Metal Roofing: Process and Materials

(Last Updated On: February 27, 2017)
contractors installing metal roofing
Metal roofing shingle sheets construction

For many of the home owners and passionate DIYs, metal roofing installation is a perfect project. Metal roofing has become more prevalent now a days because it adds beauty, durability and helps in cutting of energy consumption level of your home. Not only for homes but it is also popular for business offices too. Few of the features that bring metal roofing as the best option of roofing are longer durability, fire resistant and energy efficient in nature. It is an excellent option of roofing that builds an entrusted bond of installation. Metal roofing is easier to install, safe for all extreme weather conditions and even light weighted. Cost effective installation of metal roofing makes it an efficient roofing option. Accurate use of materials and appropriate time is the key to have proper installation of metal roofing at your home.

Metal roofing material is available in varied range of style, color and textures that suits on to any aesthetic preference. It is also added into the list of fastest installed roofing method. Installing metal roofing sheets, shingles or metal tiles, is your decision to take. Whether you utilize metal shingle or sheets, the basic material is all set for having a beautiful look of metal roof at your home. Metal roof is light in weight; it weighs between 1.25 to 1.50 pounds per square foot that is easy in installing and carrying the weight of roofs.

Make your roof ready, for the upcoming winter weather, defrost cycles and freezing wind, ice dams, snowstorms, heavy snow build up and huge hails, by installing metal roofing method. A metal roof is a great way to shield your home from such certainties. For regions that receives huge amount of snow, metal roofing is the best choice to exercise. Even many modern concepts of metal roofing sheets and shingles are manufactured to imitate the look of slate or clay tiles, asphalt shingles and traditional shaped shingles. There are varied choices with the home owners for different standard, premium and customized color range of metal roofing. It can be installed over any of your existing roofs. Metal roofing consist varieties of features that replicate its beauty, durability and consistency.

Process of installing metal roofing at your home

Metal roofs will increase and enhance the look of your home. Installing it will add on style and efficiency while saving money and energy at the same time.

  • Measuring the area of the top surface at your home

Before your start updating your roof, it is important to have an eye on accurate measurement of the space and materials to be needed. Try to measure the place from ground level for increasing the safety criteria at your home.

Climb onto your roof for measuring it accurately. Start up with the process by

  1. Finding out the slope area in your roof. Slope is always in the form of rise-over-run, means the distance from bottom surface of the roof to the intersection. Measurement of this distance is observed over 12 inches scale. Try out converting the measurement from inches to decimal or centimeters for having accurate scale of slope.
  2. Make use of slope study for determining the space onto your roof. The length, width and slope area are the key features to determine the metal roofing cost to be incurred. It will lead you in knowing square feet cost you need to cover while having the process.
  3. Find out the square footage measurement of the roof for knowing how much metal roofing materials you are going to need in the process. Also make a note of minimum criteria of 10 percentage of wastage of roofing materials.
  • Order your materials

Select a roofing metal material that is suitable for your home and its foundation. Order the roofing metal in accurate quantity, style, type and color that is specific to your home. It is important to understand the pros and cons of metal options available. Even many of such metal materials allow you to customize the durability, strength and style of roofs.

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There are many metal materials available that home owners can have for roofing options.  Some information about each type of metal roofing materials is given below, so you can understand which one is the best required:

Different types of roofing metal materials

  1. Copper roofing material
Copper roofing installed on different roofs
Roofs made up of Copper roofing material

Among the metal roofing materials, copper is well suitable for your home. It is malleable, relatively soft and beautiful in looks. It is assisted with many of the features – is naturally resistant to corrosion that doesn’t needs any extra coating of foam, light in weight that lays less architectural stress on your home but is slightly heavier than stainless steel material.

Copper metal roofing is considered among the ideal material for regions where heavy and regular snowfall is observed. Power of durability, easy maintenance and repair and highly resistant are some of its benefits for the home owners.

It is highly resistant from fire, hailstones, ice dams and mildew. Copper is energy efficient in nature so it is advisable of having it installed as your roofing material. It can last for fifty years or more if regular maintenance and repair takes place.

Some drawbacks that are important for you to know – expensive than other metal roofing materials, soft in its structure so easily bendable and it has a higher possibility of scratches and dents. It is also subject matter to theft because of its high scrap residual value.

You will find copper roofing installed in residential houses and commercial architecture.

  1. Stainless steel roofing material
Installing Stainless steel shingles in roof
Stainless steel roofing style construction

One of the most popular types of roofing material observed is steel. It is preferable because of its relative low prices and higher strength. If planning for long term metal roofing material, stainless steel is the ultimate option to have as your roof.

It has a longer lifespan, high strength measurement and better environmental sustainability with lower term cost. As compared to other roofing materials, it is easy in installing and budget oriented roofing material suitable for your home.

The only disadvantage of stainless steel is that it can rust easily but with the help of special coatings, corrosive actions are avoided. Coatings are of zinc-aluminium or Zinc that are anti-corrosive in nature.

It is a good option of metal roofing material due to its eco-friendly and recyclable form. Selecting stainless steel offers a long term guarantee of cost factors. Its longevity fulfills the requirement of the home owners. Passive layers are used in manufacturing it for resistant from various atmospheric environment and surroundings.

If planning of having stylish roof with complex architectural shapes, stainless steel works best as it can be shaped in any of the design you want to.

  1. Zinc roofing material
constructed Zinc metal roofing
Model of Zinc metal roof

It is highly corrosion resistant in nature. One of the best features of zinc metal roofing sheet is that it is a self-healing material. Means that if it is scratched or dent, it can recover itself as the time flows. Low maintenance and no care regime are supplementary benefits to zine metal roofing.

Want to have a stylish look for your roof? Zinc will offer you with an aesthetic appearance that increases the charm of it. Different metal roofing colors are available for zinc which can be suited well to your home color.

It is an ideal material for forming flashing around the chimneys and dormer windows, as well as the whole roof. Architects like it because of its formation. It can be formed in to any interesting structure and curves without compromising its durability.

Zinc material is eco-friendly in nature. It consumes less energy as compared to other materials and accurate metal roofing cost is achieved while installing it at your home. Zinc is completely recyclable and supplies with the benefits of longevity. It is approximately three or five times longer lasting than other metal roofing material.

  1. Lead roofing material 
Lead metal roofing material installed on roofs
Lead roofing method

Lead is among the oldest metal roofing materials and is still used popular throughout the world. It has been proven that it is a reliable material and durable in nature. Many beneficial features are achieved if lead metal roofing material is used as the roofing option.

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Lead is considered as an extremely flexible material. Lead metal roofing sheets can easily shaped in taut and tricky structures, stretched for having the model you decided.

Its expansion and contraction depends upon the temperature. So this roofing material is more suitable to European regions where the weather is unpredictable. Lead is the best compound for sealant materials. It supplies with excellent sealing properties when used with correct sealant elements of roof.

Lead is used for making 100 percentage of water tight area in the roof. It is even suitable for sealing the installation of two surfaces. Lead is an extremely strong and hard metal that is resistant to any type of corrosion. It works perfectly for different environment and weather.

  • Set up your working site

For having the process of installing metal roof as easy as possible, it is important to build up a well-organized site area. Need large trash bins for disposing off old debris and roofing materials. Proper place of storing your tools is required for the process, ladder set up and most importantly the safety measures are mandate criteria to be followed.

The tools which are being used are electric tools then make sure none of the chords are in your way while setting up your metal roofing panels. Area of storing the tools must be easily accessible. So the process of having metal roof is easily complied.

Add up a specific area for storing the metal materials to be used in roofing. It should be at readily available area, and well-protected from the weather. Metal roofing panels are weather proofed but it might catch staining if openly kept due to the moisture.

  • Dismantle the old roofing 

Not removing the old roofs and installing the new metal roofing sheets on it is possible, but comes with way more complication and complex situation. For having a best foundation of new roof, it is recommended that all the old roofing shingles or tiles should be removed.

It is advisable to work with slow pace. Not to carry the process of removing old roofs in a hush or carrying off too much at once. Start your work from the top surface of the roof. Peal off old shingles, tiles, flashing, and vents that you observe. It is important to remove it because it will be replaced with the new metal roofing sheets, or shingles.

You might observe harsh nails that are larger in size and sticking out. Make a move for hammering it well deep into the roof, or remove it safely for not harming anyone working on the roof. Planning of making necessary changes in your roof? Do it right away at this stage. If you want to relocate your gutters, do it at this point of time.

Don’t amalgamate two things at a time. If you are removing the old roofing materials, complete the process properly and then start for installing metal roofing at your home. A proper sunny day is best suitable time for carrying the process. Dry and sunny weather will lead you in not having any moisture or rain to seep into your home.

  • Repair any damage observed 

While removing old materials, many times it is possible that the plywood sheets, frames or the bare bones of the roof are damaged. If any of such damage is observed to the sheathing, flashing installed under the roof, insulation or the ventilation then it is recommended of fixing it at the very point.

Only removing the old roofing materials is not important, it is advisable of adding insulation before new roof is installed. It helps in blocking out the moisture between metal roofs and sheathing.

Use Roofing Felt that works to cover the entire space of roof and secure it with the help of staple guns to nail it accurately.

  • Add flashing before installing new roof

Flashing is a material used for protecting the roof from seepage and water leaks. Different forms of flashing are available like metal, aluminum, copper, plastic and sheet metal. Aluminum and galvanized metal works best for the option of flashing. For metal roofing DIYs, aluminum is the best choice of flashing due to its easy bendable qualities and light weight.

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Flashing is placed between the base of roof and the top surface. It is always installed before placing a new roof at your home. Don’t want to replace the existing flashing then check for damaged parts of your roof. These parts are mainly observed around the chimney, vents, roof valleys and soil stacks.

Observed any leak issue? First check these areas on your roof for repairing it before installing a new metal roofing style. The purpose of mounting flashing is to obstruct any leakage from roof intersections.

  • Install the Edging of roof

Edging is important to have it onto your roof. It is in the form of metal strips used for covering the perimeter of your roof. After placing it on right position, nail it with the help of one and half inch of nails that are easily available.

Insert the flashing edges into the strips for having concrete form of roof. If rain gutters are installed, the metal strips should be overlapping it for creating a strong base.

  • Add metal roofing panels 

Taker your first metal roofing sheet or shingle and place it on the roof. With its support mount the remaining metal materials you are using. The sheets should be aligned perfectly perpendicular to the edges.

Make the use of screw for fixing the metal panels on the sheathing of your roof. Screw it will for not observing any uneven installation of metal sheets used. Don’t forget to keep an eye on selection of screws. Each and every screw should be of same size and brand, for having it perfectly blended in the process of installing the metal roofing.

For the exposed fasteners, don’t try to tighten it more. Each fastener has a durable rubber grommet that is helpful in sealing your roof from any weather damage. Tight it only up to sealing the site. If you over tight it, there might be a situation of disposing, removing and replacing it with the new one.

Continue the process until the entire roof is covered with metal roofing materials. Do not overlap any metal sheet or shingle with the other one. Make sure that edges are overlapped with the adjusted panel mounted in your roof.

If you feel, the roof is in need of sealant. Make the use of silicon or copper sheets before laying off the metal roof. It is placed between the flashing and the top surface. Silicon will allow squeezing it towards the edges and makes the roof more stringent in appearance.

Add an outer layer flashing. It is a different process from the interior insulation of the flashing. It comes in the form of metal trim that is similar to eave flashing. Metal trims are installed as covering caps on the top surface of two side’s intersection.

Even it can bend V shaped for covering the top intersection of metal sheets on the roof. Screw it well on its place for a firm structure of final metal roof installation.

  • Final finish of your roof

At the end, inspect your new roof installed at your home. Make sure of checking the entire roof area is covered properly without any damaging effects. All the edges are installed smoothly and are perfectly finished. Clean the remaining area and enjoy your new roof.

In simple words, metal roofing offers better energy saving, home appreciation and high value of investing factors than any other roofing material. If you are planning for home value maximization, metal roof will add prestige to your home. It offers your home with hard protection, enhanced look, and lower energy consumption cost. Metal roofing installation adds up years and works as a shield on your wallets from the increasing energy cost.


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