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Thursday, March 4, 2010
Why Metal Roofing
Because I said so. It's permanent, beautiful, energy efficient, and cheap in the long run. All this is true as long as you don't use Metal Works Roofing, put a standing seam roof on a house that was not engineered for one, hire an incompetent contractor, and pick the right style.
Standing seam is growing in popularity but if it not on your house now it might be a disastrous roof to put on. How many homes have you seen that are 30 years old and don't have sags in the roof line or haven't had foundation repairs? If either of these these things happen to your home the standing seam will oil can (take your pick of articles from the page). The stuff must remain absolutely straight. Perfect! Otherwise you become a buffoon for your selection.
Just look at Metal Works. It looks cheap. But as a college buddy told me while breaking the rule of giving a definition, "taste is a matter of taste."
Copper is costly, soft, and changes color.
Aluminum is costly, soft, and changes color.
That leaves us with stone coated steel. Rumor/fact stories tell us that the GI's were tired of the Zeros strafing their shiny corrugated galvanized lean-to-shacks in the southeast Pacific theater. "Look Hirohito, the jungle's shining!" Thus, in order to enhance the roof the soldiers mopped sand to the panels with tar. I bet it was cooler and more waterproof.
Years later, out of nostalgia, some returned to the areas where they had spent time struggling for survival. All the shiny metal huts that weren't blown to smithereens had rusted away. The sand covered ones were still there in all their glory.
A new industry was born. The English stole the idea, just like everything else they have done throughout their history. Can you blame them? I just wish they would steal some good recipes. Then I might go visit the place. But a great problem arose. With mass production techniques the panels stuck together when stacked. Believe it or not it can get warm enough in England to bring asphalt to a sticky state.
With time and technology the latest in coatings and sealants were applied to ever improving alloys until we came to the modern era. The first profiles were decent tile knock offs but with a little imagination we arrived at today beautiful profiles. They look better than the real thing.
First, Decra copied Gerard with the Alpha Tile. So Gerard tried to make a better looking panel. Decra just couldn't keep up. The new Gerard Canyon Shake and Barrel Vault Tile are as better looking than the Decra Shake and Villa Tile as the Decra Shake was than the old Gerard Shake.
More evolution came out with new batten-less systems and composition shingle profiles. These lower end shingle clones miss the point and look even worse than Metal Works. Decra's two shingle products are hard to install, the accessories are complicated, and more prone to leaks. Those leaks are nearly impossible to repair.
When we do a stone coated steel roof we believe in extra waterproofing prior to the installation of the steel. We use the GAF Golden Pledge requirements for weatherproofing with leak barriers along with a synthetic felt. The best among those today appears to be Titanium. Besides, my good friend Chris Hicky,who used to be my GAF rep, is the distributor for the product. Its name suggests great quality but what is in a name. We do this for those freeze thaw situations that occasionally occur around here in North Texas. And we all know it will never snow anywhere near to a foot in depth. NEVER! Why put on a permanent roof with a felt that will turn to dust.
Painted products tend to fade even if they call their paint a coating. The difference is not in content but in the method of application. Paint installed wet is still paint but paint installed as a powder is called a coating. This process is how aluminum roofing products are colored because, as any mechanic who has painted an aluminum head can tell you, it is not paint friendly.
If you get an aluminum roof and accept the class IV discount premium from your insurance, don't be surprised if when the hail flattens your roof that the insurance won't pay for a new one. The class IV discount excludes appearance damage from roofing. When comp roofs have dents or lose their gravel to hail the product has failed and will soon leak. A steel or aluminum roof won't but they'll look bad but since steel roofs need nearly four inch hail to deform them and aluminum need just the thought of hail to crush them, I wouldn't be too worried about steel being damaged by hail. Yet the standing seem steel are like aluminum in that baby hail will dent them, and it really shows. Decra and Gerard need lethal hail to be dented. The aluminum will look bad if a clown gets on your roof and starts cutting the rug. Steel tiles will too. The shake profiles are clown proof. The steel tiles are easy to fix but the aluminum roof is nearly impossible to repair. Besides. it's easy to learn to walk on steel tiles. Just pretend it's a concrete tile. The methods are the same. Step on the nose. Good luck trying to get the newspaper off your aluminum roof, much less a limb, or a foot.
The size of hail it takes to damage steel roofs is so great that you'll be happy to know that it might have saved your life. Stone coated steel roofs can withstand almost any wind except for a direct hit by a tornado, that is, if it were done right.
Fire? Steels the champ. Hands down. Many remember the fires in Southern California where the only homes left standing were the ones with stone steel roofing.
In 1993 we had four homes on Houston School Rd in Lancaster when the tornado hit. The neighbors had whole sheets of plywood sucked off, as well as many missing shingles, but our Gerard roofs sustained no damage. None of our stone over steel roofs has sustained hail or wind damage. We've been roofing in Dallas and Fort Worth since 1979 and putting on steel since 1987. The steel customers don't need me anymore.
Did I mention that I have a stone steel roof on my home?
Jon Wright jonwrightroofing.com