To Batten or Not To Batten

Linda Rhode
6/21/2011
I read a reply in an earlier message concerning installation where you replied: "...some metal roofing products by design MUST be installed over battens, some CAN be installed over battens, and some MUST NEVER be installed over battens. So, if the product is to be installed this way, make sure it is approved by its manufacturer for this type of installation." Can you explain what kind of metal roofing is installed with battens and which is not? And, when you say "some metal roofing products" are you talking about brand, style, guage, etc? Also, do you have any advice or specific informational websites for "do-it-yourself" metal roof installation? We will be installing a metal roof (in Florida) over an existing shingle roof (not architectural tabs).
Todd Miller
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
6/21/2011
Generally speaking, some of the tile and shake facsimile products MUST be installed over battens (though many do not have to be and some can be). Most of the metal shingle, slate, and shake products are never to be installed on battens., Many of the vertical seam panels can be installed either way. It is based strictly on the individual product, how it has been designed and tested. It has to do with product design and sometimes with metal thickness and type. As far as DIY ... I really suggest finding the product you want and can buy first ands then working backward to get installation information on it. There really is no industry wide generic installation procedure. It varies based upon the product. If you really want to see some sample manuals just for consideration, email me at [email protected] There are also manuals available online with certain manufacturers such as Fabral, McElroy, ATAS, and Metal Sales.
Eric Novotny
An informed customer is the Best Customer!
6/21/2011
+1 Find the look of the product that you want and work backwards from there. Each product will have specific, although sometimes identical, installation protocols. Depending on where you are in Florida, there may be some specific hurricane fastening schedules as well for whatever material you decide on.
Linda Rhode
6/21/2011
Wow, Thank You for the quick replys! We will likely go with the vertical seam panels (until we started researching, we didn't know there were so many styles of metal roofs!). We are looking for manufacturers locally and will follow the installation procedures of whoever we select. Ours will be the first metal roof in a subdivision of mainly older (1960 era) homes. I can't wait to see the finished product! One more question, I read something about color in a different post.... I thought I read that it's recommended to go with a darker rather than lighter color? Our preliminary plans were for a light tan so that it would "go" with any color we painted our block house. However, the comment I read has me concerned that a light color will show the dirt more and also something about reflectivity?
Todd Miller
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
6/21/2011
Lighter colors will virtually always have greater reflectivity for summer engery savings. However thanks to the nagic of reflective pigment decent reflectivity is available in many darker colors. Generally I find most folks like a darker roof and I tell them that I don't feel the slight extra reflectivity of a lighter roof is worth the trade off for a color of roof you do not like. But if you like the lighter colors then that's great -- you get the best of both worlds! Now, if you are in a real dirty area -- trees around, lots of airborne fungus, etc., you are correct in that that will show up on a lighter colored roof first. I hope this helps!
Linda Rhode
6/24/2011
Thanks Todd (great name, by the way... my brother's name!). Is there a fairly easy way to clean the light colored roof if it gets dirty? I.e., spray something on and hose it off? We really don't have any large trees over the roof, but we are tropical in nature, so anything that gets wet a lot will mildew. Our current white drip edge has black streaks on it, so not sure if that's an indication of how clean the roof will stay. So far, we have received three quotes from companies all around the state. Prices have differed by $1,000 to $2,000 for 26 gauge vertical seam panels. Is there a difference in the metal from company to company? Other differences between the companies have been with leaving or removing the existing shingles (one recommended removal with the addition of a rubber underlayment); one recommended plain silver over any painted color, stating that it was more energy efficient, while others say the painted is better. Personally, I prefer the darker colors, but I worry about fading or chalking. It's decision time!! :-)
Todd Miller
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
6/25/2011
Good questions. From a practical standpoint, power washing is usually the way to clean if necessary. I would look hard at the quality of paint system the products have. Generally speaking, Kynar / Hylar systems are recognized as the top quality followed by super polyesters. You will get your best combination of fade and chalk resistance out of the Kynar / Hylar coating especially in dark colors. Lighter colors do have greater reflectivity but you can get decent reflectivity in dark colors if they have reflective pigment in the paint. As far as whether you go over the old shingles ... generally I do not see issues with doing so. However, if you have existing leaks or decking issues, those should be addressed. Additionally, come standing seams that do not have much corrugation or striation or texturing to them will be more likely to show ripples in the final appearance if the old shingles are left in place, I hope this helps.
Guest User
8/13/2011
We FINALLY have our metal roof materials, so the fun begins! We decided on a light color (tan) 26 ga. Tuff Rib 36" wide from Gulf Coast Supply & Mfg. http://www.gulfcoastsupply.com/product_tuff-rib.htm We will be installing over our existing asphalt shingle roof. We have good 1x6 (or 1x8) plank decking underneath the shingles and no leaks. Our only remaining issue (I hope) is the decision on whether to install the metal roof right over the tyvek covered shingles or install over 1x4 battens. The manufacturer directions (both verbally and written) indicate we can install the metal roof either way. Our friends who have installed metal roofs are divided on their advice to us. So, any last pro's or con's either way? BTW, we live in Central FL... it's hot, humid, and at times a little windy (haha). Thanks in advance!
Todd Miller
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
8/13/2011
An installation over battens will increase summer energy efficiency but since you have gone with a light color the improvement from going over battens will be less dramatic.
Guest User
8/15/2011
Thanks Todd! The fun has begun!
Guest User
9/4/2011
We dodged Hurricane Irene and are almost done with installing our metal roof. It's been HOT work, but we are pleased with the results so far. One question... how do we finish the hip where it meets the eve (the pointed corners)?? We've done a lot of looking on the web and can't figure it out. We also asked the manufacturer but directions were unclear. I've attached a pic of the last section we have to do (other than trim and painting the skylight).
Guest User
9/4/2011
Here's a hip cap that we tried to fold... don't like it! We are getting seamless gutters that may "hide" some of it, but not all?
Todd Miller
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
9/4/2011
I am so sorry that somehow I missed your posting of a couple of weeks ago. I love the mural on your home! Is there a way where you can do what you have done except go ahead and fold the hip cap cover around the bottom edge of the roofing as well, closing off the gap and also locking the bottom edge of the hip cover to the roofing to help avoid potential wind problems?
Guest User
9/4/2011
No problem at all!! And thanks for the compliment on the mural. We love it! Yep, I think we can do that. Well, not with the piece that's already up there, but we can take it up and do it over (we planned on it anyway). My hubby 'practiced' on this piece. It's not perfect, but better than what is up there. He said this will fold over the edge of the roof panel. It's a lot of folding!! BTW, the ridge caps you see in the previously attached pic are from the old roof. We've had a lot of rain, so we put those up everyday after working. Sorry if the photos are uploading sideways... ugh!
Guest User
9/4/2011
Another view...
Guest User
9/14/2011
I live just a few miles from the Canadian border, so it gets very cold here. I want to put Metal Sales "Classic Rib" on my saltbox style house. I've been told (by a local handyman) that condensation would be an issue, if installed directly over the plywood and underlayment. In other words he is suggesting using battens. The roof has ridge and soffit vents. I was hoping to get a definite answer, (to batten or not to batten) or at least a rule of thumb.
Todd Miller
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
9/14/2011
Ted, if you have good insulation on the attic floor as well as ventilation in the attic, you should be okay. I would also love to see a vapor barrier behind your ceilings and, of course, make sure that any moisture sources are vented to the outside and not just into the attic. Ultimately, though, a batten installation will have some summer benefits as well as potentially winter benefits.
Guest User
9/14/2011
Thanks for replying so quickly. It's been a while since I've been up in the attic. I don't recall seeing a vapor barrier up there. I believe, the blown in "loose fill" insulation is just covering the the sheetrock and roof truss bases, I'll have to get back up there and see. The upstairs bathroom vent hose goes up through the ceiling and out the soffit. It works, but I think some of the heat makes it into the attic. I could try to insulate it a little better, but crawling around in loose insulation isn't my favorite thing to do. You said "Ultimately, though, a batten installation will have some summer benefits as well as potentially winter benefits". What benefits would those be???
Todd Miller
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
9/14/2011
The thermal break created by the airgap helps to stop summer heat transfer by conduction. This will keep your attic naturally cooler in the summer and reduce your air conditioning costs.
Eric Novotny
An informed customer is the Best Customer!
9/16/2011
You should be fine with your current ventilation. Make sure the soffits are not blocked and seal up the attic floor. Once you have done that, add enough insulation dept (cellulose is preferable) to get a combined depth of about 16"

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