What is a Standing Seam Metal Roof?
Predominantly seen on industrial buildings, Standing Seam Metal Roofs are making a big splash in the world of residential real estate. Continuous panels of metal run from the ridge of the roof to the eaves. Between the panels are seams connected by raised fasteners. This is where the name “standing seam” comes from, because the seam is raised or standing, rather than flush-mounted.
Standing seam metal roofs are attractive, eco-friendly, and durable. Popular additions to contemporary or country-style houses, the smooth, straight lines on these roofs give your house a distinctly industrial, modern feel. You can select metal in a variety of colors including grays, browns, forest greens, and earthy reds, but you can also have protective coatings tinted to almost any color you like.
There is no material more capable of protecting a structure from wind, rain, hail, fire, insects, or rot than a metal roof. One of the great advantages of standing seam metal roofs in particular, is that the seams, the weakest point in any roof and a potential entry point for moisture, are raised above the level of the roofing panel. Additionally, because the metal panels run unhindered from the top to the bottom of the roof, not only are there no horizontal seams but in total the roof has a far fewer number of seams than other roofing systems.
Cost of Standing Seam Metal Roofs
While the initial material and installation cost of a metal roof is higher than asphalt or other standard roofing material, the longevity is far superior–lasting two to three times longer than a typical nonmetal roof. Ranging from $300-700 per square foot, the cost of metal roofing can vary depending on the style you select–a product like steel being more moderately priced, while copper is more expensive. That said, metal roofing will increase the resale value of your home. Across the country, homeowners who invest in metal roofing get an average ROI of 85.9%. Metal roofing can also lower your insurance rates because of its fire resistance, especially in states like Texas and California that are vulnerable to wildfires.
A dearth of contractors who specialize in metal roofing can be a cost concern, too. Lack of competition among contractors who install metal roofing may result in a higher cost because there is less competition in the market.
Energy Efficiency of Standing Seam Metal Roofs
All metal roofing is considered “cool roofing” by the United States Environmental Protection Agency because it can be painted any color, including colors on the lighter end of the spectrum which can help keep your home cooler in the summer and reduce your overall energy costs.
According to Steven Chu, the U.S. Secretary of Energy and a Nobel prize-winning scientist, “painting roofs white or another light color would help to reduce global warming by reflecting sunlight back into space. It would be like removing every vehicle from the planet for 11 years.”
Protective coatings for metal roofing make use of reflective pigment technology, making your home more energy efficient and decreasing your monthly utility bills by up to 40%. Reflective pigment technology comes in the form of a simple coating that enables metal roofs to reflect heat in the summer, while providing superior insulation in the winter.
In addition to saving you money on your energy bill, metal roofing is a more eco-friendly option as it is made from 30-60% recycled material and can be installed over an existing roof, eliminating the out-of-pocket cost, as well as the environmental impact of taking off and disposing an old roof. Metal roofing provides long-term energy savings, while decreasing your overall environmental impact.
Maintenance of Standing Seam Metal Roofs
From the factory, your metal roofing products will be treated with a protective coating. All coatings are available in varying levels of thicknesses. Thicker coatings will last longer, but will also cost more initially. No matter which coating you select. at some point, long term exposure to the elements will deteriorate the protective finish and you’ll need to recoat. A simple recoat with a polymer coating will restore your metal roof to like-new conditions. The long-life of your metal roof can be enhanced with proper maintenance. It is recommended that your have your metal roof maintained by a professional who knows how to navigate the slick surface and can avoid denting the structure.
Common Concerns with Standing Seam Metal Roofs
Standing seam metal roofs are not idea for flatter roofs. You’ll need to educate yourself about your “roof pitch,” or the angle of your roof’s slope to find out what is advisable for your home. There are also several myths about metal roofs including an increased potential for rust, noise from rain and wind, and denting. Modern engineering addresses most of these concerns. Protective coatings prevent rust, textured panels conceals moderate denting, and proper attic insulation will keep your home toasty in the winter and also keep your roof quiet, even during a storm.
It’s important to note, too that metal roofing will not increase your likelihood of a lightning strike. While metal does conduct electricity, electricity is not drawn to it. In fact, because metal roofing is fire resistant, if your home is struck by lightening, your risk of fire is actually decreased with a metal roof.