability as appearance. While exposed fastener metal roofing systems are less expensive than their quality counterparts, the life of the material and installation is far less than the decades of life that a true residential metal roofing system will provide.
When it comes to fading, most of the exposed fastened metal roofs that are being installed come with a silicone polyester finish. This paint formula fades extremely fast. Within 4 – 8 years, the rich color of the roof when it was new is quite likely to fade to pastel and chalk on top of it.
We beg you to research the product you’re considering, research the installer, and think about what your goal of installing a metal roof on your house is. If it’s long term satisfaction, stay far, far away from exposed fastener metal roofing products for your home