The Most Common Metal Roofing Installation Mistakes and Issues
So you are considering a metal roof for your home, you get on the internet to find and learn about the various roofing companies and arrange to get bids. Several of the roofing contractors are now coming by and providing you with bids for the installation of a new metal roof. Now, as you review the bids, you wonder why you are seeing such a big difference from one company to another for the cost of the roof installation and you don’t want to make a mistake or poor re roofing decision.
A metal roof is a metal roof right? So why would there be so much of a difference in the bidded price from one company to another? With a project like this, it is one that you only want to do only once and have it done correctly because even subtle installation mistakes can cause issues in the long run. Please read the warnings and advice below to know what to do to ensure you have a great roof, the first time, saving yourself time money and headaches!
1 – Metal Roofing Batches Color Issues
As a historical constant, commercial builders will, almost 99% of the time, choose to go with the lowest bidder on their projects in order to maximize the profits on their building project. You can see in the photo to the right, a standing seam unpainted called Galvalume Roofing product was used for this metal roofing system that is only a few years old.
When studying the photo, it is quite obvious to see the color differences indicating where the installers used product from two different batches of material. It is quite common practice for roofing contractors to use leftover material from previous jobs where the material was not purchased together and ends up coming from different batches with color variations.
What has happened is that over time this creates a problem as these two different batches will weather differently causing the effect you can see in the photo. Can you imagine, paying a lot of money for a new roof, only to have revealed mismatched colors. This is not something you will notice when the roof is newly installed, it will look beautiful until down the road exposure to the elements and time that different batches were installed on your roof. The roofing crew knows they are from different lots and were purchased at different times, but you will not see evidence of the roofing color mismatch till a few years later long after the crew is gone and the check has been cashed.
2- Voiding The Warranty
There are many things a roofing company who installs a metal roof can do that will inadvertently void the roofing warranty. Here is a quick list of some items to be aware of and watch out for that may void your warranty on the new roof you paid good money for: Tweeked installation of the panels, jagged cut edges that are not sealed (painted), fasteners that were driven to tight, wrong sealant used around protrusions, improper underlayment, furring strips spaced out to far, crinkles on the panel from walking in the unsupported areas, unsealed scratches from installation crews just to name a few.
3 – Fasteners Rusting and or Backing Out
This is by far one of the most common issues that can lead to leaks as well as constant maintenance issues of your metal roof system.
Something to keep in mind, a metal roof standing seam panel with the hot Texas blazing sun beating on it will move at a different rate than the wood furring strip underneath the panel that it is attached to.
This becomes a BIG problem due to the fact that so many of the roofing crews who simply drive the screw fasteners from the outer top side of the panel directly down into the wood furring strip below. This is a BIG NO, NO! The better way to install standing seam panels is with a hurricane wind resistant Z-purlin which is made of 20 gauge steel that will move at the same rate as the metal panel above it. The metal roofing is then fastened with the screws through the Z-purlin (support), down into your roof’s decking. This prevents the fasteners from backing out and causing the holes to wallow (made bigger) and more elongated holes in the panels that were smaller when the roof panel was initially installed.
4 – Oil Canning (wavy panel)
This image at the right shows the dreaded look of a wavy metal roof, no one likes to see their roof doing this! Nearly 100% of the time, this problem is due to the installer using a thin standing seam panel of 26 gauge or thinner.
The contractors will often choose to use these thinner (26 gauge) roofing panels in order to increase job profits because the cost of these panels are less for the roofing contractor. Additionally, these panels are lighter in weight so much easier for the roofing crews to install, screw thorough, crimp, etc. This is also a “non striated” (no small ribs) in the wide open section of the panel that would also reduce the Oil Canning effect.
This BIG drawback of using the thinner 26 gauge sheet metal is the dreaded oil canning effect that can occur when our hot summer Texas sun starts beating down on the roofing panels. This thinner panel often looks good in the cooler months, but quickly becomes quite a different story as the summertime heat sets in as many homeowners have reported this across the country. The solution is to upgrade to a 24 gauge anti oil canning “striated” standing seam roofing panel, this instantly corrects 99% of the slightly oil canning effects.
5 – Choosing the lowest bidder (estimate) for roof installations
This is the most self-explanatory of the 5 most common installation and estimate mistakes. This happens to be the most common mistake we see property owners making during the selection process. Commercial business owners and homeowners alike often get at least three bids for their roofing project.
One of the ways we are identifying this method is that we are being asked more and more often to email a bid or just leave it in the mailbox. When a prospective customer looks at the estimate, the first thing that they often look at is the price. In reality, this is the quickest way to overlook the quality and details of the installation that will be used for your new metal roofing project.
Keep in mind the importance of meeting with and interviewing each and every roofing contractor face-to-face regardless if you are paying in cash or financing your new metal roof, it is still your hard earned money. In my opinion, by personally meeting (interviewing) with them allows you to get a sense of their Professionalism, knowledge and installation techniques allowing you to learn how they plan to install your new metal roofing system as well as meeting the contractor in person.
Another word of advice, be sure to ask for a current, verifiable insurance certificate and some references to their previous work as well. The quality of their installation often influences the roofing cost as the saying goes, “You Get What You Pay For”. If you are considering a Metal Roof over and Asphalt Roof, you should check out this like to see the differences between the two.
Greg Kapitan (the siding man) of Texas Home Exteriors Inc.
PS: Take a close look at this standing seam metal roof (mistake) where they apparently used different batches of galvalume to save money. So not worth the money they saved to forever have it look like this, click on the photo enlarge..