The Bel-Con Blog

Get to Know Metal Roof Systems

roof structure in process of being replaced with half of the outer roof material in place

If, after you've inspected your commercial or industrial facility's roof and assessed it's condition, you've made the decision replace it, you now must choose the type or roof system to use. Our previous blog post noted that there are two basic types of metal roof systems; through-fastened (a.k.a. screw-down) and standing-seam.

Metal Roofing Systems (2 types)

Through-fastened roofs are more commonly known as screw-down; because they are just that - screwed down to the structure that supports the roof panels.  When properly detailed and installed this type of roof can provide a good quality system with an anticipated life cycle of 20-25 years.  The weather tight life span will often be longer than 25+ years however, because this type of roof is usually prefinished with a paint system, it is typically the fading of the paint that will drive a future replacement.  Additionally at some point in the life cycle of the roof, it may be necessary to replace the fasteners as a result of the degradation of the neoprene washers due to weathering as they become brittle or worn.

Standing-seam roof systems as opposed to being held in place by fasteners through the panel; have a clip system that fastens to the structure.  The purpose of the clip is twofold; first it eliminates the bulk of the fasteners through the panels and secondly it allows for more unrestricted movement to occur for the system. As per previous blogs this unrestricted movement is the key to a successful roof installation.

Through-fastened roofs are primarily used with some form of architectural appearance in mind while standing-seam roofs are most often used as a roof primarily for function and durability.  However, there are times where through-fastened roofs are utilitarian and standing-seam roofs are utilized for architectural purposes.

Factors Affecting Roof Installation

There are a number of details that are necessary to ensure a successful installation for either of these metal roof systems:

  • Proper slope
  • Adequate drainage
  • Proper transitions for roof-to-roof and roof-to-wall
  • Attention to panel laps
  • Proper fasteners
  • Proper sub-structure and as with all roof systems
  • Proper attention and detailing of all roof penetrations and last but not least,
  • The single most important detail is ensuring that the roof is allowed to move

The details above are numerous and the specific details are much easier to explain with samples and details as opposed to written word.  We encourage you to contact us to arrange a free no obligation demonstration where we will explain both types of metal roof systems, their proper use and detailing.

In our next blog post we will look at the various roof systems that are called “standing-seam” and we will also expand our look into the details of these systems to show that when comparing apples to apples, not all apples are the same!

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