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Metal roofing is becoming more and more popular due to its wide variety and longer service life.

Published date: 2020/10/10

Introduction: Metal roofing is becoming more and more popular due to its wide variety and longer service life. Contributor Scott Gibson delved into all the different options for metal roofing, from materials to installation details. This article includes descriptions of metal roofing rating standards, as well as descriptions and prices of various roofing products, ranging from modular panels that look like milkshakes, shingles and tiles to classic straight seam or through-fixed panels.

Metal roofing has a long history in the United States, but until 20 years ago, it was still a leader in the residential construction sector, accounting for only 3.6% of the roofing market. According to data from an industry trade organization, this number has increased approximately fourfold since then.

what happened? Many styles of metal roofing are now available, from standing seams to various stamped metal tiles that look like slate, clay bricks or even asphalt. Paint and stone coatings are more advanced and more durable, making metal roofs last longer, and at the same time attracting homeowners with various aesthetic preferences.

Dick Bus, president of ATAS International and head of the Metal Roofing Alliance, said that the industry is still struggling to win over consumers who once thought metal roofs were too hot, too heavy, noisy or easy to rust. He said: “Those myths are gone, people want to replace it with something permanent.” Just because the sticker shakes, the metal roof may never catch up with the asphalt of the residential area. Upright or metal tile roofs can be two to three times the initial cost of asphalt. However, its long service life, recyclability, high fire resistance and low maintenance have increased its acceptance.

Steel and aluminum are the two most common and cheapest metals used for residential roofs. “In about 80% of houses, any kind of metal can work,” said Todd Miller, president of Isaiah Industries, a manufacturer of various metal roofing products. “The other 20%, it is often driven by the climate of the region.”

The weakness of steel lies in its potential to rust. One way to prevent galvanizing is to coat the surface with zinc before spraying. The amount of zinc is the key. Ken Gieseke, vice president of marketing for the Louisiana-based manufacturer McElroy Metal, said the G-100 coating (1 ounce of zinc per square foot) can be used as a durable substrate for the roof. Galvalume is another widely considered better option. In this process, before painting or varnishing the bare steel, it is coated with an alloy of zinc and aluminum (usually the coating is called AL-Zn alloy). This treatment is especially useful in severe weather conditions. McElroy conducted a side-by-side comparison and the results showed that after 23 years of climate exposure, the durability of Galvalume-coated panels is 2-4 times that of galvanized steel.
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