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Metal Roofs Are The Future

Sep 7, 2007
The fabrication process for a standing seam metal roofing system can be done in a couple of different manners, depending on your individual needs and preferences. One option is to have the panels made in a factory and the other is to make them right on the job.

The natural properties of a metal roof are very impressive. Metal panels are durable and long lasting as well as virtually maintenance free. They offer tons of remodeling benefits like the ability to be installed over almost any type of existing roof system and the wide array of color options and styles that can be used to match any home style.

Standing seam metal roofs have become popular in parts of the country that present harsh weather conditions such as the Deep South, where conditions are hot and humid for many months of the year. They are also admired by northerners because of their ability to withstand heavy snow and wind loads.

Some of the other advantages of significant value are the fire resistant properties and the universal styling that enables blending to almost any home's design. Metal roofs offer what many believe to be the perfect styles for upscale homes as well as homes of lesser value, such as mobile homes. The most popular of any style is the standing seam metal roof, which has been used throughout the world on almost every type of home imaginable.

A standing seam roof is constructed of many interlocking panels that run vertically from the roof's ridge (the top of the roof) to the eave. The interlocking seam where two panels join together is raised above the roof's flat surface, allowing water to run off without seeping between panels.

Standing seam roofs come in many shapes and sizes. In some instances, the vertical panels are cut to length at a factory and delivered to the job site. Metal panels can also be made at the job using portable metal fabrication equipment. Other options include standing seam "shingles" that arrive prepackaged (typically in three to five-foot lengths) and are installed in a staggered pattern for visual effect.

Two types of methods are commonly used to secure the panels to the roof sheathing. Hidden fasteners are secured to the raised portion of each panel, and subsequently covered by the next adjoining panel during installation. The second (and less costly) method utilizes exposed fasteners that are driven through each metal panel into the roof sheathing.

Now we can discuss how standing seam metal roofs are constructed. Let's assume the metal roof panels are going to be formed on the jobsite instead of in a metal fabricators shop or factory.

The metal roof panels are made individually to accommodate the required length. This reduces jobsite waste, as short and long panels can be cut to the appropriate length. To form the interlocking panes, a metal fabrication machine called a brake is used to shape metal into various designs.

To prevent damage to the ends of the roof panels, a hydraulic shear is used to cut each panel to the required length. Even though the roof panels require some trimming by hand, it only takes a few minutes to cut each one and prepare it for installation.

Each part of the metal roof system is installed in a certain order which creates a water resistant seal. First, roofing paper is installed over the roof sheathing.

Next, the roof's valleys (formed where two roof sections meet at an angle) are covered. A preformed ridge cap covers the roof's peak. Every vertical roof panel is fastened and adjoined to the ridge vent for a consistent look.

Each roof panel that runs from ridge to eave tucks neatly into the ridge vent. Clips secure each panel to the roof sheathing. Using hidden fasteners creates a more polished look once the job is completed.

The next adjoining panel will cover the clips that secure each panel (left). The raised seams formed by the panel ends are crimped together to form a watertight seal.

Adjoining roof panels are crimped to one another to cover the clips. Each panel hides the clips that secure the adjacent panel to the roof sheathing. By completely covering the fasteners, they are not exposed to the elements, reducing the possibility of water damaging the roof sheathing or the structural system below.

The final results: Ridge cap, valleys and vertical sections all come together to form a watertight seal against the elements. A properly installed metal roof can go many years with little or no maintenance.
About the Author
Shane Hester has been helping businesses increase sales with exclusive online marketing, website design and SEO, at his company WebFirstCreations. View one of his newest clients, Cumberland Metal Roofing or visit him at WebFirstCreations SEO Website.
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