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To Roof, or Not to Roof: Standing Seam Metal Roofing Systems and Their Benefits and Cost Factors

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

The earliest humans built structures with mammoth bones—some still exist. While modern metal roofing can’t boast 25,000 years of existence, it can offer you decades of easy ownership and energy cost savings.

We’ve come a long way in not only the materials used for metal roofs but the way they are created and installed. Which one is right for your project?

Let’s learn more about standing seam roofing systems, so you can decide if your project could benefit. We’ll discuss:

● What standing seam roofing systems are and their benefits

● Maintenance of a metal roof

● Cost factors of your next metal roofing system

a standing seam metal roof

Why Your Project Needs a Standing Seam Metal Roofing System

We tell all our clients, for the optimal combination of energy efficiency, initial and ownership cost, and reliability, choose a standing seam metal roofing system.

It’s simply the best option. But why?

Traditional materials, like asphalt or wood, require consistent maintenance and inspection and often will last for less time than a metal system. For a customized home, the added expense and maintenance of a tile or slate system would be more realistic.

I’m sure you’ll agree, though, no one wants to monitor individual tiles on 750,000 square feet of warehouse roofing.

A standing seam metal roofing system is installed so the most critical seal of your building envelope is performed on-site — you could say it’s a “custom-fitted” roof.

The “standing seam” part of standing seam refers to the seam along the top of each joined roofing panel. The interlocking roofing panels are placed together and then formed into a cohesive unit during installation.

Our craftsmen use a specialized tool called the Roof Runner to form this standing seam. The diagram illustrates well why the seal formed is so weathertight, and owners have their metal roofing systems for so long (Butler Manufacturing’sMR-24® has over 50 years of documented in-place performance).

Manufactured to only use as much material as necessary and to create little waste in the entire process, a standing seam metal roof is a very cost-effective option. Proper maintenance and inspection will keep your roof operating for years, but they are also known to be lower maintenance than other types of roofs.

What kind of maintenance will it need?

Maintenance of a Standing Seam Metal Roofing System

Maintenance is straightforward.

Cleaning your gutter systems, downspouts, and your roof should be done at regular intervals, at least yearly but we’d suggest doing it more often. Be careful not to use cleaning tools or chemicals that will damage your roof or its finish.

You can ask your roofing contractor about cleaning requirements, as the finish of your roof is also part of its protection. Also, different manufacturers may have different requirements. It’s easier to ask than to repair your roof!

You should also schedule regular inspections for damage and leaks. While leaks are far less common with a metal roofing system, they can still happen. You’ll want to schedule repairs as soon as possible if any damage or issues are ever seen.

During these inspections keep an eye out for loose fasteners and corrosion. Some environments, like saltwater or high humidity, naturally cause more damage to your roof and, while the roof components are made to handle movement, fasteners can loosen over time.

Finally, the most critical aspect of roofing is to assure your roof is installed by a competent, licensed installation crew.

For instance, DD Construction holds an AC478 accreditation. This lets our clients know that we practice the safest, most efficient construction methods and we hold our work to the absolute highest industry standards.

Ask your commercial roofing contractor about their experience and certifications. They should be happy to discuss them.

Cost of a Standing Seam Metal Roofing

We can’t tell you exactly how much your roof will cost — that requires a consultation and careful analysis of the job at hand — but we can tell you what will affect the cost, and how you can make the most cost-effective decisions.

Obviously, a larger project will cost more. There is a huge difference between roofing a massive data center with specific energy-efficiency demands and a tractor storage shed. Aside from the sheer square footage your roof needs to cover, a steeply pitched roof uses more material than a flatter roof.

Steep roofs can also raise your labor rates, as they need specialized equipment and extremely careful work to install. In fact, if you’re planning a very complex roofing system, planning for increased labor costs should be included in your budget. Ask your contractor for more information.

Installation of skylights, vents, and other accessories can affect the final cost of your metal roof. Many roofing systems also offer higher insulation or specialized options for increased reflective properties and energy efficiency.

While these options can cause some clients sticker shock, we like to remind clients that the cost of owning a building will eventually outweigh your initial costs. Focusing on lowering your operating costs through efficient materials is part of value engineering.

Be sure to ask your roofing contractor for other options, or if another standing seam roofing system will suit your needs.

A Standing Seam Metal Roof is a Great Choice

Not only do standing seam metal roofing systems last longer than most traditional materials, but they also offer our clients fewer maintenance headaches and often increased energy efficiency.

Assuring safe, accurate installation of your roofing system is the most critical component of all. Make sure to ask your chosen commercial roofing contractor about their experience and certifications.

Ready for a consultation? Email or call us at (303) 536-6074.

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