When you hear “metal roofing” you think of old rustic tin roofs, ridged and maybe even cheap looking. But, there have been a lot of major in design, installation processes and the materials used in metal roofing, making it more elegant, durable, and popular as a choice for property owners. There are a lot of fine choices available to building owners and property managers, depending on the singular look and style you like. They are often made from recycled materials like stainless steel, copper, aluminum and tin. The surfaces can be designed to look more like regular shingles, while still having a sleek, modern look.
A study of low-sloped roofing, from 2004 showed that metal roofing has a much longer life expectancy than built-up or single ply roof systems. It was found that the lifespan for metal roofing systems could be as long as 40 years – as much as double that of other roofing systems. More than just a long lifespan, metal roofs will usually require little maintenance over that 40+ years.
Benefits of Metal Roofing:
• Can Install On Existing Roof
• 40+ Year Lifespan
• Saves Expense On Energy Bills
• Energy-Efficient & LEED Compliant
• Can Install With Insulation
• Great Curb Appeal for Commercial Buildings
• Great Return on Investment
• Solar Panels Easily Installed
• Superior, Long Lasting, & Watertight
Its important to realize metal roofing has the greatest degree of thermal movement (expansion and contraction) of any roofing system. As a result, a lot of pressure is put on the fasteners, overlapping seams and flashing flanges. Over time these critical roofing components get separated, allowing water to penetrate into the interior of your building. This can lead to replacing your roof before its time.
Replacing a roof is expensive, but, most of the time, repairs can extend the life of a commercial roof until your budget allows for replacing it. A roof maintenance plan is the best way to increase the life of a commercial roof. Our maintenance plans include annual inspections to provide routine maintenance and make small repairs before they force you to order a costly replacement.
Standing seam metal roofing isn’t the cheapest roofing system to install, but when you think about the maintenance, repairs, and shorter lifespan of traditional flat roofing systems, the financial advantages of standing seam metal roofs are clear.
Failure to assess, maintain and repair minor roof issues in their early stages is the biggest causes of serious roof problems. A good time to inspect your roof is in the spring; after the colder winter weather, looking for damage that happened as a result.
Here are some of the more common problems you’ll find on today’s commercial roofs:
Moisture Ponding – Poor roof installations can cause voids in the membrane, drains to be blocked, and result in water ponding on the roof. Other causes might be HVAC units without proper condensation drainage lines, drains blocked by debris, or a slope that is improper. UV Rays added to ponding moisture can have negative effects on roofing. Before repairs are ordered, the source of the ponding water needs to be investigated. You should always inspect for these causes thoroughly before making any recommended repairs.
Blistering – Blistering happens when there are voids in the roof system. Voids can show up from skips in bitumen mopping, debris thats trapped, substrates that are uneven, membranes not relaxing properly, or gases trapped due to moisture in the materials. During the day, as it gets warmer, air and moisture that are trapped in any voids expand. The pressure that develops in the void stretches the warm flexible membranes and displaces them which forms a blister. At night, the membranes cool, get stiff, and don’t return to their original shape. This creates a vacuum inside the blister, and more air gets drawn into it through tiny cracks in the membranes. If you have just a few blisters, they usually don’t lead to issues, as long as the blisters remain watertight and don’t get too big. If a blister ruptures, moisture can reach the interface and degrade the strength of the membrane. Because of this, it’s critical to not break blisters. You should avoid stepping on them, especially when the membrane is cold. If a rupture happens, the blister gets to be too big, or the blister pulls the seam apart, a repair will probably be needed.
Penetration Flashing – Penetrations going up and through the roof membrane are usually flashed in one of two ways. Single pipes and small vents will use flat metal-flanged flashings that are installed directly on the top roofing material and stripped in. Bigger penetrations and groups of smaller penetrations will use curbs made of metal, concrete, or wood, flashed in, and will usually have metal counter flashing installed with them.
Here are some common penetration problems:
• Poorly designed flashing for the penetration
• Broken seams in metal curbs that are caused by expansion and contraction
• Standing moisture behind penetration curbs that are caused by omitting crickets
• Separating base flashing that are caused by omitting top wood nailers.
• Missing or defective counter flashing
• Stripping over the edge of metal flanges that is separating or deteriorating
• Priming and stripping of metal surfaces that are improperly installed
• Fastener back out and separation of metal flanges around penetration flashing
• Movement between stack vents and/or pipes and the flashing around them
Poor Support for Equipment on the Roof – The rooftop can be used as a location for many types of mechanical equipment – ladder struts, antennas, flag poles, signs, bracing, etc. They shouldn’t be placed on top of the roof unless absolutely necessary and they should never be mounted or placed directly on top of the roof membrane. You should have them mounted to a solid support structure or to raised curb-type supports. Flat flange or curb flashing can then be implemented to keep the roof watertight. Then roof replacement and recovering can happen without disturbing or removing the equipment.
Surface Deterioration – All roofing materials deteriorate over time from exposure to the elements at rates that are largely determined by the type of material and how it was exposed. Inorganic materials generally tend to deteriorate more slowly than organic materials. If areas of deterioration are showing, have the membrane inspected for possible water infiltration.
Fastener Back-Out – Back outs are usually caused by shortcomings in the shank length, the nature of drill points, poor thread design, stress plates and fastener heads. If back-outs are found, check the roofing system to assess whether or not other back-outs are likely to happen. If a many fasteners have backed out or look like they’re starting to back-out, rather than getting repairs, you may need to consider a – roof replacement.
At Armadillo Roofing & Exteriors (512) 333-7663 we provide commercial metal roof repair and commercial metal roof installation services to Temple, Texas and the surrounding Austin area communities. Give us a call when you need sound, experienced advice about your metal roofing system.