5 Questions New Contractors Have About Metal Roofing
I hope this finds you well.
Although times are uncertain right now, I want to start by saying that the housing market is growing rapidly, up 23% in July from where it was in June! Residential remodeling is also rebounding as homeowners continue to improve their homes. In light of this growth, I am sure we will see new contractors get their start with metal roofing.
We want to help these new contractors by providing a resource like the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report. In this issue, we will answer 5 common questions new contractors have about metal roofing. You may already know the answers to these questions but let’s test your knowledge along the way.
1. What kind of underlayment is best for metal roofing?
Before selecting an underlayment, check your building code and the roofing manufacturer’s specs. The underlayment that works best for metal roofing depends on the climate, the existing ventilation, the attic space, the roof pitch, and the weather conditions. The two major kinds of underlayment are felt and synthetic and we recommend synthetic underlayment for metal roofing, both for its increased performance and longer lifespan. Two commonly used underlayments for metal roofing are UDLX and MT Ice and Water Shield. UDLX is a thick, high-quality, anti-slip synthetic underlayment in 60” rolls. MT Ice and Water Shield is designed for cold climates and will adhere down to 40°F.
2. What is the Metal Roofing Association?
The Metal Roofing Association was created in 1998 as a group “dedicated to helping homeowners make educated roofing decisions and connecting them with expert metal roofing professionals.” Today it still serves that purpose, while also connecting homeowners with the right metal roofing professionals. Contractors, manufacturers, and dealers can join the MRA to further their businesses and metal roofing as a whole. Joining the MRA has its benefits, including access to educational resources, promotional programs, marketing resources, leads from interested homeowners, and more.
3. How do you flash a metal roof?
Flashing a metal roof takes more effort than flashing an asphalt roof, but metal roofs are designed and installed to last longer than asphalt, so the flashings need to last as well. Flashing for a metal roof requires bending and shaping the metal into all the necessary patterns and shapes to go around chimneys, pipes, skylights, sidewalls, topwalls, and trim. When flashing, try to use as much metal to keep water out, with sealant only where you need it. Sealant can dry out and age from exposure to the sun, metal will retain its strength for much longer. Use matching manufactured flashings whenever possible.
4. Which screws or nails are best for metal roofing?
Screw or nails will be specified by the roofing manufacturer and the three biggest concerns to keep in mind when fastening metal roofs are ensuring the fasteners are snug, they penetrate enough decking to hold the panels down tightly, and that they resist rust. We recommend using aluminum ring shank nails or stainless steel screws that fully penetrate the decking. Neither aluminum nails nor stainless steel screws will rust, corrode, or damage the roof below. We also recommend tightening the fasteners snugly, but not too tight for standing seam roofing, where tight fasteners can force ripples into the panels.
5. How do you repair a metal roof?
You can repair a metal roof by removing the damaged section and replacing it with a new panel. This removal process differs based on the roof type; for metal shingles, each panel can be removed separately and for standing seam, the entire panel will need to be removed and replaced. This means that you will need to remove nail clips, trim, or flashings for replacement. Matching the color of the old roof can be difficult when installing a new panel, so consult the manufacturer for the closest color match.
I hope this issue of the Executive Report was helpful to those new to metal roofing installation. Even if you are an experienced installer, I hope you learned something about why we do things the way we do here at Isaiah Industries. Our goal is to be a resource to all the contractors, dealers, and installers that are part of the metal roofing industry.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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