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Metal Roofing 101

Posted on May 30, 2014 at 2:30 pm by admin No Comment

Tamko-METALWORKS-StoneCrestSlate-VermontBlueWhy is metal roofing our preferred choice? Follow our four week series on metal roofing to find out!

Metal Roofs 101

by Joe Provey

Yesterday & Today:  Metal roofing panels can be a cost-effective and durable roofing alternative. Although there may be a higher upfront price to a metal roof, the metal panels typically last two to four times longer than other types of roofing materials, and a metal roof can recoup up to 6% of the installation cost upon a home’s resale. Metal roofs traditionally were constructed of corrugated panels, offering a utilitarian appearance; or in standing-seam installations, constructed using long sheets of painted steel with vertical seams and often used in commercial applications. Today, however, metal roofing products can be stamped into many shapes and patterns, including metal panels that emulate shingles, shakes, slates and tiles, all installed as interlocking panels. Metal roofing panels are constructed of steel, aluminum or copper, coated to prevent rust and topped with a baked-on paint finish in an array of colors.

The metal roofing industry has taken a page from vinyl flooring manufacturers. They’ve started with a ‘plain Jane’ material—in this case steel or aluminum—and made it look like wood, stone, and clay. The introduction of metal roofing in shingle, shake, slate and tile styles has reinvigorated the metal roofing industry.

For decades, metal roofs meant corrugated panels, which looked like they belonged on sheds or barns, or standing-seam applications, which often had a commercial appearance. Today, metal roofing products are available to fit every architectural style, whether a Spanish Colonial in Southern California or a Victorian in New England.

Metal Roofing Materials

Residential metal roofing is generally made of steel, aluminum, or copper. Rolls of 24- or 26-gauge steel sheets are given a metallic coating to prevent rust, followed by a baked-on paint finish. Aluminum sheets don’t require the metallic coating but do get painted. Copper, often called a natural metal product, is neither coated nor painted, because it weathers without corroding. It is sometimes used for special features, such as the roof of a prominent bay window.

Steel roofing products are coated with either zinc (galvanized) or a mixture of aluminum and zinc (galvalume or zincalume). Of the two, galvalume offers the longer service. The coatings are offered in several thicknesses—the thicker the coating the longer the service, and the higher the cost.

The Metal Roofing Association (MRA) recommends a galvanizing thickness level of at least G-90 for residential applications and an AZ-50 or AZ-55 designation for galvalume coatings. In areas by the sea, opt for an aluminum-based panel. Paint finishes vary in quality, as well. An inferior coating may fade or chalk. Some manufacturers participate in a certification process developed by the MRA. Standard certified products may be used in most areas. In areas with high exposure to UV light, opt for a premium certified paint coating.

Textures and Finishes

Metal roofing products can be stamped into many shapes and are typically installed as interlocking panels with hidden fasteners. Viewed from a distance, they offer fairly convincing renditions of shingles and tiles. Some ‘stone-coated’ products receive an acrylic coating, in which stone granules are embedded. These offer a less metallic look.

Standing-seam metal roofs look exactly like what they are–long sheets of painted steel with vertical seams. From a design perspective, they are a purer product but not suitable for every home. Standing-seam roofs are perhaps best matched to the simple lines of cabins and contemporary home designs.

Benefits of Metal Roofing

The primary benefit of metal roofing is longevity. Manufacturers routinely offer 50-year warranties and even lifetime, non-prorated warranties. They claim their products will last two to four times longer than roofs with asphalt shingles. By avoiding one or two re-roofing jobs during the life of the metal roof, you will more than offset the higher initial cost. Near term, a new metal roof recoups a bit more of its installation cost upon home resale (6% according to Remodeling Magazine) than does a new asphalt roof.

There are other advantages, as well. Metal roofs are lightweight, sometimes allowing them to be installed directly over old roofs. And when metal roofing is painted with specially formulated “cool pigments”, solar energy is reflected and emitted (rather than radiated as heat into the attic).

Additionally, metal roofs are effective in preventing the spread of fire when hot embers fall on them (i.e., from brush and forest fires). In fact, some insurance companies will give you a discount if you have a metal roof. In addition, metal roofing is made with a large percentage of recycled metal—often 95 percent—and when its useful life is done, it can be recycled again. No worries about it filling up dwindling space in landfills.

Myths About Metal Roofing

Myths and legends get started about all sorts of people, places, and building materials…. Metal roofing has more than its share, perhaps because it has undergone so many transformations over the years. Here are the most common myths about metal roofing:

It will increase the likelihood of a lightening strike. Metal conducts electricity, but electricity is not drawn to it.

Metal roofs are noisy in the rain. Not so. They may even be quieter than other roof types.

Metal roofs are susceptible to damage by hail. While extremely large hailstones can dent a metal roof, normal hailstorms will not. With textured roofs, minor denting is not readily visible.

You cannot walk on a metal roof. You can, but you have to know how to do it without causing damage. Check with the manufacturer of the product you choose.

A metal roof will make your house colder in winter. Actually, a metal roof has no effect on the temperature of the typical vented attic in winter. It’s the insulation under (or on top of) the floor of your attic that keeps you warm.

 

Read the article here: http://www.bobvila.com/articles/11370-metal-roofs-101/#.U4h1qhukpH5

Slideshow on debunking metal roofing myths: http://www.bobvila.com/fact-or-fiction/15440-debunking-5-metal-roof-myths/slideshows

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Learn about green buildingHover over the green leaves () to learn more about green buidling components that go into J.W. York's custom built houses and how they benefit you.

Encapsulating the attic in a home with open cell foam and removing the normal attic ventilation allows for a semi conditioned attic that replicates the temperature of the conditioned area of the home. The benefit is a more comfortable home, reduced load on the air conditioning, and energy savings.
Energy Star qualified metal roofing has reflective qualities that significantly reduce heat gain on the home resulting in lower energy bills and a more comfortable home.
We use Energy Star ceiling fans and CFL light bulbs in our fixtures and offer LED recessed can lights which significantly reduce energy demand on a home and putt off less heat than standard incandescent light bulbs.
Energy Star qualified wood or vinyl windows come standard in all of our homes. With LoE2 coating on the glass and Argon gas in between panes, these efficient units allow the home to have an abundance of natural light while maximizing comfort and performance.
Our use of high efficiency air filtration systems rated at MERV 8 or 10 capture more airborne pollutants and particles than a standard 1" filter thus significantly improving the indoor air quality of your home. These 5" think filters also need to be changes less frequently and contribute to the longevity of your HVAC system.
High Efficiency 15 Seer or better electric heat pump systems come standard in our homes and are paired with programmable thermostats. Our systems and duct work are properly sized using a Manual J calculation for each individual home. The system is then third party inspected by a duct blaster test to make sure the system is tight and has minimal leakage. The combination of these efforts will ensure a comfortable, efficient, and long lasting system for our homes.
We use open cell spray foam insulation to encapsulate all of our attics and R-19 exterior wall insulation which both exceed code requirements for insulation. These items will help ensure a comfortable and efficient home.
The use of a tank-less gas water heater or a heat pump water heater can greatly reduce the cost of heating water.
Energy Star rated appliances in our homes save an average of 30% in energy cost over standard models.
Advanced framing techniques are used to put more insulation and less wood in the exterior walls of the home while maintaining structural integrity. These techniques include California corners, 2x6 exterior walls @ 24" on center, and ladder framing of exterior T-walls.
Caulking all plates, stud-to-stud gaps, foaming around windows and exterior penetrations, and properly installing house wrap lends a tight seal to all of our homes. Our homes are third party inspected upon completion with a blower door test to check for gaps and leaks.
Basements and crawlspaces are areas of the home that must be properly insulated, dehumidified, and kept free of moisture to ensure a healthy home. We properly waterproof these areas, install footing and foundation drains, and grade around the home to ensure no water will end up in or under your home. We insulate the exterior walls of both basements and crawlspaces and then introduce an HVAC air handler or heat pump water heater inside those areas to semi- condition those spaces and keep humidity under control.
Most builders are advertising and using fiber cement siding. The problem is they are using wood for their fascia, soffit, corner boards, and other trim pieces because it saves them a few hundred dollars per home. When you go back and look at their homes 3 or 4 years later; the siding looks great but the trim boards all need to be painted again. If they are not painted they start to decay and weather very poorly. At J.W. York Homes we "full wrap" our homes in fiber cement siding and trim boards. This ensures the trim and siding on your home will stay on the same maintenance cycle and will prevent costly repairs in the future.
At J.W. York Homes we are mindful of our impact on the environment. Even though we use long lasting products, advanced framing, and proper planning to reduce the amount of job site waste; a new construction home still produces a good amount of waste. We have partnered with a local waste management and recycling company that hauls off 100% of our jobsite waste. They take the waste to a facility that sorts the waste and recycles as much of it as possible. We are currently able to recycle non pressure treated lumber, block, brick, stone, asphalt shingles, metal, cardboard, plastic, drywall, and much more. These products are then reused for such purposes as soil additives, erosion control methods, or resold to help offset the cost of recycling.