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The Pros and Cons of Standing Seam Metal Roofs

Standing seam metal roofs are gaining popularity owing to their durability and impressive looks. This type of roofing incorporates features such as concealed fasteners and highly durable materials that can stand the test of time. 

Its panels consist of male and female legs that join at the seams. These are attached to the deck using a clip or fastener flange. One advantage of this type of roofing is the variety of choices and options for consumers. There is a lot to choose from, including the length and width of panels, shape, thickness, and type of materials.

What are Standing Seam Metal Roofs?

A standing seam metal roof is one of the several types of metal roofing available today. It consists of a series of seamed metal panels (usually 12 to 18 inches in width) that you attach to the deck using concealed fasteners. They are often made from galvanized and galvalume steel and feature vertical ribs (legs) that rise above the flat area.

Exposed Versus Concealed Fasteners

Other than the color, how the panels join together also matters. Roof panels are seamed together using concealed or exposed fasteners. Both styles have their advantages and disadvantages. 

Exposed fasteners are visible to the naked eye, require regular maintenance, are a bit less expensive, are easier and cheaper to install. But they are not as visual appealing – for example, you may have the appearance of “rivets” or bolts.

Concealed Fasteners are not visible to open air, and since they are not exposed to the environment, require less frequent maintenance. They require a more sophisticated installation – more expensive to the difficulty and longer time to install. But over time, can have less maintenance cost, and offer a more clean, smooth appearance.

The Advantages of Installing a Standing Seam Metal Roof

Standing seam metal roofs have several advantages compared to other roofing styles. They include:

Allows for Expansion and ContractionThe metal expands when hot and contracts when cold. As such, it should have enough room to move either way. The fasteners risk coming loose under pressure otherwise. Furthermore, panels with no room for thermal movement are prone to increased noise and oil canning.

Generally, standing seam metal roofs are not pinned. That means they can expand and contract with ease.

One of the Most Durable Roofing Options

When compared with other roofing systems, a standing seam metal roof is arguably one of the most durable options available. Since the fasteners don’t go through the panels, there is no risk of them becoming loose or damaged. Therefore, maintenance need not be on a regular basis.

With that said, standing seam metal roofs still need maintenance. However, you would need to call a professional maintenance contractor owing to the high level of expertise required.

Has a Modern, Sleek Look

Consumers love the modern and chic look and the wide variety of color options. It is no wonder they are a popular choice in architectural applications. The fact that they are fit for use in buildings with complicated roof designs also helps.

Reduces Energy Use

Standing seam metal roofs often incorporate cool roofing technology. Some have highly reflective pigments on the surface that help in reflecting sunlight and highly emissive metals that dispel heat instead of absorbing it. Cool roofing reduces the amount of energy and money that would have been spent on cooling.

Can act as a Mounting Platform

A standing seam metal roof enables you to mount items such as swamp coolers and solar panels onto the roof. You don’t even need to make holes on the surface of the panels.

Some Disadvantages of a Standing Seam Metal Roof

Installing a standing seam metal roof is not always the best option. The roofing system also has its disadvantages. The following are some of them:

More Expensive Than Other Roofings

Installing a standing seam metal roof is more expensive compared to other roofing styles with exposed fasteners. But it is not as expensive as other methods such as metal shingles.

Requires Qualified Contractors for installation and maintenance

Installing a standing seam metal roof requires specialized skills. Therefore, it is essential to find a skilled contractor, such as Home Grown Roofing & Contracting with the necessary background and experience. Many contractors would consider the process too complicated and labor-intensive.

Not Suitable for Flat Roofing

You should not install a standing seam metal roof on a roof with a pitch lower than 2/12. Such a flat pitch would make it harder to drain water leading to premature degradation, color fading, and eventual failure. 

Can be more Difficult to Repair or Replace

If damage occurs on one section of the roof, the repair process can be tedious. This is because you need to separate the damaged panels from the rest. In cases where the panels are mechanically seamed, separating the panels is even harder.


Overall, A standing seam metal roof is one of the most durable roofing systems. 

In ideal situations, the standing seam metal roof can give you 50+ years of service. Of course, that will depend on the weather, paint finishes on the panels, and the level of maintenance by a qualified, experienced roofing company, such as Home Grown Roofing and Contracting.

To learn more about the many roofing options, and the services provided by Home Grown Roofing and Contracting, check out the many other blog posts on our website, Schedule an appointment to get an assessment, or give us a call today at 303-997-3976.

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