metal roofing help

scrynApril 15, 2008

We are looking at a metal roof (Fabral brand) standing seam is very expensive and may not be affordable for us. We had a quote for Grandrib and we could do that. We are concerned about the fastening system though. Fasteners are screwed through the panels to attach the metal roofing to the older asphalt roof. These screws have a neoprene washer with a stainless washer over it.

I called the roofer to inquire about these washers and them breaking down over time and he said that he has not seen this happen as long as they are installed correctly. He is an experienced roofer (metal only) and has done a number of similar roofs in our area and they do look very nice. He did offer a less expensive standing seam (crimped along the edges so that there are not exposed fasteners) however this standing seam is installed right against our old roof so that there is no airgap (which will provide us w/ more insulation, which we want)

The roofer provides a 10 yr installation warranty against leaks and so on. The roofs that are being done are not exposed to much sun at all, so I think the washers would not break down as fast.

We do have a an existing asphalt roof that is in so-so condition so any small leaks would probably just run down the asphalt roof and out under the metal roof, however of course we don't want that to happen!

I am really torn on what to do here. We plan on living in this house for a long time.

We could maybe afford the true standing seam if we do not do our porch roof and bathroom roof and only do the main roof.

The housing cost in our area is very stable so we would not make up a cost of a standing seam roof if we decided to sell at any time. I think people would like the metal roof but not pay more for it really.

Under our asphalt roof we actually do have the original metal roof. We have NOT had a leak in our house YET but we are deciding to replace because the shingles are looking very ratty and we would like to be a little pro-active. We do have some ice dams in the valley of our two roofs (this is why we are even more interested in the air gap w/ the roof installation)This air gap will provide the metal roof to vent easily and hopefully will help to alleviate some of this problem. Our roof is also steeply pitched so hopefully more snow will shed from the metal roof, than the asphalt roof.

So, I would LOVE some thought/suggestions on this!!! If anyone has an exposed fastener metal roofing suggestion I would love to hear about their experiences also.



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Hi, Renee,

I see no one has chimed in on your roof question. My husband and I were general residential contractors for 30 years in Texas. Down here in the extreme humid and hot south, we always installed 1x4s stripped over the old shingles for air gap. The new metal roof was then screwed to the 1 x 4s. This helps keep the roof from sweating also.

Buyers will pay more for a ribbed metal roof over fiberglass shingles but they do not comprehend the expense difference between ribbed metal and standing seam. Standing seam is pricy but wonderful.

I know of no problems in the neopreme washers used through out the roofing industry.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 2:11PM
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I just realized I may be able to help. I have a roofer here working on my slates who also does standing seam, so I'll ask tomorrow during break.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 10:31PM
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Thanks so much! I would appreciate another roofer's input.

Gail, has anyone called you regarding leaking because the neoprene washers? Also, how long do you think it they would last. I have read people need to tighten them after a couple years also, have you heard about this?



    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 9:49AM
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You seem to have 2 layers of roofing now and plan to add a third. Is your frame strong enough to carry the load? Do you need to strip the old materials off first?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 8:29AM
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Yes, we do have a roof that can carry the load. Also, only one layer is asphalt, the other roof is metal, so we actually have very little weight on the roof right now.

we would be stripping the roof if we were adding another asphalt roof, for sure.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 8:41AM
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I don't have much information to offer--but I'm dying to hear more responses, since we're in the exact same situation. Would love standing seam, but can't really afford it, so are thinking about screw-down. We've heard that the screws can rust, that the neoprene washers need to be replaced occasionally, and that you really want to make sure you get someone who's really experienced at installation--not screwing in at weird angles that would allow water to pass through, etc... And we keep hearing that standing seam is a lifetime roof, whereas screw-down is not. (I have to admit though, that I actually kind of like the look of screw-down over standing seam--standing seam is getting more common where we live (an island outside of Seattle), but we're in a 110-year old farmhouse, and I kind of like how rustic the screw-down can look--like it's been there for years, which is the look we're going for.)

I know we don't want to do asphalt shingle--just from an environmental perspective, it's about as bad as you can get. At least if we need to replace the screw-down roof, it can be recycled. Looking forward to hearing more from others.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 5:41PM
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Hi Lizabeulah!

My question here has been up for a while. Doesn't seem that people have too much experience with metal roofing yet.

I also like the look of the screw down roofs. Nearly everyone w/ a metal roof has that here. I think that is because it is cheaper and faster/easier to install.

The screw down roof system has about 20 colors to choose from also, compared to about 5 for the true standing seam. This makes me feel that they are trying to push it for residential roofing. People like to be able to choose from a lot of different colors.

We still have not made a decision yet. I just am not sure what to do.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 10:11PM
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I am still on the track to try and get an answer for you. As you know this has been fab weather for roof work and my slate man got pulled off on to another job, but I expect him back. He worked 10+ hour days towards the end of the week and I didn't want to disturb that momentum with more questions.

You want to know about the longevity of the screw-down vs the standing seam (but not standing seam that's soldered) right? I think I may have the screw-down on a large pole barn that we put up more than 15 years ago. I can go look and see tomorrow in the a.m. It has performed flawlessly - even surviving the tornado that smashed up our house (and the pole barn was broadsides to the path of the tornado, with its only closed wall on that side, too.)

I did nothing but attend to the roof project last week. It turned out to be more complicated and time-consuming and more expensive than it initially appeared (ain't it always?). But I did learn how to cut and replace slates, which with 10 slate-roofed structures here will come in handy in the future. In fact, the only non-slate roof is the one on the big pole barn.

(Also re your electrical problem thread, I will ask my DH to make suggestions when he gets back from a business trip. When we have that problem he gets busy with his little meter and sorts it out.)


PS, Do you need opinions about the layers of roofing issue, too?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 1:36AM
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Thanks Molly!

Our main question is that I have heard/read that the neoprene washers dry rot after a while (10 years) and would need replacing.

I have also read about the screws loosening over time because of the wood and metal expansion.

Those are the two main questions I have.

The standing seam roofs are crimped now, not soldered, so we would be comparing a crimped vs screw down roof.

I had read a lot about metal roofing installation and am ok with the layers of roofing we have on the house. However, one more opinion/thought can't hurt!

I also did get the county code on this and it does state you can do this. You CAN NOT have more than two layers of asphalt roofing over one another but we only have one layer of asphalt.

thanks so much!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 8:38AM
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