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Choosing a Metal Roof for Your Building

Install the Right Commercial Metal Roof

Metal makes for a long-lasting, extremely durable commercial roofing system. When they’re manufactured and installed right, metal roofing systems will last longer and perform better than almost all other commercial roofing systems. They can be more expensive than other systems, however, ranging from around 5-12 dollars a square foot. A building owner that keeps theirs long term should be able to look past the higher initial investment, because metal roofs last 30 to 40 years and other commercial systems have a 15 to 20 year life span.

When it comes to choosing the type of metal roofing, owners and property managers need to consider a lot of things, such as the area’s weather; the building’s structural integrity, form, the pitch of the roof; and local building code requirements.

Choosing the Type of Metal
Steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc are the most common metals used for commercial roofing. Steel is galvanized or coated for protection, while aluminum is usually painted or anodized for added strength. Copper is durable, has a proven lifespan, and a patina that looks great. Zinc is popular because it resists corrosion and its low-gloss look.

The metal’s thickness, or gauge, factors into the expense of the roofing system as well as the building’s ability to handle the structural loads. Metal roofing materials can range anywhere from 3 gauge to 30, translating into approximately $120 to $350 per square (10 x10 square feet) when installed. A 26 gauge metal roofing product weighs between 0.9 to 1 pound per square foot, compared to a 29 gauge product weighing between 0.60 to 0.65 pound per square foot. A lower gauge, meaning greater thickness, is usually chosen for its durability. But, their heavier weight makes installation tougher, and the greater thickness will make the metal harder to bend and work with.

Commercial Metal Roof Installation Contractors You Can Trust

The Roof’s Connections and Configurations
Commercial Metal Roof Repair CompaniesThere are multiple forms of metal commercial roofing, like horizontal or vertical panels and sheets, which are found most often in commercial projects, in addition to tiles and shingles. the connections between the panels can be performed with different profiles, affecting the roofing system’s durability and its need for maintenance. Vertical options for metal roofing panels are standing seam, through-fastened, and batten seam. Standing seams bring the edges of two adjacent panels together in a single or double fold thats perpendicular to the plane of the roof. Through-fastened panel’s ribs are mechanically attached using threaded fasteners and washers. Batten seam roofs employ wood strips at the joints of the panels which are then flashed with a metal cap, interlocking with the panels.

The Insulation and Underlayment
Underlayment choices include self-adhering membranes, asphalt-saturated felt, and synthetic sheets, single ply when the roof slope is more than 18 degrees, two plies when the slope is 18 degrees or less. A slip sheet between the metal roofing and underlayment may have to be used, keeping the underlayment from sticking to the metal in extreme temperatures.

Especially important is a layer of insulation under the panels to minimize thermal bridging and also working as a sound barrier when there is heavy rain or hailstones. For installation over a solid deck substrate, rigid insulation boards are installed, which include extruded fiberglass insulation, expanded polystyrene, or  polystyrene panels.

Standards and Code Requirements
Building owners and property managers should check their local building codes for info on thermal insulation values, panel connection and fastening requirements load-bearing requirements, roof pitch, ventilation, and flashing details for their projects in addition to guidelines offered by professional industry associations and roofing material manufacturers.

Armadillo Roofing & Exteriors (512) 333-7663, provides commercial and residential roofing services to Austin, Texas and the surrounding area. This includes commercial metal roof repair and commercial metal roof installation. We’ve been providing professional commercial roofing services to the area for over 15 years. When you have questions about commercial metal roofing, give us a call.

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