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Metal Roofing Guide: Standing Seam vs Exposed Fastener

Written by

Leroy Whitt

Metal roofing has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its durability, longevity, and aesthetic appeal. Among the various types of metal roofing systems, standing seam and exposed fastener roofs are two common choices.

Understanding the differences between these options is crucial for homeowners looking to invest in a metal roof. In this showdown between standing seam vs. exposed fastener metal roofing, we’ll delve into:

  • The pros and cons of metal roofing
  • The characteristics of standing seam and exposed fastener systems
  • Guidance on selecting the right option
  • The cost considerations
  • Tips for proper maintenance

Pros and Cons of Metal Roofing

green metal roof

Metal roofing offers several advantages over traditional roofing materials like asphalt shingles or wood shakes:

👍 Pros:

  • Longevity: Metal roofs can last 50 years or more with proper maintenance, significantly outlasting other roofing materials.
  • Durability: Metal roofs are resistant to fire, mildew, rot, and pests, making them ideal for various climates.
  • Energy Efficiency: Reflective coatings and insulation options can improve energy efficiency, reducing cooling costs in hot climates.
  • Low Maintenance: Metal roofs require minimal maintenance compared to other roofing materials, with occasional inspections and cleaning being sufficient.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Metal roofing is often made from recycled materials and is fully recyclable at the end of its life cycle, reducing environmental impact.

👎 Cons:

  • Initial Cost: Metal roofing typically has a higher upfront cost compared to traditional roofing materials. However, its long lifespan often makes it a more cost-effective option in the long run.
  • Noise: Without proper insulation, metal roofs can be noisy during heavy rain or hailstorms. However, modern installation techniques and insulation options can mitigate this issue.
  • Expansion and Contraction: Metal roofs expand and contract with temperature fluctuations, which can lead to noise and potential stress on fasteners if not properly accounted for during installation.

Understanding Standing Seam and Exposed Fastener Metal Roofing

So, what is the difference between these two different metal roofing styles? Here is everything you need to know:

Standing Seam Metal Roofing

Standing seam roofing features raised seams that interlock to form a continuous, vertical line along the roof’s surface. This design provides a sleek, modern appearance and superior weather resistance. Key features of standing seam roofing include:

  • Concealed Fasteners: The fasteners are hidden beneath the raised seams, protecting them from exposure to the elements and reducing the risk of leaks.
  • Minimal Maintenance: Standing seam roofs require little maintenance due to their durable design and concealed fasteners.
  • Enhanced Aesthetics: The clean lines and sleek profile of standing seam roofing can enhance the overall appearance of a home or building.
  • Higher Cost: Standing seam roofing typically comes with a higher initial cost compared to exposed fastener systems due to its advanced design and installation requirements.

Exposed Fastener Metal Roofing

Exposed fastener roofing, also known as screw-down roofing, features panels with visible fasteners securing them to the roof deck. While less expensive than standing seam roofing, exposed fastener systems have distinct characteristics:

  • Visible Fasteners: The screws used to secure the metal panels are exposed to the elements, potentially increasing the risk of leaks over time.
  • Lower Cost: Exposed fastener roofing is generally more affordable than standing seam roofing, making it a popular choice for budget-conscious homeowners.
  • Easier Installation: The installation process for exposed fastener roofing is simpler and quicker than standing seam roofing, reducing labor costs.

How to Choose the Right Option

When selecting between standing seam and exposed fastener metal roofing, several factors should be considered:

Budget 💵

Determine your budget for the roofing project and weigh the initial cost versus long-term value.

Aesthetics ✨

Consider the architectural style of your home and choose a roofing option that complements its design.

Climate 🌏

Assess the climate and weather conditions in your area to determine the level of weather resistance required.

Longevity 🗓️

Factor in the expected lifespan of the roofing system and how it aligns with your long-term plans for the property.

Maintenance 🔨

Evaluate your willingness and ability to perform ongoing maintenance tasks to ensure the roof’s durability and longevity.

Cost Considerations

The cost of a metal roof installation varies depending on several factors, including the type of metal, roof size, complexity of the design, and local labor rates. On average, standing seam metal roofing can cost between $8 to $14 per square foot, while exposed fastener metal roofing ranges from $5 to $10 per square foot. It’s essential to obtain quotes from reputable contractors and consider the long-term value of the investment when evaluating costs.

How to Maintain a Metal Roof

black metal roof

Proper maintenance is essential to maximize the lifespan and performance of a metal roof. Here are some tips for maintaining a metal roof:

  • Regular Inspections: Conduct visual inspections of the roof surface to check for signs of damage, corrosion, or loose fasteners.
  • Clean Gutters and Downspouts: Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris to prevent water backup and potential water damage to the roof.
  • Trim Overhanging Branches: Trim tree branches that hang over the roof to prevent damage from falling limbs and debris.
  • Remove Debris: Clear debris, such as leaves, twigs, and moss, from the roof surface to prevent moisture buildup and potential corrosion.
  • Schedule Professional Inspections: Periodically schedule inspections by a qualified roofing contractor to assess the roof’s condition and address any issues promptly.

Get the Right Roofing System for You

Choosing between standing seam and exposed fastener metal roofing involves considering various factors such as budget, aesthetics, climate, and maintenance requirements. While standing seam roofing offers superior aesthetics and durability, exposed fastener roofing provides a more budget-friendly option with easier installation.

Whether you are leaning towards a standing seam metal roof or an exposed fastener metal roof, the team at Whitt’s Quality Roofing is here to help! Contact us today to get started.

Leroy Whitt

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