Owen Garland
11/1/2002
Hi -- I'm getting ready to build a house next spring (I'm not a builder, just a guy getting a house built and doing some of the work; not the roof, though) and I'm looking seriously at metal as an option. Here's what I want to know: how low-maintenance, exactly, is metal roofing? I've read that you don't have to do much to it at all, just hose it down now and then. Is that really all you have to do? I live in the MD mountains (yes MD has mountains) where we get snow and ice maybe four months out of the year, so I'm also wondering what the deal is with gutters and metal roofing. I mean, it's great if snow and ice come right off a metal roof, but how does all that snow and ice not mess up your gutters? Thanks.
Guest User
11/2/2002
There are some other posts in the recent past that address metal roofs with snow/ice and gutters. The gutters should be mounted low enough for the ice and snow that slides off the roof with high velocity to go over the top of the gutters, but they should be mounted high enough to catch heavy rain water. I recommend attaching the gutters with screws instead of ring shank nails. A steeper roof pitch create a bigger challenge. An exposed screw metal roof will likely require some maintenance every few years, to tighten the screws. A concealed screw standing seam, installed correctly should be maintenance free for many years, especially if you have a simple roof without roof penetrating stone or brick fireplaces. I will never ever have anykind of roofing other than metal, in the future. Some metal roof panels are made to look like shingles. There's a lot of modern metal roofing style options. Our house is 4 years old and the best GAF 40 year asphalt shingles lasted almost 4 years. We just had a standing seam metal roof installed. Installing a metal roof is pretty easy on a simple roof, if you don't mind the height. They are really slippery and hard to walk on if the roof pitch is greater than 6/12. 6/12 roof pitch is hard enough to keep from sliding off the roof. I recommend a 4/12 pitch and no more than 6/12. I recommend a house with exterior walls constructed with R-Control Panels (SIPs). Use them for your vaulted and flat ceilings. Use metal rafters/trusses so you will have a very flat and straight roof for your metal roofing panels. Use 5/8 inch thick plywood sheathing or 5/8 inch thick OSB sheathing. Don't use recessed can lights. Use track lights. The best windows meet the Energy Star compliance testing. Consider radiant floor heat, but be extra careful hiring a contractor. This is one job you can do yourself and save lots of money. You don't need to hose down the roof, just wait for a rain or snow. Darker colors show dust more than the light colors. Those MD mountains must be pretty short. How is the cross country and downhill snow skiing? Good Luck, Mark
Allan Reid
Dura-Loc Roofing Systems, Inc.
11/2/2002
Metal roofing is one of the lowest maintenace roofs however you have various levels of of roof systems, substrate and finishes to choose from. You are putting on a life time roof so choose a sytem and a contractor carefully. Ask for referances or you will get your experience the hard way like Mark did. Just like a car you should wash the roof down once and a while and have an inspection every 5 years. Every rof penetration and flashings have differential movements and you should have the caulkings checked and the flashings. Some people put a metal roof on and forget about it and you never know when a branch our so,ething has fallen on it. Choose a good system/finish and a good contractor and you will have very little to worry about. As to the gutters keep them slightly below the plain of the roof. If you want to shed snow put on a smooth metal roof. If you want to retain snow put on snow guards on the smooth sytems or boy a granular coated like we produce which holds the snow like asphalt shingles. If you are worried about ice, then I would stand the metal roof off with strapping and ventilate the air space. This will give you a cool roof system and elliminate ice build up in the fist place. Hope this helps.
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