Standing Seam Metal Panels: Which Is Better

  • When it comes to metal roofs for homes, metal shingles are a very popular option. While not as common in residential settings as standing seam metal roofs, metal shingles account for a significant portion of the total number of metal roofs installed each year. Metal shingles are available in a variety of styles, colors, metal options, and profiles. Metal shingle roofs with interlocking shingles and overlapping tiles are two of the most common styles of metal shingle roofs.

    Metal shingles are true architectural metal roofs that can provide you with a long-lasting roofing solution with the appearance of natural slate, clay tiles, or cedar shingles at a fraction of the cost and for a significantly longer period of time than other roofing materials.

    Standing Seam shingles versus metal shingles

    The majority of interlocking metal shingle roof systems are also extremely adaptable when it comes to the way they are installed. Metal shingles are used on some of the most difficult and cut-up roof designs, and they can be very effective. Metal shingles can be used to cover the perimeter of a hexagonal tower, whereas standing seam metal roofing panels would be nearly impossible to cover the perimeter of a hexagonal tower.

    It is much easier to flash a roof penetration, such as a pipe flashing or even a skylight or a chimney, when compared to the same procedure when using a standing seam or stone coated steel tiles roof, which is more difficult. Fortunately, because metal shingles flashing has a low panel profile (the average interlocking shingles metal shake roof sticks out about 1/4′′ to 3/8′′ from the roof deck), it is simple to fabricate and install in the field.

    As you can see in the video above, the chimney flashing (as well as the skylight flashing) on a metal shingles roof is relatively straightforward, in comparison to the standing seam metal shake roof shown in the photo below:

    As shown in the chimney flashing photo below, a standing seam  has a chimney that is located on the ridge line, which simplifies the flashing detail and eliminates the need for the back pan flashing, which is the weakest point of this flashing detail.

    By eliminating ribs (r-panels and/or vertical snap-lock or the seam on a standing seam ), the flashing detail using metal shingles for both the chimney and the skylight is simplified significantly.

    Manufacturing of metal shingles: Metal shingles are manufactured in factory settings using a stamping manufacturing process on an industrial-sized press to create the shingles.

    The metal shingle profile is stamped with a special dye, and two additional dyes are used to bend the locks on all four sides of the shingle.

    Metal shingles are formed by stamping coils of steel, aluminum, or copper of a specific thickness together. A 7-layer bake-on Kynar 500 paint finish is applied to steel and aluminum coils, which provides the longest lasting discoloration and peel/chip resistance while also eliminating the need to paint your  every 5 to 7 years.

    All of the accessories for a metal shingle roof system are manufactured on a computerized brake, either by rolling or bending the metal shingles. These include your drip edge, side-wall / head-wall flashing, valley pan, and other similar components.

    The ridge and hip caps are usually stamped from the same coil as the shingles, which saves time and money. Another option is to use a 10 foot field-fabricated ridge-cap section, with either exposed or concealed fasteners.

    GAF DeckArmor breathable synthetic roof underlayment, which sells for about $150 per roll of 400 square feet and can be purchased at Lowe's for about $150, should be installed over a solid sheeting deck such as CDX plywood or OSB board and proper underlayment such as GAF DeckArmor breathable synthetic roof underlayment.

    If you have a metal shingle roof, avoid using non-breathable underlayments and Ice & Water shield because they will trap moisture and cause the roof deck to rot.

    If your deck is made of 16-inch boards or something similar, you may have difficulty installing and nailing metal shingles to it. If the row of shingles lands on the crack between the boards, your nails will not have a solid surface to nail into because there is no solid substrate to nail into.

    In the above situation, longer clips that extend past the crack between the boards, or the installation of a layer of 3/8′′ plywood or OSB over the boards, may be a viable solution to the problem.

    The use of long clips, on the other hand, will result in a weaker fastening and a lower pullout / wind uplift rating for the metal roofing system. The installation of a layer of 3/8′′ sheeting is the recommended method.

    Metal shingles are fastened to the roof deck with nails and either clips or a built-in nailing strip on the metal shingle, depending on the manufacturer. Metal shingles are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, and each has its own fastening method, though they are all quite similar to one another.

    When installing metal shingles on a deck, nails made of the same metal as the shingles should be used to hold them in place. A steel metal shingle is secured with regular galvanized roofing nails, and aluminum metal shingles are secured with aluminum ring-shank nails, as shown in the illustration.

    Metal shingles are installed starting at the bottom and working their way up. The direction in which shingles are installed varies depending on the shingle design, but most metal shingle systems are installed from the left to the right side of the roof. Each metal shingle is locked into the locks of six neighboring or surrounding shingles, resulting in a system that is extremely durable and resistant to high-speed winds as a result of the locking mechanism.

    In the video above, you can see how an aluminum metal shingle roof is installed over a properly prepared roof deck and then nailed down with aluminum ring-shank nails that are driven through special "ears" or a nailing strip built into the metal shingles. Another type of nailing detail, such as clips or a nailing strip across the top of the shingle, will be used on other systems.