Metal roofing is a durable, attractive, and eco-friendly option for homes, barns, garages, and many commercial buildings. They are a massive upgrade to shingles roofs and can last for decades!
A roof design may look elegant and simple, but metal roof components are vast and complex. It is important that homeowners understand each component of a metal roof, so when you need to have your roof repaired or replaced, you know exactly what’s going on and why certain components are essential. Having a clear understanding about metal roofs will help answer any questions you may have regarding the functionality, cost, and benefit of installing a new metal roof.
In this article, we will discuss each metal roof component, where it goes, and how it supports the roofing system.
Essential Metal Roof Components
Metal roofs can last over a hundred years in some cases. You can enjoy your new roof for decades without worrying about costly repairs or having it replaced. This is only possible when all the roof components fit correctly and work efficiently. A metal roof can also help keep your home cool during the summer, and warm in winters!
The most prominent and visible metal roof components are the panels. Most homeowners prefer steel, copper, zinc, or aluminum. Much like shingles, these panels are the first part of your roof that protects your home from the elements.
Panels come in different styles and thicknesses, which will determine the strength and durability of your roof. Metal roofing panels are also available in various shapes, such as arched or flat styles. Roofing companies may offer to paint them in any color you want to complement your home’s exterior design scheme.
When you consult with a professional roofing company, they will tell you which material and design is best for your home. Many homeowners like that a metal panel can mimic the natural look of shake, slate, and tile. Metal roofs are some of the most beautiful roofs available, but they are also extremely durable. Metal roofs are also low maintenance, making them one of the fastest growing roofing materials used today.
Whenever you research metal roof components, you will always find information about panel fasteners. Some people may overlook them, but how you choose to fasten the metal panels can make your roof more durable and increase its lifespan. Panel fasteners fix and secure the metal panels to your rafters or purlins.
They come in different sizes and materials, so you’ll need to make sure that they are compatible with each other. You can also choose from hidden and exposed fasteners. While hidden fasteners (standing seam panels) offer more protection, less maintenance, and high durability, exposed fasteners come in various styles and are very affordable.
If you live in an area that experiences long stretches of hot weather, a standing seam metal roof can be the ideal choice. You can choose mechanical installation, where the panels have room to expand and contract in fluctuating temperatures without damage. You can also paint the fasteners with the same or a matching shade as the panels.
Fastener Caps And Coatings
There are different coatings and caps to cover the exposed fasteners. This can make your roof more durable and weatherproof, and you should choose a zinc or aluminum coating for maximum protection.
A drip edge is a separate metal strip that protects the roof edges from water damage. These can also be found on many shingle roofs. It’s a type of flashing that covers the roof’s edges, and it allows the water to flow directly into the gutters, protecting the siding of your home and preventing ice dams.
Sealant is a vital material between the joints, panels, flashing, and tiny gaps throughout the roof. It ensures the roof is entirely closed, and there’s no way for water, debris, and insects to slip behind the metal roof components and into the attic.
Panel Closure Strips
Often overlooked, panel closures are very crucial parts of your metal roof. They fill the tiny spaces between the decking and metal panels. They are usually foam or rubber strips that keep moisture and bugs from getting under the panels. They also will help with roof ventilation and will ensure that your roof functions properly for years to come.
A ridge cap is the uppermost metal strip or cap that is located at your roof’s peak or ridge. It runs throughout the horizontal rise to give it an extra layer of protection from water and wind damage. You can choose from a wide range of thicknesses and styles according to your area’s climate.
Some ridge caps work well for low-pitch roofs and minimal wind resistance (like what you might find on greenhouses or garages), while others have high wind resistance to help keep your home secure during heavy rains, strong winds, and storms with wind speeds exceeding 30 mph.
Trim is among the integral metal roof components, offering two main benefits: increased protection and improved curb appeal. The trim you choose can improve your home’s aesthetic appeal by giving character to your roof. Sidewall and endwall trims provide a watertight transition to the roof’s edge and the exterior wall. J-channel and drip angle are the two most useful and common wall trims available.
An eave is the extended portion of your roof that protects your roof’s rafters, dormers, gable, and similar areas from above. The eave drip goes below the eave to cover and connect it to the roof and wall.
Snow guards can help prevent the buildup of snow on your roof. They are elevated metal stripes running along the metal panels horizontally. They help prevent the snow from sliding down your roof, so instead, it melts and slides down into the gutters. This keeps your home’s exterior clean and safe, and the risk of water damage around your door, porch, and home foundation will be significantly reduced.
Metal roofing is one of the fastest growing roofing materials, especially in cold, wet, and storm-prone areas. When it is installed correctly and maintained properly, a metal roof can protect your home for decades. In fact, any roof requires flawless installation to work for years to come. Now that you know more about metal roofing, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to install a new metal roof. Many homeowners go this route because metal roofs are beautiful, durable, sturdy, and long-lasting.
Looking For The Right Metal Roofing Contractor In Buffalo, NY?
At OConnor Contracting, we have been building metal roofs in Buffalo, NY., for years! Our team has years of experience in the roofing industry, and we are the best choice if you are having a new metal roof installed on your home. Our team can build the right metal roof within your budget, without compromising product and installation quality.
If you need help with metal roof components, call us at (716) 600-7663
for a free consultation. Our roofing experts will discuss every detail, examine your old roof and provide you with accurate estimates (without any obligations and charges!)