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How To Install Metal Roofing and Reasons Why You Should

By on February 27, 2023

Picking the right material for a new roof is a decision that takes some consideration. Many people are opting to go with a metal roof, and therefore want to know how to install metal roofing. This article seeks to share reasons why you should consider a metal roof, explore the materials that you could use, and guide you through the step-by-step process.

Why Install A Metal Roof?

When you decide on installing a new roof, one of the first decisions you have to make is deciding on which roofing material to use. That’s no easy task. There are so many options available and that means weighing the pros and cons of each can be difficult. That said, in the majority of cases metal roofing is a clear winner in terms of durability, efficiency, and longevity.

Metal roofs are rapidly growing in popularity among homeowners keen to install long-lasting roofs. Unlike asphalt shingle roofs, which typically require replacement after 15-20 years, a metal roof can last between 40 and 70 years. This means that once a metal roof is installed, you won’t have to replace it for several decades.

Metal roofs not only last longer but also require less maintenance. They’re particularly useful in areas of the country that regularly face strong winds and harsh weather conditions. Where that is the norm, the prevailing weather can cause damage to asphalt shingle roofs. A metal roof, however, is a solid, sturdy option that can withstand even the harshest climates.

Metal roofing is an environmentally friendly option plus it takes very little in the way of maintenance. The majority of metal roofing materials are recyclable, and because metal reflects sunlight, it can help to reduce the amount of heat that enters your home. This means that your home will be cooler in the summer, lowering your energy bills.

Installing a metal roof is more expensive than installing an asphalt shingle roof, but it is important to consider the long-term savings. A metal roof not only outlasts an asphalt roof, but it can also increase the resale value of your home.

Picking The Right Material

There are a good number of different materials available to installers of metal roofing. There are some differences in durability, affordability, and style. Therefore, it’s worth weighing each option individually.

Steel: Steel is a reasonably affordable and long-lasting choice. You can easily paint or coat it to prevent rust and improve its appearance.

Aluminum: More expensive than its steel counterpart, but it doesn’t rust and corrodes at a far slower rate. It’s a great option for homes that are coastal.

Copper: Arguably the most visually appealing material, copper is beautiful but you certainly pay for that privilege. One of the main draws is the change in tone over the years, eventually reaching a stunning green patina.

How To Install Metal Roofing Step-by-step

Each roof is different, and each project should be approached in a unique way. What follows, however, is a great basic outline for the process that you’re likely to go through.

Check The Local Regulations

Many states and areas require you to obtain a permit before conducting higher-value construction projects. These work permits should be in place before you start any work, it’s better to be safe than sorry here.

Measure Then Measure Again

Do not underestimate just how important getting accurate measurements are. When budgeting for your project, you may have made a rough estimate, but when it is time to buy materials and begin the installation, you’ll need precise measurements. Consider the type of roof you have, as well as any additional features like skylights or dormers, to get the most accurate measurement.

The total square footage of a basic gable roof can be calculated by multiplying the length of the rake (the line from the top ridge to the eaves) by the distance from one eave to the other eave. Simply multiply this figure by two to get the total square footage of your roof. If your roof does have extra features like skylights or dormers, measure them separately and add them to your total.

Remember that it’s always good practice to order 10% more material to account for waste during installation.

Clear Out and Remove Old Materials

For roof replacements, you’ll need to remove the existing materials (shingles, underlay, etc) and prepare the area for the new. Make sure, during this process, that you carefully check for any previously hidden damage. This is your chance to make any quick repairs that could lengthen the lifespan of your new roof. It’s also important to consider the overall cost of roof replacement before getting started, as you might be better off (for now) with just a repair.

Prepare and Install Underlayment

Underlayment is a protective layer that helps to keep your roof decking dry. You’ll need to make sure that the roof surface is smooth, clean, and dry prior to installation. There are many different types of underlayment, so spend time assessing the specific type you need for your project. The material will undergo expansion and contraction due to temperature changes so it’s important that you carefully follow the instructions, including the overlap requirements between rolls.

Drip Edges and Flashing

A drip edge is used to direct water away from the roof eave edges. Begin installation by overlapping the first piece by 1 inch, then using a hand seamer, bend the end around the corner. Overlap each new piece by 3 inches, then caulk or tape the seams. As specified in the product details, secure every 12-16 inches with roofing nails. Install drip-edge flashing on eaves that have gutters.

Install the Corrugated Panels

Checking the roofing manufacturer and building codes for screw placement recommendations is the first step in installing panels on your roof. Start at one eave and work your way to the other, overlaying each panel as you go. Caulk or roofing sealant tape should be used to seal each junction. Fasten the panels with metal roofing screws according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and make any necessary cuts with a circular saw.

Finishing With Closure Strips

To finish your roof installation, place closure strips where the roof slopes meet to protect against moisture and debris and to give it a finished appearance. Depending on your roof design and ventilation requirements, select solid or vented closures. Begin at the bottom and apply sealant tape along the entire ridge, followed by closure strips and more sealant tape on the top. Finally, install the ridge cap and secure it with screws as directed by the manufacturer.

Key Takeaways

Metal roofing is a great choice for brand-new roofs and replacement roofs. There are plenty of choices when it comes to materials, but one thing is for sure, you’ll have a durable, low-maintenance, and visually appealing structure when you’re finished.

  • Different materials have different benefits attributed to them.
  • Metal roofs are a great step up from traditional shingle roofing.
  • Following a step-by-step process is important, but take into consideration the nuances of your own project too.

No one would blame you for wanting to talk to a professional before undertaking a new roof project, that’s why at All County Exteriors we’re always happy to help. So feel free to get in touch with us today.

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