Waterproof properties of metal vs shingle or tile

Guest User
1/28/2003
I've been told that metal roofing is not as waterproof and composition shingles or tile. Please comment.
Todd Miller
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
1/30/2003
What you have been told certainly goes against what I have learned in 20+ years in the industry. Tile products in particular typically make no bones about the fact that they rely on the underlayment to keep out water, not the roofing tile themselves. Every product has different attributes. I would suggest bringing this question up directly to the manufacturer of any products you like and getting their input. Most metal roof designs have passed wind-driven rain testing which involves blowing 120 mph wind across a roof deck while dropping an 8 inch per hour water fall on it. This is a pretty healthy test.
Guest User
3/6/2003
Thanks for the reply, Todd. And the counterpoint. I like almost everything I hear about metal roofing--except the price. Now I'lll try to find a metal style I can afford and I'll be ready to build the new house. Do you have any recommendation for a particular style of metal roofing which would best handle walking in order to install solar panels? Or can you suggest a technique for the installers to avoid damaging the metal panels? Thanks again for your insights. Michael Jhon El Cerrito, CA
Todd Miller
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
3/7/2003
Most configurations of steel roofing can be walked fairly easily. With most panels, you walk on the areas of the roof which are closest to the roof deck. If a lot of heavy traffic will be on the roof, you can put plywood or planking over the roof panels, separating between the two with foam rubber or foam insulation. This helps to disperse the weightload. Some of the heavily formed products (shake profiles in particular), especially in aluminum but also steel, offer foam backer pieces which are configured for use behind the metal panels to give extra rigidity and enhanced walkability. A nice benefit of metal roofing is that, unlike many other product types, it does not lose walkability as it ages.
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