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Efficient, Long Lasting Metal Roofing
Staff Writer

Metal roofing has come a long way since corrugated tin sheets were used to cover barns and outbuildings. Today's metal roofing comes in a variety of colors, styles, and finishes, each requiring a different type of installation. Metal roofing can be a great choice for the owner-builder due to the ease of installation and the numerous benefits metal roofing provides.

The list of metal roofing products grows every year, but one way to categorize them is by the type of fasteners used. Metal roofing with visible fasteners is the oldest, and most recognizable type of metal roofing. The roofing may be the traditional corrugated type, or have any number of profiles. Ribs and corrugation aren't just for appearance, they provide structural support to the roofing panel and help hold it's shape. Available in many colors and patterns, this type of metal roofing is the most inexpensive and is one of the easiest to install.

DIY metal roofing installation Metal roofing products with concealed fasteners come in all shapes and sizes. Long easy to install panels are still a choice, but products that mimic the look of wood shakes, slate, ceramic tile, and asphalt shingles are also available. Each type of product requires a different installation technique - some very simple, others best left to professionals.

Another way to differentiate between metal roofing products is by their exterior
coating. Various treatments are applied to offer corrosion resistance. Galvanized steel utilizes a zinc alloy coating while Galvalume steel utilizes an aluminum alloy coating. Different grades indicate the thickness of this protective coating. Other products coat the exterior with granulated stone to simulate the appearance of traditional shingles or tile. The quality of the exterior finish directly affects the warranty and expected lifespan of the finished metal roof.

Some consideration must be given to the roof deck and underlayment depending on the metal roofing product you select. Some products will install over existing roofing, while others require a fresh and perfectly flat substrate. Certain types of metal roofing require a framework of wooden lath for proper installation.

The old standard of 30lb roofing felt will work with metal roofing, although it can stick to the back of the roofing after time which decreases it's effectiveness. It will deteriorate relatively rapidly once exposed to the elements, so it is best to get it covered as soon as possible. Modern alternatives are available that are lighter, more resistant to the elements, and offer self adhesion to the roof deck.

Modern underlayment systems are lighter, more resistant to the elements, and offer self adhesion to the roof deck. Underlayment is important since condensation can form on the underside of metal roofing panels (in certain conditions) and it provides a second layer of protection for your roof deck. Choosing a metal roofing product that is right for your situation is critical to success.

DIY metal roof tile installation Metal roofing is actually lighter than many of the traditional alternatives. It is also fire resistant, has a long life span, and requires very little maintenance. Quality products offer 30 to 50 year warranties - a few even offer lifetime guarantees. For these benefits, and the wide
selection of metal roofing products, why isn't everyone installing metal roofing? In a word, price. Metal roofing is more expensive than asphalt shingles when you only look at the up front cost. It is a reasonable assumption that asphalt shingles will need to be replaced every 12 to 20 years. When you consider that a metal roof can last 30 to 50 years (or longer), it can actually deliver a pretty substantial savings.

Selecting a metal roof is a great way to protect one of your largest investments. If you have a fireplace or chimney, the fire resistant metal roof will provide peace of mind. Despite the higher initial costs of metal roofing, it is very competitive if you select the more traditional long panel products (both exposed and concealed fastener types). Anyone with a hammer, tin snips, a drill, and a little patience can install a metal roof. We encourage you to explore your options before settling for a traditional asphalt roof.