Category Archives: Steel Roofs

How Hurricanes and Wildfires Drive Demand for Metal Roofing and Why?

Demand for metal roofing is rising because there is compelling evidence it offers better protection from hurricane winds, hail storm strikes, and airborne embers from wildfires landing on the roofs of homes and commercial buildings.

A standing seam metal roof on the house surrounded by dense forest trees

That theory has been tested in 2017 as the hurricane season has been among the worst in recorded history and wildfires in the West destroyed more than 8,400 structures in California alone and damaged countless more.

Related: How to Deal with Roof and Home Damage from Hurricanes Irma and Harvey

About the forest fire season, Chris Wilcox of the National Interagency Fire Center said, “This one has been a longer season. It really hasn’t stopped since the fall of 2016”.

Eagle Creek wildfire burns as golfers play at the Beacon Rock Golf Course in North Bonneville, Washington. REUTERS/Kristi McCluer

Let’s review the advantages of metal roofing using fire and wind data that supports the rise in demand.

Metal Roofing vs. Fire Flames

Max A. Moritz, fire ecologist at UC-Berkeley, when discussing fire prevention says, “The most effective thing to consider is the roof.” Metal roofing has a Class A fire rating, the highest available. Roofing given this rating must withstand flames up to four hours and resist tests using 15 cycles of gas flame turned on and off.

While other materials including fiberglass mat composite asphalt shingles have a Class A rating, nobody in the industry suggests asphalt roofing materials offer the same level of protection against fire driven by wind.

The FEMA paper states, “Some roofing materials, including asphalt shingles… are often less resistant to fires than others. When wildfires spread to homes or businesses, it is often because burning branches, leaves, and other debris buoyed by the heated air and carried by the wind fall on roofs. If the roof of your property is covered with wood or asphalt shingles, you should consider replacing them with fire-resistant materials such as standing-seam metal roofing.”

When finished with PVDF-applied Kynar coating, standing-seam metal roofing meets the American Society for Testing and Materials ASTM-84 building materials test Zero Flame Spread Index and Zero Smoke Developed Index, tests most other roofing materials cannot meet.

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Galvalume vs. Galvanized Steel Roofing – What’s the Difference?

If you are one of the many homeowners looking to install a steel roof on your home, understanding the difference between galvanized steel vs. Galvalume is essential to getting the top performance you expect from your new metal roof.

Right off the bat:

In most residential steel roofing applications including near-coastal areas — beach homes located near the shore, and even homes located in the middle of heavy salt-spray — severe marine environments, Galvalume steel will be a better and more corrosion-resistant option than galvanized steel.

The one exception when Galvalume should not be used:

Galvalume steel should not be used on, in, or around concrete or mortar. Concrete and mortar are highly alkaline environments. Bare Galvalume and painted Galvalume sheets suffer rapid corrosion when in contact with mortar and concrete.

Bare Galvanized steel and painted Galvanized perform better in this type of environment.

Now, because aluminum, one of the two metals in Galvalume coating, provides a barrier protection for steel, instead of galvanic or self-healing protection in galvanized steel, scratches and cut edges in Galvalume are less protected.

Galvalume steel is best for use in prefabricated metal wall panels and standing seam metal roof applications with concealed fasteners.

We would not recommend using Galvalume panels with exposed-fastener steel roofing systems such as corrugated or ribbed steel roofs.

Normally, Galvalume is offered in both bare and pre-coated (pre-painted) versions. Most residential-grade Galvalume metal roofing products – like galvanized steel – are coated with Kynar 500 or Hylar 5000 paint finishes.

Install Roof Shingles

$7,500
Average price
Install Metal Roof

$14,500
Average price
Install Flat Roof

$8,225
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Galvalume has an excellent performance lifespan in bare exposures (unpainted panels) as well.  Both galvanized steel and Galvalume weigh 100 to 150 pounds per 100 square feet and contain about 35% recycled steel post-consumer content.

The cost of Galvalume and Galvalume Plus are about the same as that of galvanized steel.

A product called Galvalume Plus features an extra coating of acrylic. One advantage of Galvalume Plus is that it can be roll-formed dry, without vanishing oil. Thus, Galvalume Plus is very easy to form and install safely in the field, using portable roll-formers.

What is galvanized steel:

Galvanized steel was invented and developed for commercial use in the first half of the 19th Century, so it has nearly 200 years of proven track record. Carbon sheet steel is dipped in molten zinc. It’s more than a coating, however. A chemical bond occurs and produces the telltale “spangles,” the crystalline surface pattern found on galvanized steel.

Tip: Look for G-90 galvanized steel for residential applications not G-60

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Metal Roof Colors: How to Select the Best Color for a New Metal Roof

Metal roofing offers a great variety of styles, materials, and colors. This guide focuses on color selection. — The item that every home owner can easily relate to.

Styles relate to the shape of the metal when installed on a roof, such as standing seam, corrugated panels, or tiles. Practically speaking, color considerations don’t matter to the style, though some styles will present slightly different colors and paint finishes.

Materials correlate with the type of metal, also called “substrate.” The popular choices for homes today are steel, aluminum, and copper. For the most part, we stick to steel and aluminum as the likely choice for most readers.

Our attention is on color. We’ll cover available options, general information on color, smart factors for selecting color and wrap up with some technical information dealing with the manufacturing of paint for metal roofs as it matters to the consumer (you).

Color choice may seem like a subjective decision, but our Guide presents (10) considerations that really shouldn’t be overlooked. There is an art and science that comes into play. Our goal is to make sure you are well versed in the considerations as well as related information.

Available Options

rustic-steel-roof

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Surprisingly, many people think of metal roofs as having limited color options. Perhaps they think the color matches the type of metal. Silver for steel, tin and aluminum; reddish-brown for copper; dark gray for lead. As if those are the extent of the color options. With aluminum and steel, the options are a bit more than these few options. Actually, strike that. The options are limitless! The correct answer to: what are the available color options for a metal roof? All of them. All colors, hues and tints.

Instead of selecting among a few options, the homeowner actually has limitless options to choose from. In some ways, that may seem more daunting. The rest of the article will help simplify things. Well, at least until we get to the technical information.

metal roof colors


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Examples of Metal Shingle Colors

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$14,500
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Typical Color Samples from a vendor

Contractors or metal roof vendors are highly likely to keep a limited amount of colors in stock. These are a mixture of popular choices as well as colors deemed best for metal roofs by manufacturers. If for any reason, none of their options appeal to you, there is always the possibility to order a custom-made color. Obviously, this would come with an additional cost as the contractor or vendor has to purchase it as a unique item rather than something they can buy in bulk.

Not so surprisingly, consumers tend to go with the colors that are in stock. These tend to vary from vendor to vendor. The hue changes slightly so as to provide a unique offering. Some colors may be nearly identical between two vendors, but have a different name. All part of the marketing and positioning of vendors in the marketplace. What you are unlikely to find from the specialty vendors (who stock metal roofing material specifically), is standard, or pure colors. Notice in the sample chart (above) there is no yellow, nor a bright green. While blue and red are present, the options in this set aren’t bright. Vendors tend to go with muted tones. The reason: brighter / flashier colors are ones that tend to fade fairly quickly. As, color choice is mostly subjective, there is no reason to think of any color as off limits. Just understand that the pros understand color at a level that the average person may not be aware of.


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