Metal roof materials like aluminum, steel and copper have several advantages including durability with a 50-year warranty, versatility in appearance mimicking everything from wood shakes to ceramic tiles, and energy-efficiency due to its high reflective qualities. But the installation of metal roofing components must be entrusted to professional roofers because of the complexity of the project.
Even with roofing professionals on board, you are well-advised to keep these three important tips about metal roofing, nonetheless. Think of it this way: Knowledge about what happens to the literal roof over your head will come in handy at one point or another.
First, metal roofing must overlap at each joint to create a seal. The seal will not be airtight but it will channel rainwater, melted snow and other sources of moisture away from the wood framing and decking beneath the metal panels. It should be noted that accumulated moisture on the wooden framing can quickly result in rot, mold growth and other roofing issues.
To overlap the metal roofing panels, keep these tips in mind:
• The best starting point is either the roof's bottom corner or the building's lowest corner. Take note of the predominant wind direction in the area and then start installing the panels opposite that area.
• Each panel should have an overlap and an underlap ridge such that the former straddles the latter when the panel is laid flat on the support structure.
Second, apply a vapor barrier over the panels. (Skip this when the part is being placed over shingles) This way, the accumulation of moisture from the metal panel's underside, which usually happens during hot, sunny and humid days, can be prevented.
The vapor barrier should be stapled every three feet on both the horizontal and vertical planes. Trim off excess barriers, when necessary.
Third, know how to properly care for the panels. Yes, these roofing materials can last for 50 years with little maintenance but it still pays to know the following tips:
• Avoid placing a different type of metal on the metal roofing. This is because chemical reactions between the two can lead to corrosion.
• Repaint the metal roof when necessary to keep rust at bay.
• Repair minor leaks, holes and open seams as soon as possible. DIY is possible but when you are in doubt, call the roofing professionals.
Remember these tips and you can enjoy a good roof over your head in the decades to come!