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Everything to Know About Standing Seam Metal Roofs

Standing Seam Metal Roof on House

Metal is quickly becoming one of the most preferred materials for roofs on both residential homes and commercial buildings. Homeowners are turning to metal roofing for its incredible benefits, which include durability, longevity, and energy-efficiency.

Standing seam metal roofs are among the most popular metal roofing styles due to their contemporary appearance and many advantages.

Here is everything you should know about standing seam metal roofing before you invest in one for your home.

What is a Standing Seam Metal Roof?

A standing seam metal roof is a type of roof that has raised seams, rising above the flat panel section of the roof.

This type of roof is usually installed vertically, running from the eaves of your roof to ridge, and it is often defined by its concealed fasteners. Standing seam roofing uses vertical legs and a wide flat area between these legs to form the overall structure of the roof.

Most importantly with standing seam metal roofing, the fasteners are hidden behind some type of seam or lock system.

Whether a panel is attached to the deck of the roof with clips or it is attached to the decking material beneath the legs, the fasteners are hidden, out of sight, and protected from weather elements.

Metal Roofing

Types of Standing Seam Metal Roofs

There are a variety of different standing seam metal roof types. Some of these types may suit your home’s aesthetic or needs better than others, so it’s worthwhile to consider the different options when looking into your roofing upgrade. Here are some standing seam metal roof types to consider.

Mechanically-Seamed

This is one of the most popular types of standing seam roofing. A mechanically-seamed roof has edges that line up straight, and a seamer is utilized to bend the panel edges together, locking the panels into place.

It is highly adaptable to a variety of environments and is suitable to both residential and commercial buildings. 

This type of roofing is commonly referred to as a single-lock system or a double-lock system. Double locks have two folds, allowing them to be more weather-tight, and they are more commonly used than single-lock systems.

Single-lock systems—as their name suggests—utilize one fold and require a more sloped roof to be efficient. 

Snap-Locked

Snap-lock standing seam metal roofing is made with a clip system that is able to lock (or snap) the two sides together, thereby helping keep them in place. Snap-lock and mechanically-locked roofing systems are the two most popular standing seam metal roof systems. 

Unlike mechanical-seamed roofing systems, snap-locked roofing systems don’t require a seamer, making the installation process faster and easier.

Nail-Hemmed

Nail-hemmed standing seam metal roofs perform similarly to siding on a house: they have one side that is lined with a nail strip, usually with holes large enough to allow for the expansion and contraction of the metal over time. 

The panels are layered much like siding, with one overlapping the next.

The interlock of two panels tends to be shallow, so they don’t perform the best when exposed to severe windstorms. In some cases, the wind can be strong enough to warp or damage nail-hemmed metal roofs.

Exposed Fasteners

Exposed fastener standing seam metal roofs are fastened from the metal of the panel directly to the framing or decking of your roof. As their name implies, their fasteners are exposed rather than covered by a seam, snap-lock, or layered panel. 

The panels are overlapped at their edges, so a fastener goes through both layers of metal panel, leaving the head of the fastener exposed.

This is often thought of as an economical metal roofing option and is common for both residential and commercial buildings. The downside is that exposed fastener heads can rust, leading to premature aging of the roof.

Exposed Fastener Metal Roof

Pros of Standing Seam Metal Roofs

Standing seam metal roofs offer a variety of advantages. Compared to other roofing types, they may be on the more expensive side, but they are high-quality, durable, low maintenance, and energy-efficient. Top benefits include:

Longevity 

Metal roofing lasts far longer than most other roofing types, with a strong ability to withstand extreme weather. Standing seam metal roofing requires far less maintenance and fuss, especially when compared to asphalt shingles.

Standing seam metal roofs do well in a wide variety of environments, helping them last longer, require fewer repairs, and save you money in the long run.

Energy-Efficiency

Standing seam roofs are excellent at reflecting heat and sunlight away from your home. One of the most energy-efficient roofing options available today, these metal roofs can help save you a substantial amount of money on your heating and cooling bills throughout the year. 

Many homeowners are hesitant to invest in a metal roof due to the upfront installation cost, but metal roofs quickly become more attractive due to the huge money and energy-saving impact they can make over their lifetime.

Hidden Fasteners

A significant advantage of many types of standing seam metal roofs is that their fasteners are hidden, which means they are well protected against wind, rain, UV rays, and other weather elements that can cause fasteners to rust and wear down.

Having hidden fasteners helps the entire roof last longer, helping you achieve the best return on your roofing investment. 

Mounting Additions

The design and nature of standing seam metal roofs allow you to easily add features to your roof that can improve the functionality of your home, including solar panels, snow guards, and more.

Talk to your metal roofing contractor about your options when it comes to mounting additions for your standing seam roof. 

Modern Appearance 

While your roof is designed to fulfill many purposes—such as protecting your home and family—it’s also important that it looks appealing and suits the style of the rest of your home.

Standing seam metal roofs are versatile in color and texture and offer a clean, modern look that complements many types of homes. 

Cons of Standing Seam Metal Roofs

All roofing materials have their pros and cons, and standing seam metal roofs are no exception. Though they are few and far between, here are some of the disadvantages of standing seam roofing to keep in mind:

Higher Installation Cost

Metal roofs in general have higher installation costs compared to other roofing types. Not only are the materials more expensive, but this type of roofing is also complex to install and requires skilled labor with specific expertise. 

Hiring the right professional to do the job may be more expensive, but it will save you the hassle of repairing a warped, poorly-installed roof, as well as the costs associated with such repairs. 

Not Recommended for Flat Roofs

Standing seam metal roofs don’t work for all homes. They have to be installed on certain types of roofing structures with a slope.

If you have a flat roof, standing seam roofing is likely not the best option. However, there are other types of metal roofing that may work for your home.

Ask your roofing professional for recommendations so you can get the best metal roof possible for your flat roof. 

More Difficult to Clean 

Though standing seam metal roofs are far more durable and low-maintenance than many other roofing types, they are a bit more difficult to clean should they need a bit of maintenance.

Typically, washing a metal roof can be accomplished with a standard garden hose. 

However, you have to ensure that the roof dries properly and that there are no areas of the roof where water can pool or collect, as this can lead to rusting and premature aging.

That’s where cleaning gets tricky—standing seam metal roofs can be slippery and therefore pose more of a risk to homeowners attempting DIY maintenance. 

If you have a standing seam roof, it’s important to have a professional handle any necessary cleaning to prevent injury and further damage to your roof.

Standing Seam Metal Roof

Standing Seam vs. Other Roofing Materials

When considering a roofing upgrade, it’s valuable to compare different materials against each other to determine the best option for your home. See how standing seam metal roofs stack up against other popular roofing materials:

Standing Seam vs. Corrugated Metal

Corrugated metal roofing, compared to standing seam, tends to be less expensive to install since there is very little material wasted in the installation process and they are less complicated to install.

That being said, corrugated metal roofs have exposed fasteners, meaning they run the risk of wearing down way faster than standing seam metal roofs with hidden fasteners. 

Overall, both are good metal roofing options that are very durable, energy-efficient, and stand up well against a variety of weather elements. 

Standing Seam vs. Metal Shingles

Metal shingles come in a variety of styles and offer a more traditional look to your home. If you enjoy the appearance of asphalt shingles but want something that’s more durable and long-lasting, metal shingles are a great option. 

This type of metal roofing provides many of the same benefits that standing seam roofs offer… when the job is done well. Testing is common for standing seam metal roofs, so you know the materials used will always be high-quality. 

However, metal shingle roofing isn’t always held to the same standards. It’s important to work with a roofing contractor you trust to ensure you’re getting the best materials on the market. 

Standing Seam vs. Asphalt Shingles

Metal roofing is far more durable than asphalt shingles. Standing seam metal roofing is also more energy-efficient, long-lasting, and low-maintenance than asphalt shingles. 

That being said, asphalt shingle roofing is far less expensive and much easier to install than standing seam metal roofing. If you’re keeping to a strict budget, asphalt shingles will likely suit your needs better.

Standing Seam

Is a Standing Seam Metal Roof Right for You?

Long Roofing is a trusted metal roofing contractor across New England and the Mid-Atlantic. If you’re interested in standing seam metal roofing for your home, reach out to our expert roofing team for more information. 

Call or visit us online today to get a quote on a standing seam metal roof or schedule your free, in-home consultation. 

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