Serving Southern California

Standing Seam Metal Roofing in Los Angeles

Understanding Roofing System Options

Here at Delta Roofing, we have fielded countless questions from customers who were curious to know what exactly sets a standing seam metal roof apart from other types of roofing systems. To help provide some clarification on this confusion, and to highlight the many benefits of installing standing seam roofing systems instead of traditional screw down panel roofing systems, we have decided to answer some key questions on the topic.

What Exactly Is a Standing Seam Metal Roof?

A type of metal roofing, standing seam roofing systems entail panels that are installed directly to the substructure of a roof. The panels attach in this manner by virtue of having male and female legs that interlock together at the seams. In most cases, the standing seams are one to two feet apart. Often referred to as ribs, the size and distance between the standing seams (or ribs) primarily revolves around the structural and aesthetic needs of the building. Although the attachment method varies from job to job, the one universal for all standing seam metal roofing systems is that they avoid using panel fasteners that are exposed to the natural elements. For some rarer projects, trim attachments may require and/or use exposed fasteners, but for the panels the fasteners always go beneath the rib.

What Are Some Key Benefits of Standing Seam Metal Roofs?

There are several advantages to standing seam metal roofing systems.

  1. First and foremost, they are aesthetically chic and modern. Without the eyesore of endless ribs and overlapping panels, standing seam metal roofing systems create a visually stunning façade with stark shadows, sharp angles, and steep vertical planes.
  2. Secondly, lapped roofing systems involve labor-intensive installations with multiple overlapping panels. With so many overlapping panels, screw down roofing panels subsequently require exponentially more parts. This makes them structurally weaker, given that they are a patchwork of myriad individual parts. To the contrary, standing seam systems require fewer individual panels which makes the roof much sturdier and robust.
  3. Thirdly, they must undergo extensive testing: more testing, in fact, than screw down roofing systems. They must not only pass heightened safety and building codes, but also prove to be fire-, water-, wind-, and impact-resistant to higher degrees.
  4. Finally, standing seam systems are almost always insurable in ways that traditional screw down panel systems with exposed fasteners are not. If desired, Weather Tight Warranties are almost always offered to standard seam roofing systems, while they are almost never available for screw down roofing systems.

Why Are Unexposed Fasteners So Beneficial?

The signature perk of a standing seam metal roofing system is its durability. Once installed, it requires very little if any maintenance. Manufactured from high-end steel and aluminum, the only areas that may need intermittent tending to are the boots and collars of the vent and gas pipes. Other than that, the only upkeep would be keeping the roof clean and clutter free. In other words, the TLC required would primary be aesthetic, and almost never structural in nature.

The central design shift and primary reason why a standard seam roofing system is so durable is the placement of its fasteners. By being placed under the ribs, the fasteners create a more versatile system in which the roof can expand and contract simply by sliding panels to and fro atop the fastened clips. This is an attribute that standard screw down panel systems do not have.

Being concealed, the fasteners are pretty much impervious to corrosion. Whereas screw down panels constantly endure sun exposure, wet weather, harsh winds, and high levels of humidity and moisture, standard seam metal roofing systems are weather tight. This means that the ‘building’ around the fasteners and washers will never be penetrated with water, pounded by wind, or melted by direct sunlight. These processes lead to cracking and snapping in traditional roofing systems as the neoprene material degrades over time.

Delta Roofing is willing and ready to field any questions you may have. If you are considering a standing seam metal roofing system, call us at (818) 732-8253 or contact us online today!

Are There Multiple Types of Standing Seam Metal Roofs?

Yes, there certainly are. Although the overarching concept remains the same, standing seam metal roofing systems come in a wide variety of architectural designs, attachment styles, installation methods, and panel types.

  • Structural / Architectural Designs – With lower sloped roofs, structural systems are hydrostatic, or watertight, even when fully submersed. With steeper slopes, architectural systems are hydrokinetic. This means they are waterproof only when water flows overhead. Architectural systems are preferred for roofs that aim to please both structural and aesthetic concerns. They are constructed not only to enclose a building’s vulnerable framework, but to also have an attractive appearance. Recently, standing seam systems composed of curved metal have become quite popular, implemented by many building designers who value the modern and sleek look of bulges, swells, and undulations. Some use curved metal as merely accents, while others are entirely curved.
  • Attachment / Installation Methods – Standing seam metal roofs can be snapped, clipped, mechanically seamed, or clipless. Snapped panels involve applying pressure to male and female legs that snap into place. Clipped systems have clips that are attached to the male/female panels that in turn connect to the building’s frame or deck. Mechanically seamed panels are generally hooked together with a T-shaped panel. Once interlocked, a seam cap at the end allows a mechanical seamer to seal the panels weathertight. Clipless installations are much more basic, relying upon a nailing flanges with slots that attach to plywood decks.
  • Panel Types – There are three distinct types of panels: vertical, trapezoidal, and t-shaped. Vertical panels depend on seaming machines. They connect to the frame with vertically perpendicular legs. Trapezoidal panels were the earliest prototype for standing seam roofing systems. After the first stage of installation, the gaps between the eaves and ridges allow these panels to be closed from the inside with a watertight sealant. T-shaped panels are the latest arrival to the roofing industry. These panels include a batten cap that expedites the replacement and installation process.
  • Symmetrical vs. Asymmetrical Panels Symmetrical panels look the same on both sides of the panel leg, a design aspect that allows installers to begin at any point of a roof. This is critical in easing the installation process. It also makes substituting panels, modifying a building, or implementing expansions much easier. Asymmetrical panels have incongruous legs. This requires the installation method to be done in a successive fashion: either left to right, or right to left. Furthermore, if repairs or modifications are needed at any point, asymmetrical systems require extensive work as every panel must be successively removed and replaced from the far edge of the roof to the area requiring attention. Moreover, because they cannot be reused, entire new sets of panels are required after such renovations.

How Do Standing Seam Roofs Compare in Costs?

Through a short-term and narrow-minded lens, standing seam metal roofing systems may seem like an intimidating choice. They are undeniably more expensive than screw down roofing systems with exposed fasteners. In fact, they usually cost at least twice as much. The elevated price point is the byproduct of two legitimate factors. They are composed of higher-quality materials (thicker metals), and they naturally require highly specialized technicians to install.

These factors lead to major benefits when looking at a long-term perspective. Ultimately, a standing seam metal roof can save you lots of money despite high upfront costs. This is because their superior structural integrity will likely result in immensely lower maintenance and repair expenses. More importantly, you will have a structurally and aesthetically sound roof that lasts for decades and that can be modified at will.

If you are considering a standing seam roofing system, call us at (818) 732-8253 or contact us online today!