What are metal roof materials?

green metal roof on a stucco house

Durable roofing for your property

Metal roofing for commercial buildings isn’t anything new, they’ve been a standard part of the construction for years, but why? What gauge is commercial metal roofing need to be that it is strong enough for a commercial structure? Well, 29 gauge is the recommended gauge for commercial metal roofing. Does that number seem small to you, so it would logically mean it is thinner?

If you aren’t familiar with how metal measures, it is like sandpaper.  The smaller the number, the thicker metal is and with sandpaper, the smaller the number, the rougher the grit. If you’re more of a logical thinker that bigger is thicker, just remember to turn it around for metal and sandpaper! If you were to put metal roofing on your home, you would be wise to go with a 26-gauge metal. If your business or home is located in an area prone to hailstorms and high winds, roofing experts would recommend with a commercial metal roofing, go with a 24-gauge metal.

Is a metal roof loud when it rains?

Not any more than an asphalt roof! Surprised? Yes, at one time, commercial metal roofing was as noisy as the metal roofing on your grandpa’s barn. Today, though, commercial metal roofing isn’t installed over the building’s roofing surface. That leads to the question, so How do you install metal roofing then?

Today, when commercial metal roofing is installed, strong sheathing goes on first, and if there is an existing roofing surface, they install the sheathing first. This reduces the noise from hail, rain, windblown debris, and other things that would typically make a loud noise on any residential or commercial metal roofing. In fact, it can sometimes be even quieter than other roofing materials, especially asphalt roofing.

Another myth about metal roofs is the lack of energy efficiency and sturdiness. So, yes, if you have been in an old metal barn during the winter, it is cold, especially if the wind is blowing hard and strong. Today’s commercial metal roofing isn’t like that, and that is mainly because of how it is installed – the sheathing.  The sheathing that is installed first does a lot for making a commercial metal roofing quiet and making it energy efficient and strong.

What do you use to seal a metal roof?

If it is a brand-new commercial metal roofing is installed, or you’re having an old one restored, you need to know that it has suitable water penetration protection. Metal roofing comes in panels and an experienced, professional roofing contractor will attach those individual panels to each other by snapping them together using rubber grommets, fasten them to the roof decking.

If this is a new commercial metal roofing, they use butyl seam tape or other types of metal sealer on the joints and seams where the metal panels meet. It is also applied over any fasteners that well that butyl caps to ensure good sealant.

With a commercial metal roofing restoration project, the fasteners, joints, nails, and seams are prone to dilapidate with rust which allows water to penetrate, as such, thorough re-sealing with new metal roof sealer is needed. Experienced commercial metal roofing contractors will use butyl tape, butyl caps, or some other approved metal roofing sealant on these detailed areas.

After installation of the metal roof sealers is complete, and any rust has been primed or removed, a base coating is applied, sometimes with customized reinforced polyester fabric is placed in areas that need extra strength. Then a topcoat is applied, leaving a fully restored commercial metal roofing that is UV protected and is waterproof. 

What is the best color of metal roof for energy savings?

Commercial metal roofing can be fifty to sixty degrees cooler when you go with a light color like beige, blue, light bronze or light green, peach, or white. The hotter the climate, the lighter the color is recommended by roofing contractors.

metal roof on a warehouse

What are the disadvantages of a metal roof?

We’ve talked about the good that commercial metal roofing offers, but like anything, there are disadvantages too.

  • Affordability – commercial metal roofing can cost 2 to 3 times more than other materials you may be considering.
  • Noisier – while commercial metal roofing of today is quieter than years before, it can still be noisier than other roofing materials during hard, heavy rain, hailstorms, etc.
  • Movement – commercial metal roofing contracts and expands with the temperature, which can cause it to loosen from the fasteners and begin leaking if regular inspection and maintenance aren’t done.
  • Color Matching – if replacement panels are ever needed during a repair, the color will be inconsistent due to the original panels being exposed to the elements that fade the color some.

If metal roofing sounds like something you want on your commercial building but you’re not sure where to get started, the Internet will give you listings of roofing contractors. Type in the search bar, “Commercial metal roofing near me” or “Commercial metal roofing contractors near me”, and you’ll probably get 100s to choose from.

Get written quotes from 2 to 3 different ones and compare them to each other.  Remember, cheaper is not necessarily the best, even if your budget is tight.  It could end up costing you twice as much later. For your commercial metal roofing in Pittsburgh, PA, call Great Lakes Commercial Roofing at 412-256-8050 today.