Discover if Your Roofing Contractor Knows How to Install a Metal Roof with These 5 Questions


Metal roofs are a popular roofing option for commercial buildings because of the durability and reliability that a metal roof offers. The key to installing and maintaining a metal roof is to start with an experienced roofing contractor. If you are looking to repair a metal roof or install a new one, ask your local roofing contractor these five questions to figure out if they are the right contractor for the job.

What is a Standing Seam Metal Roof?

Unlike asphalt and composition shingle roofs–where the seams adhere directly to the roof deck–a standing seam metal roof has seams that “stand” above the actual roof. Because the seam–where two metal panels meet–is above the roof surface, it is less likely to be damaged or weakened by ponding water.

Standing seam roofing systems join together multiple metal panels with fasteners hidden beneath the panels. These metal panels are created from sheet metal off-site (pre-formed) or on-site (site-formed) and can vary in size, shape, color, thickness, and seam type (or panel profile).

Question 1: What Type of Panel Profile Will You Use?

There are four main panel profiles: snap-lock, mechanical seam, batten panel, and nail flange (fastener flange). These panel profiles, or seam types, each work best for specific roofing styles and environmental climates. Your roofing contractor should be able to tell you the panel profile that works best for your roof and the area in which your commercial building is located.

How to Know Which Panel Profile Your Building Should Use

The weather or climate in your region, roof pitch, and the actual type of roof structure your building has will determine the panel profile you should use for your building.

For example, snap-lock panels are valuable because they require less labor to install and can be used in any climate, but they require your roof pitch to be 3/12 or above. While snap-lock panels require a specific root pitch, batten panels can work with just about any roof pitch, but can require more labor.

Note that metal roofing of any type—no matter the panel profile—is typically not appropriate for perfectly flat roofs. Other systems, including single-ply membrane roofing excel on flat commercial roofs.

Question 2: What Will You Do to Reduce or Prevent Oil Canning?

Oil canning shows as waviness in what should be a flat metal panel. That waviness is also known as elastic buckling or stress wrinkling. Oil canning is a common problem with metal roofing and occurs when there is too much stress on the standing seam panels.

You can reduce the risk of oil canning by using a thicker or tension-leveled metal, and you can reduce the appearance of oil canning by choosing a matte finish that will help reduce reflectivity.

Ask your roofing contractor to show you examples of past projects and how they plan to avoid oil canning.

Question 3: What Precautions Do You Take to Prevent Leaks?

Leaks can happen with any roof, and metal roofing systems are no different. Human error and weather damage are the two most common reasons why seams weaken and separate over time, especially if not properly installed. Weather damage cannot be avoided, but human error can be minimized!

Make sure your roofing contractor discusses the materials they plan to use and the way they plan to seal your roof once installed or repaired. Hire a contractor that actively works to install or repair your metal roof for longevity by using the right top-quality products and hiring a skilled team of craftsmen.

And if your current older metal roof is already leaking, know that you have options for restoration instead of total replacement. Learn how our commercial metal roof restoration process, which relies on the innovative Conklin system, will eliminate leaks in your existing roof for years to come!

Question 4: What Different Metals Do You Usually Use?

One concern with all types of metal roofs is corrosion or oxidation, more commonly known as rust. While corrosion occurs naturally, putting the wrong metals together on your roofing project can lead to faster corrosion and shorter lifespan of your metal roof. Metal corrosion can begin when a specific metal makes contact with another metal or material like brick, copper, or treated lumber.  

Question 5: How Are You Going to Minimize Edge Creep?

Edge creep is rust that occurs on the unfinished edge of a cut metal roof panel. You can minimize and avoid edge creep by hemming the cut edge, using a paint pen to seal the cut edge, and using lap flashing. Discuss with your roofing contractor what edges will be exposed and how they plan to minimize edge creep.

Schedule a Free Roofing Estimate Today

At CD Beiler Commercial Roofing, we are committed to providing superior workmanship on every job. We work with Conklin Roofing Systems and use experienced roofing installers to add incredible value to your existing commercial building. Contact us today to schedule a free roofing estimate!

CD Beiler Commercial Roofing is a commercial roof contractor providing professional metal installation and restoration services throughout Lancaster, Reading, Harrisburg, York, Carlisle, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and the surrounding areas.