METAL FLAT ROOFS HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR YEARS
Metal flat roofs once ruled the commercial roofing industry, thanks to their long history as a great roofing product. Metal roofs grew in popularity initially due to their consistency and sufficient levels of performance, but after some time they became a more popular simply because they were more popular. A snowball effect began to take place where metal roofs were chosen to be installed simply because they were often installed in other buildings. Let’s look at the merits of this flat roof system and examine how they fell from the top spot.
Metal flat roofs hold some distinctive advantages over other roofing systems that many building owners really like. First of all, they are manufactured in mass quantities in large factories, giving consistency to each and every panel. You know 99.9% of the time, the first panel you install on your roof will be identical to the last. This is a comforting thought and conveys quality, as it should.
Another advantage is the lifespan. If rust is prevented or treated on metal roofs and foot traffic is kept to a minimum, a good metal roof can routinely last over 40 years on your building. That is a long time and is a major advantage of the system.
There are three major weaknesses of metal roofs that make it a slightly less appealing choice to building owners. The first of these weaknesses is rust. A metal roof is constantly exposed to the elements, and once the layer of paint wears off, which it will if the roof lasts 40 years, then rust is imminent. If the rust is not addressed in time, the roof may need panels replaced, repainted, or more serious repairs.
Another weakness of the system is the seams in between panels. There are both horizontal and vertical seams, both of which can allow water into the building. Over time and through the changes of season, metal panels expand and contract. This shifting can lead to gaps at the seams, which makes them even more dangerous.
The final major weakness of metal roofs is the presence of fasteners, and the fact that they are exposed to the outside of the roof. These fasteners, again impacted by the expansion and contraction of the metal panels, can back out and leave holes for water to enter into the building.
Metal flat roofs were once the greatest flat roofing system available, but new discoveries in the industry have made metal roofs obsolete in many cases. They are still a roof that should last a very long time, but they come with their share of downfalls.