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November 12, 2015

Metal Roofing: Know What You're Getting - Part 5

Metal Roofing Summary – and Don’t Forget the Warranty!

This is the fifth and final post in our series about metal roofing, discussing the significant differences between standing seam metal and barn metal roof installations. In this post, we’ll summarize some of the key messages we presented previously, and touch on warranty considerations. Although primarily focused on residential applications, our post content is relevant for commercial installations as well. Follow these links to read the previous posts:

standing seam roof with dormers
Standing seam metal roofing is popular because, when the right materials are installed properly, a metal roof can provide beautiful, watertight protection for 50 years or more – far exceeding the life span of a traditional shingle roof.


Panels: True standing seam roofs use interlocking panels that are typically made from high-quality, thick and durable 24-gauge metal. In contrast, ribbed (bi-rib or classic rib – also known as “barn metal”) roofing panels, are made from thin (26 or 28-gauge) metal and used extensively in agricultural and pole barn installations. Barn metal roofing is often mistakenly sold and installed by contractors as standing seam.


 Ribbed "barn metal" panel

Fastening: Standing seam installations use fasteners that are concealed and protected by the vertical “standing seam” that is created where adjacent panels lock together. This accommodates the metal panel’s natural expansion and contraction during thermal changes and prevents fastener exposure to the elements. Barn metal roofs use overlapping panels and exposed screws with rubber washers that penetrate the outside of the panel. This allows for virtually no panel expansion and contraction. Over time, because of weather exposure and panel movement, the washers will fail, the screws will loosen or break, and the watertight integrity of the roof will be lost.

Finishing: To ensure a distinctive, elegant look, it’s important how roof edges and other details are “finished.” For standing seam roofs, metal trim components (rakes, caps, and other flashing pieces) are typically custom-made for each roof for a proper fit. Trim details for barn metal roofs are typically one-size-fits-all items that have to be modified to install properly. This can lead to problems down the road when expansion and contraction cause components to work themselves apart, inviting water penetration and bird nesting.

Durability & Thermal Stress: Standing seam roofs made from 24-gauge metal are less likely to be affected by thermal expansion and contraction than lightweight barn metal, reducing long-term stress on fasteners. In addition, they will withstand hail better, won’t bend easily if walked on, and will maintain straighter lines. Barn metal roofing panels are more susceptible to damage from hail and other activity, such as foot traffic. In addition, this thinner metal will experience more thermal movement than thicker standing seam metal and is more likely to show “oil canning” – a visible unevenness on panels.

Warranty: Paint and finish warranties are available for both barn metal and standing seam panels for 20, 30 or even 40 years. However, barn metal roof problems commonly develop because of wind uplift and screw/washer failure – and warranties are not usually available for these types of issues on barn metal installations. To give customers extra confidence against these and other potential metal roof problems, Royalty backs all standing seam installations with our 10-year Workmanship Warranty.

Barn metal is intended for use on barns and similar structures, and small leaks and other defects that appear over time aren't critical. However, the roof on a home needs to be watertight, attactive and last a long time. A new standing seam roofing system from Royalty meets those requirements. If you're considering a new metal roof for your home or place of business, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your needs with you!

Learn More We invite you to learn more about Royalty’s metal roofing capabilities by visiting our standing seam page, where you can also view a short video testimonial. Or download our brochure by clicking on the image at left.

Article by Royalty / Metal, Warranty


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