Standing seam metal roof on smaller-scale commercial building

Does Your Commercial Building Have a Standing Seam Metal Roof?

A little while ago, we shared a post here on the blog looking at some of the different metal types that may make up your commercial building’s metal roof. Aluminum, steel, and zinc are the most common metals used for commercial metal roofing, but that’s only part of the story. How your commercial metal roof is constructed also matters. If you have a more steeply pitched standing seam metal roof—as opposed to a typical low slope metal roof with exposed fasteners—you need to think a little differently about how you maintain it over time.

The good news is that standing seam metal roofs are incredibly durable. However, they could potentially represent higher costs for building owners both initially and throughout the roof’s long life. Here are the basics of what you should know about standing seam metal roofing in commercial applications.

What Makes Standing Seam Metal Roofs Different from Other Metal Roofing?

While standing seam metal roofs are available in a wide variety of configurations and panel profiles, the thing that sets them apart from more typical corrugated metal roofing is concealed fasteners.

In other words, a standing seam metal roof—whether it’s constructed with snap-lock panels/seams, mechanically seamed panels, a batten panel system, or nail/fastener flanges—is designed so the nails/fasteners holding the metal panels in place are not exposed to the elements. This primary construction difference offers several big advantages over corrugated metal roofs in many applications.

Fewer Weak Points

It is no secret that one of metal roofing’s most significant weak points is the fact that its fasteners—nails or screws—tend to become loose or damaged well before the metal panels develop issues. With standing seam metal roofing, fasteners are protected from exposure to rust-causing rain, wind, and damaging UV light from the sun, so that weakness is removed from the equation. And that leads to better performance over a longer period.

Potential for Even Better Longevity

One of the biggest questions that commercial building owners have about metal roofing is, “how long does a commercial metal roof last?” As we’ve talked about in the past, commercial metal roofing should last about 40 years if properly maintained. A standing seam metal roof may add a decade (or more) to that lifespan!

Of course, for any metal roof to meet or exceed its longevity expectations, it must be installed correctly. With standing seam metal roofs, specifically, there is a greater risk of a botched installation because fewer roofing contractors have the expertise to install standing seam metal roofs today.

More Aesthetically Pleasing Appearance

Many people choose standing seam metal roofing because it presents a timeless look. This is why it is a trendy choice in residential construction now. However, if your commercial building needs to cut a more architecturally important profile, a standing seam metal roof will do that. For instance, if your building houses a trendy boutique shopping center, a hotel, or other public-facing business, aesthetics may be critical.

For more utilitarian structures like warehouses or industrial buildings, though, a standing seam metal roof may not be worth the higher initial installation cost vs. corrugated metal roofing or other types.

Additionally, you need to remember that standing seam metal roofing cannot be installed on roofs with a pitch of less than .5/12. While this isn’t severely limiting, as many commercial roofs are low-slope in pitch (between about 1/12 to 3/12 by standard measurements), there are still many commercial buildings with truly flat roof structures. These include buildings like the massive distribution centers and manufacturing facilities common in our eastern Pennsylvania service area.

So, Why Wouldn’t You Want a Standing Seam Metal Roof on Your Commercial Building?

In short, standing seam metal roofs are more costly to install since they’re typically made from thicker metals—namely Galvalume® steel between 22 and 26 gauge. And, there is a higher risk that these types of roofs will be installed incorrectly, which will lead to avoidable repair bills over time.

As we touched on above, there are few roofing contractors out there who offer standing seam roof installation. Depending on factors like the dimensions, profile, and shape of the metal panels you want to use on for your standing seam metal roof, installation can be complicated. Many roofing contractors—especially commercial roofing contractors who prefer to work on flat roofs—don’t feel that the more premium price they can charge for installing most types of standing seam metal roofing is worth the complication that comes with along with that work.

Additionally, repairs on standing seam metal roofs, whether they were correctly installed or not, can also be more complicated and costly. Of course, many of these roofs are good candidates for metal roof restoration processes, like the system we use here at UCR.

Need Help with Maintenance and Repair of Any Commercial Metal Roofing?

If you already have a standing seam metal roof on your commercial building that has seen better days, or if your corrugated metal roofing is starting to develop common problems or leaks, it’s time to call us at Unlimited Commercial Roofing to talk options. Our metal roof restoration process might be a good option for protecting your investment well into the future.

No matter what, we’re happy to come out and give you a FREE on-site roof inspection! Give us a call today to learn more and schedule commercial roofing service.