Metal Roofs

A metal roof can seem like a good investment. The material cost is rather low. However, material cost should not be the deciding factor. Life-cycle costing and durability should. As the slideshow above demonstrates, a metal roof is not problem free, or even low-maintenance. Common problems with metal roofs occur from the natural properties of the metal itself. The metal roofing panels expand and contract in response to environmental temperatures. Over time, this expansion and contraction causes the panels to separate and openings to appear between the panels. Moisture can penetrate the roofing system at these openings.

Often the roofs are coated or sealed as a preventative or a solution to the leaks. This stops the leaks - temporarily. The metal will continue to expand and contract causing the panel to separate from the sealant or coating and cracks to appear. This same relative movement can lead to problems with fasteners backing out. All of these small openings allow an opening for moisture to penetrate the roofing system and an opportunity for leaks. It is not uncommon for moisture to become trapped under the panels, causing condensation on the underside of the roof. This can cause leaking of the roof even on a dry day. Moisture can travel on a flat roof. If water enters the roofing system through an opening caused by a loose fastener, the roof may be leaking 20 feet away.

Flashing is another concern for metal roofing. Any penetration on a roof (chimney, stack, pipe, curb) is a risk for leaks. The flashing should protect the point of penetration and direct water away. If the flashing is not water-tight, a leak can occur. Often the flashing fails due to the metal's natural expansion and contraction loosening the seal. Snow, rain and ponding water eventually lead to rust and corrosion on metal. Rust and corrosion lead to holes in the metal. 

 

Options for metal roofs:

  • Sealing and coating is always an option for metal roof repair. It is inexpensive to reseal exposed seams and apply a waterproof coating. However, as mentioned above, this is only a temporary fix. It protects against corrosion only, and as the metal continues to expand and contract, the new seal and coating will rupture.
  • Spray-on foam is another option. However, this creates an irregular surface which can hold water. This is why most warranties for spray-on foam do not cover damage caused by ponding water.
  • Replacing the roof is the third option. Replacement with a new metal roof solves the immediate problem, until the cycle begins again. Metal roof installation also causes disruption to daily operations of your business which can cause safety hazards, and can lead to exposure of the interior to the elements during installation.

Benefits of a retro-fit: LaFerney Commercial Roofing offers a solution to all of these issues and more.

  • A membrane roof system can be applied directly over the existing metal roof.
  • No tearing off of the metal. No landfill or waste hauling fees.
  • Minimal noise and heavy equipment - in fact, in many cases only a boom truck is used to access the roof.
  • In most instances, daily operations may continue as normal.
  • No exposure of interior of building or its contents.
  • Enjoy all of the energy-savings benefits of a high-quality PVC roofing system.