Black roof shows imperfections

EM Yates
I have been told by a roof installer that if I want a standing seam black metal roof, I shouldn't go with the Traditional Black color. He says the panels contract and expand and leave a kind of warping which is much more apparent with the color I want. He says the Matte Black or the Dark Bronze colors will be less reflective therefore, you won't see the undulation of the roof as well with these colors. I really want the Traditional Black color that's on the color chart. He didn't use the term oil canning, but I'm guessing that's what he means. I've seen black metal roofs that don't look warped or oil canned, etc. and they look great. I'm just afraid he's seen it on other jobs he's worked on and maybe he's just not installing it properly . . . or is this the case with a black metal roof and a valid reason to go with the Matte Black?
Todd Miller
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
Oil canning, or rippling, can occur for many reasons. And, yes, it can be accentuated by higher gloss finishes. It can happen because of unevenness in the substrate, stresses inherent to the metal itself, improper forming of the metal, improper installation, or physical damage to the product. One thing that is sometimes done is putting a plastic backer rod behind the center of the panels to put some crown in them and take up any excess metal to avoid the appearance of oil canning. You also can buy panels that have striations formed into them which help. You may want to ask your installer about these options.
David Stermer
Hi EM, Thanks for your question about metal roofing. A roof painted black will tend to absorb more solar radiation/heat than say a roof painted white. However, cool black colors can reflect as much heat as other darker colors and so they will absorb no more that other darker colors. If this roof is over conditioned space, the extra absorbed heat will be a beneficial in the winter and is likely to raise cooling costs in the summer. Standing Seam metal roof systems are designed to accommodate the thermal movement of the roof panels without warping or causing damage to fasteners. A properly installed Standing Seam metal roof should not be negatively affected by the choice to paint it black. Regards, David
Dick Bus
Em, some more things to keep in mind. Ask the contractor if he is using precision leveled metal before the standing seam panel is formed. Assuming your roof pitch is greater than 3 in 12 inches a snap lock panel is better that a field seamed panel. Also, a clip fastened allows for expansion and contraction better than a nail strip panel. You do not mention which part of Virginia the home is located in. If it is coastal environment, I would recommend using aluminum. The paint system should be Kynar 500 or Hylar 5000 to have long resistance to caulk and fade. I would recommend that you get a list of five similar projects to yours from the contractor. Contact them or better yet visit with them to verify that he is a quality contractor. Finally, use a panel that is manufactured by a member of the Metal Roofing Alliance. All of us have agreed to only promote quality metal roofing to the residential market. Let us know if we can provide further assistance.
Eric Novotny
An informed customer is the Best Customer!
+1 to the feedback above. All great answers. What type of decking is it going over as well?

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